Oliver Hardy learned about people from growing up in his mother's little hotel in Augusta, Georgia.

Of the Oliver and Hardy team, it was Laurel who did most of the intellectual work and it was Stan Laurel who talked in the interviews about it.

So when they pressed him about the secret of his character's popularity, he put it in one sentence:

"Nobody is as dumb as a dumb man who thinks he's smart."

That one comment was worth everything that his talented partner ever said.

I learned Hardy's Law in detail before I reached my teens, because with my brother in med school we had a lot of medical histories around. In the mid-50s the entire history of modern medicine could be summed up in one sentence:

"When it comes to medical practice over the last thousand years, what made sense came up all the time against Scholars and their Latin and Greek texts of Ancient Wisdom, and what made sense ALWAYS lost."

When they bled George Washington to death to cure his pneumonia, it was because he had EDUCATED medical care, men familiar with Galen, the Great Ancient Wise Man in the Roman Empire.

They acquitted rapists and damned young girls for two thousand years because Galen Himself had said that a girl could not become pregnant unless the sex was consensual.

Contrary to everything you read in regular history, Medieval hospitals were extremely clean and the germ theory of disease was VERY widely believed in. Everything we READ from those days ignores germ theory, except for one quote I have where it was condemned because "no Authority" had endorsed it.

Authority meant Greek, Latin, and University Medicine.

That particular quote, by the way, was made by Louis XIV's chief physician, but the most interesting thing about it is that he names some twenty German physicians who attributed syphilis to "tiny beings too small to be seen that multiply rapidly and are spread from person to person."

Pretty good description of a germ by someone who didn't have a microscope.

But I repeat real people knew about germs for hundreds or even thousands of years before that.

They used to bathe regularly before the Intellectuals told them that bathing was unhealthy.

Whitaker's restatement of Hardy's Law is that "Nobody is as dumb as the person people THINK are smart."