A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true.
I am beginning to wonder about us. Have we gotten lazy, dumber, or just plain gullible? Or maybe many of us only want to listen to what we want to hear. I honestly think society is threatened when political leaders spend all their time pandering, not to popular opinion necessarily but to those who take an active role in primaries and elections since they often have the power to choose our leaders as we sit on the sidelines and let them do it.
Do some of the candidates honestly believe that evolution is an unproven theory or that climate change does not exist? I listen to debates and politicians from both sides and then through fact checking and other sources learn that they are misstating fact or in some cases communicating outright falsehoods. It gets worse when the primary communication vehicle for too many of us is 30 second negative sound bites that are often taken out of context. It also seems to get worse as folks communicate rumor, innuendo, and fabrications that they get from anonymous or fabricated sources that they would like to be true but that they don’t care enough to verify that they are.
What really makes it hard to understand is how so many of us just don’t seem to care. Is it really a democracy if so many of us make our decisions on the basis of the quantity of messages we hear or those that so polish their messages that we believe them to be true.
I personally have dropped out of the political ad watching business. It takes work but I prefer to read both side’s positions and history in respected non-partisan journals as well as unbiased information sources. The big thing I don’t want to do is spread untruths. We all would be better off if we followed the advice given in this story.
The Triple-Filter Test
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”
“Umm, no, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really.”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
I think part of the problem is that so many of our elected officials think that the ends justify the means and that is how so many nations began their demise.
“It is well for the heart to be naive and for the mind not to be”
O’Reilly’s law of the kitchen: Cleanliness is next to impossible.
Lieberman’s law: Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter since nobody listens.
Denniston’s law: Virtue is its own punishment.
Gold’s law: If the shoe fits, its ugly.
Finster’s law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.
Hanlon’s razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Green’s law of debate: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Oliver’s law of location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Harrison’s postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
It is bad luck to be superstitious.
An old lady tottered into a lawyer’s office and asked for help in arranging a divorce. “A divorce?” asked the unbelieving lawyer. “Tell me, how old are you?”
“I’m eighty-four,” answered the old lady.
“Eighty-four! And how old is your husband?”
“My husband is eighty-seven.”
“My, my,” said the lawyer, “and how long have you been married?”
“Next September will be sixty-two years.”
“Married sixty-two years?! Why would you want a divorce now?”
“Because,” the woman answered calmly, “enough is enough!”
“It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows.”
The new family in the neighborhood overslept and the six year old daughter missed her school bus. The father, though late for work, agreed to drive her if she’d direct him to the school. They rode several blocks before she told him to turn the first time, several more before she indicated another turn. This went on for 20 minutes — yet when they finally reached the school, it proved to be only a short distance from their home.
Asked why she’d led the father over such a circuitous route, the child explained, “That’s the way the school bus goes, and it’s the only way I know.”
It’s easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880’s. He’s buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:
Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les No More.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile
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