This article needs carlo m cipolla pdf citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. He was born in Pavia, where he got his academic degree in 1944. As a young man, Cipolla wanted to teach history and philosophy in an Italian high school, and therefore enrolled at the political science faculty at Pavia University. While a student there, thanks to professor Franco Borlandi, a specialist in Medieval economic history, he discovered his passion for economic history.
Subsequently he studied at the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics. Cipolla obtained his first teaching post in economic history in Catania at the age of 27. In 1953 Cipolla left for the United States as a Fulbright fellow and in 1957 became a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Two years later he obtained a full professorship.
Medieval Economic Development, traces the curious correlations between spice import and population expansion in the late Middle Ages, postulating a causation due to a supposed aphrodisiac effect of black pepper. The second essay, The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, explores the controversial subject of stupidity.
Stupid people are seen as a group, more powerful by far than major organizations such as the Mafia and the industrial complex, which without regulations, leaders or manifesto nonetheless manages to operate to great effect and with incredible coordination. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals.
A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. Corollary: a stupid person is more dangerous than a pillager. Benefits and losses that an individual causes to him or herself. Benefits and losses that an individual causes to others.
Graph with the benefits and losses that an individual causes to him or herself and causes to others. Graphically, this idea is represented by a line of slope -1, which bisects the second and fourth quadrants and intersects the y-axis at the origin. Honorary degree, University of Pavia, 1992.