Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they did't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.
If Jefferson, as smart and as well-read as he was, had illusions about the future, there is not much hope for the rest of us avoiding illusions about the future. But that is precisely the point of studying history. Before we become arrogant and condescending toward these people in the past, we should realize that we too live with illusions, only we don't know what they are. Perhaps every generation lives with illusions, different ones for each generation. And that is how history moves from one generation to another, exploding the previous generation's illusions and conjuring up its own.
Gordon S. Wood, Author of The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States
Rosalyn Rosenfeld, American Hustle
Nowhere does history indulge in repetitions so often or so uniformly as in Wall Street. When you read contemporary accounts of booms or panics, the one thing that strikes you most forcibly is how little either stock speculation or stock speculators today differ from yesterday. The game does not change and neither does human nature.
Edmin Lefevre, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (1923)
John Kenneth Galbraith
Leonardo da Vinci
Robert Arnott and Robert Lovell Jr