The Sun is out on yet another sunny, summer Friday, about a book, backbone, and badges.
☀️Standing Against Stupid in Marysville
No one seems to understand economics anymore, and that wouldn’t be so bad except for the reality that everything is economics. Every relationship operates with some mixture of give and get, which involves a system of resources. Economics is not limited to wondering how Amazon can make money shipping you a new toothbrush within hours of your online order.
We need citizens who are aware of these community gains and losses and who seek more profit for everyone. Again, this isn't restricted to money and physical goods in the commercial sphere, but to every interaction. The bottom line is that the inflation of our current troubles is due to a high percentage of stupid people.
The Sun makes her first book recommendation today: The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity. In order for Marysville to be a destination we'll need more citizens who stand against the stupid. This requires more backbone than spreadsheet savvy.
The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity was written by Carlo Cipolla and published in 1976. It is a book about the economics of human relationships. Cipolla observes four types of players and plots them on a graph related to benefits and losses. Those who spend 15 minutes watching the following video will reap dividends for years.
Character #1: The Helpless. These persons aren't completely incapable, but they can't seem to figure out how not to be taken advantage of. They work, and they mostly survive, but others benefit way more.
Character #2: The Bandit. These persons know how to work the system and get more for themselves. In a more dramatic form they actually steal stuff, but today a lot more of these types lobby for legislation that makes their theft “legal.” Their motivation is self over tribe.
Character #3: The Intelligent. These persons understand that the best way is best for many. They treat others not as tools, but as those worth investing in or sharing with for sake of group benefit.
Character #4: The Stupid. This is where Cipolla excels in providing a working definition of stupidity and sharpening it by comparison to the other characters rather than merely whining about them.
The Stupid destroy a community, and for no good reason. They make decisions with what appears to be zero brain cells employed for anyone's benefit, including their own. So many of our so-called elite seem to have gone to Stupid School. See Stupid in elected offices, in appointed positions, in politics and medicine and education, at the top of nations and in the house next door.
Cipolla contends that there is always the same percentage of stupid among any group of people. The Stupid cannot be eliminated, but they can be resisted, ideally by increasing the determination of the Intelligent, since the Helpless aren't capable and the Bandits aren't to be trusted, even if their motivations are more understandable.
“when confronted with stupid individuals, intelligent men as well as bandits often make the mistake of indulging in feelings of self-complacency and contemptuousness instead of immediately secreting adequate quantities of adrenaline and building up defenses. … Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals.”
Government can't change the Stupid. Besides, government is usually guilty of subsidizing stupidity. But those in government could become more aware of the categories and at least run decisions through the grid, and this is certainly an expectation we should have for our local leaders. So also with citizens, we should call out the Bandits and the Stupid.
Buy the 80 page book and read it. Or get the 54 minute audiobook and listen. Don’t wait. Keep hold of these economic categories. Stand against stupid in our city.
☀️National Night Out
Tuesday, August 2, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM at Jennings Park: National Night Out with the Marysville Police Department and Marysville Fire District. See the city website for more information.
Related to our local law enforcement, the Lynnwood Times posted an interview with Marysville Police Chief Erik Scairpon:
And the Everett Herald ran an article (with an almost surprising lack of details) about the retirement of Fire Chief Martin McFalls and the search for his replacement.
As THEY say: Don't be stupid. I remind my kids from time to time: We're not stupid, so don't act that way. I am glad that our Marysville city government governs in a very intelligent manner! Just watch how Seattle and our state Governor Inslee does things over and over again expecting different results, to illustrate the Stupid.