Challenge #02315-F125: Lightning Bottles
"Because it's people like us who do the strange stuff who think up all the technology you take for granted." -- C. M. Weller/InterNutter -- c/- Anon Guest
Anything invented before one turns ten is normal and everywhere and expected. That's what they say. Anything invented between the ages of twelve and forty is new and cool and interesting. After that, there is an increasing risk of it becoming strange and frightening and alien. Such is the theory put forward by Douglas Adams. A man who wrote quite a lot of strange fiction.
It's always the weird ones that come up with stuff like this. It took a strange kind of genius to be Nikola Tesla. It took an odd collective of odder people to come up with the different types of personal computer. For the allegedly normal, for the everyday sort, the way things always were is the way things always shall be. Normal people make incremental progress. They add clocks to extant technology, for instance.
It takes a peculiar kind of genius to invent the Gravity Drive. Equal parts advanced physics, peak engineering, and cargo cult... there is no such thing as mass manufactory of such a device. Miniaturisation, yes. Even remote activation of specific... call them 'receiver units'. Yet there is no such thing as a Gravity Drive that was made start to finish by automation. There certainly wasn't such in the conglomeration of experiments involving ten grams of the rarest of rare Earths, a peculiar amalgam called, in another man's notes, Unlikelium.
Unlikelium could, eventually, be smelted and created. Just... not during the invention of the Gravity Drive. It had to be found, a process that involved collating a lot of disparate and confounding data. It was a long process, and many would have protested the lengthy span of experimentation, of returning to failure after failure until, finally, there had been a success. No normal person would have ever gone through the years of frustration that Wen Min-Jun had undergone.
It took an even stranger form of genius to take up the methods he created and make a strange new faith combined with science out of it. The cultural atmosphere that birthed the Nae'hyn, who in turn birth the Gravity Drives that made a majority of Human space travel possible.
One being's science is another's unfathomable messing about.
One being's waste of time is another's irresistible fascination.
One person's weirdo... could easily be the next generation's mis-understood genius who was generations ahead of their time. All they have to do is keep thinking around strange corners.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / focalpoint]
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