— Ludwig Wittgenstein Austrian-British philosopher 1889 - 1951
Variant: If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. p. 50e
„In order to succeed it is not necessary to be much cleverer than other people. All you have to do is be one day ahead of them.“
— Leó Szilárd Physicist and biologist 1898 - 1964
As quoted in "Close-up : I'm looking for a market for wisdom. : Leo Szilard, scientist" in LIFE magazine, Vol. 51, no. 9 (1 September 1961), p. 75 Variant: If you want to succeed in the world, you don't have to be much cleverer than other people. You just have to be one day earlier.
„I think my target was not so much evil, but benign stupidity people doing stupid things without realising or, instead, thinking they were doing good.“
— Tom Lehrer American singer-songwriter and mathematician 1928
Context: You can make fun with Saddam Hussein jokes … but you can't make fun of, say, the concentration camps. I think my target was not so much evil, but benign stupidity people doing stupid things without realising or, instead, thinking they were doing good.
„There are some people so stupid you have to show them everything. I didn’t realize that there are people so stupid you can’t show them anything.“
— Murray Leinster Novelist, short story writer 1896 - 1975
— Chetan Bhagat, Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition
— Margaret Mead American anthropologist 1902 - 1978
Attributed in Teaching Music Through Performance In Band, Vol. 3 (2000), edited by Richard B. Miles, Larry Blocher, Eugene Corporon, p. 13
„Anybody who says these people are "free" is lying or stupid. You are what you do. If you do boring, stupid monotonous work, chances are you'll end up boring, stupid and monotonous.“
— Bob Black American anarchist 1951
Context: The demeaning system of domination I've described rules over half the waking hours of a majority of women and the vast majority of men for decades, for most of their lifespans. For certain purposes it's not too misleading to call our system democracy or capitalism or — better still — industrialism, but its real names are factory fascism and office oligarchy. Anybody who says these people are "free" is lying or stupid. You are what you do. If you do boring, stupid monotonous work, chances are you'll end up boring, stupid and monotonous. Work is a much better explanation for the creeping cretinization all around us than even such significant moronizing mechanisms as television and education. People who are regimented all their lives, handed off to work from school and bracketed by the family in the beginning and the nursing home at the end, are habituated to heirarchy and psychologically enslaved. Their aptitude for autonomy is so atrophied that their fear of freedom is among their few rationally grounded phobias. Their obedience training at work carries over into the families they start, thus reproducing the system in more ways than one, and into politics, culture and everything else. Once you drain the vitality from people at work, they'll likely submit to heirarchy and expertise in everything. They're used to it.