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Murthly History Group

The Rumsfeld Theorem

Added on 11 April 2019

The Rumsfeld Theorem was expounded by Donald Rumsfeld, then US Secretary of Defense, in  2002.

It seemed to take America’s foreign policy and reduce it beyond absurd, all the way to gibberish.

In essence, what he said was: There are known knowns; There are known unknowns; and, There are unknown unknowns.

Obviously he took a lot of stick for this from the White House press corps, and others. There’s no simple explanation, formula or equation, no unified theory for explaining the problems of the Middle East.

But. This local historian can’t help think he was onto something . . .

A known known for Murthly would be that the Lunatic Asylum opened for business on 1st April 1864, for example. And a known unknown, at this time, would be: Why Murthly? Why was this little village, not yet on the map, chosen as the site for the County of Perth's new state-of-the-art District Asylum? Rumour has it there were other contenders, perhaps three, but the only named one is Windyedge, then a plantation and farm in the parish of Aberdalgie to the south-west of Perth, looking down and over the River Earn.

What keeps us awake at night, however, are the unknown unknowns. The things we don't know we don't know. Jaggy little bits of Murthly (and Gellyburn) history. That other people know, and haven't bothered to mention. . .

Unknown, but ready to surface as soon as The Book is published.

"Whit? A'body kens 'at."

The known knowns that are completely wrong, more myth or hearsay, we do hope to iron out through rigorous fact checking, of course.




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