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The First Basic Law prevents me from attributing a specific numerical value to the fraction of stupid people within the total population: any numerical estimate would turn out to be an underestimate.

We could always start with 100% and see how it goes. I suspect this upper bound method was applied by more than one writer.

Never mind the quibbles, it's good to see this one back. As the footnote says, there's genius in it.

I believe the point here goes along the lines: ``instinctively, one perceives the fraction as (N-1 / N)'' -- where N is size of the group in question and the -1 is oneself... Which curiously renders oneself as a not-very-smart one. Which suggests one underestimated the fraction ;-)

Especially as the two supporting points (a: unpleasant letdowns; b: frequent bothering ``at the wrong moment'') are quite subjective.

To quote the venerable fortune(6):

  Renning's Maxim:
        Man is the highest animal.  Man does the classifying.

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