“Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.” – Alfred North Whitehead, Introduction to Mathematics
I found this quote in a F. A. Hayek paper I read yesterday. Hayek uses this quote and continues Whitehead’s thoughts… “This is of profound significance in the social field. We make constant use of formulas, symbols, and rules whose meaning we do not understand and through the use of which we avail ourselves of the assistance of knowledge which individually we do not possess. We have developed these practices and institutions by building upon habits and institutions which have proved successful in their own sphere and which have in turn become the foundation of the civilization we have built up.” – F. A. Hayek, The Use of Knowledge in Society
How lucky we are to live in such a world.