Patents Related Quotes

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Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.
Stanley Milgram (Obedience to Authority)
I can explain nothing to you unless I first draw your attention to patent inadequacies in your knowledge; discontinuities in the relations between objects, or the presence of anomalies you cannot account for by any of the laws known to you. You will remain deaf to my explanations until you suspect yourself of falsehood.
James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility)
Einstein didn't invent the theory of relativity while he was multitasking at the Swiss patent office." quoting, David Meyer, a cognitive scientist at the University of Michigan
Winifred Gallagher (Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life)
Vimes, listening with his mouth open, wondered why the hell it was that dwarfs believed that they had no religion and no priests. Being a dwarf was a religion. People went into the dark for the good of the clan, and heard things, and were changed, and came back to tell… And then, fifty years ago, a dwarf tinkering in Ankh-Morpork had found that if you put a simple fine mesh over your lantern flame it'd burn blue in the presence of the gas but wouldn't explode. It was a discovery of immense value to the good of dwarfkind and, as so often happens with such discoveries, almost immediately led to a war. "And afterwards there were two kinds of dwarf," said Cheery sadly. "There's the Copperheads, who all use the lamp and the patent gas exploder, and the Schmaltzbergers, who stick to the old ways. Of course we're all dwarfs," she said, "but relations are strained.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
Gene patents are the point of greatest concern in the debate over ownership of human biological materials, and how that ownership might interfere with science. As of 2005—the most recent year figures were available—the U.S. government had issued patents relating to the use of about 20 percent of known human genes, including genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, colon cancer, and, most famously, breast cancer. This means pharmaceutical companies, scientists, and universities control what research can be done on those genes, and how much resulting therapies and diagnostic tests will cost. And some enforce their patents aggressively: Myriad Genetics, which holds the patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes responsible for most cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, charges $3,000 to test for the genes. Myriad has been accused of creating a monopoly, since no one else can offer the test, and researchers can’t develop cheaper tests or new therapies without getting permission from Myriad and paying steep licensing fees. Scientists who’ve gone ahead with research involving the breast-cancer genes without Myriad’s permission have found themselves on the receiving end of cease-and-desist letters and threats of litigation.
Rebecca Skloot
In the two years after No Logo came out, I went to dozens of teach-ins and conferences, some of them attended by thousands of people (tens of thousands in the case of the World Social Forum), that were exclusively devoted to popular education about the inner workings of global finance and trade. No topic was too arcane: the science of genetically modified foods, trade-related intellectual property rights, the fine print of bilateral trade deals, the patenting of seeds, the truth about certain carbon sinks. I sensed in these rooms a hunger for knowledge that I have never witnessed in any university class. It was as if people understood, all at once, that gathering this knowledge was crucial to the survival not just of democracy but of the planet. Yes, this was complicated, but we embraced that complexity because we were finally looking at systems, not just symbols.
Naomi Klein (No Logo)
Between 2008 and 2010, at least 261 patents were filed related to growing “climate-ready” crops—seeds supposedly able to withstand extreme weather conditions; of these patents close to 80 percent were controlled by six agribusiness giants, including Monsanto and Syngenta.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate)
Einstein, twenty-six years old, only three years away from crude privation, still a patent examiner, published in the Annalen der Physik in 1905 five papers on entirely different subjects. Three of them were among the greatest in the history of physics. One, very simple, gave the quantum explanation of the photoelectric effect—it was this work for which, sixteen years later, he was awarded the Nobel prize. Another dealt with the phenomenon of Brownian motion, the apparently erratic movement of tiny particles suspended in a liquid: Einstein showed that these movements satisfied a clear statistical law. This was like a conjuring trick, easy when explained: before it, decent scientists could still doubt the concrete existence of atoms and molecules: this paper was as near to a direct proof of their concreteness as a theoretician could give. The third paper was the special theory of relativity, which quietly amalgamated space, time, and matter into one fundamental unity. This last paper contains no references and quotes to authority. All of them are written in a style unlike any other theoretical physicist's. They contain very little mathematics. There is a good deal of verbal commentary. The conclusions, the bizarre conclusions, emerge as though with the greatest of ease: the reasoning is unbreakable. It looks as though he had reached the conclusions by pure thought, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others. To a surprisingly large extent, that is precisely what he had done.
