Roger Riis's Quotes

Cosmic Order

I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the “law of error”. A savage, if he could understand it, would worship it as a god. It reigns with severity in complete self-effacement amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob and the greater the anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. Let a large sample of chaotic elements be taken and marshalled in order of their magnitudes, and then, however wildly irregular they appeared, an unexpected and most beautiful form of regularity proves to have been present all along.

— Attributed to Sir Francis Galton

From: Pearson, K., Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton

Mankind's Motivation

Man will only continue to work and to research so long as he is prompted by a passionate interest. Now this interest is entirely dependent on the conviction, strictly undemonstrable to science, that the universe has a direction and that it could—indeed, if we are faithful, it should -- result in some sort of irreversible perfection. Hence comes belief in progress.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Phenomenon of Man


What experience and history teach is this - that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on the principles deduced from it.

— G.W.F. Hegel

Philosophy of History

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