Self-evaluation, youthful priggishness

When I was a boy of about fifteen, I decided to look into all my beliefs, and discard them if they seemed to have no foundation except tradition or my own prejudices. Being a good deal of a prig, I intended to face one painful possibility every day; I began with the possibility that it might have been better if the English had lost the battle of Waterloo. After pondering this hypothesis for a long time, I found out one argument on Napoleon’s side: that if he had won, England would have had the decimal system.

— Bertrand Russell