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Quotations about progress

Bill GatesOur modern lifestyle is not a political creation. Before 1700, everybody was poor as hell. Life was short and brutish. It wasn't because we didn't have good politicians; we had some really good politicians. But then we started inventing, electricity, steam engines, microprocessors, understanding genetics and medicine and things like that. Yes, stability and education are important. I'm not taking anything away from that, but innovation is the real driver of progress.

 - Bill Gates

Florence NightingaleWere there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.

 - Florence Nightingale

Albert EinsteinImagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

 - Albert Einstein

Henry David ThoreauNever look back unless you are planning to go that way.

 - Henry David Thoreau

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

 - Robert A. Heinlein

Garry KasparovSolving new problems is what keeps us moving forward as individuals and as a society, so don't back down.

 - Garry Kasparov

Richard FeynmanWe are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.

 - Richard Feynman

Henry Wadsworth LongfellowThe every-day cares and duties which men call drudgery are the weights and counterpoises of the clock of Time, giving its pendulum a true vibration, and its hands a regular motion; and when they cease to hang upon the wheels, the pendulum no longer sways, the hands no longer move, the clock stands still.

 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth LongfellowIt is curious to note the old sea-margins of human thought. Each subsiding century reveals some new mystery; we build where monsters used to hide themselves.

 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The extension of women's rights is the basic principle of all social progress.

 - Charles Fourier

Oliver Wendell HolmesI find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: to reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

 - Oliver Wendell Holmes

John F. KennedyIf this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.

 - John F. Kennedy

Dwight EisenhowerCrises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.

A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research--these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel. But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage--balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future.

Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

 - Dwight Eisenhower

John F. KennedyWe choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 - John F. Kennedy

Charles DarwinFalse facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, as everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.

 - Charles Darwin

Elon MuskTo our knowledge, life exists on only one planet, Earth. If something bad happens, it's gone. I think we should establish life on another planet -- Mars in particular -- but we're not making very good progress. SpaceX is intended to make that happen.

 - Elon Musk