DID YOU KNOW . . .
* that Albert Einstein was considered retarded, Isaac Newton was thought to be a slow learner, Joseph Priestly (the discoverer of oxygen) never took a science course, and Louis Pasteur got a C in chemistry.
* that in 1876 when G. G. Hubbard learned of his future son-in-law's invention, he called it "only a toy." This daughter was engaged to a young man named Alexander Graham Bell.
* that in 1969 the New York Times published an apology for once printing derisive comments about an inventor's theory. Robert Goddard was on the receiving end of the Time's criticism of his contention that rockets could operate in outer space. The apology was printed the day after Apollo 11 left earth orbit for the moon.
* that in the early 1940's a GE engineer was charged with a task of utmost importance to the war effort: develop a cheap substitute for rubber that would be used to produce tires, gas masks, and a whole host of military gear. James Wright tackled the task diligently -- and wound up inventing Silly Putty. Good thing he didn't work on the artificial heart.
* that neither Wilber nor Orville Wright graduated from high school. However, they were both avid readers.
* that Charles Goodyear began his experiments on rubber in a debtors' prison. He was there so often that he referred to it as his "hotel."
* that Darryl F. Zanuck of 20th Century Fox thought TV was just a passing fancy. In 1946 he said, 'Video won't be able to hold any market after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
* that in the fall of 1989 the Cold Fusion panel of the Energy Research Advisory Board to the DOE concluded, "The panel recommends against special funding for the investigation of phenomena attributed to cold fusion."
What is believed to be "common knowledge" is NOT ALWAYS truly "correct" in the long run.
Consider the following two quotes from sources of authority (?pathological skeptics) from about a century ago:
"... after a few more flashes in the pan, we shall hear very little more of
Edison or his electric lamp. Every claim he makes has been tested and proved
- New York Times, January 16, 1880.
"Professor Goddard ... does not know the relation of action to reaction ...
he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in our high schools."
- New York Times, January 13, 1920.
"Heavier- than- air flying machines are impossible."
- Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895.
"There is no likelihood that man can ever tap the power of the atom"
- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize physicist, 1923.
"There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the moon because of
insurmountable barriers to escaping the earth's gravity"
- Dr. F. R. Moulton, University of Chicago astronomer, 1932.
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of
tyranny over the mind of man."
- Thomas Jefferson. ALWAYS.
"We will either find a way, or make one."
- Hannibal, 210 B.C.
"The greatest of all sacrifices is the sacrifice of time..."
"There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more
dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the
enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old system and merely
lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one."
- Machiavelli (1513).
"We have it in our power to begin the world again."
- Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776.
"Don't go where the path leads. Rather go where there is no path and leave a
- Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which
is the exact opposite."
- Bertrand Russell
"We are but cogwheels in the medium of the universe, and it is...an
unavoidable consequence of the laws governing that the pioneer who is far in
advance of his age is not understood and must suffer pain and disappointment and
be content with the higher reward which is accorded to him by posterity."
- Nikola Tesla.
"Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though
checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither
enjoy much, nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows
not victory or defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt.
"All progress resulted from people who took unpopular positions."
- Adlai Stevenson
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens).
"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: That all the
dunces are in a confederacy against him!"
- Jonathan Swift.
"I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it."
- Erwin Schrodinger talking about Quantum Mechanics.
"As far as the Laws of Mathematics refer to Reality, they are not certain,
and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to Reality"
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955).
"Only two things are certain: the Universe and human stupidity; and I'm not
certain about the Universe"
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955).
"Relativity seemed to impress him, however at this point I no longer
understood my theory"
- Albert Einstein, upon reading a 1907 paper of Minkowski's transformation of his Special Relativity theory into mathematical terms relating to the four dimensions X, Y, Z, and T (Minkowski was Einstein's former mathematics teacher).
"You can never solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created
the problem in the first place"
- Albert Einstein.
