You see, man is stupid, phenomenally stupid. Man has always, and everywhere, loved to act as he wants and not in the least as his reason and personal advantage dictates. Even if it were proven to him by the natural sciences and mathematically, he would still not come to his senses, and would do something deliberately to contradict it, simply out of ingratitude, just in order to assert himself.
Let us suppose that man does nothing but search for this “twice two’s four”, he crosses oceans, he sacrifices his life in the quest, but to find it, to really find it – good god, he’s somehow afraid. You see, he feels that when he finds it, there won’t be anything left to look for.
At least when workmen finish their work, they receive money, go down to the tavern and end up at the police station – that keeps them busy for the week.*
*From Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground