Wise Guys, Not So Wise Guys

Wise Guys

They who know not and know not that they know not are fools; try to avoid them. They who know not and know that they know not are a learners; learn with them. They who know and know not that they know are half asleep; try to wake up with them. They who know and know that they know are wise guys; go with them.

The previous lines are an updated version of a little verse, that according to Venkatesh Rao's The Tragicomic Exasperations of Expertise has been variously attributed to Confucian, Arabic, Persian or Sanskrit sources, in short to someone in the middle to far east.

He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool; avoid him. He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a student; teach him. He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep; wake him. He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man; follow him.

That quote of course has got a content as it would have been invariably formulated in a written book in a world that has become known under the term of literate patriarchy in the 2nd half of the 20th century. It assumes leaders and idiots. Not little of that style is still in place and probably has to be.

It is also a 2by2 quadruple figure which is a strong and vigorous figure. Because the homosexual ancient greeks prefered singles, duals, and triples it somehow remained obscure for a while.

Quadruple figures might be hard, because as opposed to 1 nose, 1 mouth, 1 primary sexual organ and 1 rectum we have many things in pairs. Also most people know love in pairs and practically all in triples, love in quadruples seems to touch only those people who are early graced with a partner with whom to counter their parents.

Marshal McLuhan, Marion Zimmer Bradley and others started to use that figure since 1960. Go figure.

Addendum: According to Webster's a wise guy is an upstart who makes conceited, sardonic, insolent comments. For a time it has also been used for members of predominantly Italian inspired crime organizations in the southern states of the Union.


S/he who avoids the fool might not know how foolish s/he is. Don’t they know only fools and children tell the truth?

... plink  



no one can avoid all fools all the time, if only by not being able to avoid oneself all the time.

one can also have fun with fools. still, on the job it can be pretty annoying and units of fools are better avoided in the l. run.

... plink  

... answer!
last updated: 15.10.21, 19:51

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Low hanging fruit
1 comment, lower geht es mathematisch schon aber psychosomatisch nicht.
by MaryW (15.10.21, 19:51)
da ist wohl ein <b> offen geblieben… und wer oder was sind HF und IT?
by tobi (25.09.21, 10:50)
manche nennen das
low hanging fruits, no?¿
by motzes (25.08.21, 20:33)
Freiwillige Feuerwehr
Wie ist das mit den freiwilligen und den professionellen Feuerwehren? Wenn 4 Häuser brennen und nur 2 Löschzüge da sind, dann gibt es doch eine....
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by MaryW (18.07.21, 08:54)
Und noch etwas
Die Schutzkleidung ist ein großes Problem. Sie verhindert allzu oft, dass mann mit anderen Säugetieren gut umgehen kann.
by StefanL (26.05.19, 07:09)
U get 1 big smile from me 4 that comment! And yes, i do not like embedded except it is good like this. It's like....
by StefanL (19.05.19, 16:30)
Just saying. #esc #strachevideo pic.twitter.com/OIhS893CNr— Helene Voglreiter (@HeeLene) May 19, 2019 (Sorry, falls embedded unsocial media unerwünscht ist…)
by tobi (19.05.19, 10:57)
That's an adequate comment! Und das erste Zitat ein ganz besonders tolles Beispiel für den "Umschlag von Quantität in Qualität".
by MaryW (15.05.19, 19:57)
In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen people. – Momus You’ll always be a planet to me, Mr Bacchus. – Charon Fußnote! Find ick knorke.....
by tobi (15.05.19, 14:07)
I think I maybe know what you meant. It is the present we know best and the future we invent. And history is mostly used....
by StefanL (13.05.19, 00:55)
by StefanL (05.05.19, 21:15)
what about hindsight is 20/20?
by tobi (05.05.19, 14:00)
Ja echt.
Vielleicht schaffen wir es aber ja wieder einmal auf ein Konzert zusammen.
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oh schade, verpasst…
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vielleicht aber
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