Charles Kettering

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A problem thoroughly understood is always fairly simple. Found your opinions on facts, not prejudices. We know too many things that are not true.

Charles Franklin Kettering (29 August 1876 - 24 or 25 November 1958) was an American inventor and social philosopher.

Quotes[edit]

  • You know, you read about the future. You can't help that. I don't look upon the future. I am not a politician. I am not worried about the future at all. I don't like to run it down. I don't like to think of it being too dark because I expect to spend all the rest of my life there and I don't want to have a nasty end to it.
    • "Mr. Kettering's Talk", News and Views, General Motors Acceptance Corporation, General Exchange Insurance Corporation, Motors Insurance Corporation, 1936, p. 46
    • Variants:
      • I object to people running down the future. I am going to live all the rest of my life there, and I would like it to be a nice place, polished, bright, glistening, and glorious.
        • Quoted in Professional Amateur: The Biography of Charles Franklin Kettering, by T. A. Boyd 1957, pp. 3–4 (Internet Archive, Google Books)
      • My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.
  • The whole fun of living is trying to make something better.
    • As quoted in Dynamic Work Simplification (1971) by W. Clements Zinck, p. 12
  • A problem thoroughly understood is always fairly simple. Found your opinions on facts, not prejudices. We know too many things that are not true.
    • As quoted in Dynamic Work Simplification (1971) by W. Clements Zinck, p. 122
  • The key to economic prosperity is the organized creation of dissatisfaction.
  • You are always too late with a development if you are so slow that people demand it before you yourself recognize it. The research department should have foreseen what was necessary and had it ready to a point where people never knew they wanted it until it was made available to them.
    • As quoted in Scientific American (August 1934) p. 243
  • Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it takes years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull.
    • As quoted in Boss Ket (1961) by Rosamond McPherson Young p. 194
  • We think we are smart because we have been flying for about sixty years. Birds and bees and butterflies have been flying for hundreds of thousands of years.
    • as quoted in Boss Ket (1961) by Rosamond McPherson Young p. 194

References[edit]

  • Professional Amateur: The Biography Of Charles Franklin Kettering, Thomas Alvin Boyd, 1957 (Internet Archive)
  • Prophet of progress: selections from the speeches of Charles F. Kettering, editor Thomas Alvin Boyd, 1961
  • More Tales of Boss Ket: An Informal and Unpublished Sequel to the Book, "Professional Amateur, the Biography of Charles Franklin Kettering", Thomas Alvin Boyd, 1969

External links[edit]

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