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photo credit: Wisdom of Crowds

It Appears That We Are Outnumbered And Surrounded

When you find yourself trapped within a contentious circle that is on the brink of emoting incivility, many experts advise that you remain calm, no sudden movements, and try to moderately mimic in agreement— but for a moment — their actions as best as you can until an avenue of escape presents itself. Keep in mind, you are not a Marvel super hero; do not try to engage them or fight your way out of these situations. The psychological or physical toll is never worth it. I’d like to believe in some instances that it’s emotive or just unwitting complicity — unbeknownst to them and in varying degrees, instances of motivated ignorance that prop up the numbers. But that’s naïveté. Are we completely surrounded? Absolutely. This is what leads me to have to tout the Italian economic historian, Carlo M. Cipolla’s first law.

“Our daily life is mostly made of cases in which we lose money and/or time and/or energy and/or appetite, cheerfulness and good health because of the improbable action of some preposterous creature who has nothing to gain and indeed gains nothing from causing us embarrassment, difficulties or harm. Nobody knows, understands or can possibly explain why that preposterous creature does what he does. In fact there is no explanation — or better there is only one explanation: the person in question is stupid.”

Stupid people are seen as a group, more powerful by far than major organizations such as the Mafia and the industrial complex, which without regulations, leaders or manifesto nonetheless manages to operate to great effect and with incredible coordination.

“[The Second Basic Law’s] implications are frightening,” Cipolla wrote. “The Law implies that whether you move in distinguished circles or you take refuge among the head-hunters of Polynesia, whether you lock yourself into a monastery or decide to spend the rest of your life in the company of beautiful and lascivious women, you always have to face the same percentage of stupid people — which (in accordance with the First Law) will always surpass your expectations.”

Which leads me to the most important and last of Carlo Cipolla’s basic laws. “A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.” The culmination of all those factors makes this predicament no laughing matter. It dampens the social cohesiveness — the bond of our human existence and our persistence — that we enjoy and that we are all too happy about in our pursuits. This phenomena endangers everyone. This could easily be misconstrued as fatalism, but if I truly thought that people could not change (evolve) then I wouldn’t have written this.

It appears the more that I write the better I perceive.

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