Interesting stuff (2009-11-22)

  • Idiot = unconnected
    Umberto Eco interviewed by Spiegel: "If you interact with things in your life, everything is constantly changing. And if nothing changes, you’re an idiot." During a discussion about the interview on Facebook, the feminist theorist Katie King noted the interesting etymology of the word "idiot". The word comes frm the Greek idiotes, which means "unconnected, private." Cathy Davidson on her blog did a little more research and discovered that, in the middle ages, it took on the particular meaning of a layman who was unconnected to anyone else, not in a guild, not in a professional, with no relationships to others, no network (so to speak) with whom to share ideas. And I first found this via Daniele Quercia twit At least virtually, I feel connected. By the way, Umberto Eco was born in Alessandria, just as I was ;)

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