The Coincidence of Invention

All of the musical instruments used in Mozart’s symphonies were invented before he was born, or at least before he started composing.

For decades, it seems, all of the world’s most accomplished physicists attempted to launch rockets. We have all seen the old, grainy footage of a tall rocket wobbling, gaining a few feet of altitude, before tipping to the side and exploding. We should consider that those were likely the best minds of that time, trying to achieve lift off and failing.

The tape measure was invented by a clothing designer. Just think of how many masters of carpentry and construction toiled with yard sticks, or whatever the hell they used before some clothing designer thought of the tape measure, with its sturdiness and recoiling action. Any rugged carpenter or contractor that arrived after the invention of the tape measure accomplished more and better work because of the spark in the head of delicate designer.

Any astrophysicist or rocket scientist that came after the cracking of the code needed for lift off never had to go back and figure out that first, once nearly impossible step.

There seems to be a great coincidence when it comes to the technology we enjoy. Agriculture made it possible for people to live in one place. Industrialization brought everyone closer together. The automobile made sprawl possible, which made communications necessary. Eventually we were going to combine the two into cell phones in automobiles. This all built up and made the personal computer needed to share even more data. All of these inventions were not possible without the trail of ideas that came before them.

Today, none of us that use the Internet to do our work could begin to explain the code behind the packets of information sent and received. I could not even explain half of the WordPress functions that I utilize to build websites in my business. If I was working at a time when WordPress was not developed, I would be screwed. Mozart (probably) did not know how the violin was constructed. He just knew how to weave its sound into the highs-and-lows of the oboe and percussion instruments.

Today, every person and small business has the same platforms available to them that the multi-national corporations have. Text, Tweet, Post, Blog, Video, open-source software – if we are not taking advantage of the appropriate tools, we are trying to re-learn how to launch the rocket.