""Human beings have had to guess about almost everything for the past million years or so.The leading characters in our history books have been our most enthralling, and sometimes our most terryifing guessers.
May i name two of them? Aristotle and Hitler. One good guesser and one bad one.
And the masses of humanity through the ages,feeling inadequately educated just like we do now, have had little choice but to believe this guesser or that one.
Russians who didnt think much of the guesses of Ivan the Terrible, for eg, were likely to have their hats nailed to their heads.
We must acknowledge that persuasive guessers have sometimes given us the courage to endure extraordinary ordeals which we had no way of understanding. Crop failures,plagues,babies born dead, the guessers often gave us the illusion that bad luck and good luck were understandable and could somehow be dealt with intelligently and effectively.Without that illusion we might have surrendered long ago.
But the guessers, in fact, knew no more than the common people and sometimes less, even when, or especially when, they gave us the illusion that we were in control of our destinies.
Persuasive guessing has been at the core of leadership for so long, for all human experiences so far, that it is wholly unsurprising that most of the leaders of this planet, in spite of all the information that is suddenly ours, want the guessing to go on. It is now their turn to guess and guess and be listened to.
Some of the loudest, most proudly ignorant guessing in the world is going on in washington today.
Our leaders are sick of all the solid information that has been dumped on humanity by research and scholarship and investigative reporting.
And if you are a thinking,educated person, you will not be welcome in washington.I know a couple of bright seventh graders who wouldnt be welcome in washington dc. Do you remember those doctors who got together and announced that we couldnt survive even a moderate attack by hydrogen bombs. Even if we fired the first salvo of hydrogen weapons and the enemy never fired back, the poison released would kill the whole planet by and by.
What is the response in washington?
They guess otherwise
What good is an education?
The boisterous guessers are still in charge, the haters of information, and they are all highly educated people. Think of that, they have had to throw away their education, even harvard and yale educations.
If they didnt do that, there is no way their uninhibited guessing could go on and on and on.
Please Dont do that.
But if you make use of the vast knowledge now available to educated persons, you are going to be lonesome as hell.
The guessers outnumber you, and now i have to guess, about ten to one.""
was born in Budapest in 1818. He became an obstetrician, which should make him a modern hero enough. He devoted his life to the health of babies and mothers.We could use more heroes like that.
I have said how new all this information is. It is so new that the idea that many diseases are caused by germs is only about 140 years old. When my father was a little boy Louis Pasteur was still alive and plenty controversial. There were still plenty of high powered guessers who were furious at people who would listen to him instead of to them.
And Ignaz Semmelweis also believed that germs could cause diseases. He was horrified when he went to work for a maternity hospital in Vienna,Austria, to find that one mother in ten was dying of childbed fever.
These were poor people, the rich still had their babies at home. Semmelweis observed hospital routines and began to suspect that doctors were bringing the infection to the patients. He noticed that doctors often went from dissecting corpses in the morgue to examining mothers in the maternity ward
He suggested as an experiment that the doctors wash their hands before touching the mothers.
What could be more insulting? How dare he make such a suggestion to his social superiors
But all the dying went on and Semmelweiz kept on suggesting that his colleagues wash their hands.
They atlast agreed to do this in a spirit of lampoonery, of satire, of scorn.
The dying stopped, Imagine that
Subsequently, it might be said that he has saved millions of lives, including, quite possibly, yours and mine.
What thanks did he get?
He was forced out of the hospital and Austria itself. He finished his career in a provincial hospital in Hungary.
There he gave up on humanity, which is us, and our information age knowledge and, on himself.
One day, in the dissecting room, he took the blade of a scalpel used for dissecting corpses, and he stuck it on purpose into the palm of his hands.
He died, as he knew he would,of blood poisoning soon afterward.
The guessers had all the power.They had won again. The guessers revealed something about themselves too, which we should duly note today. They are not really interested in saving lives. What matters to them is being listened to as, however ignorantly, their guessing goes on and on and on
If there is anything that they hate, it is a wise human
So be one anyway. Save our lives and your lives too. Be Honourable""