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Attributed to Emerson by Sarah S. Yule, in her book Borrowings compiled , published Mrs Yule was quoted in The Docket Feb , that she wrote this in her notebook of memorable statements during an Emerson address. The Docket thus disproved Elbert Hubbard's claim to its authorship. If any one should ask me what I consider the most distinctive, progressive feature of California, I should answer promptly, its cable-car system. And it is not alone its system which seems to have reached a point of perfection, but the amazing length of the ride that is given you for the chink of a nickel.

If human thought is a growth, like all other growths, its logic is without foundation of its own, and is only the adjusting constructiveness of all other growing things. A tree cannot find out, as it were, how to blossom, until comes blossom-time. A social growth cannot find out the use of steam engines, until comes steam-engine-time. If necessity is the mother of invention, scientifically developed production is the mother of scientific research.

If the finding of Coines, Medals, Urnes, and other Monuments of famous Persons, or Towns, or Utensils, be admitted for unquestionable Proofs, that such Persons or things have, in former Times, had a being, certainly those Petrifactions may be allowed to be of equal Validity and Evidence, that there have been formerly such Vegetables or Animals.

These are truly Authentick Antiquity not to be counterfeited, the Stamps, and Impressions, and Characters of Nature that are beyond the Reach and Power of Humane Wit and Invention, and are true universal Characters legible to all rational Men. Lectures and Discourses of Earthquakes If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run—and often in the short one—the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.

In a way, my design works as much because the belt is comfortable for the user as it does because it is safer. In future times Tait will be best known for his work in the quaternion analysis.

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In Bibliotheca Mathematica , 3 , In general the position as regards all such new calculi is this That one cannot accomplish by them anything that could not be accomplished without them. Such conceptions unite, as it were, into an organic whole countless problems which otherwise would remain isolated and require for their separate solution more or less application of inventive genius. In mathematics two ends are constantly kept in view: First, stimulation of the inventive faculty, exercise of judgment, development of logical reasoning, and the habit of concise statement; second, the association of the branches of pure mathematics with each other and with applied science, that the pupil may see clearly the true relations of principles and things.

In science men have discovered an activity of the very highest value in which they are no longer, as in art, dependent for progress upon the appearance of continually greater genius, for in science the successors stand upon the shoulders of their predecessors; where one man of supreme genius has invented a method, a thousand lesser men can apply it.

In art nothing worth doing can be done without genius; in science even a very moderate capacity can contribute to a supreme achievement. All this was in the two plague years of In the beginning of the year the illustrious professor [Volta] conceived the idea of forming a long column by piling up, in succession, a disc of copper, a disc of zinc, and a disc of wet cloth, with scrupulous attention to not changing this order.

What could be expected beforehand from such a combination? Well, I do not hesitate to say, this apparently inert mass, this bizarre assembly, this pile of so many couples of unequal metals separated by a little liquid is, in the singularity of effect, the most marvellous instrument which men have yet invented, the telescope and the steam engine not excepted.

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Of these were the art of writing and of printing, the discovery of America, and the introduction of patent laws. In working out an invention, the most important quality is persistence. Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged.

Any definition of this uniqueness, embedded as it is in our possession of language, must involve our ability to frame the world as stories and to transmit these tales to others.

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  7. If our propensity to grasps nature as story has distorted our perceptions, I shall accept this limit of mentality upon knowledge, for we receive in trade both the joys of literature and the core of our being. Industry is far more efficient than the university in making use of scientific developments for the public good.

    Reported in , as a co-founder of Genentech, Inc.

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    Inventing is a combination of brains and materials. The more brains you use, the less material you need. Invention breeds invention. No sooner is the electric telegraph devised than gutta-percha, the very material it requires, is found. The aeronaut is provided with gun-cotton, the very fuel he wants for his balloon. In Ralph Waldo Emerson and J.

    Cabot ed. Invention depends altogether upon Execution or Organisation, as that is right or wrong, so is the Invention perfect or imperfect.

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    Marginal note c. Invention is an Heroic thing, and plac'd above the reach of a low, and vulgar Genius. It requires an active, a bold, a nimble, a restless mind: a thousand difficulties must be contemn'd with which a mean heart would be broken: many attempts must be made to no purpose: much Treasure must sometimes be scatter'd without any return: much violence, and vigour of thoughts must attend it: some irregularities, and excesses must be granted it, that would hardly be pardon'd by the severe Rules of Prudence.

