Friday, July 01, 2005

The Debate of a Group of Savages

"In some ways it was like the debate of a group of savages as to how to extract a screw from a piece of wood. Accustomed only to nails, they had made one effort to pull out the screw by main force, and now that it had failed they were devising methods of applying more force still, of obtaining more efficient pincers, of using levers and fulcrum so that more men could bring their strength to bear. They could hardly be blamed for not guessing that by rotating the screw it would come out after the exertion of far less effort; it would be so different that they would laugh at the man who suggested it."

C.S. Forester, The General (Annapolis, MD: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America Inc., 1982), 195-96.