Thoughts, Apropos Inception, on the Self-Gelded
There’s an old story — I don’t know if it’s true, but I hope it is — that Thomas Edison, when he was interviewing potential employees (scientists and researchers) would have them to dinner and would serve, as the first course, soup. If the candidate salted the soup before tasting it: Adios. The thinking was: No true scientist would have his or her mind made up before examining the evidence.
Here’s my advice if you ever happen to be close to someone who knows what he or she will like or hate before observing it firsthand.
• Do not trust them to be your students, because they are intellectually self-gelded.
• Do not trust them to be your teachers, because they'll never teach you to think independently.
• Do not trust them to handle your money because they’ll close their eyes to anything but their masters' directives.
• Do not trust them to represent you politically, because they will embrace an ideology and stick with it in the face of opposing facts — or will turn, opportunistically, on a dime, never having cultivated their own points of view.
• Do not trust them to be your boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses, because they’ll never see you, only someone who conforms to their preconceptions.
• Do not, do not, do not trust them as critics, because their responses are not their own.
• Do not trust them if they are you — until you learn to see with your own eyes and to hear your own voice through the din of received opinions.