The best hope of raising our own standards lies in the progressive expansion of production both here and abroad and making sure that the gains of increased productivity are, in fact, applied to social advance.
The fact that slaughter is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.
Facts, when combined with ideas, constitute the greatest force in the world. They are greater than armaments, greater than finance, greater than science, business and law because they constitute the common denominator of all of them.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
It seems to me that the thing that makes the theater worthwhile is the fact that it attracts so many people with ideas who are constantly trying to share them with the public. Real art is illumination. It gives a man an idea he never had before or lights up ideas that were formless or only lurking in the shadows of his mind. It adds stature to life.
Mathematicians have long since regarded it as demeaning to work on problems related to elementary geometry in two or three dimensions, in spite of the fact that it it precisely this sort of mathematics which is of practical value.