C.P. Snow (Variety of Men)
Deception is the natural defence of the weak against the strong, and the South used it for many years against its conquerors; to-day it must be prepared to see its black proletariat turn that same two-edged weapon against itself. And how natural this is! The death of Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner proved long since to the Negro the present hopelessness of physical defence. Political defence is becoming less and less available, and economic defence is still only partially effective. But there is a patent defence at hand,—the defence of deception and flattery, of cajoling and lying. It is the same defence which peasants of the Middle Age used and which left its stamp on their character for centuries. To-day the young Negro of the South who would succeed cannot be frank and outspoken, honest and self-assertive, but rather he is daily tempted to be silent and wary, politic and sly; he must flatter and be pleasant, endure petty insults with a smile, shut his eyes to wrong; in too many cases he sees positive personal advantage in deception and lying. His real thoughts, his real aspirations, must be guarded in whispers; he must not criticise, he must not complain. Patience, humility, and adroitness must, in these growing black youth, replace impulse, manliness, and courage. With this sacrifice there is an economic opening, and perhaps peace and some prosperity. Without this there is riot, migration, or crime. Nor is this situation peculiar to the Southern United States, is it not rather the only method by which undeveloped races have gained the right to share modern culture? The price of culture is a Lie.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
Scientific progress is harder to measure than economic progress.32 But one mark of it is the number of patents produced, especially relative to the investment in research and development. If it has become cheaper to produce a new invention, this suggests that we are using our information wisely and are forging it into knowledge.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't)
This is a plot: I hope he will keep quiet while he looks at them. I dive under the table and push the chest against his patent leather shoes, I put an armload of post cards and photos on his lap: Spain and Spanish Morocco. But I see by his laughing, open look that I have been singularly mistaken in hoping to reduce him to silence. He glances over a view of San Sebastian from Monte Igueldo, sets it cautiously on the table and remains silent for an instant. Then he sighs: 'Ah, Monsieur, you're lucky ... if what they say is true-travel is the best school. Is that your opinion, Monsieur?' I make a vague gesture. Luckily he has not finished. 'It must be such an upheaval. If I were ever to go on a trip, I think I should make written notes of the slightest traits of my character before leaving, so that when I returned I would be able to compare what I was and what I had become. I've read that there are travellers who have changed physically and morally to such an extent that even their closest relatives did not recognize them when they came back.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Like many men who experience fatherhood relatively late in life, Martin Luther was a devoted parent. Luther wrote his children letters of touching intensity, patiently converting the joys of the Christian life into a language of storytelling fit for the very young. A home with children brought out the best in Luther in a way that theological disputation patently did not.
Andrew Pettegree (Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Monk Turned His Small Town into a Center of Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe—and Started the Protestant Reformation)
The importance of experimental proof, on the other hand, does not mean that without new experimental data we cannot make advances. It is often said that science takes steps forward only when there is new experimental data. If this were true, we would have little hope of finding the theory of quantum gravity before measuring something new, but this is patently not the case. Which new data were available to Copernicus? None. He had the same data as Ptolemy. Which new data did Newton have? Almost none. His real ingredients were Kepler's laws and Galileo's results. What new data did Einstein have to discover general relativity? None. His ingredients were special relativity and Newton's theory. It simply isn't true that physics only advances when it is afforded new data.
Carlo Rovelli (La realtà non è come ci appare: La struttura elementare delle cose)
was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of a sudden a thought occurred to me,” he recalled. “If a person falls freely, he will not feel his own weight.” That realization, which “startled” him, launched him on an arduous eight-year effort to generalize his special theory of relativity and “impelled me toward a theory of gravitation.”16 Later, he would grandly call it “the happiest* thought in my life.
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
In one letter, [Einstein] wrote despondently, "I am nothing but a burden to my relatives....It would surely be better if I did not live at all." He finally managed to get a job as a clerk, third class, at the patent office in Bern. It was humiliating but actually a blessing in disguise. In quiet of the patent office Einstein could return to the old question that had haunted him since he was a child. From there, he would launch a revolution that physics and the world upside down.
Michio Kaku (The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything)
Any vision of God places man before the necessity of self-determination in relation to Him. In essence our every action inevitably either approaches us to God or, on the contrary, distances us from Him. Hence, every venture is effected in what is termed divine fear. The soul fears not only deeds that are patently wrong but thoughts, too, that may grieve the Holy Spirit, Whom she has come to love. The distance between us and God is inexpressibly vast. We recognise we are unworthy of the Holy of holies. The hear grieves, wearied and oppressed to see herself so destitute. We do no understand immediately that this very phenomenon signals the start of an advance towards God.
Sophrony Sakharov (On Prayer)
To Einstein, this insight was monumental. Either Newton or Maxwell was correct. The other had to be wrong. But how could it be that you could never catch up to light? At the patent office, he had plenty of time to ponder this question. One day, in the spring of 1905, it struck him while riding the train in Bern. "A storm broke loose in my mind," he would recall. His brilliant insight was that since the speed of light is measured by clocks and metersticks, and since the speed of light is constant no matter how fast you move, space and time must be distorted in order to keep the speed of light constant! It meant that if you are on fast-moving spaceship, then clocks inside the ship beat slower than clocks on the Earth. Time slows down the faster you move--this phenomenon is described by Einstein's special relativity.
