On Internet Wisdom

A wise somebody once said “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” After that, several billion people posted it as their facebook status or pasted it into their tweety-feeds, mistakenly attributed it to Eleanor Roosevelt and felt Very Clever.

I put it to YOU, The Internet, that because ideas are inescapably and necessarily formed by people and very frequently in response to events (ideas rarely form in a vaccuum – and the formation and presentation of an idea is often an event in itself), to simply discuss an idea in the abstract with no regard to its source or inspiration is missing two thirds of the story. Furthermore (he said, tapping his pipe out on his boot-heel and wondering if it was grouse season yet), we all have to discuss events and people eventually, or we’ll miss Christmas lunch at mum’s, leaving ourselves (and the event of our absence) open to be the topic of discussion during pudding.

So, my addendum to the intellectual bumper sticker:

Totally awesome minds discuss things in context and in proportion to their effects on other things – and for goodness’ sake try to be on time for once, lest your nana once again leap to the conclusion that you’ve been abducted by boat-people.


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