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The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity - Book by Carlo Cipolla

Carlo Cipolla wrote the most important work on human stupidity. His laws describe the forces that hinder societies to progress by using simple logic. A clear and very entertaining read. The book does not reference any other works as sources but you can assume to find relevant material in Cipolla's other works. One story about coin counterfeiter in his book "Tre storie extra vaganti" (unfortunately no English version available), depicts that faking coins in 16th century Italy was hardly a lucrative business. Profit margins were extremely low. Nevertheless some criminals engaged in that activity, which was punished by death penalty. A great example for stupid criminals that risked their life for almost nothing.

Book Mentions

  • The Stupidity Quotient

    Ioannis Alexiadis
    cover image

    The concept of human stupidity has long been explored in literature, with Carlo Cipolla's 'Basic Laws of Human Stupidity' providing a framework for defining stupidity. However, this raises the question: just how stupid is a person? By understanding the stupidity quotient, readers gain valuable insights into how to interact with individuals who exhibit various forms of idiocy. The stupidity quotient offers a fresh perspective that will prove invaluable in navigating the complexities of dealing...

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