Welcome to September 14

Every numerous assembly is a mob, let the individuals who compose it be what they will. Mere sense is never to be talked to a mob; their passions, their sentiments, their senses and their seeming interests alone are to be applied to. Understanding have they collectively none.

That’s not a pundit describing one of the healthcare reform town meetings (because they’d never tell the truth like that). It’s Britain’s Lord Chesterfield in 1751, talking about how he was able to overcome the idiots in the House of Lords to get his Calendar Reform Act passed.

Everyone but me is probably sick of hearing about Julius Caesar’s calendar by now, but I’ve always found it fascinating that, in 1752, everyone in England and the American colonies went to bed on September 2, woke up the next morning, and it was suddenly September 14. (Caesar’s calendar was off from the solar year by only eleven and a half seconds, but they add up over the centuries. Caesar didn’t care too much about Easter, but Pope Gregory did, so he fixed it by adding 10 days in 1582 so that Easter would still take place in spring. For some reason, maybe because of that mob mentality, it took England 170 years to catch up.)

I hope this doesn’t mean healthcare reform isn’t going to happen till 2179.

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