Why Do We Pay Pure Mathematicians? Or, the Many Uses of Uselessness. http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2015/02/24/why-do-we-pay-mathematicians/
"take any random paper written by an early 20th-century logician, and you could call it similarly pointless. If you eliminated that paper from the timeline, the Jenga tower of our intellectual history would remain perfectly upright. That doesn’t make those papers worthless, because research isn’t a collection of separable monologues. It’s a dialogue."