Stupidity Without The Value Judgment


Stupidity

I read about Carlo M. Cipolla and his Laws Of Stupidity a few weeks ago, and his definitions really stuck with me.

Stupid can be given a definition that doesn’t have an explicit value judgment attached.

A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

He goes on:

Essentially stupid people are dangerous and damaging because reasonable people find it difficult to imagine and understand unreasonable behavior.

An intelligent person may understand the logic of a bandit. The bandit’s actions follow a pattern of rationality: nasty rationality, if you like, but still rationality. All this is bad, but it is rational and if you are rational you can predict it. You can foresee a bandit’s actions, his nasty manoeuvres and ugly aspirations and often can build up your defenses.

OK, maybe the implicit value judgment is still there.

Related Posts

Use of emphasis in speech

Generating a lot of language data with a theorem prover

"Litany Against Fear" in Present Tense

When it's time to party we will party hard

these are people who died

divine carrot

the frog

what it’s like to get nail phenolization

Why 0 to the power of 0 is 1

Lines and Points are Circles