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85 observations on "progress"

Published Saturday, July 26, 2014 @ 10:20 PM EDT
Jul 26 2014

A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much technological rococo.
-Bill Gray

A thousand things advance; nine hundred and ninety-nine retreat: that is progress.
-Henri Frédéric Amiel

Advocates of progress often have too low an opinion of what already exists.
-Bertolt Brecht

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. All change is the result of a change in the contemporary state of mind.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

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

Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize the oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all... It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.
-Hugo Black

At the present rate of progress, it is almost impossible to imagine any technical feat that cannot be achieved- if it can be achieved at all- within the next few hundred years.
-Arthur C. Clarke

Believe in life! Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.
-W.E.B. DuBois

Bureaucracy is the epoxy that greases the wheels of progress.
-James H. Boren

But America is a great, unwieldy Body. Its Progress must be slow. It is like a large Fleet sailing under Convoy. The fleetest Sailors must wait for the dullest and slowest.
-John Adams

But by far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this- that men despair and think things impossible.
-Francis Bacon

Celebrate any progress. Don't wait to get perfect.
-Ann McGee Cooper

Change based on principle is progress. Constant change without principle becomes chaos.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Change is not progress.
-H.L. Mencken

Conservatives- or better, pro-corporate apologists- hijacked the vocabulary of Jeffersonian liberalism and turned words like 'progress,' 'opportunity,' and 'individualism' into tools for making the plunder of America sound like divine right.
-Bill Moyers

Death is really a great blessing for humanity, without it there could be no real progress. People who lived for ever would not only hamper and discourage the young, but they would themselves lack sufficient stimulus to be creative.
-Alfred Adler

Despite all our toil and progress, the art of medicine still falls somewhere between trout casting and spook writing.
-Ben Hecht

Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
-Oscar Wilde

Even those who fancy themselves the most progressive will fight against other kinds of progress, for each of us is convinced that our way is the best way.
-Louis L'Amour

Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules- and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress.
-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Every step in human progress, from the first feeble stirrings in the abyss of time, has been opposed by the great majority of men.
-H.L. Mencken

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
-Harold Wilson

Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.
-H.L. Mencken

I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
-Albert Einstein

I think it is time we learned the lesson of our century: that the progress of the human spirit must keep pace with technological and scientific progress, or that spirit will die. It is incumbent on our educators to remember this; and music is at the top of the spiritual must list.
-Leonard Bernstein

I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.
-Marie Curie

I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.
-John Steinbeck

If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con' what is the opposite of 'progress?'
-Paul Harvey

If necessity is the mother of invention, discontent is the father of progress.
-David Rockefeller

If there is no struggle there is no progress.
-Frederick Douglass

In general, scientific progress calls for no more than the absorption and elaboration of new ideas- and this is a call most scientists are happy to heed.
-Werner Heisenberg

Is it progress if a cannibal uses a knife and fork?
-Stanislaw J. Lec

It appears that my worst fears have been realized: we have made progress in everything yet nothing has changed.
-Derrick Bell

Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.
-Samuel Johnson

Man's 'progress' is but a gradual discovery that his questions have no meaning.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Many people are busy trying to find better ways of doing things that should not have to be done at all. There is no progress in merely finding a better way to do a useless thing.
-Henry Ford

Many people consider the things government does for them to be social progress but they regard the things government does for others as socialism.
-Earl Warren

Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
-Harry S. Truman

Modern invention has banished the spinning wheel, and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother.
-Susan B. Anthony

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on 'I am not too sure.'
-H.L. Mencken

My own experience and development deepen everyday my conviction that our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.
-George Eliot

One thing we know for sure is that change is certain. Progress is not. Progress depends on the choices we make today for tomorrow and on whether we meet our challenges and protect our values.
-Hillary Rodham Clinton

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.
-Nicholas Murray Butler

Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal.
-Albert Einstein

People who make no mistakes lack boldness and the spirit of adventure. They are the brakes on the wheels of progress.
-Norman Vincent Peale

pity this busy monster, manunkind,
not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)
plays with the bigness of his littleness.
-E.E. Cummings

Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me.
-Charles F. Kettering

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.
-Thor Heyerdahl

Progress is not created by contented people.
-Frank Tyger

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.
-Kahlil Gibran

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

Progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison.
-Walter Bagehot

Progress? There's no such thing as progress. There's only change. You dig a hole in the ground, you build up a city, and you fight a war, and you call it progress?
-Charles Manson

Progressive men employ progressive methods.
-Thomas J. Watson

Religion often partakes of the myth of progress that shields us from the terrors of an uncertain future.
-Frank Herbert

Restlessness is discontent- and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man- and I will show you a failure.
-Thomas A. Edison

Risk is the price of progress. Step up to risk.
-Gene Kranz

Social movements are at once the symptoms and the instruments of progress. Ignore them and statesmanship is irrelevant; fail to use them and it is weak.
-Walter Lippmann

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
-Aldous Huxley

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.
-Joseph Joubert

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.
-Alfred North Whitehead

The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race.
-Don Marquis

The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.
-Frank Herbert

The cruelties and the obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger which comes with even the most peaceful progress.
-Robert F. Kennedy

The direction of the mind is more important than its progress.
-Joseph Joubert

The moral progress of mankind is due to the aged. The old grow wiser and better.
-Leo Tolstoy

The most closely organized groups and movements in the world are those which have been the least friendly to the people's progress and liberty.
-Henry Ford

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
-Thomas Jefferson

The reason men oppose progress is not that they hate progress, but that they love inertia.
-Elbert Hubbard

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

The remains of the old must be decently laid away; the path of the new prepared. That is the difference between Revolution and Progress.
-Henry Ford

The road to Hell is paved with works in progress.
-Philip Roth

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

There is no greater impediment to progress in the sciences than the desire to see it take place too quickly.
-G.C. Lichtenberg

They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!
-Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.
-George Santayana

Today, the notion of progress in a single line without goal or limit seems perhaps the most parochial notion of a very parochial century.
-Lewis Mumford

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
-H.L. Mencken

Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.
-Russell Baker

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
-C.S. Lewis

What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.
-Sigmund Freud

What we call 'Progress' is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.
-Havelock Ellis

Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.
-Thomas J. Watson

Without deviation, progress is not possible.
-Frank Zappa

(Today is the birthday of Hilaire Belloc.)

Categories: Progress, Quotes on a topic


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