Thursday, 25 September 2014

Insanity is not what it was

Just for the record, since I’m officially sick of hearing that "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Not only is that not the definition of insanity, Einstein never said that.* And not only did he not say it, what’s wrong with doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Ever heard of metal fatigue? Or tipping points?

Anyway, there is a respectable definition of insanity that we can use over and over:

Insanity. n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behaviour.

Which, when you think about, still applies to most politicians.

And the commentators thereof.

* “And neither did Benjamin Franklin. Salon has a good round-up of people using this quote in various political contexts, because politicians really love this quote. The Ultimate Quotable Einstein traces the quote to Rita Mae Brown's 1983 book Sudden Death, but it's almost certainly older than that…”

[Hat tip Psychology Today]

1 comment:

  1. Hear hear! I've tried pointing this out several times to Yaron Brook, because he uses this line frequently and attributes it to Einstein, and I figure he damages his own credibility by doing so. No luck getting it through to him so far. So if I continue trying I guess I'm insane? :)

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