168. "Critical judgment of work in any given field has little value unless it comes from someone who is an expert in that field."
1. With respect to the social sciences, the social world presents a seamless web of not only anthropogenic but also physical forces, which interact in ways that can be understood only in the context of a variety of disciplines.
2. In contrast, the work of researchers in the purely physical sciences can be judged only by their peers.
175. "It is always an individual who is the impetus for innovation; the details may be worked out by a team, but true innovation results from the enterprise and unique perception of an individual."
1. With respect to business innovation, I agree that it is the vision and commitment of key individuals—such as a firm’s founder or chief executive—from which business burgeon and innovative products, services, and marketing and management strategies emerge.
2. Nevertheless, teamwork and individual enterprise are not necessarily inconsistent, as the speaker would have us believe.
182. "It is dangerous to trust only intelligence."
Intelligence is sufficient in some cases but not in any case.
1. In scientific studies regarding the physical world, we should depend only on intelligence for discovering and testing truths.
2. However, in the realm of human affairs, we have to use both our intelligence and our hearts to solve problems.
184. "It is a grave mistake to theorize before one has data."
1. A theory conjured up without the benefit of data amounts to little more than the theorist’s hopes and desires—what he or she wants to be true and not be true.
2. By theorizing before collecting data the theorist also runs that risk of interpreting that data in a manner which makes it appear to lend more credence to the theory than it actually does.
186. "Practicality is now our great idol, which all powers and talents must serve. Anything that is not obviously practical has little value in today's world."
1. Practicality seems clearly to be the litmus test for education today.
2. Practicality also dictates what sort of art is produced today.
3. Practicality is also the overriding concern in contemporary politics.
4. On the other hand, the claim amounts to an overstatement when it comes to today’s scientific endeavors.
187. "It is easy to welcome innovation and accept new ideas. What most people find difficult, however, is accepting the way these new ideas are put into practice."
1. In areas of politics and law, new ideas are not often easily accepted.
2. Yet once society grows to accept these new ideas, it seems that it has an easier time accepting how they are put into practice.
3. In contrast, consider innovations in the natural sciences. It seems that we universally embrace any new technology in the name of progress. Of course there are always informed dissenters with legitimate concerns.
4. Yet the reasons why these dissenters oppose certain innovations have to do with their potential applications and uses, not with the innovations themselves.
188. "Success, whether academic or professional, involves an ability to survive in a new environment and, eventually, to change it."
1. Regarding academic success, the speaker overstates the significance of environment.
2. Turning next to professional success, and considering the two traditional professions of law and medicine, the speaker’s claim unfairly overrates the ability to change one’s professional environment as a key ingredient of professional success.
3. In contrast, when it comes to certain other professions, such as business and scientific research, the speaker’s claim is far more compelling.