Following on from my thoughts on a non-stupid year, I’d like to remind you that human stupidity is by no means a new concept. In fact, Carlo M. Cipolla codified human stupidity into a series of practical laws back in 1976, almost like Newton’s Laws of Motion. When you get a moment, I think you’ll find his Laws of Stupid to be quite useful in navigating daily life. Wikipedia has a breakdown of the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, too.
Being aware of stupidity – how it works and why it works – can help us push back on stupidity in science fiction when we see it. What we see as ‘toxic behavior’ in the community can often be described as stupidity. After all, how smart is it to complain about Rose in Star Wars? What, are they going to un-make the movie, re-cut it, and re-release it just to make you happy? Of course not, that’s stupid.
That’s just one example of sci-fi stupidity. It might be helpful for all of us to be aware that it exists, so that we can say to each other from time to time: “Hey … that’s kind of dumb.”
These laws are provided as a caution: being aware of of the laws of stupidity doesn’t mean you’ll never break them. We’re all weird, naked apes when it comes to it. All we can do is try to be aware of our stupidity and mitigate the risk whenever possible.
Write on! 🙂