Posts Tagged ‘William F. Butler’

Time Out

‘The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.’ I spend so much time thinking of ways to correct this misattributed Thucydides quote politely and constructively, and occasionally noting the context (a lot of “We need a President who lifts!” this year…), that I rarely take the time to think about it in its own right, or why it has such a powerful appeal to some people. (more…)

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One of my main aims, in monitoring references to Thucydides on the Twitter, is to keep a sense of proportion. Partly this is about relative scale: fifteen fake quotations in a day is a lot, relative to normal traffic in this area – but given that over 6,000 tweets get fired off every second, it’s thoroughly negligible in the greater scheme of things. Similarly, it’s about remembering that my view of this is very odd; for me, a tweet may be the sixth tedious repetition of the misattributed ‘Scholars and Warriors’ quote that afternoon, but for the person tweeting it this is generally the first time they’ve done it, having found a really neat quote that sums up the point they want to make perfectly. Even with that annoying Social Jukebox system I aim to stay civil unless it’s from a user whom I’ve attempted to correct many times and so I know they won’t pay any attention anyway, and if there’s the faintest possibility that I’m dealing with a real person tweeting in good faith, I do my best to interact in the spirit of truth, not snark. (more…)

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