Pareto’s Unthinking Populace (PUP)

Christopher Rath

2003-04-30

Pareto’s Law is the 80/20 rule; formulated by Vilfredo Pareto.  Pareto’s Law was "…derived from his observation that 20% of the peapods in his garden yielded 80% of the peas.  He later found ample confirmation that the same 20:80 ratio applied in many situations where a small number of causes is responsible for a large percentage of the effect. Applied to meetings, the Pareto Principle would suggest that 80% of decisions come from 20% of meeting time." (from NewsScan Daily's Honorary Subscriber archives).  Applied to people, the law would suggest that 20% of people do 80% of the thinking—and if you're only thinking 20% of the time I would assert that you are not really thinking; hence, the "unthinking" moniker.

As I get older, I find myself more and intolerant of the 80% of people who don't think.  Members of the PUP are easily identified in most instances, using a set of litmus tests.  Passing any one of these tests indicates that an individual is probably part of the PUP.  Passing more than one of the tests indicates a high degree of probability that the individual doesn’t think.

Members of the PUP often exhibit the following behaviours:


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Last updated: 2007/02/16 @ 09:52:52 ( )