“There is nothing in the history of technology in the past century and a half to suggest that infallible methods of invention have been discovered or are, in fact, discoverable…. As with most other human activities, the monotony and sheer physical labor in research can be relieved by the use of expensive equipment and tasks can thereby be attempted which would otherwise be wholly impossible. But it does not appear that new mysteries will only be solved and new applications of natural forces made possible by ever increasing expenditure. In many fields of knowledge, discovery is still a matter of scouting about on the surface of things where imagination and acute observation, supported only by simple technical aids, are likely to bring rich rewards.”

–from The Sources of Invention, 1969, and the epigraph of a book that someone handed to Illuminati Motor Works‘s Kevin Smith at our MIT event. Kevin read this passage and told me, “It could have been written yesterday.”