Rationality Quotes May 2012

The word problem may be an insidious form of question-begging. To speak of the Jewish problem is to postulate that the Jews are a problem; it is to predict (and recommend) persecution, plunder, shooting, beheading, rape, and the reading of Dr. Rosenberg's prose. Another disadvantage of fallacious problems is that they bring about solutions that are equally fallacious. Pliny (Book VIII of Natural History) is not satisfied with the observation that dragons attack elephants in the summer; he ventures the hypothesis that they do it in order to drink the elephants' blood, which, as everyone knows, is very cold.

-- Jorge Luis Borges, "Dr. Américo Castro is Alarmed"

(Pliny, not Plinty.)

The article is not about antisemitism, by the way. It's about one Dr. Castro's alarm over a "linguistic disorder in Buenos Aires" — i.e. a putative decline in the quality of Argentinian Spanish usage.

Rationality Quotes May 2012

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read1st May 2012705 comments

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