The widespread inability to understand technological artifacts as fabricated entities, as social and cultural phenomena, derives from the fact that in retrospect only those technologies that prove functional for a culture and can be integrated into everyday life are 'left over.' However, the perception of what is functional, successful and useful is itself the product of social and cultural--and last but not least--political and economic processes. Selection processes and abandoned products and product forms are usually not discussed.
The men who ushered in the Dark Ages were men like Theodoric and Cassiodorus, who were intent on restoring the cities, preserving the statues, and transcribing the classics. Their adoration of the ancient world was matched only by their inability to understand it, for by the time that they were born, classical culture was already dead. They were the first of the great medievals and began to build a new civilization in an attempt to restore the old.cassiodorus
On land you saw how the pride of Captain Pedel was so much humbled that he with his men, who are as foolish as himself, could not even bear the look of my men ; and how, on the mere sight of my warriors, they threw down their arms and willingly awaited their well-deserved punishment with outstretched necks. Are these not sufficient proofs of your incompetency and inability to resist my forces?koxinga
There's a tiredness of abstract inteligence, and it's the most horrible of tirednesses. It doesn't weight on you like the tiredness of the body, nor does it worry you like the tiredness of knowledge and emotion. It's a weightiness of the conscience of the world, an inability of the soul to breathe.fernando pessoa
All the inducements of early society tend to foster immediate action; all its penalties fall on the man who pauses; the traditional wisdom of those times was never weary of inculcating that "delays are dangerous," and that the sluggish man the man "who roasteth not that which he took in hunting" will not prosper on the earth, and indeed will very soon perish out of it. And in consequence an inability to stay quiet, an irritable desire to act directly, is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.walter bagehot
What [Nietzsche] calls slave morality is to him purely spite-morality; and this spite-morality gave new names to all ideals. Thus impotence, which offers no reprisal, became goodness; craven baseness became humility; submission to him who was feared became obedience; inability to assert one’s self became reluctance to assert one’s self, became forgiveness, love of one’s enemies. Misery became a distinctiongeorg brandes
"[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant."zbigniew brzezinski
This absence of similarity among military questions naturally brings out the inability of memory to solve them; also the sterility of invariable forms, such as figures, geometrical drawings ( épures ), plans ( schémas ), etc. One only right solution imposes itself:;: namely, the application, varying according to circumstances, of fixed principles.Ferdinand Foch
The problem is rather that many African states lack the capacity to establish the crucial conditions for capital accumulation and, additionally, act in economically irrational ways. This nondevelopmental or even antidevelopmental thrust is manifest in the mismanagement, inefficiency, and pervasive corruption of the public sector as well as political instability and the inability to prevent widespread evasion of laws and regulations.richard sandbrook
The liberty of the press is the birthright of a Briton, and is justly esteemed the firmest bulwark of the liberties of this country. It has been the terror of all bad ministers; for their dark and dangerous designs, of their weakness, inability, and duplicity, have thus been detected and shown to the public, generally in too strong and just colors for them to bear up against the odium of mankind. ... A wicked and corrupt administration must naturally dread this appeal to the world; and will be for keeping all the means of information from the prince, parliament, and people.John Wilkes, (The North Briton, No. 1. June 5, 1762).
From inability to let well alone; from too much zeal for the new and contempt for what is old; from putting knowledge before wisdom, science before art and cleverness before common sense; from treating patients as cases; and from making the cure of the disease more grievous than the endurance of the same, Good Lord, deliver us.Sir Robert Hutchison, 20th century physician, British Medical Journal, 1953; 1: 671.
Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition of our most expansive self-interest. From the recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories, 1998, Boston: South End Press.
There's a tiredness of abstract inteligence, and it's the most horrible of tirednesses. It doesn't weight on you like the tiredness of the body, nor does it worry you like the tiredness of knowledge and emotion. It's a weightiness of the conscience of the world, an inability of the soul to breathe.Original: Há um cansaço da inteligência abstracta, e é o mais horroroso dos cansaços. Não pesa como o cansaço do corpo, nem inquieta como o cansaço do conhecimento e da emoção. É um peso da consciência do mundo, um não poder respirar da alma.
In today's life, the world belongs only to the stupid, the insensitive and the agitated. The right to live and triumph is now conquered almost by the same means by which you conquer internment in an asylum: the inability to think, amorality and hiperexcitation.Original: Na vida de hoje, o mundo só pertence aos estúpidos, aos insensíveis e aos agitados. O direito a viver e a triunfar conquista-se hoje quase pelos mesmos processos por que se conquista o internamento num manicómio: a incapacidade de pensar, a amoralidade e a hiperexcitação.
The Beginning of Philosophy is a Consciousness of your own Weakness and inability in necessary things.Epictetus, Discourses, Book II. Ch, XI. St. 1. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 596-97.
I look upon the Guadalcanal and Tulagi operations as the turning point from offensive to defensive, and the cause of our setback there was our inability to increase our forces at the same speed as you.Japanese Admiral Osami Nagano, Chief of Naval Staff, to American officers after the war.