I've argued in the past that resolution isn't necessarily a mandatory quality that fine art photographs need to have. There are plenty of great photographs that have low resolution. The toy-camera subgenre makes a virtue of it. In fact, at the turn of the last century, there was a whole style built in part on a lack of resolution— pictorialism. Photographers back then paid good money for the best fuzzy lenses.
One thing I've never disagreed with, however, is that there are some forms of photography that require the highest resolution. Satellite photography is the highest resolution photography of which I'm aware. Surveillance photography is usually put forward as another example—if you're taking a picture at night over a long distance and you want a car's license plate to be readable, you get no points for artistic blur. Those interested in the subject of high resolution photography should seek out John B. Williams' excellent 1990 Focal Press book on the subject, Image Clarity: High Resolution Photography. (Fun fact from that book: the best tripod isn't always a total cure for vibration, because, as surveyors are well aware, the ground itself is often vibrating, and not just on city streets where you can feel it, either.)
Another example of a situation in which low resolution is anathema? Look no further than the humble eBay auction.
I've never been able to confirm this, of course, but I strongly suspect that some sellers use blurry pictures of items for sale on purpose. When fine detail is obliterated, the brain tends to interpolate a detailed image, but anomalous detail is elided, and salesmanship segues into scam. I'm especially suspicious of sellers who claim to be professional photographers, or even just imply that they're experts, but whose pictures look awful. Any half-competent amateur should be able to manage a decent product shot. Just as suspicious are sellers whose sales run into the tens of thousands, but who have egregious motion blur in their auction pictures—all those sales, and they somehow can't manage to procure a half-decent tripod?
Anyway, it's good to remember: You really do have a tendency to assume clean surfaces and crisp edges from a blurred picture, but fine detail that would show imperfections really is hidden by that blur. On eBay, blurry pictures = Buyer Beware!
Featured Comment by Jon Fitch: "I've got a better one than ground vibrations. Permafrost. I was surveying once when the ground temperature was around 20°F and the air temperature was about 40°F. The tripod and instrument kept getting out of balance every couple of minutes. It drove me crazy. I finally figured out that the steel tips of the tripod were transmitting heat into the frozen ground, melting it around my tripod and sinking everything into the ground. I gave up and went home at that point."