[extropy-chat] Re: Chesterton (was EP)

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Apr 11 03:22:06 UTC 2005

At 10:02 PM 10/04/05 -0400, you wrote:
>Keith wrote:
>>Before you try to overcome some psychological trait, you should at least 
>>try to see where it came from.
>This is a subcase of a remarkably useful guiding principle I first learned 
>in engineering:
>Never take a fence down until you know why it was put up. (paraphrase of 
>C. K. Chesterton, 1929)
>Certainly something I'd wire into my AI were I Eliezer.

That an interesting quote, do you have a source for it?

Weird that you would mention Chesterton because about a year ago on a 
thread in alt.quotations, "Ideas have a life of their own" (which neatly 
encapsulates the meme meme), I wrote:

 >> More digging has pushed the origin date back to at least 1958, 18
 >> years before Dawkins coined "meme."


 >I have now pushed the earliest example of the exact saying (I.e.,
 >meme) back to 1910, to an unknown interviewer of Gilbert Keith Chesterton.


Incidentally, there are at least 57000 web pages mentioning G K Chesterton 
and a lengthy wiki page.


Keith Henson

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