Line Of Thought Quotes (2 quotes)
Geometric writings are not rare in which one would seek in vain for an idea at all novel, for a result which sooner or later might be of service, for anything in fact which might be destined to survive in the science; and one finds instead treatises on trivial problems or investigations on special forms which have absolutely no use, no importance, which have their origin not in the science itself but in the caprice of the author; or one finds applications of known methods which have already been made thousands of times; or generalizations from known results which are so easily made that the knowledge of the latter suffices to give at once the former. Now such work is not merely useless; it is actually harmful because it produces a real incumbrance in the science and an embarrassment for the more serious investigators; and because often it crowds out certain lines of thought which might well have deserved to be studied.
Once we have contemplated a set of data, the mind tends to follow the same line of thought each time and therefore unprofitable lines of thought tend to be repeated. There are two aids to freeing our thought from this conditioning; to abandon the problem temporarily and to discuss it with another person, preferably someone not familiar with our work.