    Inventions and discoveries are of two kinds. The other which we owe to genius: and here we ought to understand by the word discovery, a new combination, or a new relation perceived between certain objects or ideas. A person obtains the title of a man of genius, if the ideas which result from this combination form one grand whole, are fruitful in truths, and are of importance with respect to mankind. Inventions are best developed on your own.

    Rodney Needham

    When you work for other people or borrow money from them, maintaining freedom of intellect is difficult. Inventions that are not made, like babies that are not born, are rarely missed. In the absence of new developments, old ones may seem very impressive for quite a long while. Inventive genius requires pleasurable mental activity as a condition for its vigorous exercise. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity. It has been just so in all my inventions.

    The first step is an intuition—and comes with a burst, then difficulties arise. Letter to Theodore Puskas 18 Nov In The Yale Book of Quotations , It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences human invention ; it is only the application of them that is human. It is a very strange thing to reflect that but for the invention of Professor Haber the Germans could not have continued the War after their original stack of nitrates was exhausted. The invention of this single man has enabled them, utilising the interval in which their accumulations were used up, not only to maintain an almost unlimited supply of explosives for all purposes, but to provide amply for the needs of agriculture in chemical manures.

    It is a remarkable fact, and shows on what obscure and accidental incidents the fortunes of possible the whole world may turn in these days of scientific discovery.

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    Parliamentary debate 25 Apr In Winston Churchill, Richard Langworth ed. It is arguable whether the human race have been gainers by the march of science beyond the steam engine. Electricity opens a field of infinite conveniences to ever greater numbers, but they may well have to pay dearly for them. But anyhow in my thought I stop short of the internal combustion engine which has made the world so much smaller. Still more must we fear the consequences of entrusting a human race so little different from their predecessors of the so-called barbarous ages such awful agencies as the atomic bomb.

    Give me the horse. Address to the Royal College of Surgeons 10 Jul Collected in Stemming the Tide: Speeches and , It is both a sad and a happy fact of engineering history that disasters have been powerful instruments of change. Designers learn from failure. Industrial society did not invent grand works of engineering, and it was not the first to know design failure.

    What it did do was develop powerful techniques for learning from the experience of past disasters. It is extremely rare today for an apartment house in North America, Europe, or Japan to fall down. Ancient Rome had large apartment buildings too, but while its public baths, bridges and aqueducts have lasted for two thousand years, its big residential blocks collapsed with appalling regularity.

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    Not one is left in modern Rome, even as ruin. It is frivolous to fix pedantically the date of particular inventions. They have all been invented over and over fifty times. Man is the arch machine, of which all these shifts drawn from himself are toy models. He helps himself on each emergency by copying or duplicating his own structure, just so far as the need is. Such moments are also granted to students in the abstract regions of thought, and high among them must be placed the morning when Descartes lay in bed and invented the method of co-ordinate geometry.

    It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity and the great ease which it has lent to computations put our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the grandeur of the achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity.

    Quoted in Return to Mathematical Circles H. Eves Boston It is not enough that you should understand about applied science in order that your work may increase man's blessings. Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavours Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations. In New York Times 17 Feb , p. It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes, and he annexes everything. In Reviews , It is possible that the deepest meaning and aim of Newtonianism, or rather, of the whole scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, of which Newton is the heir and the highest expression, is just to abolish the world of the 'more or less', the world of qualities and sense perception, the world of appreciation of our daily life, and to replace it by the Archimedean universe of precision, of exact measures, of strict determination In Newtonian Studies , It is the merest truism, evident at once to unsophisticated observation, that mathematics is a human invention.

    It is very desirable to have a word to express the Availability for work of the heat in a given magazine; a term for that possession, the waste of which is called Dissipation. Unfortunately the excellent word Entropy, which Clausius has introduced in this connexion, is applied by him to the negative of the idea we most naturally wish to express. It would only confuse the student if we were to endeavour to invent another term for our purpose. But the necessity for some such term will be obvious from the beautiful examples which follow.

    And we take the liberty of using the term Entropy in this altered sense The entropy of the universe tends continually to zero.