"Small minds talk about people; mediocre minds talk about events; great minds....

…talk about ideas."

Agree or disagree?

Agree 100%.

Not only do I agree, I have the poster in my garage.

Well adjusted, happy people talk about people or events. The lonely or pretentious talk about ideas.

Nope–they may use people or events as examples of ideas, but I have to agree with the OP’s premise.
Also, most happy, well adjusted people don’t feed on gossip, aka talking about people.

That must mean that almost everyone I work with is unhappy, ill-adjusted, and has a brain the size of a peanut…


“So, what do you think of this Theory of Relativity? And can you believe Einstein’s hair?”

Agreed until you bring drugs into it. I’ve seen some great minds brought to tedious gossip by alcohol, and some morons made idealogues with the aid of weed.

Small minds obsessively categorise people by means of overly-simplistic jingoisms, such as the title of this thread.

Well, pretty much. That would describe most of the world, really (at least one of the 3 defining characteristics that you mentioned).

think about it.

Add mind altering substances and all bets are off.

I guess I agree and disagree with this quotation.

I’ve seen many great debates (no pun intended) of ideas lead to inane personal attacks.

Conversations about people do not always involve gossip or shit talking. It can simply involve who’s doing what, and your interpretations of their actions.

I think I disagree 99% with the sentiment.

Considering that people can be much more fascinating and complex than any idea, and more unpredictable and engrossing than any event, why shouldn’t great minds think about people, and thus, write about people, talk about people, etcetera?? Of course, mediocre minds and small minds will probably talk about people too.

It seems way too simplistic and formulaic to have any value except for the (somewhat dubious,) notion that small minds are not able to ascend above the realm of the events and people of their everyday experience and converse about abstractions.

And now, I’m feeling more than a little weird about the entire way the 'great minds/small minds" distinction is presented, no matter what you say about them. Not sure what that says about me.

People that like to discuss big ideas and don’t care to deal with people, be they anti-social or whatnot, like to believe this saying is true, and people that are small minded or very sociable, intelligent or not, do not think it is.

People adopt philosophies and sayings that support their idea or tribe.

Therefore this statment is as meaningless as any other claim, such as those that paint intellectuals as living in an ivory tower.

Flingo frog bats eat measle toes!

That’s all I have to say on this topic.

Completely disagree. Everyone talks about people, events and ideas. Some people have difficulty dealing with ideas on a very abstract level, but pretty much everyone has some sort of world view. Everyone talks about events. After the WTC/Pentagon attacks, events were pretty much the only thing anyone was talking about for a few weeks. And who doesn’t enjoy a good gossip session. Gossip covers a good chunk of the threads in the pit.

Since the quoted phrase is talking about people, does that mean its author posesses a small mind?

Completely disagree. As chrisk pointed out, it’s one of those sayings which attempts to be insightful, but is in fact too simplistic to mean anything. If we ever do figure out why some people are brilliant while most everyone else isn’t, it likely won’t fit on a bumper sticker.

This was a bumper sticker? I thought it was a quote from someone.

I see the point about how to take the phrases–if talking about people is equated with gossip, then yes, small minded people (or people with too much time on their hands or even drama queens) do this, but others don’t.

But, upon further reflection, I have to agree with chisk to some degree. How is gossip defined? Do the “small” people use the people talked about as examples to prove a point, or is it all malicous mischief? etc

I don’t see anything wrong with the statement–it’s true enough in general. But like so much else, once it is looked at–it sort of dissolves into meaninglessness.(and there’s a word!)

I dunno about the quote, but did you see the pants Diamonds02 was wearing? Woah! Those are so nineties.

Better put as “Small minds never graduate from talking about people; mediocre minds never graduate from talking about events; and great minds talk about any damn thing out there.” I can match ideas with the best of them, but I talk about people and events too.

I have seen a parallel quote that I’ve found is quite true:

Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk tactics; generals talk logistics.