"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and
making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and
a new generation grows up that is familiar with it"
- Max Planck
"Every creative act involves a new innocence of perception liberated from the
cataract of accepted belief."
"Never express yourself more clearly than you think"
- Neils Bohr (1885-1962).
"My advice to those who wish to learn the art of scientific prophecy is not
to rely on abstract reason, but to decipher the secret language of Nature from
Nature's documents, the facts of experience."
- Born's 1943 address to the Durham Philosophical Society.
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it) - but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov.
"A sufficiently high level of technology is indistinguishable from
- Arthur C. Clarke.
"The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it
- Christian Morgenstern
"If common sense is so common, why do so few have it?"
- Glen and Mary Tuttle, 1997.
"This page underscores the fact that the price of true innovation is the
scorn of the status quo. However, innovation, whether it be technological,
philosophical, artistic, or cultural, as absolutely necessary to the viability
- Richard Shultz, 1996.
"At any given time in history, science was only so far advanced and sometimes
violently denied the findings of advanced thinkers - only to come back later to
the exact same point - to prove now the truth of what was previously
- Bernd Nurnberger, Yokohama, Japan, 1996.
"Science is a way to teach how something gets to be known, what is not known,
to what extent things are known (for nothing is known absolutely), how to handle
doubt and uncertainty, what the rules of evidence are, how to think about things
so that judgements can be made, how to distinguish truth from fraud, and from
- Richard Feynman (date unknown).
"Some things have to be believed to be seen."
- Poltergeist (Screenplay to the MGM/UA film production and VHS videotape, 1987).
"Grant shook his head. It's been discussed, in the field. Many people
imagined it was coming. But not so soon." "Story of our species, Malcolm said
laughing. Everybody knows it's coming, but not so soon."
- Crichton, Michael (Jurassic Park, Ballantine Books, 1990).
"It has been said that science is man's futile attempt to understand Nature.
While it becomes important to learn, understand, and apply science in our
everyday lives, it is equally important to continue the pursuit of unraveling
the secrets of Nature."
- Patrick Bailey (ISNE 1993, from Forward 1).
"Woe to you, you blind leaders of a hoard of blind, who say: 'This should be
done and that should not be left undone.' You only represent a false teaching
and ignore the laws of Creation."
- Rashid, Isa (The Talmud of Jmmanuel, 24:29-30, 1990, Wild Flower Press, PO Box 230893, Tigard, Oregon, 97224).
"But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for
goodness to accomplish good."
- Jubal Harshaw (Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein, Berkley Books, paperback, 1982).
- Valentine Michael Smith (Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein, Berkley Books, paperback, 1982).
"The willing, Destiny guides them; the unwilling, Destiny drags them."
- Seneca the Younger (c.4B.C. - A.D. 65).
"Radio has no future."
- Lord Kelvin, Scottish physicist, 1897.
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
- Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, 1899.
"Man will not fly for 50 years."
- Orville Wright, aviation pioneer, 1901.
"My imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but
suffocating its crew and floundering at sea."
- Jules Verne, author of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," 1800's.
"What use could this company make of an electrical toy [telephone]?"
- William Orton, President of WESTERN UNION.
"The horse is here to stay the automobile is only a fad."
- Advice given by the President of MICHIGAN SAVINGS BANK to Horace Rackham, lawyer of Henry Ford.
"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1911.
"Nobody now fears that a Japanese fleet could deal an unexpected blow on our
Pacific possessions. Radio makes surprise impossible."
- Josephus Daniels, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, 1922.
"The election of Hoover should result in continued prosperity for 1929."
- Roger Babson, financial statistician.
"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, YALE UNIVERSITY, 1929.
"Germany is unable to wage war."
- David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, 1934.
"[Concerning television], people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood
box every night."
- Darryl F. Zanuck, 20TH CENTURY FOX, 1946 (JG).
"[Man will never reach the Moon] regardless of all future scientific
- Dr. Lee de Forest, a father of radio, 1967.
