Posts

Comments

Comment by old_rationality on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-02T11:59:39.194Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

His mind refused to accept a simple inference from simple facts, which were patent to all the world. The very simplicity of the conclusion was of itself enough to make him reject it, for he had an elective affinity for everything that was intricate. He was a prey to intellectual over-subtlety.

Evelyn Baring, Earl of Cromer, Modern Egypt

Comment by old_rationality on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-02T11:52:19.104Z · score: 6 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I can state very positively why it was that, after having twice refused to utilise General Gordon's services, I yielded on being pressed a third time by Lord Granville. I believed that at the time I stood alone in hesitating to employ General Gordon... With this array of opinion against me, I mistrusted my own judgement. I did not yield because I hesitated to stand up against the storm of public opinion. I gave a reluctant assent, in reality against my own judgement and inclination, because I thought that, as everybody differed from me, I must be wrong. I also thought I might be unconsciously prejudiced against General Gordon from the fact that his habits of thought and modes of action in dealing with public affairs differed widely from mine. In yielding, I made a mistake which I shall never cease to regret.

Evelyn Baring, Earl of Cromer, Modern Egypt

Comment by old_rationality on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-02T11:44:04.306Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW · GW

The atmosphere of political parties, whether in France or England, is not congenial to the formation of an impartial judgment. A Minister, who is in the thick of a tough parliamentary struggle, must use whatever arguments he can to defend his cause without inquiring too closely whether they are good, bad, or indifferent. However good they may be, they will probably not convince his political opponents, and they can scarcely be so bad as not to carry some sort of conviction to the minds of those who are predisposed to support him.

Evelyn Baring, Earl of Cromer, Modern Egypt