Again in More Intelligent Life, I found an article that debated which year was the most important in history, and what metrics should be used to determine its importance. These particular lines stood out:
Another approach is to say that since mankind is driven by ideas we should be looking for intellectual turning points. This is to assert the primacy of cause over mere events.
I was reminded of this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
The paragraph in the article ends thus:
The trouble is that few great ideas have a single source. We have had a lot of fun with the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “Origin”, but 1859 wasn’t his eureka year.
Again something that somehow stood out when I read it. Game Theory is one of those ideas that have multiple sources: if you look at its provenance, you will see a range of people who contributed to it becoming what we know it as today. I wonder how many ideas are truly original – an argument for the rise of remix culture.