Michio Kaku (The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything)
Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that almost the entire first two sections of his relativity paper deal directly and in vivid practical detail (in a manner so different from the writings of, say, Lorentz and Maxwell) with the two real-world technological phenomena he knew best. He writes about the generation of “electric currents of the same magnitude” due to the “equality of relative motion” of coils and magnets, and the use of “a light signal” to make sure that “two clocks are synchronous.” As Einstein himself stated, his time in the patent office “stimulated me to see the physical ramifications of theoretical concepts.”51 And Alexander Moszkowski, who compiled a book in 1921 based on conversations with Einstein, noted that Einstein believed there was “a definite connection between the knowledge acquired at the patent office and the theoretical results.
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
By looking after his relatives' interests as he did, Napoleon furthermore displayed incredible weakness on the purely human level. When a man occupies such a position, he should eliminate all his family feeling. Napoleon, on the contrary, placed his brothers and sisters in posts of command, and retained them in these posts even after they'd given proofs of their incapability. All that was necessary was to throw out all these patently incompetent relatives. Instead of that, he wore himself out with sending his brothers and sisters, regularly every month, letters containing reprimands and warnings, urging them to do this and not to do that, thinking he could remedy their incompetence by promising them money, or by threatening not to give them any more. Such illogical behaviour can be explained only by the feeling Corsicans have for their families, a feeling in which they resemble the Scots. By thus giving expression to his family feeling, Napoleon introduced a disruptive principle into his life. Nepotism, in fact, is the most formidable protection imaginable : the protection of the ego. But wherever it has appeared in the life of a State—the monarchies are the best proof—it has resulted in weakening and decay. Reason : it puts an end to the principle of effort. In this respect, Frederick the Great showed himself superior to Napoleon—Frederick who, at the most difficult moments of his life, and when he had to take the hardest decisions, never forgot that things are called upon to endure. In similar cases, Napoleon capitulated. It's therefore obvious that, to bring his life's work to a successful conclusion, Frederick the Great could always rely on sturdier collaborators than Napoleon could. When Napoleon set the interests of his family clique above all, Frederick the Great looked around him for men, and, at need, trained them himself. Despite all Napoleon's genius, Frederick the Great was the most outstanding man of the eighteenth century. When seeking to find a solution for essential problems concerning the conduct of affairs of State, he refrained from all illogicality. It must be recognised that in this field his father, Frederick-William, that buffalo of a man, had given him a solid and complete training. Peter the Great, too, clearly saw the necessity for eliminating the family spirit from public life. In a letter to his son—a letter I was re-reading recently—he informs him very clearly of his intention to disinherit him and exclude him from the succession to the throne. It would be too lamentable, he writes, to set one day at the head of Russia a son who does not prepare himself for State affairs with the utmost energy, who does not harden his will and strengthen himself physically. Setting the best man at the head of the State—that's the most difficult problem in the world to solve.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
Simonton finds that on average, creative geniuses weren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality. “The odds of producing an influential or successful idea,” Simonton notes, are “a positive function of the total number of ideas generated.” Consider Shakespeare: we’re most familiar with a small number of his classics, forgetting that in the span of two decades, he produced 37 plays and 154 sonnets. Simonton tracked the popularity of Shakespeare’s plays, measuring how often they’re performed and how widely they’re praised by experts and critics. In the same five-year window that Shakespeare produced three of his five most popular works—Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello—he also churned out the comparatively average Timon of Athens and All’s Well That Ends Well, both of which rank among the worst of his plays and have been consistently slammed for unpolished prose and incomplete plot and character development. In every field, even the most eminent creators typically produce a large quantity of work that’s technically sound but considered unremarkable by experts and audiences. When the London Philharmonic Orchestra chose the 50 greatest pieces of classical music, the list included six pieces by Mozart, five by Beethoven, and three by Bach. To generate a handful of masterworks, Mozart composed more than 600 pieces before his death at thirty-five, Beethoven produced 650 in his lifetime, and Bach wrote over a thousand. In a study of over 15,000 classical music compositions, the more pieces a composer produced in a given five-year window, the greater the spike in the odds of a hit. Picasso’s oeuvre includes more than 1,800 paintings, 1,200 sculptures, 2,800 ceramics, and 12,000 drawings, not to mention prints, rugs, and tapestries—only a fraction of which have garnered acclaim. In poetry, when we recite Maya Angelou’s classic poem “Still I Rise,” we tend to forget that she wrote 165 others; we remember her moving memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and pay less attention to her other 6 autobiographies. In science, Einstein wrote papers on general and special relativity that transformed physics, but many of his 248 publications had minimal impact. If you want to be original, “the most important possible thing you could do,” says Ira Glass, the producer of This American Life and the podcast Serial, “is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.” Across fields, Simonton reports that the most prolific people not only have the highest originality; they also generate their most original output during the periods in which they produce the largest volume.* Between the ages of thirty and thirty-five, Edison pioneered the lightbulb, the phonograph, and the carbon telephone. But during that period, he filed well over one hundred patents for other inventions as diverse as stencil pens, a fruit preservation technique, and a way of using magnets to mine iron ore—and designed a creepy talking doll. “Those periods in which the most minor products appear tend to be the same periods in which the most major works appear,” Simonton notes. Edison’s “1,093 patents notwithstanding, the number of truly superlative creative achievements can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
The Eyes Of Einstein Albert, you who stood modestly On the shoulder of a giant and saw Worlds beyond Sir Issac's vanishing point, we want your eyes! Eyes that read the Braille of a scarified universe with relative ease, you, Herr Professor, are the seeing eye companion for the dim 20th Century. Atomic pacifist, what patent is there for your dual vision? What fair price for your inner eyewitness Testimony that God is not a gambling man And the curvature of our Space-Time continuum is a grave matter indeed? Your eyes are going to the block soon. I hope the Smithsonian waves the winning paddle So you may, at long last, rest your weary eyes Near the glass jar that contains your Cyclops brain.
Beryl Dov
Gene Patents Aren’t Benign and Never Will Be,” in which he claimed that people could die in the future from not being able to afford medical treatment as a result of medicines owned by patent holders of specific genes related to the genetic makeup of those persons. Former special counsel for President Richard Nixon, Charles Colson,
Thomas Horn (Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald The Dawn Of TechnoDimensional Spiritual Warfare)
It is important to come up with innovative approaches to incentivize COVID related innovation; the incentives offered by the IP system may not be enough
Kalyan C. Kankanala
The pathogenesis of otitis media in these individuals may be related to abnormal anatomy causing Eustachian tube dysfunction. Balance testing was abnormal, Eustachian tube function tests revealed dysfunction of tube. Surgery was performed to replace the obstructed tube with a patent one, and an adenoidectomy and bilateral inferior turbinate reduction to relieve the chronic nasal obstruction. Postoperatively balance testing was normal, Eustachian tube function remained dysfunctional, but she had complete resolution of her vertigo following the surgery.
Charles D. Bluestone (Eustachian Tube: Structure, Function, and Role in Middle-Ear Disease, 2e)
Article F: Alternobaric Vertigo and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Charles D. Bluestone, MD; J. Douglas Swarts, PhD; Joseph M. Furman, MD, PhD; Robert F. Yellon, MD. Case Report: Persistent Alternobaric Vertigo at Ground Level due to Chronic Toynbee phenomenon. Laryngoscope 2012;122(4):868–72. The term “alternobaric vertigo” was coined by Lundgren in 1965 to describe vertigo in deep-sea divers, but also referred to aircraft pilots in 1966. It occurs during ascent and rarely descent and is a result of asymmetrical middle-ear pressures. Classically the vertigo due to this pathogenesis is transient but may last for several minutes. It is frequently associated with nausea and vomiting. It has been reproduced in pressure chamber experiments with some divers and fliers, but has not been reported spontaneously at ground level (Figure F–1). FIGURE F–1. Alternobaric vertigo can occur during ascent in an airplane or when scuba diving. We encountered a 15-year-old female with bilateral tympanostomy tubes who manifested persistent severe vertigo, at ground level, secondary to a unilateral middle-ear pressure of +200 mm H2O elicited by an obstructed tympanostomy tube in the presence of chronic nasal obstruction. She had had long-term tubes placed due to recurrent and chronic otitis media. Physical examination revealed achondroplasia, which is an autosomal dominate disorder characterized by abnormal bone growth, short arms and legs, short stature and a large head, which is associated with otitis media. The pathogenesis of otitis media in these individuals may be related to abnormal anatomy causing Eustachian tube dysfunction. Balance testing was abnormal, Eustachian tube function tests revealed dysfunction of tube. Surgery was performed to replace the obstructed tube with a patent one, and an adenoidectomy and bilateral inferior turbinate reduction to relieve the chronic nasal obstruction. Postoperatively balance testing was normal, Eustachian tube function remained dysfunctional, but she had complete resolution of her vertigo following the surgery. FIGURE F–2. Pathogenesis of alternobaric vertigo due to the “Toynbee phenomenon” One tympanostomy was obstructed and when swallowing, she developed high positive pressure in the middle ear, but in the ear with a patent tube, the pressure did not remain in the middle ear. We believed this was a previously unreported scenario in which closed-nose swallowing insufflated air into her middle ears, resulting in sustained positive middle-ear pressure in the ear with the obstructed tube. Swallowing, when the nose is obstructed, can result in abnormal negative or positive pressures in the middle ear, which has been termed the “Toynbee phenomenon.” We concluded that in patients who have vertigo, consideration should be given to the possibility that nasal obstruction and the “Toynbee phenomenon” are involved (Figure F–2). CHAPTER 7 PATHOLOGY The pathology of the ET may or may not be involved in the pathogenesis of otitis media, whereas the
Charles D. Bluestone (Eustachian Tube: Structure, Function, and Role in Middle-Ear Disease, 2e)
Then, in his quiet way that always disarmed me, he said, “I missed you today.” I sighed again, this time because his sweet words chased the breath out of me. I grinned like a content cat—which didn’t make any sense, because no other animals but humans smile in order to demonstrate pleasure. I pressed my lips together to keep from relating this as a fact. Quinn’s gaze narrowed on mine. He must’ve perceived that I was suppressing a tangent, because he said, “Say it.” “What?” He lifted his eyebrows, dipped his chin, and issued me a very effective glare that said, You know what. I shook my head. “It’s nothing.” “Tell me.” “It’s completely unnecessary information.” “I want to know.” He dropped his voice nearly an octave and held me against him as though to emphasize his point. This only served to make me more deliciously agitated. “Quinn...” I whispered. I didn’t know why I whispered. “Janie, everything you say is fascinating.” He whispered too. “No, it’s not. And the fact that you think I’ll believe that you believe that I’ll believe a statement so patently false is somewhat concerning to me.” He took a moment to sort through the tangled web of my words before he responded. “I’m not really sure what that means. However, the fact that you think I’d say something patently false to you is very concerning to me.” We held each other’s eyes, a showdown of manufactured guilt. He won. “Fine. You want to know? I was just thinking that I was smiling like a contented cat, which troubled me as an analogy because no animals other than humans smile as a demonstration of pleasure. Some people think animals do, especially cats and dogs, but those people are mistaken. The mouth curve is incidental. Cats purr to demonstrate pleasure, and dogs wag their tails.
