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Since forever, philosophers, economists, and conspiracy theorists have devised any number of elaborate theories on the nature of society and the motivations of human behavior. From the ideas of Adam Smith to Karl Marx , most of these models depend (at least somewhat) on the idea of rational human actors working to achieve reasonable results for themselves, their community, or society. But they are wrong. Similarly, there have been volumes written about how you should successfully relate to other people—but most assume that the person you’re talking to is a relatively intelligent, functional person, even though they probably aren’t. You probably aren’t, either. In practice, people are stupid, lazy, and behave as if they’re insane, and all human endeavors are a result of that trio of near-universal traits. So we should see the world accordingly. No one, even rich powerful people, is playing 3D chess. People are barely playing 2D checkers. Everyone is stupid When I think of smart people—like really smart people, not just the smartest guy on the bus, but theoretical-physicist-smart—I can only conclude I’m a damn idiot. But when I read the comment section on the New York Times , I feel like I might be the smartest person in the world. Thing is, there are many more New York Times commenters than theoretical physicists. In other words, forty-six percent of Americans believe ghosts exist , so we’re rarely dealing with the intellectual vanguard in our day-to-day lives. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter where anyone falls […]