Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Socratic wisdom

In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his Wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said,

"Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Test of Three."

"Three?"

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student let's take a moment to test what you're going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you Are About to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know If it's true or not. Now let's try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something Good?"

"No, on the contrary...."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something Bad about him even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued. "You may still pass though, because there is a Third test - the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student 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?"

The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why he never found out that Plato was banging his wife.

Also reminds me of the magnificent Dorothy Parker

"If you have nothing good to say about anyone.............. come over and talk to me"

16 comments:

Zngr said...

Hahahaha that made my day :)

zapata said...

hehehe ... good one!

The Irish Autistic said...

Good post.

Savant, when the hell are you going to get your wordpress site together?? Come on mate, you have a lot to say and you say it well. We demand answers!

SAVANT said...

Irish Autistic: I've alkready copied it over to WP. This is so I can resurrect if the Google Nazis close me down. I know that since they put the health warning that traffic has greatly fallen. But will going on WP do anything to improve this? Don't think so but would appreciate any definitive feedback.

Anonymous said...

You need to get on WP as the Google health warning is killing you.

The Irish Autistic said...

Savant said: "But will going on WP do anything to improve this?"

My Answer: Of course it bloody will! The health warning is a ridiculous PC imposed barrier. With a WP site there is nothing they could do. Just keep that in mind, also your traffic numbers will sky rocket. Final words of advice: Take the plunge.

Anonymous said...

WP is a bit of a ball ache as you probably found.
But at least you you could tone up a bit - something maybe lacking lately?

SAVANT said...

OK, but why should it increase traffic? Because people who get the health warning won't go any further? I dont think that would affect too many.

Anonymous said...

as far as i know the only difference is the warning - that some people wont continue for that reason.

The Irish Autistic said...

Well for one, word press is more versatile and of course the ridiculous health warning of course is a put off for anyone, for the simple reason that it makes the site look amateur and dilettantish. Of course it's far from being that, but it will increase if that's what your after. If not then continue as is.

Anonymous said...

I have to side with "Irish Autistic" on this one.

Having to ask blogger's permission to enter your site is a nuisance. Their warning signal is but one short step for an excuse to slow you down and then shut you down for good.

They appear to getting rather heavy-handed lately, as there are a few un-p.c. sites that have disappeared.

Your photo profile doesn't bother me, but it may turn off potential "serious" readers and there's lots of "green" themes from the 75 displayed over at Wordpress.

I see no reason why your traffic would not pick up again. I think your nanny at the gate turns people away, if only out of fear, as strange as that sounds.

Many are frightened away due to that "official looking" warning, probably thinking you've committed a major violation of some sort, -- and Big Brother is watching to see if they enter forbidden territory and be marked for life from their IP number, etc.

"Can't take the risk, you know."

Whatever you decide, I intend to keep reading.

SAVANT said...

Thanks for the input guys. I've heard that technically WP offers a lot of challenges, especially re comments getting lost and issues with frames.

Point taken also about people being afraid to continue. But the point about my image is very hurtful. I've said before, I'm not fat, just horizontally challenged. But seriously, I can imagine someone of delicate disposition, having seen the health warning, then being confronted with the image.

Anonymous said...

I just checked. yes indeed, Plato WAS banging his wife. LoL!

Geoffrey Falk said...

I've heard that technically WP offers a lot of challenges, especially re comments getting lost and issues with frames.

FWIW, I switched my own blog (and set up another one where I allow comments) over to WP a couple of months ago, and haven't had even the slightest problem since. Honestly, couldn't be happier.

Anonymous said...

What someone else said-- the fear for the browsing public is that they will be tracked if they click forward onto your site. Not so much about "fear of content".

It should be a status symbol. "Yeah, I only read sites that have WARNING posted before you enter. Oh, no, it's not porn or anything!"

EH said...

The quote "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me." was not Dorothy Parker but Alice Roosevelt Longworth, eldest child of US President Teddy Roosevelt.

She had some other good quotes:

"Dorothy (Parker) is the only woman in history who has had her menopause in public and made it pay."

"I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches."

"I've always believed in the adage that the secret of eternal youth is arrested development."

"He looks as though he's been weaned on a pickle."

"My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening."