All progress is from the outrageous to the commonplace. Or quasi-existence proceeds from rape to the crooning of lullabies.
It’s been interesting to me to go over various long-established periodicals and note controversies between attempting positivists, and then intermediatistic issues. Bold, bad intruders of theories; ruffians with dishonorable intentions — the alarms of Science; her attempt to preserve that which is dearer than life itself — submission — then a fidelity like Mrs. Micawber’s. So many of these ruffians, or wandering comedians that were hated, or scorned, pitied, embraced, conventionalized.
There’s not a notion in this book that has a more frightful, or ridiculous, mien than had the notion of human footprints in rocks, when that now respectabilized ruffian, or clown, was first heard from. It seems bewildering to one whose interests are not scientific that such rows should be raised over such trifles: but the feeling of a systematist toward such an intruder is just about what anyone’s would be if a tramp from the street should come in, sit at one’s dinner table, and say he belonged there.
We know what hypnosis can do: let him insist with all his might that he does belong there, and one begins to suspect that he may be right; that he may have higher perceptions of what’s right. The prohibitionists had this worked out very skillfully.
Charles Fort, The Book of The Damned.
i split it up a little.