“A well-informed mind is the best security against the
contagion of folly and of vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for
relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness.”
— English Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
What stuck out for me in this quote was the word “contagion.”
It may have been a metaphor when it was written.
But these days—as COVID-19, aided more than a little bit by misinformation, has not only stubbornly hung on but even formed variants—the term is literal as well as symbolic.
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