The laws of stupidity

1. Stupidity is Cumulative.

The amount of stupidity in a group is at least equal to the sum of the stupidity of the individual members.

In other words, one person can do stupid things, but large group will really mess things up.

2. Stupidity is Contagious.

Clinical trials indicate that prolonged exposure to sources of concentrated stupidity will result in increased levels of stupidity in test subjects.

3. Stupidity is more powerful than intelligence.

Decisions tend to be made to favor stupid people or stupid reasons.

Why do you think newspapers are written for a 4th-grade reading level? Or why they have those stupid warnings that I shouldn’t play with my plugged-in toaster while taking a shower?

4. In a closed system, the amount of stupidity will always increase.

Given two parts in a system, one of which is stupid and one which is well-designed, the well-designed one will inevitably be modified to better coordinate with the stupid one. (because, of course, the well-designed part is the easiest to modify).

So, what other laws of stupidity have I missed? Feel free to name them after yourself, if you wish.

Here’s some thoughts I had on stupidity:

  1. On a multiple-choice quiz, the question “Are you stupid?” has three answers: (a)Yes (b)No ©I Don’t Know. The correct answer is C.

  2. You are always in trouble if you have to hope someone wasn’t stupid.

  3. Stupidity is not merely the lack of intelligence. It is a malignant force that actually diminishes and drives out intellgence. Watch any cartoon where some stupid character’s “innocent” mistakes repeatedly hurt someone, and tell me he isn’t a tool of darkness.

  4. When otherwise intelligent people do inexplicibly stupid things, it’s usually the fault of Stupid. Stupid is Cupid’s retarded younger brother. Cupid shoots people in the heart with his arrows and makes them fall in love; Stupid shoots people in the head with his arrows and makes them do something stupid.

These aren’t really laws (except the first one), more like theories.

For every intelligent thought, there is an equal (or greater) and opposite stupid thought.
Example: Thought 1) The scientific name of that animal is Ursus arctos. Thought 2) I should pet its cub.

Stupidity is Diverse
Stupidity is not bound by any age, race, creed, gender, or orientation. Stupitidy is ubiquitous. A corollary to this is: Stupidity comes in many forms.

Forms of stupidity are not self-aware.
A form of stupidity cannot recognize itself, although it may recognize another form of stupidity. Example: Imagine a man who is talking on a cell phone while driving, laughing at the idiot who is smoking while pumping gas.

This is not exactly a law, just an observation:

Stupid people breed more prolifically than intelligent people. That’s why the world is doomed: eventually, the stupid people will overwhelm the intelligent constructions of human society through the weight of sheer numbers.

Enjoy it while you can.

I’ve heard this kind of thing so many times… and it’s just not true.

I teach the SAT I Verbal over and over, and I’m here to tell you as an absolute fact that the L.A. Times is over the heads of almost all high schoolers. They routinely ask me for the definitions of words that the Times or Newsweek would not hesitate to print. I reference phrases that could turn up on any given day in those publications, and they stare at me blankly.

The “paper”, if we are talking about world-class publications such as those above, or the N.Y. Times, or the Washington Post, or Time, are definitely at an adult level, often above the reading of, oh, say, the 65th-70th percentile of the reading levels of high school students.

Before anyone accuses me of skewing the results by citing kids from low socio-economic neighborhoods, I’m talking about kids from neighborhoods with a Mercedes and or Lexus at every 3rd or 4th house.

**Stupidity is mankind’s natural, resting state **
Which is why everyone is stupid sometimes ("d’oh, posted before my coffee! “d’oh, typo!”(like you don’t read what you type. What you mean is “d’oh, typo that I didn’t even notice, god I’m stupid today!”)

Stupidity is like psychosis. The more stupid you are, the less you are able to perceive it.
If, when all the evidence is against you, your automatic response is that you must be the only one who has figured this out, the rest of the world is part of some convoluted plot to disprove your stupid theory, or just “but I believe in “X” so I don’t need proof”, you have just rendered yourself immune to reason. How stupid.

**Beauty is fleeting and stupid endures.

Stupidity is inventive
Anytime something is made idiot-proof, nature creates a new, improved idiot.

Stupidity is extraordinarily dense
Stupidity has the ability to pull other, non-stupid things into it’s orbit.
(Observe: How many non-stupid people are required to fix one stupid decision?)

New Element Discovered

Wow, a whole thread of sigs. Thanks guys.

I believe the formula is, “The stupidity in a group is the stupidity of the dumbest person multiplied by the number of people.”

Sort of a corrolary to the rule, “The intelligence of a group of people is the IQ of the dumbest person divided by the number of people.”

Hey, George W. Bush proved that last November. :wink:

I’d love to trade caller ID for “Caller I.Q.”

So many stupid people, so few comets

Stupid should hurt

and (drumroll please) my personal favorite…

i see stupid people


Too bad Cupid and Stupid tend to be a package deal. Thanks for my new favorite quote :slight_smile:

No offense intended, Dave, but this could mean that high schoolers are much stupider than they used to be. (That would go to the “stupidity is constantly increasing” rule.)

::whispered voice

I see stupid people!

They’re everywhere!

And they don’t even know they’re stupid!!

Forget about someone’s IQ. How about a CSQ (common sense quotient - a score of 100 being average). A sign would be required on the inside of everyone’s front door, “If your CSQ is less than 100, you may not go outside unless accompanied by someone whose CSQ is 100 or above.”

There is no instruction so clear, obvious and simple that at least 10% of people will mis-understand, and not do the thing they are supposed to do.

Damn. I nearly got that right! Please imagine the missing ‘not’ where it belongs.

I guess this sort of proves my point [slinks away in shame…]

Hanlon’s Razor:

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Oh, thank you.

As a graduate of journalism school (hence, my impeccable spelling!), I am posting without reading the entire thread to inform you that we were taught to write at 8th grade level, thank you very much. Every time I hear (or read) someone quote this, the grade level drops. I expect to hear about how USA Today is targeted to kindergartners.

Oh wait. :eek: Maybe that wasn’t the best example… :rolleyes:

That said, Dave Swaney is right: even that goes over the head of the average Stupid Person trying to read the paper.