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    To illustrate the difference between the innovator and the dull crowd of routinists who cannot even imagine that any improvement is possible, we need only refer to a passage in Engel's most famous book. Here, in 1878, Engels apodictically announced that military weapons are "now so perfected that no further progress of any revolutionizing influence is any longer possible." Henceforth "all further [technological] progress is by and large indifferent for land warfare. The age of evolution is in this regard essentially closed." This complacent conclusion shows in what the achievement of the innovator consists: he accomplishes what other people believe to be unthinkable and unfeasible.

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  5  /  10  

The genuine creator creates something that has a life of its own, something that can exist and function without him. read more

The genuine creator creates something that has a life of its own, something that can exist and function without him. This is true not only of the writer, artist and scientist, but of creators in other fields...With the noncreative it is the other way around: in whatever they do, they arrange things so that they themselves become indispensable.

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  10  /  10  

Men never do evil so fully and so happily as when they do it for conscience's sake.

Men never do evil so fully and so happily as when they do it for conscience's sake.

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  7  /  11  

Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steady gains in strength, At first it may be read more

Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steady gains in strength, At first it may be but as a spider's web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel.

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  17  /  14  

Propaganda...serves more to justify ourselves than to convince others; and the more reason we have to feel guilty, the more read more

Propaganda...serves more to justify ourselves than to convince others; and the more reason we have to feel guilty, the more fervent our propaganda.

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The history of science knows scores of instances where an investigator was in the possession of all the important facts read more

The history of science knows scores of instances where an investigator was in the possession of all the important facts for a new theory but simply failed to ask the right questions.

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We should listen first and foremost to our own experience...We should stop looking for saviors... Society has not existed for read more

We should listen first and foremost to our own experience...We should stop looking for saviors... Society has not existed for thousands of years because it had a succession of saviors. It's existed because it has institutions and processes through which people can realize their own goals.

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In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped read more

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.

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  13  /  13  

There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle read more

There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life. Moreover, when we have an alibi for not writing a book, painting a picture, and so on, we have an alibi for not writing the greatest book and not painting the greatest picture. Small wonder that the effort expended and the punishment endured in obtaining a good alibi often exceed the effort and grief requisite for the attainment of a most marked achievement.

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The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions.

The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions.

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