Penny Reid (The Neanderthal Box Set)
The argument is that we are influenced by historical research.” Michael Simpson glanced over at Sophie before continuing. “When one commences an education, to become say a physicist or a chemist in today’s society, one is automatically loaded up with all the accumulated knowledge of what is wrong and what is right. Many of the scientists thus have a very similar line of attack for new problems. And this colours our scientific progress. We advance, but only in small steps. True progress most often is made when some individual looks at a problem from a totally new angle, and that is hard when everybody has been through the same basic foundations. Take Albert Einstein. The revolutionary ideas he came up with weren’t the result of discussions with equal minded academics in the university hall. They were a result of Albert Einstein’s relentless pondering and single minded focus on theoretical abstractions, alone in a small crummy patent office in Switzerland, back in 1905. If Einstein at an early stage had discussed his ideas with colleagues at a university, there is a real danger he would have been set forth on a different line of thinking, and quite possibly we wouldn’t have the theory of relativity in the form we have it today.
Erik Hamre (The Last Alchemist)
Risk of patent infringement is relative, often wrapped and presented in absolute terms
Kalyan C. Kankanala (Fun IP, Fundamentals of Intellectual Property)
Before he could start writing Kilby’s application, though, Mosher had to resolve a fundamental tactical question. Anyone who applies for a patent has to decide whether he needs it for offensive or for defensive purposes—whether, to use lawyers’ favorite metaphor, he wants his patent to be a sword or a shield. The decision usually turns on the novelty of the invention. If somebody has a genuinely revolutionary idea, a breakthrough that his competitors are almost sure to copy, his lawyers will write a patent application they can use as a sword; they will describe the invention in such broad and encompassing terms that they can take it into court for an injunction against any competitor who tries to sell a product that is even remotely related. In contrast, an inventor whose idea is basically an extension of or an improvement on an earlier idea needs a patent application that will work as a shield—a defense against legal action by the sword wielders. Such a defensive patent is usually written in much narrower terms, emphasizing a specific improvement or a particular application of the idea that is not covered clearly in earlier patents. Probably the most famous sword in the history of the patent system was the sweeping application filed on February 14, 1876, by a teacher and part-time inventor named Alexander Graham Bell. That first telephone patent (No. 174,465) was so broad and inclusive that it became the cornerstone—after Bell and his partners had fought some 600 lawsuits against scores of competitors—of the largest corporate family in the world. In the nature of things, though, few inventions are so completely new that they don’t build on something from the past. The majority of patent applications, therefore, are written as shields—as improvements on some earlier invention. Some of the most important patents in American history fall into this category, including No. 586,193, “New and Useful Improvements in Transmitting Electrical Impulses,” granted to Guglielmo Marconi in 1898; No. 621,195, “Improvements in and Relating to Navigable Balloons,” granted to Ferdinand Zeppelin in 1899; No. 686,046, “New and Useful Improvements in Motor Carriages,” granted to Henry Ford in 1901; and No. 821,393, “New and Useful Improvements in Flying Machines,” granted to Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1906.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
As John Pierce later explained, “The laser is to ordinary light as a broadcast signal is to static.” Ordinary light radiates in a chaotic and scattershot manner. The laser does not. From the perspective of a communications engineer, it is coherent—meaning it is intense and ordered and nearly all one frequency, which are important qualities for carrying information. “In principle it makes it possible to do everything with light that one does with radio waves,” Pierce added. What’s more, the great advantage is that the “bandwidth” of such light—which is related to its capacity—“is hundreds or thousands of times greater than we now have.” The very title of the Townes and Schawlow patent suggested a clear direction.9 Bell Labs’ claim for the laser was that it was a new method for communication.
