The obscure things, the details and disputed points, the great scholar can always see and note better than we can. It is the obvious things that he cannot see. I do not say this in mere depreciation; I think it is really inseparable from that concentrated research to which the world owes so much. It is the truth in the traditional picture of the absent-minded professor, who remains gazing at a fossil or a Roman coin and fails to observe external objects, such as a house on fire, a revolution, an escaped elephant putting its head through the skylight, and similar things....it is precisely because I am so much less learned than he that it is my privilege to lead him through common ways, pointing out elephants and other enormous objects.
-The Superstition of the Sceptic (1925)
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