The Artful Rodgers

“In the late 19th century, Paris had a major problem with its sewage system. London, brimming with civil engineers and town planners—the product of the Industrial Revolution—teemed as Paris did but had designed and installed an incredibly effective sewage system. So Paris sought help, and a British civil engineer was sent over. A few weeks later, he presented his plans to a committee of French bureaucrats. ‘It’s a little bit rough and ready,’ he said. ‘but it’ll work in practice.’ At which the senior French bureaucrat stood up, drew himself to his full height, and said, ‘I don’t care if it works in practice. Does it work in theory?’ The French have always loved intellectualism and the pursuit of the abstract, trusting theory beyond all else.” 8by8 – Jonathan Wilson

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