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
The world was sick, and the ills from which it was suffering were mainly due to the perversion of man, his inability to live at peace with himself. The microbe was no longer the main enemy; science was sufficiently advanced to be able to cope with it admirably. If it were not for such barriers as superstition, ignorance, religious intolerance, misery and poverty.brock chisholm
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
Now the code of life of the High Middle Ages said something entirely opposite to this: that it was precisely lack of leisure, an inability to be at leisure, that went together with idleness; that the restlessness of work-for-work's sake arose from nothing other than idleness. There is a curious connection in the fact that the restlessness of a self-destructive work-fanatacism should take its rise from the absence of a will to accomplish something.josef pieper
Moral crusade: Public activity undertaken by middle-aged men who are cheating on their wives or diddling little boys. Moral crusades are particularly popular among those seeking power for their own personal pleasure, politicians who can't think of anything useful to do with their mandates, and religious professionals suffering from a personal inability to communicate with their god.john ralston saul
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
Strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children whose mothers were always there, driving them around, helping them with their homework an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self- sustained goal of any sort, a devastating boredom with life.betty friedan
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 ability of nonintelligent people to understand the most complicated mechanisms and to use them has always been to me a cause of astonishment: their inability to understand simple questions is even more astonishing. The general acceptance of simple ideas is difficult and rare, and yet it is only when simple, fundamental, ideas have been accepted that further progress becomes possible on a higher level.george sarton
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.
There is but one thing without honour; smitten with eternal barrenness, inability to do or to be: Insincerity, Unbelief.Thomas Carlyle Chartism (1839), Ch. 8
Do you know what I admire most in the world? The inability of force to organize anything. There are only two powers in this world, the sword and the spirit ... in the long run the sword is always beaten by the spirit.As quoted in "French Literature" by William Koren, in Modern Language Notes, Vol. XX, No. 3, (March 1905), p.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.