Socrates the Gadfly

The philosopher Socrates was a great nuisance to the powerful people in Athens long ago. So much so that he called himself the “gadfly”. Why was he a nuisance and why did he call himself a gadfly?

As you may know, a gadfly is flying insect with an extremely painful sting.

Socrates was a nuisance because he kept pestering and stinging the powerful leaders in Athens with difficult questions which showed up their ignorance and their failure to know what they were talking about. He kept stinging them like a gadfly. And Socrates did this in public debate – to the delight of the youth in Athens who no doubt then started questioning the wisdom of their elders.

This was too much for the exposed elite. Like Joseph’s brothers they decided that “the dreamer has to go”. In this case it was Socrates who had to go.

Like a gadfly!

So, the exposed and stung elite trumped up a charge against Socrates: “Corrupting the youth of Athens” (code for: “He persuaded the youth to think for themselves”).

We all know the result. Trial, death sentence and the hemlock.

And another result: Socrates became one of the most respected philosophers and seekers after truth, of all time.

A word of caution: Think twice before you decide to become a gadfly.

Matrix thinking and a warning during COVID19

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

The matrix below is offered to help us think about the relationship between Shut Down Options, the Economy and the Health of the Population. The matrix applies to any country. Even seeing where the matrix is wrong and how it can be improved may help. I hope so.

It goes without saying we need a vaccine desperately and also, if possible, a cure.

Our thoughts are with all those suffering during the pandemic.

In the meantime the question is: What is the best way forward for the economy and the health of the population?

Options Matrix


Photo by Pixabay on

The only option to save the economy and the health of as many people as possible is to have a limited economic shutdown combined with limited social distancing (strictly enforced), supported by a general population committed to self-enforcement.

Warning: Committed self-enforcement by the general population is vital.

Keep safe.

A huge thank you to all Health and Essential Workers world wide.

Thank you.

Adjectives are Clues


Adjectives describe nouns.

Yes, we learned that long ago!

But did we ever learn, or even realize, that an adjective is also a clue?

It is a clue that gives away the attitude of the user.

For example:

In a battle, the soldiers on both sides fight bravely and refuse to budge.

The TV News anchor says:

“Our troops were resolute; the enemy troops were stubborn.”

On whose side is the TV News Anchor?

Enough said!

Adjectives are clues. They give away plenty about the attitude of the user.

Look carefully at adjectives – they contain clues!

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Photo by João Silas on Unsplash