The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition.—"Life without Principle"
We do not learn by inference and deduction, and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy.
We have heard of a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. It is said that knowledge is power, and the like. Methinks there is equal need of a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Ignorance, what we will call Beautiful Knowledge, a knowledge useful in a higher sense: for what is most of our boasted so-called knowledge but a conceit that we know something, which robs us of the advantage of our actual ignorance? What we call knowledge is often our positive ignorance; ignorance our negative knowledge.—"Walking"
Wealth, no less than knowledge, is power.—Journal, 25 January 1841
What news! How much more important to know what that is which was never old!—Walden
Which would have advanced the most at the end of a month,—the boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this,—or the boy who had attended the lectures on metallurgy at the Institute in the mean while, and had received a Rodgers’ penknife from his father?—Walden