Chamblee54

Never Doubt

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 24, 2021


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” This chestnut appeared in an email, promoting an event. PG heard a podcast last year, about another Margaret Mead story. Readers of this blog know where this is going.

@anthroreviewed “Did Margaret Mead really say that thing about broken femurs and civilization that is (once again) making the rounds online? Also, are healed femurs a marker of civilization? No. And no. As explore in the second half of this episode… “ A blog post, That Margaret Mead quote, goes into more detail about both stories.

“It’s interesting the quotes that are attributed to Margaret Mead – another is “Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world – indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” … Both are things she could have said, given her personality, but neither is fully attributed – the first instance of the story above is in Dr. Ira Byock’s 2012 book on palliative care, and the above quote only attributed to her, four years after her death, by the author of a fairly hippie-ish book on paths to world peace.”

“This quote (about the femur) has been going around Facebook since mid-March, probably encouraged by this Twitter thread, this FB post, and this article in Forbes, none of which are by archaeologists/anthropologists.”

When the bs detector started dinging, results are just a few clicks away. Highlight the suspicious quote. Right click, choose “Search Google for …,” and wait 0.51 seconds. When one of the results is a story at Quote Investigator®, you have a winner.

When people get caught peddling bogus quotes, they often say that even if the attribution is false, the words are true. What about the featured quote today? It sounds good, and is great for promoting attendance at an event. But is it the truth?

Look at the 9/11 attacks. They did change the world. While it is true that nineteen men pulled off the caper, they had a lot of help. Somebody financed the operation. Other people built the airliners, and the airports where they took off. Somebody dug an oil well, pumped the crude oil, shipped the crude oil to a refinery, and produced the explosive jet fuel that propelled the attacks. In fact, it was the profits from pumping that oil that financed the attacks. “A small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” flew a plane, that someone else built, into the World Trade Center. They were not “the only thing that ever has.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: