The basic laws of human stupidity are ancient. The definitive essay on the subject is younger. Called The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, it was published in 1976 by an Italian economist.
Professor Carlo M Cipolla [pictured here, below] taught at several universities in Italy, and for many years at the University of California, Berkeley. He also wrote books and studies about clocks, guns, monetary policy, depressions, faith, reason, and of course – he being an economist – money. His essay about stupidity encompasses all those other topics, and perhaps all of human experience.
Cipolla wrote out the laws in plain language. They are akin to laws of nature – a seemingly basic characteristic of the universe….
So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.