If you’re going to be stupid, you have to be smart about it.

Recently an event came to my attention that inclined me to spontaneously spout the following:

You know… if you’re gonna’ be stupid, you gotta’ be smart about it.

I love one-liners, and the poetry of this one rang true in my ears as soon as it left my lips. I quickly Googled to see if anyone had ever officially said it yet (like Yogi Berra), and to my delight they had not. So I get to have my very own one-liner… my very own Yogiism. Well done me. ;-)

The event that stimulated this burst of reason was this – I was told of a group on the website Facebook (a social networking site similar to MySpace) that was entitled “Henry Mills sucks penis” [the name has been changed]. This group was started and joined by current and former members of a local Christian school… and the object of their wrath, Mr. Mills, is a well-respected official of that same school and church. The group’s Facebook page includes disrespectful and insanely inappropriate and infantile content that I won’t share here.

Now… how nervy do you have to be to create and/or join such a group actually using your primary Facebook account with your name and picture displayed for any school official or parent to identify… and to do this while having not yet graduated from the school?! While you’re at it why don’t you just set your diploma on fire right now?! And needless to say, once the school found out about this Facebook group just a few days ago, it was quickly put out of its misery.

So upon hearing this story I exclaimed, “You know… if you’re gonna’ be stupid, you gotta’ be smart about it!” There is harmony in this statement – it’s found in the mix of bumbling wisdom and denotative paradox. But as I pondered, I discerned some “deeper” force at work here. :-) So I put my thoughts down in the form of a socio-algebraic law:

Mooradian’s Law of Multiplicative Idiocy

As the probability of an individual or entity to engage in an idiotic action increases, the faulty cognitive processes driving this increase also propend the same individual or entity to engage in further related idiotic actions, such that the original idiocy is amplified through a mechanism of synergistic multiplication. This described propensity incites a daisy-chain of idiotic action occurring independent of (and possibly in addition to) the coincidental succession of an individual’s or entity’s natural random idiocy as expressed by a Poisson distribution.

As a previous leader of soldiers, I truly saw this law in action. Anyone who’s been in the military knows soldiers and sailors sometimes have an affinity for mayhem. And certain sailors and soldiers have perfected foolishness down to a black art. Now, it amazed me how my soldiers would sometimes commit egregious acts of idiocy, and follow it up by recording their actions in photographic or audio-visual form – thereby supplying incrimination leading to their own demise!? That’s the law of multiplicative idiocy.

Recently, on a local blog, I was conversing with an argumentative and illogical fellow. No sooner had I soundly discounted all his faulty lines of reasoning, when a mysterious second fellow appeared on the blog and echoed the first fellow’s identical illogic. Little did “either” of them know that I’m an admin for the blog… and I could see that “both” fellows were posting from the same IP address! Upon greater inspection, a third and fourth troublesome fellow on the blog were also from this same IP address! When pressed for the truth, the original fellow claimed that the other “three” fellows were indeed real people (housemates) whom he shared his home computer with. Of course, he couldn’t then explain why when I tracerouted his IP address it routed back to a single-point external gateway for a local health insurance company (as verified by their IT security staff). That’s the law of multiplicative idiocy.

How about the lady who tried to pay for her Wal-Mart merchandise with a counterfeit bill? She used a bill of such a high denomination ($1 Million) that not only did the store have no choice but to examine the bill with such scrutiny as would certainly discover the fake… but the store wouldn’t have had nearly enough cash to even make change, anyway! That’s the law of multiplicative idiocy.

The robber who empties the convenience store cash register, but then pays for a soda with his credit card before leaving. The student who vandalizes school property, then brags about it to a teacher. The man who shows up to DUI court drunk. That’s the law of multiplicative idiocy.

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