I was recently told by one True Believer / Defender of the Myth that he would never read any of my books ‘on principle’. I asked him if that was the ‘principle of not wanting to learn anything about the Boer War’, and he got very angry… which is pretty much the go-to response when they feel their treasured myths are being questioned.
It might amaze my entertaining gaggle of detractors to learn that, once upon a time, I also believed a lot of the myths which they still so dearly cherish… but then – unlike them – I started reading about the war, and doing research. It didn’t take long before it became obvious to me that the commonly-spouted version of the Boer War is rubbish.
Anyway, in a (no doubt forlorn) attempt to convince one or two True Believers to open their eyes and minds, and actually start thinking for themselves, I thought I’d offer a few motivational quotes:
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ― Isaac Asimov
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin
“It does take great maturity to understand that the opinion we are arguing for is merely the hypothesis we favor, necessarily imperfect, probably transitory, which only very limited minds can declare to be a certainty or a truth.” ― Milan Kundera
“People who make up their minds about something never listen to advice – especially when it’s to the contrary.” ― Steven Erikson
“So many it seems, have made it their life’s goal to bask in the ignorance of their certainty.” ― John Chaplin
“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, is like administering medicine to the dead.” ― Thomas Paine
“The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.” ― Brooks Atkinson
“The ego is what drives a self-serving individual who hates to admit they are wrong.” ― Suzy Kassem
“A mind set in its ways is wasted. Don’t do it.” ― Eric Schmidt
And we will finish off with one which is especially germane for all those clowns who jump on Quora and Facebook to passionately spout their rubbish… yet only succeed in displaying how little they’ve read about the war:
“One’s opinion should only be as strong as one’s knowledge on the matter.” ― Eric Hirzel