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Bandits, Victims, and Idiots


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#1 LFC

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 03:03 PM

This is a very interesting piece written by somebody who is not at all political.

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I have been thinking many times these last four years, and much more these last few days about the late Italian economic historian Carlo Cipolla. Not because of his economic theories, of which I know very little, but rather because of his theory of stupidity. You can read the principles in brief for yourself at the link above, or the original paper here, but I can summarize thus:
  • Powerful smart people take actions that benefit both themselves and others.
  • Victims lack the power to protect themselves. They are unable to find actions that benefit themselves, and are victimized to the benefit of others.
  • Bandits take actions that benefit themselves at the expense of victims.
  • Stupid idiots take actions that benefit neither themselves nor others.
These are value-laden terms so let’s be clear here that neither I nor Cipolla are suggesting that victims, bandits or idiots are not intelligent:
  • No matter how intelligent you are and how many precautions you take, you can be victimized by a bandit or an idiot. Victims are not to blame for their victimization. We’ll come back to this in a moment.
  • Bandits are often very intelligent; they just use their skills to victimize others. Whether that’s because they are genuinely not intelligent enough to make a living helping others, or because they are that intelligent but psychologically enjoy being a bandit, or are bandits for other reasons, it doesn’t matter for our purposes. Assume that bandits are extremely intelligent and devious, but motivated by gain.
  • Idiots, ironically, are often very intelligent; a great many idiots have fancy degrees from excellent colleges. As Cipolla points out in his paper, there is no characteristic that identifies idiots other than their inability to act in a way that benefits anyone including themselves. That includes intelligence or lack thereof.

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#2 golden_valley

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 03:24 PM

Gives us something to think about. Thanks for posting.

I was particularly struck by the latter part of the essay:

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    • Bandits, even the psychopaths, are motivated by self-interest and recognize actions that benefit themselves. You can reason with a bandit, but more importantly, you can reason about a bandit, and therefore you can make use of a bandit. You can make an offer to a powerful bandit and count on them to take it up if it maximizes their gain.
    • You cannot reason with an idiot. You can’t negotiate with them to anyone’s advantage because they will take positions that harm themselves at the same time as they harm others. There are no “useful idiots”; any attempt to use an idiot to benefit yourself will backfire horribly as they manage to find a way for everyone to lose.
    • When the idiots are in power, there is no bright line separating the smart from the victims; rather, there is just a spectrum of more or less power and privilege. Victims by definition lack the power to defend themselves, and the more privileged have no lever to pull to change the course of the idiot, who will act with such brazen disregard for the well-being of everyone including themself that it is hard to devise a strategy.
Seems applicable to our current political situation, doesn't it? Are we dealing with bandits, idiots, or both?

#3 andydp

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 03:25 PM

I fully agree with the intelligence of the "bandits". I worked in a jail for seven years. We always told the rookies those guys were probably smarter than they were.

One thing we always commented on was if they used their brains for a legitimate business they would be very rich. But...

To relate a story. We had one guy who was one of our "regulars". Petty crimes mostly. Anyway, one day he decides he's going to get out. So he gets a tray of coffee from the mess hall (he was a detail man), takes it down to the secure side of the visiting area, drops off a coffee and says can I bring out out to XX ? Sure !! so they let him into the "visitor's side" (still secure). Then he says can I bring this to XX ? NOW he gets to the non secure side, gives the coffee to the guard, walks upstairs and out the front door.

The guards had nothing but admiration for his ingenuity: called it a "Papillon".
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Rev Martin Luther King Jr.

Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp
Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.
DC Coronata

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Margaret Thatcher


(Select anyone who gets blind loyalty from followers/voters) "...is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."(Manchurian candidate)



"I can't go out because of the virus" sounds whiny and boring. I'm going with: "I've sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from the lands." sounds more valiant and heroic. As a bonus, people might think you're carrying a sword.

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Its theorized if you put enough monkeys together with typewriters, eventually they'll write Shakespeare. But first, they write Trump speeches.

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#4 andydp

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 03:30 PM

We have the best government that money can buy.

Mark Twain

Ohio House Speaker Arrested In Connection With $60 Million Bribery Scheme


Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Tuesday morning at his rural farm. Householder was taken into custody in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme allegedly involving state officials and associates.
Four others were also arrested: former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes.
The charges are linked to a controversial law passed last year that bailed out two nuclear power plants in the state while gutting subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.



https://www.npr.org/..._0v-2OPigoa5_iU


I'm guessing a congratulatory phone call or tweet is forthcoming from Pres Trump on the size of the bribe.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Rev Martin Luther King Jr.

Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp
Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.
DC Coronata

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Margaret Thatcher


(Select anyone who gets blind loyalty from followers/voters) "...is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."(Manchurian candidate)



"I can't go out because of the virus" sounds whiny and boring. I'm going with: "I've sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from the lands." sounds more valiant and heroic. As a bonus, people might think you're carrying a sword.

FB posting


Its theorized if you put enough monkeys together with typewriters, eventually they'll write Shakespeare. But first, they write Trump speeches.

FB Posting


#5 pnwguy

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 07:05 PM

View Postandydp, on 21 July 2020 - 03:30 PM, said:

We have the best government that money can buy.

Mark Twain

Ohio House Speaker Arrested In Connection With $60 Million Bribery Scheme


Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Tuesday morning at his rural farm. Householder was taken into custody in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme allegedly involving state officials and associates.
Four others were also arrested: former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes.
The charges are linked to a controversial law passed last year that bailed out two nuclear power plants in the state while gutting subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.


https://www.npr.org/..._0v-2OPigoa5_iU


I'm guessing a congratulatory phone call or tweet is forthcoming from Pres Trump on the size of the bribe.
Sounds like a typical FBI Hoax to frame Republicans and Trump patriots. Those 2 LOVERS were probably behind it.
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

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#6 andydp

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 09:06 PM

View Postpnwguy, on 21 July 2020 - 07:05 PM, said:

Sounds like a typical FBI Hoax to frame Republicans and Trump patriots. Those 2 LOVERS were probably behind it.

You left out Soros...
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Rev Martin Luther King Jr.

Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp
Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.
DC Coronata

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Margaret Thatcher


(Select anyone who gets blind loyalty from followers/voters) "...is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."(Manchurian candidate)



"I can't go out because of the virus" sounds whiny and boring. I'm going with: "I've sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from the lands." sounds more valiant and heroic. As a bonus, people might think you're carrying a sword.

FB posting


Its theorized if you put enough monkeys together with typewriters, eventually they'll write Shakespeare. But first, they write Trump speeches.

FB Posting






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