Monday, May 2, 2022

Is It Real or Just Our Imaginations? 20 Quotes About Progress

"The doctor will see you now."
Progress is an interesting word. Has the human race been making progress? When we look at the breakthroughs in medicine these past couple hundred years, it's amazing. When a mad dog with rabies bit someone, the suffering was excruciating. Until Louis Pasteur.  

Just over two hundred years ago trained medical doctors used to "bleed" you. That is, they slit your wrists to get the bad blood out of your system. Sometimes they used leeches for the same purpose, or man-made devices designed to emulate them.

98 years ago Calvin Coolidge, Jr. got a blister on his toe while playing tennis. The toe got infected and the infection killed him. They didn't have Neosporin yet. In short, progress in the medical field has been remarkable.

On the other hand, look at the technological advances: space shuttles, microchips, thumb drives, microwave ovens, robotics, the Internet. 

Then again, is it progress that we have nuclear and chemical weapons that can wipe out the human race? Our track record as societies with regards to being able to get along makes one wonder if we might even be going backwards. Drug addiction and all forms of self-destruction abound in what is supposed to be an advanced "civilized" society.

So, the theme is progress. What's really going on? Here are 20 quotes to ponder, along with a few imponderables. 


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw

Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.
--Ogden Nash

The Difficult is that which can be done immediately; the Impossible that which takes a little longer.
--George Santayana 

The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer.
--Fridtjof Nansen

We stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.
--Woody Allen

Without deviation, progress is not possible.
--Frank Zappa

It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn.
--Isaac Asimov

What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.
--Henry Havelock Ellis

Change is one thing, progress is another. Change is scientific, progress is ethical. Change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy.
--Bertrand Russell

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress. 

--Thomas Edison

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. 

--Arthur Schopenhauer

The technology life cycle has three stages: Hype, disillusionment, and application. 

--Bob Lewis

The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.
--Edward Teller

All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
--Samuel Butler

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
--George Santayana

The most damaging phrase in the language is, "It's always been done that way."
--Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

So much havoc has optimism wrought in this world that pessimism appears not only a legitimate way of looking at things but a moral duty.
--Christopher Spranger

Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.
--Fred Brooks

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What we anticipate seldom occurs, what we least expected generally happens.
--Benjamin Disraeli

* * * 

Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.

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