by Giancarlo Livraghi stupidity.it gandalf.it
These are some of the quotations included in chapter 27,
in other parts of The Power of Stupidity and in related articles
(To avoid any hierarchy they are in alphabetical order)
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.
Scientists will eventually stop flailing around with solar power and focus their efforts on harnessing the only truly unlimited source of energy on the planet: stupidity.
The culture industry not so much adapts to the reactions of its customers as it counterfeits them.
The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind. The fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.
I happen to feel that the degree of a persons intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic.
If we cannot define stupidity, at least we can trace most human misfortunes and weaknesses to it. Its manifestations are legion, its symptoms are endless.
When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubt, but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.
I read the newspaper avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.
The world turns and the candle burns and the blind lead the blind.
A Bim song
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
However big the fool, there is always a bigger fool to admire him.
In politics stupidity is not a handicap.
Every time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was.
Freedom of the press is perhaps the one that has suffered the most from the decline of the idea of liberty.
A large section of the intelligentsia seems wholly devoid of intelligence.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
There is no opinion so stupid that it cant be expressed by some philosopher.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
It is not enough to have a good mind, the main thing is to use it well.
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because were curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Man is stupid, phenomenally stupid.
The number of fools is infinite.
Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. Im not sure about the universe.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Attributed to George Eliot, Samuel Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and several others
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The stupidity of men always invites the insolence of power.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stupidity has made enormous progress. Its a sun so shining that we can no longer look at it directly. Thanks to communication media, its no longer the same, its nourished by other myths, it sells extremely well, it has ridiculed good sense and its spreading its terrifying power.
To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
Put your trust in simple sentences and simple arithmetic. Mistrust four syllable words and continuous reports of tranquillity.
The dumbest people I know are those who know it all.
If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and cant, the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
Doubt is the father of invention.
The greatest intelligence is the one that suffers most from its own limitations.
Maybe violent wickedness can be decapitated, but stupidity has too many heads.
There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.
Stupid is as stupid does.
Forrest Gump (by Winston Groom)
What experience and history teach is this that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles.
There are more fools in the world than there are people.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
Rush, that most exciting perversion of life, the necessity of accomplishing something in less time than should be truly allowed for its doing.
We believe only what we see. So, with television, we believe everything.
Television has done much for psychiatry, by spreading information about it as well as contributing to the need for it.
Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken.
At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intelligence.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King
Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for that rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge.
Stupidity comes from having an answer to everything. Wisdom comes from having a question for everything.
All the brains in the world are powerless against the sort of stupidity that is in fashion.
Jean de La Fontaine
Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci
Its so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and say the opposite.
Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.
Lazarus Long (a character in novels by Robert Heinlein)
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Nobody is exempt from saying stupid things, the harm is to do it presumptuously.
Michel de Montaigne
Stupidity is active in every direction, and can dress up in all the clothes of truth. Truth, on the other hand, has for every occasion only one dress and one path, and is always at a disadvantage.
We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.
The love of power is the demon of mankind.
Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity.
William Ockham (Occams Razor)
Simplicity, very rare in our age.
Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid)
I would have written a shorter letter, but I didnt have the time.
Stupidity can easily be proved the supreme social evil.
Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of intelligence.
Edgar Allan Poe
The intelligence of the creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.
Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way.
If you want to avoid seeing an idiot, break the mirror.
Neither a pathology nor an index as such of moral default, stupidity is nonetheless linked to the most dangerous failures of human endeavor.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
The fool doth think himself wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.
George Bernard Shaw
A sort of melancholy, and regret, seizes us every time we meet a sophisticated, adulterated idiot. Oh the nice fools of yestertime! Genuine, natural. Like homemade bread.
The more I know, the more I know that I dont know.
The world supports a multi-million dollar industry of intelligence and ability research, but it devotes virtually nothing to determine why this intelligence is squandered by engaging in amazing, breathtaking acts of stupidity.
There is no greatness where there is not simplicity.
It aint what you dont know that gets you into trouble, its what you know for sure that just aint so.
Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.
Stupidity is an incongruity inherent in life. Humans have developed, expanded and promoted it.
There is no sin except stupidity.
A philosopher always finds more grass to feed upon in the valleys of stupidity than on the arid heights of intelligence.
Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.