Most People are Stupid

I often wonder whether people are basically good, or basically evil. It would appear that it’s more interesting to think about whether they’re basically intelligent, or basically stupid.

Scott Adams’ (author of the Dilbert audiobooks) writes a blog about mob rule and the definition of ‘right’ being determined by the majority, defined as 67%-ish of the public.

If you assume people are basically stupid and we elect politicians to protect us from ourselves, then Adams is probably wrong, and you watch too much television.

If you think politicians decide policy independently of what is considered ‘right’ by the 2/3 majority, then Adams is probably wrong, and you don’t watch enough television (C-span).

But if you think that in general, government policy follows the popular opinion of what is right (2/3 because we have to filter out hypocrites)… then Adams is right.

And Adams IS right. People are basically intelligent. Especially people who “read” audiobooks, even if they call it listening. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.


  • Eddie

    March 10, 2020

    I also enjoy Adams’ quadrant of good-evil, smart-stupid to assess if you have a good boss or not.

    For example, the best boss is both smart and good. A stupid but good boss would also be acceptable, if you’re smart enough for the both of you.

    There is some debate about whether a stupid-evil boss (aka the PHB from Dilbert) is worse than a smart-evil boss (aka Catbert).

  • Scott

    March 10, 2020

    “If you assume people are basically stupid and we elect politicians to protect us from ourselves”…. that’s not on, now, is it?

    If people are basically stupid, then wouldn’t we be incapable of choosing politicians who could adequately protect us from ourselves?

    Looking at current leadership in US/Canada, it actually looks very much like people are not able to pick what government would best be able to protect them. Which kinda collapses your whole argument.

  • tbyladmin5

    March 10, 2020

    Just because your preferred candidate doesn’t get elected doesn’t mean the system isn’t working. That would be like saying you’re smart, but everyone else is stupid. Or is that exactly what you’re saying?

    There hasn’t been a civil war here in 125 years, and no real civil unrest in 35 years. I think we’re doing ok.


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