Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/493

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schools is not the real, genuine, unadulterated article, and it would be a dishonest teacher who would put forth any such claim. It is impossible to foresee, as we have said, all the necessities that arise, and are likely to arise, in the course of business experience, and they absolutely require, when they obtrude upon the regular course, the judgment of a mind that has been accustomed to coping with difficult situations where a failure to devise a remedy at once meant an utter failure of the entire work.

But one of these qualifications must, in the order of things, precede the other, and we are confronted with the question, Which shall it be?

Theory—that is, the comprehension and understanding of whatsoever we undertake—is the foundation upon which practice may build; theory will necessarily acquire the mechanical ability to put its ideas into shape by a reasonable amount of practice; but practice, though it be of years, does not by any means guarantee theoretical or even an intellectual appreciation of the results that labor accomplishes, and without this what can be expected from the mechanic? We certainly should not ask for improvements from a man who does not understand the foundation principles of the mechanical part of his work. Starting with a fairly good technical or theoretical education, one grapples with the problems of business more intelligently and, in most cases, more successfully. If one chance to become an employer, he can utilize the practice of his employes to demonstrate his theories, and often will this theorizing, and the thoughts created by an early technical education, suggest means for lightening, simplifying, and improving the labor that practice had failed to find an opportunity of modifying.



LIFE is a sun-child; and nearly all species of plants and animals attain the highest forms of their development in the neighborhood of the equator. Palm-trees are tropical grasses. The python-boa is a fully developed black-snake; the tiger an undiminished wild-cat. With every degree of a higher latitude, Nature issues the representatives of her arch-types in reduced editions—reduced in beauty and longevity, as well as in size and strength.

The human animal, however, seems to form an exception to that general rule. For the last two thousand years, nine out of ten international wars ended with the victory of northern nations over their southern neighbors. The hegemony of commerce and superior civili-