The Cultural Base
By the culture base, we-mean the accumulation of knowledge and technique available to the inventor in a society. As the culture base grows, an increasing number of inventions and discoveries become possible. The invention of the geared wheel provided a component which has been used in countless inventions. The discovery of electromagnetic and the invention of the vacuum tube, the transistor, and the microchip provided necessary components for hundreds of more recent inventions. Unless the Cultural base provides enough earlier inventions and discoveries, fresh inventions cannot be completed. The recent “knowledge explosion” is often cited as the source of modern innovation. This is another way of saying that the cultural base is rapidly growing and is accessible to a growing number of our people. When all the supporting knowledge has been developed, the appearance of an invention or discovery becomes almost a certainty; In fact, it is quite common for an invention or discovery to be made independently .by several persons at about the same time. When the cultural base provides all the supporting items of knowledge, it is very probable that one or more imaginative persons will put these items together for a new invention or discovery.