Friday, July 1, 2011

ET: Almanac

And it is true that the promoters of the really new more often than not look and talk like cranks and mis-state or mistake their goal. Their behavior is often arrogant or seems so from their impatience with cautious minds. The upshot---humiliation and penury---is disproportionate to the offense, but it expresses the culture's need to defend its rational ways, to ward off the genuine cranks, and to avoid moving too fast into the untried. There is no evidence that the present system of subsidizing innovations----government and foundation grants---works any better than that of the kings and queens of earlier times: the same committee is always sitting at the gate.

- Jacques Barzun, "From Dawn to Decadence".

.....I really should have read this book before I tried Voices of Washington.

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