Jon Gertner (The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation)
company is making a lot of money. Second, and more important, it would take a lot of the focus off of our company, and considering what we’ll be doing behind the scenes, we don’t need a lot of attention. The fact that Wally has found a hidden basement to put his real R&D lab in means we are less likely to be exposed, but the last thing we need is a lot of reporters trying to learn our secrets, and even worse would be the problem of industrial espionage. If we make it clear that we will license the technology, there’s not really going to be any point in anyone trying to steal it from us.” Allison nodded. “Okay, I see your points. What about patents? All of the stuff is patentable, right?” “It is, and I’ve already worked with one of the best patent attorneys in the world to get them filed on a global basis. It cost almost two million dollars altogether, but our corporation now holds patents on these designs and functions in every country. That was actually a little tricky, because some of the other appliance manufacturers have been working on some similar devices for a while, but we found loopholes that let us claim many of the functions entirely as our own. We did have to refer to some prior art, so there will be a relatively small amount of royalties to pay out each year.” “As long as we are protected,” Allison said. “Now, fill me in on my job here. What am I supposed to be doing?” “As COO, your job is to oversee our business operations, which includes reporting back to Noah on any issues or developments. I’ll actually handle most of that for you, but I want to brief you at least a couple times a week on what’s happening with the business. That way, if you find yourself in a position of having to answer questions, you’ll know what to say.” Allison grinned and looked at Noah. “Sounds like you have it all figured out,” she said. “This is actually a brilliant idea, Noah. Setting up a business like this to cover activities is very smart. It will also give us a way to receive payments for our services.” “Payments?” Noah asked. “I set this up so that we wouldn’t have to worry about getting a budget from the government.” Allison’s eyebrows rose. “You don’t think we’re going to work for free, do you? Every time we handle a mission, there will be a payment of half a million dollars. That’s the deal I worked out with
David Archer (Noah Wolf Series #17-19 (Noah Wolf #17-19))
However, with improvements in medical knowledge will come new ethical conundrums. Ethicists and legal experts are already wrestling with the thorny issue of privacy as it relates to DNA. Would insurance companies be entitled to ask for our DNA scans and to raise premiums if they discover a genetic tendency to reckless behaviour? Would we be required to fax our DNA, rather than our CV, to potential employers? Could an employer favour a candidate because his DNA looks better? Or could we sue in such cases for ‘genetic discrimination’? Could a company that develops a new creature or a new organ register a patent on its DNA sequences? It is obvious that one can own a particular chicken, but can one own an entire species?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
One subset of this Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth – as it’s called, although these youths were also precocious in non-mathematical areas – were the best of the best: their SAT scores were the top 0.0001 per cent of the population. And 30 years after they had taken the SAT, these 320 ‘scary smart’ people (to quote the researchers) had achieved an astonishing amount (Kell et al., 2013). They had become high-ranking politicians, CEOs of companies, high-ups in government agencies, distinguished academics, journalists for well-known newspapers, artists and musical directors. They had been awarded patents, grant money and prizes, and had produced plays, novels, and a huge amount of economic value. They had, in other words, made incalculable contributions to society, for everyone’s benefit. Overall, then, it seems that particularly high IQ scores are related to particularly impressive achievements. Moreover, and importantly for our question here, another analysis by Benbow and Lubinski showed that, even within the top 1 per cent of SAT scorers, those with higher IQs were doing better: they had higher incomes and were more likely to have obtained advanced degrees (Robertson et al., 2010). There are, it seems, no limits to the benefits of a high IQ: even within the cleverest people, intelligence keeps on mattering.
Stuart Ritchie (Intelligence: All That Matters)
Only in 1905 was the panels’ puzzling behavior explained—by Albert Einstein, a newly minted Ph.D. with a day job in the Swiss patent office. In what may have been the greatest intellectual sprint for any physicist in history, Einstein completed four major articles in the spring of that year. One described a new way to measure the size of molecules, a second gave a new explanation for the movement of small particles in liquids, and a third introduced special relativity, which revamped science’s understanding of space and time. The fourth explained the photoelectric effect. Physicists had always described light as a kind of wave. In his photoelectric paper, Einstein posited that light could also be viewed as a packet or particle—a photon, to use today’s term. Waves spread their energy across a region; particles, like bullets, concentrate it at a point. The photoelectric effect occurred when these particles of light slammed into atoms and knocked free some of their electrons. In Fritts’s panels, photons from sunlight ejected electrons from the thin layer of selenium into the copper. The copper acted like a wire and transmitted the stream of electrons: an electric current.
