Quentin’s Second Law

It is more important to read things with which you disagree than things with which you agree. How else will you broaden your horizons?


1. A second form of this law may be phrased thus: It is more important to eat food that you don’t know, than food that you know you like.

2. Quentin’s First Law, for those who may have missed it, states that “The best way to be remembered is to invent a law”

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Using the present tense is unclear. I suspect your rule is that one should not read things which they agreed with before reading (less thinking, less growing). However, if I read something that persuades me (or convinces me of something I had not not previously considered), then I am in at least the same position as if I read something that I disagree with. Same with food. If I try something, and to my complete surprise I like it, I’ve grown at least as much as if I didn’t like the food.

Hi David –

Yes, that was part of the idea. The point is that if, when you start, you know that you will agree with something, or like the taste of it, you don’t learn very much that’s new. And if you end up disagreeing or disliking it at the end, at least you’ve got better data on which to base your analysis!

But it was meant to be more of an emotional appeal than a carefully thought-out rule 🙂


There’s a book about this: Bread and Jam for Francis.

“How do you know what you’ll like if you won’t even try anything?”

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