The smart monk

The ancients knew a thing or two. Especially, if we look at Alcuin, an English scholar, who was Charlemagne's advisor/teacher about 1200 years ago.

Even though the following bon mot doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, it has more than a grain of truth to it:

Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.

In case your Latin is a little rusty let me freely translate this phrase for you:

Don't listen to the people who insist that the public opinion equals godly wisdom. The plebs are always crazy about starting a big fuss.

It almost sounds as if Alcuin knew about public Internet forums and Average Joe's Facebook comments...

Or is the simple truth that mankind has changed very little over the course of the last millennium?

As a rule of thumb: If you hear something being demanded by the “man on the street” it's probably worth thinking about doing the exact opposite.