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Thread: Sharing pearls of wisdom

  1. #11
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    "You should never try to teach a pig how to sing. All it does is waste your time and annoy the pig." Robert Heinlein (often misattributed to Mark Twain)

    https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/07/10/sing-pig/

    Original context of that quote (if anyone wants to read it )

    "I have never swindled a man. At most I kept quiet and let him swindle himself. This does no harm, as a fool cannot be protected from his folly. If you attempt to do so, you will not only arouse his animosity but also you will be attempting to deprive him of whatever benefit he is capable of deriving from experience. Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."

  2. #12
    Senior Member boss mare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    "You should never try to teach a pig how to sing. All it does is waste your time and annoy the pig." Robert Heinlein (often misattributed to Mark Twain)

    https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/07/10/sing-pig/

    Original context of that quote (if anyone wants to read it )

    "I have never swindled a man. At most I kept quiet and let him swindle himself. This does no harm, as a fool cannot be protected from his folly. If you attempt to do so, you will not only arouse his animosity but also you will be attempting to deprive him of whatever benefit he is capable of deriving from experience. Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."
    Mark Twain was credited with : Never argue the stupid people. They will drag you down and beat you with experience
    [I] was told that someone else said it, but I remember hearing that Mark Twain was the one

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by boss mare View Post
    Mark Twain was credited with : Never argue the stupid people. They will drag you down and beat you with experience
    [I] was told that someone else said it, but I remember hearing that Mark Twain was the one
    It has been my experience that any clever or useful saying that can't be easily traced will quickly get attached to whatever famous person people think might have said it. Thus Mark Twain and Will Rogers often get things attributed to them that neither of them ever said. Likewise quotes are often attributed to Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Albert Einstein (all three of them) when none of them actually said it. And it works in reverse too: If someone wants to make a quote sound sinister, they will often attribute it to one of the prominent Nazi leaders. So as Yogi Berra said when asked if he actually said something that was attributed to him: "I'll tell you the truth. I've never said half the things I've said."

    Here's another piece of wisdom which has appeared in many different forms and was actually said by many different authors:

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." Robert J. Hanlon

    "Let us not attribute to malice and cruelty what may be referred to less criminal motives. Do we not often afflict others undesignedly, and, from mere carelessness, neglect to relieve distress?" Jane West

    "I would say that you have fallen into the commonest fallacy of all in dealing with social and economic subjects—the devil theory. You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity." Robert Heinlein

    Background and citations: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/12/30/not-malice/

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    There was a girl named Cathy in our neighborhood and she had a crush on me, but I was totally unaware of it because I had a huge crush on a different girl (Susan).... I had a huge crush on Susan for three whole years, but I very carefully kept my crush totally secret from everyone, including her, because she was a step-first cousin and technically off limits.
    I just remembered a song from January 1968 that fits perfectly with what I wrote in that post. It's also philosophically interesting and worthy of a spot in this Words Of Wisdom thread:
    "Circle Of Blue"
    I love you, and you love him,
    and he loves somebody else,
    the three of us so much in love,
    and yet we're all on the shelf.


  5. #15
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I've always liked this one, GeorgeParker:

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." Robert J. Hanlon

  6. #16
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    "Today is the very first day of the rest of your life."
    Attributed to Charles Dederich by The Washington Post, December 10, 1978, Dederich founded Synanon, a self-help community for drug abusers and alcoholicsin in 1958. But this saying was more widely popularized by being in the first episode of the 1969 tv series Then Came Bronson (it occurs at ~2:40 in this clip)



    "You've spent your whole life getting to where you are right now. Was it worth it?"
    Tagline on the back of One: A Novel by Richard Bach

    I like to give people both of those statements and ask them which they prefer
    . 85%+ say they like "Today is the very first day..." and reject "You've spent your whole life..." as untrue or too negative. But both statements are totally true. You have spent your whole life getting to where you are right now, and every day you live is the very first day of the rest of your life.

    Chew on that for a while, and then answer the question "Was it worth it?"

    Last edited by GeorgeParker; 9-8-21 at 12:58am. Reason: fixed video URL

  7. #17
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    "Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way." Alan Watts
    There are several people here that this clearly applies to, including me. It seems to be human nature to keep trying to improve ourselves by asking the same questions over and over, always coming up with the same answers, and always wondering why they don't work, even though we've never been able to make them work in the past. Clearly when that happens, we need to either ask a different question or ask our questions a different way so that maybe we'll get a more useful answer.

    "Why is my closet a mess?"
    isn't the same as "How can I make my closet less messy?"
    which isn't the same as "Do I really really want my closet to be neat?"
    which isn't the same as "If I was only going to do one thing to make my closet less messy, what would it be?"
    KWIM?

  8. #18
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    "Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way." Alan Watts
    There are several people here that this clearly applies to, including me. It seems to be human nature to keep trying to improve ourselves by asking the same questions over and over, always coming up with the same answers, and always wondering why they don't work, even though we've never been able to make them work in the past. Clearly when that happens, we need to either ask a different question or ask our questions a different way so that maybe we'll get a more useful answer.

    "Why is my closet a mess?"
    isn't the same as "How can I make my closet less messy?"
    which isn't the same as "Do I really really want my closet to be neat?"
    which isn't the same as "If I was only going to do one thing to make my closet less messy, what would it be?"
    KWIM?
    I like this.

  9. #19
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    I've always liked this one, GeorgeParker:

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." Robert J. Hanlon
    Agreed. I see that regularly in my work in volunteer organizations. Errors are not intentional, people,mean well in their actions but too often the screw ups are seen as deliberate.

  10. #20
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I've got a million of 'em.


    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn." –Rabbi Hillel

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