The practical mind, the unsentimental mind--the railroad mind,
it may be called, perhaps. It has large abilities, but no imagination. It is
always winter there. No, not just that--call it about the first week of November:
no snow, only threats; cloudy, occasional drizzles, occasional wandering fogs
drifting along; all aspects a little doubtful, suspicious, counseling wariness,
watchfulness; temperature not vicious, not frosty, only chilly; average, about
45 F. It is the kind of mind that does not invent things itself, and does not
risk money and worry on the development of another man's invention, and will
not believe in its value until other people's money and labor have proved it;
but it has been watching, all the time, and it steps promptly forward, then,
and is the first to get in on the ground floor and help rake in the profits.
It takes nothing on trust, you can't get it to invest in a dream at any discount,
nor believe in it; but if you notice you will find that it is always present
when the dream comes true--and has a mortgage on it, too.
- "Three Thousand Years among the Microbes"
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