"Furious activity is no substitute for understanding."
- H. H. Williams.
"Scientists are like atomic nuclei. They are more easily split than
- Charles Osgood. [NEN Vol. 5, No. 9, Jan. 1998.]
"There's no such thing as intelligence, a capacity for learning, or a general
ability to imitate role models. The mind is more like a Swiss army knife: a
large set of gadgets - language being one of them."
- S. Pinker. [NEN Vol. 5, No. 9, Jan. 1998.]
"The purpose of a university is to make students safe for ideas - not ideas
safe for students."
- Clark Kerr, former president of the University of California.
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a
means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
- Western Union internal memo, 1876.
"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for
a message sent to nobody in particular?"
- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
- H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary
- Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."
"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than
a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."
- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say
America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."
- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The
literature was full of examples that said you can't do this."
- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3M Post- It "Notepads."
"Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and
the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems
to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
- 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.
"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of
your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to
accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight
- Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.
"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're
- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.
"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."
- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the
intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon."
- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon- Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the
best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last
out the year."
- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
"But what ... is it good for?"
- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
- Bill Gates, 1981
"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built
with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give
it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And
they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett- Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we
don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"
- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.
"If it can't be done, it interests me."
- Joseph Newman.
The cynical and bureaucratic resistance to innovation has its roots in
negativism - which is the antithesis of such innovation. All too often a
bureaucrat's non-creative solution to a problem facing humanity is to pass more
political laws and regulations that only serve to restrict the creativity of us
all - in other words, the motto of the bureaucrat is: "everything that is not
forbidden is compulsory."
- Evan Soule, introducing Joseph Newman, 1998.
"Actually, I have found that this opposition happens in a certain sequence:
First there exists the innovation; Then some ridicule the innovation of being
"impossible"; Then others attempt to steal the innovation and claim it as their
own; Then, much later, when the innovation is in full use throughout society,
there are those people who talk about the innovation and say, 'What's the big
deal? It is obvious. Everybody knows that.'"
- Evan Soule, introducing Joseph Newman, 1998.
"Will future generations look back at the history of American Innovation and
describe it as follows: 'Such innovation was born in the resiliency of the
Pioneer, and died in the suffocating arms of cynics and bureaucrats.'"
- Evan Soule, introducing Joseph Newman, 1998.
"The finished prototype of what I teach will change the world drastically for
the good of humanity, more so than any invention before this time."
- Joseph Newman.
"The future of the human race may be dramatically uplifted by the
large-scale, commercial development of this invention."
- One physicist who worked extensively with Joseph Newman.
"If the manner in which he conducted his experiments and the results were
made known to the industrial or engineering community then, in my opinion,
several companies and/or individuals possess the expertise and capabilities to
construct the hardware required to fully exploit the apparent capability of his
- Dr. Robert E. Smith, former Chief of the Orbital and Space Environment Branch at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center wrote regarding Joseph Newman.
"You have opened an area in Astrophysics which may revolutionize the magnetic
energy problems which is now the most paramount problem in future energy and
space travel. I do believe with proper research funds, the results would not
only be a great financial boon to your financiers, but would lead to
developments that will be practical and beneficial to all mankind and develop a
new step in science."
- Dr. E. L. Moragne, a pioneer in the development of the first atomic bomb, wrote to Joseph Newman.
"To anyone who does NOT believe that this unit has performed as indicated --
and as witnessed by those who specifically stayed in Phoenix to see it -- and/or
who does not believe in the efficacy of this technology, I challenge you to
contact me directly at the above telephone numbers and confront me with any
comment, criticism, or input."
- Joseph Newman, Sept. 14, 1998, to Evan Soule, on the experiments demonstrated in Phoenix, AZ, that day.
"Given Clear Observation, we shall see."
- Patrick Bailey, on Joseph Newman's Work, Sept. 1998.
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