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Anachronistic Modes of Measurement – “On Youthful Cynicism” – Bertrand Russell

November 11th, 2010 · No Comments · Culture, History, Poetry, Quotes

Progress: This is a nineteenth-century ideal which has too much Babbitt about it for the sophisticated youth. Measurable progress is necessarily in unimportant things, such as the number of motor-cars made, or the number of peanuts consumed. The really important things are not measurable and are therefore not suitable for the methods of the booster. Moreover, many modern inventions tend to make people silly. I might instance the radio, the talkies, and poison gas. Shakespeare measured the excellence of an age by its style in poetry (see Sonnet XXXII), but this mode of measurement is out of date.

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