Isaac Asimov? Alan Alda? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: The assumptions we make about the world transform the way we perceive it; hence, we should periodically challenge our own assumptions. A quotation that makes this point and uses windows metaphorically was crafted by either science fiction writer Isaac Asimov or actor Alan Alda. Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: Alan Alda gave the Commencement Address at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut when his daughter was in the graduating class of 1980. The text of his speech is available in the Digital Commons section of the college’s website. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in. If you challenge your own, you won’t be so quick to accept the unchallenged assumptions of others. You’ll be a lot less likely to be caught up in bias or prejudice or be influenced by people who ask you to hand over your brains, your soul or your money because they have everything all figured out for you.
QI has found no substantive evidence that Isaac Asimov who died in 1992 made the remark about windows although the words were assigned to him by 2002.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- Website: Digital Commons at Connecticut College, Speech title: 62nd Commencement Address, Speech author: Alan Alda, Speech date (on website): June 1, 1980, Website description: An electronic archive of research and publication for Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. (Accessed digitalcommons.conncoll.edu on December 27, 2018) link ↩