Mediocrates Returns with Some Additional Wisdom

Mediocrates Returns with Some Additional Wisdom January 5, 2023

The college basketball season is in full swing. Although I have not posted about it recently, those who know me either in person or through this blog know that I am a college basketball fanatic, particularly for the Providence College Friars men’s basketball team. They had a season for the ages last year and are showing signs of having another memorable season this year.

Last week on a Facebook site called “Friartown” that has several thousand members who are fellow fanatics, I posted that if the Friars won their two road games this past weekend (they did), that would set up a great game on Wednesday night at home with the UConn Huskies who are currently undefeated and ranked #4 in the country. Predictably, three people within the next five minutes replied with the following brilliant insight:

One game at a time.

Thanks, Captain Obvious. This sports platitude apparently developed to deter coaches and teams from trying to play game #18 on their schedule before game #11 or, worse, trying to play games #11 and #18 at the same time.  It’s the platitude that always shows up when someone forgets that games have to be played in the order that they are scheduled. Or something like that.

Later that day, I was listening to NPR as is my custom when in the car. Three consecutive reporters, pontificating about different pressing social/political issues, summarized thier insights with a sentence beginning as follows:

At the end of the day . . .

I have no idea why this has become the go-to summary statement for virtually everying, particularly since at the end of the day I usually watch some television and go to bed.

Encountering two useless platitudes in one day reminded me of the man who, according to tradition, was the greatest generator of platitudes in the Western tradition: Socrates’ younger and slightly lesser known brother, Mediocrates. I wrote about him on this blog last April, a post which surprisingly turned out to be my most visited blog post of the year. Enjoy!

The Wisdom of Socrates’ Younger Brother–Mediocrates

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