All Those Adages of Geniuses Are a Big Scam

Joe Queenan:

But then, alas, I found out that Ben Franklin may never have said any of these things. Or if he did, he may have lifted them from somebody else. No matter. Whoever said them is wrong. Way off base. Which is true of most famous maxims. It does not take one to know one; you don’t need to be an idiot to identify an idiot. You can fight City Hall; people do it all the time. If you lead a horse to water, it will drink it. So will a dog.

So if somebody tells you that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the exact same thing and always expect a different result, reply: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I think it was the 19th-century American educator Thomas H. Palmer who said that. But it could have been Albert Einstein.