Friday, July 19, 2024
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    Invention or discovery?

    We can agree that Isaac Newton didn’t invent gravity. It was here all along, but he gets some credit for naming it and describing it.

    And Columbus definitely didn’t discover North America. There had been people living here for tens of thousands of years before he arrived.

    After Niels Bohr began describing quantum mechanics, the atomic bomb became inevitable. The laws of physics combined with the game theory of competitive sovereign nations meant that sooner or later, it would be discovered.

    On the other hand, pizza, rap music and bean-to-bar chocolate are all inventions. The novelty, cultural insight and persistence it took to craft and share these ideas weren’t inevitable at all.

    Scientists mostly discover, engineers and artists invent.

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