If education is defined as expanding a memory base without critical thinking, or the inability to assess the information going into that memory base for later recall, perhaps we have defined the age in which we now live as it applies to that brand of radio enthusiasts called 'anoraks'.
We are drowning in information and our minds are gulping it all down into our brains. But very few people seem to be developing the mechanism or critical analysis that is able to sift through all that data, and then assess its relative value. It is similar to a computer storing data but without the software to analyze its value in a some form of comprehendible presentation.
Welcome to the world of the anorak, which is but a part of the lunatic fringe who might best be described by this text which is paraphrased below regarding the following quotation:
"A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."
.... The section, "You Can't Win an Argument," in Dale Carnegie's popular book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, [the section containing the quoted phrase above] is separated from the main text, indicating that it was meant as a quotation and not an original saying, but he gives no indication of where the original saying comes from.
The origin of this old adage appears to go back a long time. So long, in fact, that no one is really sure where it originally came from. It also appears in many different forms in many different places.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the famous British writer and feminist (and mother to the author of Frankenstein), included the quotation "Convince a man against his will, He's of the same opinion still." in the notes to Chapter 5 of her 1792 treatise, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. This adage is placed in quotes, denoting that it wasn't original text, but without reference to the source.
So either she didn't know the origin of this saying or she assumed that it was so popularly known that citing the source was unnecessary. She might, however, have misquoted two lines from Samuel Butler's (1612-1680) ginormous 17th-century poem Hudibras. Part III, Canto iii, lines 547-550 read thus:
He that complies against his will
Is of his own opinion still
Which he may adhere to, yet disown,
For reasons to himself best known
Butler might have penned an original thought here, or he might have been borrowing what was already an old saying even in his time. We'll probably never know.
What we do know for a certainty is that the brand of lunacy that is often described by the word 'anorak' when applied to supporters of the cult of believers who engage in endless hours of nonsensical debate about the origins of Radio Caroline in 1964, have adopted a patron named Ronan O'Rahilly and a scribe named Ian Cowper Ross as their means of interpreting information about a yesterday that never was.
In other words, no matter what is revealed, the yesterday that never was is firmly fixed in their minds as a yesterday that did take place, even though the weight of evidence proves beyond any reasonable doubt that it did not.
Consequently we are now slamming the door shut upon these lunatics and moving on as if they never existed. We will however, continue to re-examine the illogical and unfounded data upon which they have established their cult. But we will no longer enter into further correspondence with them, if their intention is to defend and debate an idea that is without foundation in fact.
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