Sydney J. Harris Quote

“Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.”


Ratings and Comments


J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

Why does the current POTUS immediately come to mind?

Judith, New Mexico

Ever hear of the 12 Monkey theory? Maybe the kid in the quote had discovered it but just too late. At least he had the knowledge to discover something that had to be discovered before without the advantage of the earlier knowledge. One must be patient with youth and encourage them to continue their investigations and discoveries. Nothing is more joyous than discovering something for yourself. And sometimes discoveries are not acceptable at certain times due to the resistance of the so-called learned ones, but then are accepted later when introduced by another as their minds have had the opportunity to adjust to it. Such as the discoveries of Capernicus.

Mike, Norwalk

I like it, hmm (-: Judith, for those attending public school, you may have to explain who Copernicus was and how his heliocentric cosmology differed from Ptolemy's elliptical model of globe positioning :-)

cal, lewisville, tx

True Mike. And has the Pope today allowed him back into the good graces of the church?

Laura, NY, NY

A good one -- obviously true and pithily expressed. But not a "wow -- how true; I never thought of that!" quote.

E Archer, NYC

Actually, cal, just last week Copernicus was laid to rest in his home town's cathedral. I think Vatican II was an 'apology' for the persectutions of Galileo and the rest of the gang. I like, "Give a hammer to a young lad and suddenly everything in his path needs hammering." or something like that. ;-) It is funny how socialism in various forms pops up as 'new' ideas -- if only they knew the history of the failure of these 'old' ideas...

Waffler, Smith

If he discovered it on his own then he is not at all arrogant, maybe amusing to us worldly wise ones but certainly not arrogant. Judith is correct. And a person can learn all there is about the ocean for example but until he discovers it on his own he will really never know it at all. One can sit around and be a smart ass and think he knows everything witout leaving his easy chair but he really knows nothing. Exiperential knowledge is the best kind. That is the kind Obama has from Harvard Law Review President to the streets of Chicago, and University Law Professor. Obama discoverd much working with the Illinois Senate with issues from down state farmers to urban dwellers etcetera. Quote is shallow it gets a thumbs down. Sounds like the guy is a hater of youth. What he is saying between the lines is that youth should kowtow, bow down and be overly respectful of history, learn your lessons well and do nothing nor discover anthing on your own.

Anon
  • Reply
Anon    5/31/10

E Archer, that was what I was going to say and you beat me to it. Well done Archer!

Judith, New Mexico

Honest, I knew Copernicus was spelled with an "o". Need to take more time to proof before saving. Sorry.

RBESRQ
  • Reply
RBESRQ    5/31/10

It's funny how Libertarianism would rather use a sledge hammer as Rand just did. Libertarians should look in the mirror before throwing stones as they often rebound to shatter their image.

Judith, New Mexico

Good thing Rand did it before the elections so his constituents will know how he thinks. He has destroyed his image and his father's, in my opinion. After all the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree. I was all for Ron's push to get rid the Federal Reserve and fiat money. Also, he believed all laws should pass the Constitutional test.

jim k, Austin,Tx

Darn that Rand Paul, he still supports that pesky Constitution.

E Archer, NYC

Here's the thing about Libertarians: they are not 'party-men.' I know that may be difficult for a collectivist to understand. And the 'progressives' have totally exaggerated Rand's statement (I read the speech). Frankly, I think Rand has a point. We do not need to create 'civil rights' (i.e. rights granted by the state - in other words, special privileges) when we are supposed to have natural born inalienable rights. As an employer, I believe I should have the 'right' to hire whomever I damn well please. We didn't need affirmative action for Obama to get elected, did we? Maybe it is time to let employers decide for themselves how to best run their businesses. The 50's are over -- the progressive thing to do would be to acknowledge that. Get over it. Watch Rand win -- just to show the leftists that the party is over and now that they have ensured continued bankruptcy for the country, people are going to start managing themselves whether the progressives like it or not. If the leftists continue to have their way, they will be sure to insist that they have the right to YOUR labors and YOUR property -- a RIGHT! Talk about fascist progressivism...

R. Pittman, Salem

Not to stray to far from the quote.What man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of a man that is in him. Through exsperiance of discovery at birth and through growth of a child vanity is discovered. But the creature was made subject unto vanity not willingly but by him who subjecteth the same in hope. The same is in a change of old ideas from one to another. The rule of house for your children as it should be in government not to take away from or enslave your child to undo burden of thought or deed.When I pay him or her for a job around the house or farm, do you then take back, no! my child is free and at liberty in my house, nation, realm.So is with parenting a child or nation, being head over it. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor. Nor to his own children.But all pregidis should be exsersized against any institutions or persons of government or private that will enslave my children with undo burden.A good president would remove the yoke from off the neck of the children he has enherited and not buy more yokes ! from his enemies.Greediness of gain makes slaves ! Unnatural and unsustainable ways of life and government will cease when the parents do that which is right. Regardless of what they think might happen.Hope of a good outcome for doing that which is right.God gives me the right to protect my children not enslave them. There in our for fathers stood one nation under God endivisable with liberty and justice for all our children, on our farm, in our nation.What a great discovering new child or nation set at liberty.

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