Sunday, July 25, 2010

Curious about Facts: What Kind of Influence Do They Have on Our Lives, Thoughts, and Businesses. How Do You Use Them?

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” - Abraham Lincoln, American President

There are no facts, only interpretations.” - Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

I picked facts for this week’s blog theme for several reasons. With the Internet today we have so many facts and/or information at our fingertips, it is almost impossible to avoid overwhelm and overload. Because of this, a good number of marketers warn us to avoid the facts when writing sales letter copy. And yet, others say to always include the facts, because they give buyers the rationale for buying after they have emotionally decided they want the product.

Then, there is the question about truth and the facts. I found 14 pages of quotations and quite a few brought up the question about truthful facts – even though many were of the age before the Internet. There were also quotations about the influence from facts upon education, creativity, and imagination.

The British writer Arthur Conan Doyle stated, “Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.” My father always stressed the importance of leaving room for useful information, rather than memorizing a bunch of facts that you could look up in the library, a phone book, a dictionary, and/or a cookbook. Fortunately, I attended a college that believed the same way.

Now, onto some of the interesting facts quotations:
  • My business is to teach my aspirations to confirm themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.” - Thomas Huxley, English scientist
  • General principles... are to the facts as the root and sap of a tree are to its leaves.” –
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet
  • The telephone book is full of facts, but it doesn't contain a single idea.” - Mortimer Adler, American philosopher
  • When you seek advice, do not withhold any facts from the person whose advice you seek.” - Abu Bakr, Saudi Arabian statesman
  • Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.” - Henry B. Adams, American historian
  • When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, holler.” - Al Gore, American Vice President
  • Just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts.” - Henri Poincare, French mathematician

And a few more:

  • One of the virtues of being very young is that you don't let the facts get in the way of your imagination.” - Sam Levenson, American author
  • We don't focus as much in schools on educational knowledge which requires thinking and application, as we do on acquiring facts.” - William Glasser, American psychologist
  • As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.” – Gustave Flaubert, French novelist
  • Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get ‘em, get ‘em right, or they will get you wrong.” - Thomas Fuller, English clergyman
  • Facts can be turned into art if one is artful enough.” - Paul Simon, American musician
  • The truth is more important than the facts.” - Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect
  • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” - Aldous Huxley, British novelist
  • You can never get all the facts from just one newspaper, and unless you have all the facts, you cannot make proper judgments about what is going on.” - Harry S. Truman, American President

Tell me. Do you thirst for facts? When writing an article, do you spend time researching for facts? How many facts do you share with others? I would love to hear from you.