Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The jobholders and the enthusiasts

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George Sarton

There are two kinds of people in the world, whom we might dub the jobholders and the enthusiasts. The term jobholder is not derogatory; there are good jobholders and bad ones, and they are found at every social level from top to bottom. The majority of the kings and emperors were jobholders and so were many of the popes…Most of the creators in the field of art and religion, and many of them in the field of science, were enthusiasts.

Now economic conditions may deeply affect the jobs and the jobholders, but they make little impression on the enthusiasts…The jobholders…keep things going with enough continuity and smoothness; they are the builders of usages and customs, the defenders of morality and justice…The enthusiasts…are the main instruments of change and progress; they are the real creators and troublemakers.

The enthusiasts are the salt of the earth, but man cannot live by salt alone.

George Sarton, A History of Science

Written by nevalalee

January 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

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