Cell phones, ipods, GPS, the Internet, computers, telescopes, microscopes, and even Federal Express envelopes. Our technological gadgets have certainly made life a lot easier for most of us. In the last 100 years mankind has harnessed electricity the likes of which no one before him had ever dreamed. We can do little but stand back and marvel. We marvel even more when we discover how simple the devices are. Most of these technologies are offshoots of one basic discovery – digital processing using zeroes and ones, or “on and off” switches, that operate at lightning speed. Once you discover the core principle you can modify it in multitudinous ways. It is similar to discovering a theme in music. Beethoven, after agonizing for thirty years, finally found the basic 15-note musical structure for his ninth symphony. It was then just a matter of applying and reapplying that theme in a dozen different ways to give us his beautiful melody. Applying the themes is easy; finding the themes is difficult. It is a combination of inspiration and imagination that no one can quite put his finger on as to where it originates in the human mind.
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