Columbus report of another continent helped to create a widespread state of mind in which things are discovered. An epidemic of bold optimism and imagination ensued (at first primarily in Europe) Of course there was a downside---the Europeans got syphillis and the Aztecs and Incas got their civilization wiped out and so on---a long litany of woes. But the electric motor was invented. Get it? Columbus didnt just discover America he also invented the electric motor. You and I benefit because after supper we dont have to do the dishes---the electric motor does them. A lot of repetitive drudgery is taken care of that way. So we should be thankful for this and have some respect for the bold optimism and determination that causes discovery. It isnt just finding something, it is reporting. We shouldnt celebrate that he sighted one of the Bahamas in October 1492. We should observe the date March 9 which was when, the next year, he was received by the King of Portugal soon after making safe harbor in the Tagus. What matters is reporting back. If the Chinese had had some guy sail across the Pacific and discover San Francisco and come back and tell them about it, then they probably would have gotten so excited they would have invented the steam engine and had the Industrial Revolution in 1350. Then they would have invented the electric motor and by 1450 they would have all had dishwashers. But the Chinese did not have a Columbus experience, as it happens, when technically they could have rather early on. Actually it was Benjamin Franklin who built the first electric motor and he used it to turn a chicken. Roasting a chicken could be very tedious because you had to keep turning the spit. So he connected a chemical battery to his electric motor and made it turn the chicken. That lunatic optimism comes straight from Columbus and it is why you have a dishwasher. So be thankful. This thread is in Social Sciences forum. That is where it belongs because it is about the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution is very important and people dont understand it well enough. They think it has to do with intelligence. Either the IQ of a gifted few or the educability of the masses or whatever. It doesnt. it has to do with imagining that you can do something and being willing to try. Columbus helped to ignite this, initially of course in Europe but eventually for everybody anywhere who joined in the scientific and technological quest.