January 27th, 2008

Interesting words

"Among the innumerable mortifications that waylay human arrogance on every side, may well be reckoned our ignorance of the most common objects and effects, a defect of which we become more sensible by every attempt to supply it. Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things when they are shown their form or told their use; but the specialist, who is not content with superficial views, harasses himself with fruitless curiosity, and still as he inquires more, perceives only that he knows less."
Samuel Johnson

(I really like these words. It is amazing that old Dr. Johnson back around 1750 could be so insightful. To "confound familiarity with knowledge.")