Exquisite Words

Posted on July 4, 2011 by

Happy Fourth of July, ye who celebrate!

This is a bit of an infodump, but it’s also a good observation about human nature, wittily expressed. This is the ‘spoonful of sugar’ method of infodumping: you share the desired knowledge and make it fun by adding humor.

[Morrill] Goddard’s more daring assertions begin from the premise that it is hard to make people think. He agrees that the power of abstract thought is the highest human faculty, but he nevertheless sees a lot of flattery in the notion that man is a rational animal. In Goddard’s observation, people are far more interested in their sense perceptions and emotions than in their thoughts. He sees nothing particularly wrong or shameful in this, but puts it down to the fact that we have been sensing, feeling and emoting since we lived in caves, while we have only lately begun to cultivate our rational faculties, public education and mass literacy being last minute innovations in the life of man. Thus, while all mankind is capable of rational thought, most of us only use it with deliberate effort, after a good night’s sleep, and for remuneration. Even then, our efforts are often halfhearted and the results mixed.

Kenneth Whyte, THE UNCROWNED KING: THE SENSATIONAL RISE OF WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST

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