Lincoln on the cult of “success” in publishing

Men are greedy to publish the successes of [their] efforts, but meanly shy as to publishing the failures of man. Men are ruined by this one-sided practice of concealment of blunders and failures. Abraham Lincoln (Burlingame, M. (2008). Abraham Lincoln: A Life. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP)

This statement sums up a lot about the failings of the scholarly literature and of the state of humankind’s recorded knowledge, in general.

Found as an epigraph to the Introduction (p. 1) of Trial & Error in Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from Failures by G. Berman and Aubrey Fox. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press, c2010. Cited as in Burlingame, 1977, p. 358) I actually wrote this down a couple years ago now and finally am adding it here as was always meant.