Politics

Aspiring philosopher Palin quotes ‘Plato.’

In the wake of her resignation announcement, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) has been devoting significant time to her Twitter account. Today, she offered advice to Alaska children, asking them to “take time to take your parents fishing.” Her tweet follows with a quotation she attributes to the Greek philosopher Plato:

So AK kids: take time to take your parents fishing: You learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation - Plato

Although this aphorism has been misattributed to Plato in books such as “Confidence: How To Succeed At Being Yourself,” “Training For Dummies,” and “Food Is the Frosting — Company Is The Cake,” there is no evidence that the master of dialogues ever uttered such words. Instead, this quotation is most likely corrupted from a 1670 gentleman’s etiquette guide, wherein author Richard Lindgard explains that that the true measure of a “man’s disposition” can be found by gambling against him:

Take heed of playing often or deep at Dice and Games of Chance, for that is more chargeable than the seven deadly sins; Yet you may allow your self a certain easie Sum to spend at Play, to gratifie Friends, and pass over the Winter Nights, and that will make you indifferent for the Event. If you would read a man’s Disposition, see him Game, you will then learn more of him in one hour, than in seven Years Conversation, and little Wagers will try him as soon as great Stakes, for then he is off his Guard.