Novelty

Where we cannot invent, we may at least improve; we may give somewhat of novelty to that which was old, condensation to that which was diffuse, perspicuity to that which was obscure, and currency to that which was recondite.

Only God and some few rare geniuses can keep forging ahead into novelty.

As those things which engage us merely by their novelty cannot attach us for any length of time, curiosity is the most superficial of all the affections.

The enormous influence of novelty - the way in which it quickens observation, sharpens sensation, and exalts sentiment - is not half enough taken note of by us, and is to me a very sorrowful matter. And yet, if we try to obtain perpetual change, change itself will become monotonous.

Our drive toward novelty is a tool of evolution and transcendence.

For the first time, the best may err, art may persuade and novelty spread out its charms. The first fault is the child of simplicity; but every other the offspring of guilt.

The young are slaves to novelty; the old to custom.

We have learned so well how to absorb novelty that receptivity itself has turned into a kind of tradition - "the tradition of the new." Yesterday's avant-garde experiment is today's chic and tomorrow's cliché.

Sexual boredom, that predator of marriages, is generally ascribed to overfamiliarity; but I think it mighty more aptly be blamed on the lack or failure of true intimacy... Sex thrives on the dynamics between novelty and intimacy... What is inalienably shared... for brief encounters, in which little is genuinely discovered or given, tend to emphasize people’s sameness rather than their individuality, and hence to obliterate the novelty that is sought. Intimacy, which demands time and trust, is available almost exclusively through marriage and long friendship.

The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity. The believing man is the original man; whatsoever he believes, he believes it for himself, not for another.

Wonder at the first sign of works of art may be the effect of ignorance and novelty; but real admiration and permanent delight in them are the growth of taste and knowledge.

If nonsatiety were the natural state of human nature then aggressive want-stimulating advertising would not be necessary, nor would the barrage of novelty aimed at promoting dissatisfaction with last year's model. The system attempts to remake people to fit its own presuppositions. If people's wants are not naturally insatiable we must make them so, in order to keep the system going.

Diversity of stimulation means novelty, and novelty means challenge to thought. The more activity is restricted to a few definite lines-as it is when there are rigid class lines preventing adequate interplay of experiences-the more action tends to become routine on the part of the class at a disadvantage, and capricious, aimless, and explosive on the part of the class having the materially fortunate position.

In any evolutionary process, even in the arts, the search for novelty becomes corrupting.

The great novelty of the American Constitution was that it imposed checks on the representatives of the people.

The major source of evolutionary novelty is the acquisition of symbionts - the whole thing then edited by natural selection. It is never just the accumulation of mutations.

The paradoxes of today are the prejudices of tomorrow, since the most benighted and the most deplorable prejudices have had their moment of novelty when fashion lent them its fragile grace.

It has been four years since I commenced this life of solitude, living in the maid's room and cooking for myself. At first there was a certain novelty in the arrangement. Then, toward the end of last year, the ways of the military government began to grow more arbitrary, and there came a change in the world; and somehow the drab and inconvenient life of the bachelor has come to seem so appropriate to the moods of the days that I would not now find it easy to change. Indeed, my feelings and thoughts are quite beyond description when, on an evening of a sudden autumn rain, I drag my sandals along the cliff, taking care that the frayed thong does not break, and buy onions and radishes in Tanimachi. I am quite drunk with the melancholy poetry of it all. However malicious and arbitrary may be the ways of the government, it cannot keep one's fancies from running free. There will be freedom while there is life.

I have no doubt that certain learned men, now that the novelty of the hypotheses in this work has been widely reported—for it establishes that the Earth moves, and indeed that the Sun is motionless in the middle of the universe—are extremely shocked, and think that the scholarly disciplines, rightly established once and for all, should not be upset. But if they are willing to judge the matter thoroughly, they will find that the author of this work has committed nothing which deserves censure. For it is proper for an astronomer to establish a record of the motions of the heavens with diligent and skilful observations, and then to think out and construct laws for them, or rather hypotheses, whatever their nature may be, since the true laws cannot be reached by the use of reason; and from those assumptions the motions can be correctly calculated, both for the future and for the past. Our author has shown himself outstandingly skilful in both these respects. Nor is it necessary that these hypotheses should be true, nor indeed even probable, but it is sufficient if they merely produce calculations which agree with the observations... For it is clear enough that this subject is completely and simply ignorant of the laws which produce apparently irregular motions. And if it does work out any laws—as certainly it does work out very many—it does not do so in any way with the aim of persuading anyone that they are valid, but only to provide a correct basis for calculation. Since different hypotheses are sometimes available to explain one and the same motion (for instance eccentricity or an epicycle for the motion of the Sun) an astronomer will prefer to seize on the one which is easiest to grasp; a philosopher will perhaps look more for probability; but neither will grasp or convey anything certain, unless it has been divinely revealed to him. Let us therefore allow these new hypotheses also to become known beside the older, which are no more probable, especially since they are remarkable and easy; and let them bring with them the vast treasury of highly learned observations. And let no one expect from astronomy, as far as hypotheses are concerned, anything certain, since it cannot produce any such thing, in case if he seizes on things constructed for another other purpose as true, he departs from this discipline more foolish than he came to it.

No mistake is more to be deplored than the conception that a system of morals and religion should derive any portion of its authority either from the circumstance of its novelty or its antiquity, that it should be judged excellent, not because it is reasonable or true, but because no person has ever thought of it before, or because it has been thought of from the beginning of time.