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5. The 10 Axioms of Stupidity

Note: I didn't write these...

  1. People are like sheep. Where one fool goes, the other fools will go. If you want the fools to go in a particular direction, just bark some assertive-sounding nonsense up their ass (like a typical Microsoft press release).

  2. Most people can't think more than one step ahead. (Consequently, there are very few decent chess players in the world.) They will jump on short term advantages, even though they will inevitably turn out to be major long term disadvantages.

  3. People evaluate software based solely on numbers of features. If given the choice between a Microsoft product, which has 600 features, 400 of which are redundant, obscure, or useless, and a competing product which has 300 features, only 50 of which are similarly unuseful, they will choose the Microsoft product because 600 is greater than 300, even though 250 useful features ought to beat 200.

    A corollary to this is that the Apple/IBM initiative to create "OpenDOC" was doomed from the very beginning. It was intended as a way of allowing applications to be constructed together out of components. This would have the direct effect of reducing the count of "features" required to actually get work done.

  4. People would readily sign up to receive a "FREE" box of smelly rabbit turds in the mail, given the opportunity...because, heck, what can it hurt, it's "free" and it contains more turds than the competitor's product!

  5. People simply don't learn from past mistakes, whether they are their own or someone else's.

  6. Stupidity is self-perpetuating. People switch to a Microsoft clone product B from a competing company's innovative product A, citing that A is inferior and less feature-laden than B. Microsoft gains so much market share that A goes out of business and innovation comes to a grinding halt, and then everyone is back to having an inferior product again.

    I've observed a very good analogy in traffic patterns: on a one way street consisting of two regular lanes and an emergency lane on the left, if traffic in the left lane is moving too slow, people will race down a length of the emergency lane and try to squeeze back into their lane a few hundred yards further down, which is what is slowing the lane down in the first place.

  7. People like to "jump on the bandwagon" for a sense of security and righteousness. Most people can't back up their claims using facts and evidence, so instead they either use the old "X is better than Y because more people use X than Y" argument, or they quote only the trade journal articles or personal experiences that are biased against Y. Some people (of which there seem to be a few on these Microsoft bashing newsgroups) can't even do #2 successfully because they don't understand the articles; they just string together a bunch of buzzwords like " OS " and "browser" and "Java " and "security" to formulate their argument or opinion. People will complain about the turd in someone else's back yard even though the one in their back yard smells a lot worse.

  8. As sad as it may seem, the average person has very mediocre intelligence compared to society's brighter people (Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Unix gurus), and half of the world's population is by definition even dumber than that. And since stupidity generally breeds only more acute stupidity, this situation isn't likely to change.

  9. In order to sway people's opinion on something, it is only necessary to describe a good thing in a bad way, or vice versa; companies with a history of spewing BS (like Microsoft ) are most successful at this.

  10. No matter how hard you try, you can't make a stupid person aware of his own stupidity. If you try, the only thing you'll succeed in doing is inciting his rage.


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