Flexner on his version of collective intelligence

Another quote from Abraham Flexner’s “The Usefulness of Useful Knowledge“, the kernel for my earlier post today:

….Thus it becomes obvious that one must be wary in attributing scientific discovery wholly to any one person. Almost every discovery has a long and precarious history. Someone finds a bit here, another a bit there. A third step succeeds later and thus onward till a genius pieces the bits together and makes the decisive contribution.

Science, like the Mississippi, begins in a tiny rivulet in the distant forest. Gradually other streams swell its volume. And the roaring river that bursts the dikes is formed from countless sources.

Sounds a bit like Doc’s snowballs, doesn’t it? And not a patent in sight.

Let me know what you think

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