Marginalia, no.132

The more rigorous opinion prevailed, as it was natural to expect, over the milder.

~ Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall

Recall Newton’s Third Law of Opinions: For every act of zealous opinionating there is an equally zealous opinionating to the contrary.  In the public square, persons who want to be heard must yell, and persons who yell all the time lose the ability to hear quieter voices.  Theodore Dalrymple might have had the Gibbon quote in mind when he observed: “Few people are so attracted by moderation that they are converted by it.”

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