Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you either hear or are about to
repeat a rumour.

In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him
excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of
your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass
a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance.

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student
let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. The first filter is
Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.
Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are
about to tell me about my student something good?"

"No, on the contrary ...".

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, even
though you're not certain it's true?".

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued." You may still
pass the test though, because there is a third filter - the filter of
Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful
to me?"

"No, not really..."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor
Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"

The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was a great
philosopher and held in such high esteem. It also explains why he never
found out that Plato was shagging his wife.