Charles C. Mann (The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World)
The idea that the individual pre-exists society, culture or community is patently abused - although it is widely held. Every 'individual' is born into a community with values, norms and a language, or rather the notion of the 'individual' is only constituted through relations with the community's values, norms and language. That an individual can be recognised, and function, as 'an individual' is a measure of the community's success in producing individuals. Moreover, what we refer to as an 'individual' is an idea generated by our cultural practices and meanings, which are capitalist, and which are built upon the 'barring' of symbolic exchange relations between people.
William Pawlett (Jean Baudrillard: Against Banality (Key Sociologists))
The idea that the individual pre-exists society, culture or community is patently absurd - although it is widely held. Every 'individual' is born into a community with values, norms and a language, or rather the notion of the 'individual' is only constituted through relations with the community's values, norms and language. That an individual can be recognised, and function, as 'an individual' is a measure of the community's success in producing individuals. Moreover, what we refer to as an 'individual' is an idea generated by our cultural practices and meanings, which are capitalist, and which are built upon the 'barring' of symbolic exchange relations between people.
William Pawlett (Jean Baudrillard: Against Banality (Key Sociologists))
Medieval Armed Combat as Universal Metaphor and All-Purpose Protocol Interface Schema (MACUMAPPIS). Since Medieval Armed Combat was the oxygen they breathed, even mentioning it seemed gratuitous, so this got shortened to UMAPPIS and then, since the “metaphor” thing made some of the businesspeople itchy, it became APPIS, which they liked enough to trademark. And since APPIS was one letter away from APIS, which was the Latin word for bee, they then went on to create and trademark some bee- and hive-related logo art. As Corvallis patiently told Richard, it was all a kind of high-tech in-joke. In that world, API stood for “application programming interface,” which meant the software control panels that tech geeks slapped onto their technologies in order to make it possible for other tech geeks to write programs that made use of them. All of which was one or two layers of abstraction beyond the point where Richard could give a shit. “All I am trying to say with this memo,” he told Corvallis, “is that anyone who feels like it ought to be able to grab hold of our game by the technological short hairs and make it solve problems for them.” And Corvallis assured him that this was precisely synonymous with having an API and that everything else was just marketing. The problems Richard had in mind were not game- or even entertainment-related ones. Corporation 9592 had already covered as many of those bases as their most imaginative people could think of, and then they had paid lawyers to pore over the stuff that they’d thought of and extrapolate whole abstract categories of things that might be thought of later. And wherever they went, they found that the competition had been there five years earlier and patented everything that was patentable and, in one sense or another, pissed on everything that wasn’t. Which explained a lot about Phase 3.
Neal Stephenson (Reamde)
The truth of the matter is that the system is not designed to allow for upstart third parties. It can adjust to accommodate a patently bogus third party, and it can tolerate the occasional Republican or Democrat bolting his party to pose as an ‘Independent,’ but a real third party doesn’t stand a chance. That is why you won’t find anything but Republicans and Democrats in the White House and the US Senate. Even the House of Representatives, reputedly the branch of the federal government most responsive to the people, counts just one Independent among its 435 members.34 That’s because we all know that voting for a third-party candidate is just throwing your vote away. Which is, sadly, quite true. True because the American system of ‘democracy’ is a winner-take-all system. And a minor party candidate, lacking funding and media support, has exactly no chance of winning. If, however, America were based on a representational system, as are the European democracies, winning would be a relative concept, and third-party votes would not be thrown away. For in that type of system, congressional or parliamentary seats are awarded proportionally based on the election outcome. In other words, your party need not ‘win’ to gain representation. Every vote for your party gains greater representation, and no votes are thrown away. It is easy to see how this type of democracy could quickly erode the entrenched ‘two-party’ system.
David McGowan (Understanding the F-Word: American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion)
The lotus is one of the most commercially successful sources of inspiration for biomimetic products. Apart from their intoxicating, heavenly fragrance, lotus plants are a symbol of purity in some major religions. More than two thousand years ago, for example, the Bhagavad Gita, one of India's ancient sacred scriptures, referred to lotus leaves as self-cleaning, but it wasn't until the late 1960s that engineers with access to high-powered microscopes began to understand the mechanism underlying the lotus' dirt-free surface. German scientist Dr. Wilhelm Barthlott continued this research, finding microstructures on the surface of a lotus leaf that cause water droplets to bead up and roll away particles of mud or dirt. Like many biomimics, this insight came quickly, while its commercialization took many years more. The "Lotus Effect"-short for the superhydrophobic (water-repelling) quality of the lotus leaf's micro to nanostructured surface-has become the subject of more than one hundred related patents and is one of the premier examples of successfully commercialized biomimicry.
