Thomas Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities. A man of fact and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principles that two and two are four and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir - peremptorily Thomas - Thomas Gradgrind. With rule and a pair of scales, and a multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case of simple arithmetic. You might hope to get some other nonsensical belief into the head of George Gradgrind, or Augustus Gradgrind, or John Gradgrind, or Joseph Gradgrind (all suppositious, non-existent persons), but into the head of Thomas Gradgrind - no, sir! (From: Hard Times , chapter 2)
This is from the famous chapter where a horse is defined as 'Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth ...' and we learn horses should not be featured upon wallpaper as we would never find a horse in fact walking across our walls. This chapter is brilliant satire and is as much alive today as it was in Dickens' time. This is another perspective on the trends addressed by Isaac Watts in his hymn .
Margaret Thatcher told us ' there is no such thing as society'. You don't accept this is a fact? I think you'll find that by and large you live as if it is a fact.