Daniel Lemire's blog

, 2 min read

We never invent anything new, yet progress is made!

3 thoughts on “We never invent anything new, yet progress is made!”

  1. Steve Sorden says:

    I found your implications for researchers especially useful for those of us thinking about design-based research projects. It’s too easy to just “innovate” in isolation and test with isolated groups.

    But one of the purposes of design-based research is to create useful prototypes rather than impractical frameworks or ideas. Your two implications are useful and concise reminders of how to go about achieving this objective.

  2. Fred Morain-Nicolier says:

    I agree with except on one point. Sometimes (rarely) a significant breakthrough is acheived by someone who really invent someting. Some examples :

    – Copernic and geocentrism give up,
    – Darwin and evolution theory,
    – …

    Sure that these breakthroughs have been possible by previous incremental progress. Citing Thomas Khun, science progress is discontinuous by nature. It is more rupture than accumulation.

  3. Hamid Haidarian says:

    The following sentence seems to be pretty much on the spot:
    Even if I invent something recognized as drastically novel, I am sure someone will say “oh! but we did that 20 years ago.”

    I guess, novel ideas often present some known fact, in a new context.

    I find some of your posts to be quite interesting.