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If only I was born a couple hundred years earlier

  1. Oct 1, 2011 #1
    When I was in high school and first learned about the laws of thermodynamics, I independently postulated the heat death of the universe (of course I didn't know it was called that at the time).

    A few years later and I find out that some guys in the 1800s beat me to it.

    What do you think, should I go amend the wikipedia article to attribute co-creation of this idea to myself? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2011 #2
    Isn't that just intuition?
  4. Oct 1, 2011 #3
    I have the same problem. My ideas are good and original. Unfortunately the original ones aren't good and the good ones aren't original.
  5. Oct 1, 2011 #4
    I had an idea for a tooth brush with the toothpaste tube attached and you squeeze it and the toothpaste comes up through the bristles. Already done.

    I go through this in math sometimes. I do so wish I lived back before all the easy stuff was already invented/discovered.
  6. Oct 1, 2011 #5
    No, all you get is self-satisfaction, sorry.
  7. Oct 1, 2011 #6
    I gave up trying to invent stuff. Every idea I've ever had someone has either beat me to it or there was a serious flaw in my idea, enough to scrap the idea.

    That's not to say I haven't done a good job of coming up with quick and dirty mechanical solutions on the fly. I wouldn't call them inventions, though. Just quick, temporary fixes.

    I'm afraid if I'd been born 200 years earlier, I'd more than likely have spent most of that life staring at the back end of a plow horse.
  8. Oct 1, 2011 #7
    the problem is, once the underlying discoveries are made, the implications are often obvious. i think this is why you so often get simultaneous discoveries of the same science independently. those independents have access to the same knowledge base, and the results are obvious to both.

    the answer was actually handed to you, in a nice tidy package.
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