Bad opinions

In the category of "general" today we have twenty examples of "bad opinions" from the "bad opinion generator" at "The Week."  No argument on their badness.  Only I question whether they're "opinions" or not.  Some, nay most, of them are horrible predictions:

"Albert Einstein (the little boy) will never amount to anything." 

Others are just likely false propositions:

"This virus [AIDS] is a pussycat."  

So maybe it would be helpful to sort these into categories: wrong predictions, wrong evaluations, false propositions, etc.  Categories make lives easier.  

2 thoughts on “Bad opinions”

  1. The one about the oranges growing in Philly will soon come to pass.

  2. Hmmm, what are we to think of the accuracy of a site that has a quote from the U.S. Minister of Defense? Did they mean the Secretary of Defense in 1921 (when there was no such title) or somebody else's Minister of DefenCe? Picky, picky, but scoffer ain't-everybody-else-stupid sites have a poor track record of bothering to get things right.

    Speaking of which, the Einstein bit would be a good one if they got it right. It's funnier (and I believe more accurate) as "You will never amount to anything, Einstein." Brevity is the sould of wit, as Polonius so truly said.
    But also, consider looking at this from another angle. This was a teacher in a German Gymnasium, a place where rigorously correct information was fed to smart and docile students through a fire hose. In its aftermath, Einstein commented on how one could make a vegetarian out of a tiger by force-feeding it masses of the very best meat all the time.
    So here is young (not little!) Albert, obviously not a dunce at all (give the teacher credit for not being an idiot), but he wastes his energies daydreaming about stuff that isn't in the curriculum. (E.g., as we know, looking at Maxwell's Equations in terms of an observer riding with a light beam, and getting an apparently impossible result: a little problem that he resolved 9 years after 1896 with some success). Such an undisicplined person will, in spite of being quite smart, clearly never amount to anything.
    I like the moral of this better than a conventional tale of some real dumb-ass teacher.

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