Every so often, people and organizations mistakenly become so self-satisfied that they stumble into assuming their own infallibility, often accompanied by smug statements. Inevitably, events turn these boasts to dust.

Here are a just few examples that should raise a chuckle or two. Charles Duell, then-head of the U.S. Patent Office, remarked in 1898 that, "Everything that can be invented has been invented." Harry Warner, a successful producer of silent movies, responded incredulously to a new idea in 1927 by saying, "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" Another case where satisfaction with the status quo turned out to be off base is Tris Speaker's 1921 wise judgment that, "Babe Ruth made a big mistake when he gave up pitching."

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