Jay Harman (The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation)
If the material world is fundamentally an abundant world, all the more abundant is the spiritual world: the creations of the human mind — songs, stories, filmes, ideas, and everything else that goes by the name of intellectual property. Because in the digital age we can replicate and spread them at virtually no cost, artificial scarcity must be imposed upon them in order to keep them in the monetized realm. Industry and the government enforce scarcity through copyrights, patents, and encryption standards, allowing the holders of such property to profit from owning it. Scarcity, then, is mostly an illusion, a cultural creation. But because we live, almost wholly, in a culturally constructed world, our experience of this scarcity is quite real — real enough that nearly a billion people today are malnourished, and some 5,000 children die each day from hunger-related causes. So our responses to this scarcity — anxiety and greed — are perfectly understandable. When something is abundant, no one hesitates to share it. We live in an abundant world, made otherwise through our perceptions, our culture, and our deep invisible stories. Our perception of scarcity is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Money is central to the construction of the self-reifying illusion of scarcity.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
I can explain nothing to you unless I first draw your attention to patent inadequacies in your knowledge: discontinuities in the relations between objects, or the presence of anomalies you cannot account for by any of the laws known to you. You will remain deaf to my explanations until you suspect yourself of falsehood.
James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games)
VanDrunen poses the question this way: “If the natural law written on the heart proclaims the works principle, and if in Christ we are no longer under the works principle . . . then are New Testament Christians in fact not under the natural law, though it seems to be constitutive of the very image of God in which we are being re-created?” (313). The reason VanDrunen is compelled to raise this rather provocative question is patent. If the obligations of the moral law, whether in the prelapsarian or the postlapsarian circumstances, necessarily place their recipients under the promises and sanctions of the covenant of works with its works-inheritance principle, then how can believers in the covenant of grace be subject to the law’s demands? Does not the freedom from the law that believers enjoy through Christ include a freedom from the moral law as well? VanDrunen does not shy away from this question, but answers it with the provocative claim that believers are not subject to the moral law as believers, so far as their conduct in relation to fellow believers within the “spiritual” kingdom of Christ is concerned. Though believers, so far as their conduct in the “natural” or “civil” kingdom is concerned, may be subject to the natural law, they are not subject to the natural law as Christians. Due
Cornelis P. Venema (Christ and Covenant Theology: Essays on Election, Republication, and the Covenants)
And that is why the seductive idea that if Einstein had been born three hundred years earlier, we could have had the benefit of the theory of relativity in the seventeenth century is so flawed. Relativity couldn’t have happened back then, largely because the problems that it responded to were not yet visible. Einstein may have seen further and deeper than his contemporaries (there is still a large role for individualism: Einstein really was a creative genius), but he wasn’t pulling insights out of the ether. As Johnson writes: “Good ideas are not conjured out of thin air.” Dyson is well aware of this aspect of creativity. “Every time I have gone for a patent in a particular field, someone else has got there first,” he says. “I don’t think there has been a single time in all the thousands of patents we have applied for where we were the first. With the vacuum cyclone, there were already a number of patents lodged.
Matthew Syed (Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do)
Once during the protests before the World Economic Forum, a kind of junket of tycoons, corporate flacks and politicians, networking and sharing cocktails at the Waldorf Astoria, pretended to be discussing ways to alleviate global poverty. I was invited to engage in a radio debate with one of their representatives. As it happened the task went to another activist but I did get far enough to prepare a three-point program that I think would have taken care of the problem nicely: - an immediate amnesty on international debt (An amnesty on personal debt might not be a bad idea either but it’s a different issue.) - an immediate cancellation of all patents and other intellectual property rights related to technology more than one year old - the elimination of all restrictions on global freedom of travel or residence. The rest would pretty much take care of itself. The moment the average resident of Tanzania, or Laos, was no longer forbidden to relocate to Minneapolis or Rotterdam, the government of every rich and powerful country in the world would certainly decide nothing was more important than finding a way to make sure people in Tanzania and Laos preferred to stay there. Do you really think they couldn’t come up with something? (p. 79)
David Graeber (Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Paradigm))
Actually, the relation of a person’s vocation to his or her paying job can be quite varied and will change over a lifetime. Sometimes your job is just the way to make money; the vocation is pursued in your spare time. A fine example is Einstein’s developing the theory of relativity while he was a clerk in a patent office, happy to have mindless work so he could be free to think about what mattered to him. At other times, we can find or create a job that fulfills our vocation, and the pay will be at least adequate. There may be many possible jobs that do that, or the job that will serve the purpose will change as experience grows and the vocation deepens.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You)