POPULAR WISDOM IS OFTEN PLAIN STUPIDITY

 

It is a cliche that most cliches are true, but then like most cliches, that cliche is untrue.
-[[Stephen Fry]]

 

So, someone states with arrogant finality, there is nothing new under the sun

People often like to quote popular sayings from important people, or from the Holy Books in a quest to appear smart or intelligent. Sadly, being incapable of independent thinking and merely parotting platitudes usually expose mental laziness. Sure, there is nothing wrong in repeating commonplace sayings, but not thinking about those sayings and assuming that a popular saying must be correct is simple mental indolence.

To the one who said, there is nothing new under the Sun , of course there are very many things new under the sun, especially in the realm of innovative technology.

How about the Kingston Digital HyperX Predator DataTraveler 512GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (DTHXP30/512GB)?. Certainly, 512 GigaBytes flash drives are very new in the tech world (as of the time of this writing). Doubtless, new advances would continue to be made in different spheres of human endeavour. So, saying there is nothing new under the Sun is as absurd as it is false.

Someone said, thinking is the hardest work there is; that’s why so few people engage in it. (An irony that I am sounding platitudinous while simultaneously advocating that we examine popular sayings critically!). It is very easy to pick up somebody’s saying, personalize it and run with it, rather than first applying mental vigor as to its veracity.

Silence is golden, the empty drum makes the loudest noise, the ways of God are not the way of man, a stitch in time saves nine, etc are some popular sayings we need to think about deeply before accepting hook, line and sinker, and propagating mindlessly.

For almost any popular platitude from whatever authority, you can almost always find another equally credible saying that says the direct opposite, or minimally exposes holes in the assertion.

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Lots of assertions are sweeping generalizations, and as we know, sweeping generalizations (including this one) are almost always wrong, or minimally afflicted with enough copious exceptions to render them largely untrue.

The reason we need to examine popular sayings critically is, while they may be true in some epoch, those sayings may be totally wrong and incorrect in another dispensation. Religious quotations and injunctions are not exempted.

Have a look at some sayings that have not endured the sands of time:

It would appear that we have reached the limits of what is possible to achieve with computer technology.” – John von Neumann in 1949

Actually, there are no limits to what the.mind can conceive, and ACHIEVE.

Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” – Time magazine in 1966

Even Time Magazine has been disproved by the ruthlessness of TIME . Clearly Amazon and others would merely guffaw at that assertion

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction, the world will have a generation of idiots.” – Albert Einstein

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I suppose we are all raving idiots now? Facebook’s Mark Zucherberg must be laughing his tiny head off at this one.

Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the US patent office in 1899 .

Oh yeah? Tell this to Samsung, Apple and the other ultra innovative companies who are making technological forays, daily .

The patient dog eats the fattest worm / the meek shall inherit the earth

Not in this dog eat dog world we are in. These two statemsnts are particularly false in the business world. I once talked about, Patience not getting you anywhere fast and how being assertive pays.

In “swallowing” anything (platitudes, opinions, religious injunctions, etc) let us always engage our intellects, apply some critical reasoning, and not put our logic in abeyance.

The human mind is a terrible thing to waste.

 

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