Einstein on crises

Below is a text by Einstein, which I got somewhere on the web. I like it because I have always considered that crises are opportunities to change directions. As Le Chatelier had observed, chemical systems tend to resist changes. While we are certainly complex chemical systems, humans are no exception: we just hate changes (e.g. climate change). Without crises, there is no opportunity to test innovations that have been lingering around for ages, no new ways of thinking and no new ways of doing things. Crises create systems that are more complex and possibly more stable than the parent system, be it biodiversity (Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis), democracy after the French revolution, or agriculture (see hard_times )

Here comes Einstein:

<<Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress.

Creativity is born from anguish, just like the day is born form the dark night. It’s in crisis that inventive is born, as well as discoveries, and big strategies. Who overcomes crisis, overcomes himself, without getting overcome. Who blames his failure to a crisis neglects his own talent, and is more respectful to problems than to solutions. Incompetence is the true crisis.

The greatest inconvenience of people and nations is the laziness with which they attempt to find the solutions to their problems. There’s no challenge without a crisis. Without challenges, life becomes a routine, a slow agony. There’s no merit without crisis. It’s in the crisis where we can show the very best in us. Without a crisis, any wind becomes a tender touch. To speak about a crisis is to promote it. Not to speak about it is to exalt conformism. Let us work hard instead.

Let us stop, once and for all, the menacing crisis that represents the tragedy of not being willing to overcome it.>>

If anyone knows the knows the exact source of the quote, be so kind and let me know.

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14 years ago

Je ne sais pas qui a dit : Ce n’est pas en essayant d’améliorer la bougie que l’on a inventé l’ampoule électrique. Il y a des gens qui voient autre chose que l’évidence, c’est ça l’intelligence, crise ou pas crise ! La crise est un déclencheur de motivations. Ce sont les histoires de Jules Verne transposées dans le temps. jules Verne ne pouvait pas imaginer les fusées pour aller sur la lune, il a donc conçu un canon! C’est comme la série Cosmos 1999 (pour les personnes de ma génération). On imaginait le futur avec les connaissances des années 70. Dans la série Cosmos 1999 il n’y avait aucune trace de GSM ou d’internet. Les militaires inventent des tas de choses ( à coups de milliards) parce qu’ils sont paranoïaques, imaginant toutes les crises possibles. Quand l’intelligence et la crise se rencontrent, la face du monde change, en bien ou en mal.

7 years ago

According to this web site http://www.campera-es.com/company, the quote is from “The World As I See It” (1949)