R. G. Collingwood, from The Idea of History:
For a man about to act, the situation is his master, his oracle, his god. Whether his action is to prove successful or not depends on whether he grasps the situation rightly or not. If he is a wise man, it is not until he has consulted his oracle, done everything in his power to find out what the situation was, that he will make even the most trivial plan. And if he neglects the situation, the situation will not neglect him. It is not one of those gods that leaves an insult unpunished.
revs take note