Idiot Quote by Cultural Luminary

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 10 03:23:45 UTC 2010

Apologies to Fred if this is already in YBQ.

B. F. Skinner, "The Design of Cultures," in _Daedalus_ (1961), p. 541: "The
slave controls the master as completely as the master the slave."

Catchy, no? Skinner's immediate qualification of this brainstorm makes it
worse by eliminating any fascinating ambiguity: "in the sense that the
techniques of punishment employed by the master have been selected by the
slave's submitting to them."
If it begins to make sense, you know you've been thinking about it too long.
Irrespective of Skinner's point about reciprocal, unconscious influences,
surely this is not an example that would have occurred to most of us.

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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