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No, it's precisely the opposite! Maintainers (using whale oil for energy) would have driven every whale to extinction and left the world without an energy source a century ago. Maintainers (using horses for travel) would have drowned Manhattan in horse shit a century ago.

Innovation is if anything under-rated and under-funded and under-supported. The homes of hundreds of millions of people and energy itself is threatened by depleting fossil fuels and global warming...and some of the major efforts to stop this have depended on effectively "insane" entrepreneurs like Elon Musk...not a smart system! All the while hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs for just say unnecessary tests flows to negative value addition maintainers.

Maintainers mostly either conservatively follow & accept or exploit the current system. It's innovators who've driven down the cost of lighting your home to a few hours of income or the ubiquity & cheapness of books & information (perhaps to the detriment of wisdom but that's another story) to stopping war through protest to ending non-man-made famine.

Wouldn't maintainers just be in small social groups, eating fruit and whatever else they happened to collect?

That's hunter-gatherers! That's more than 10,000 years ago before agriculture developed...

Sure. How do you get from there to a city without any innovation?

How do you even get to a sharp stick without innovation?

>How do you get from there to a city

Enclosure https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enclosure

Basically peasants, once kicked off the land end up herded into cities.

Presumably the thinking at the time (beyond "lets make ourselves rich") was that agricultural production is more efficient when undertaken as a large-scale concern rather than by scattered small community holdings.

So how is the step of consolidating the land not an innovation then?

Or the invention of the various tools to actually make the agriculture viable and progressively more efficient.

It is an innovation. I was presenting this as an alternative antecedent to the development of cities.

Also provides an interesting corollary on the consequences of innovation.

> How do you even get to a sharp stick without innovation?

Evolution? That's how agriculture and many of our earliest tools were created. I don't think there were many/any single steps that we would consider innovative.

I don't see how something like intentionally sharpening a stick would not be an innovation over occasionally finding one.

It may not have been intentional, it could have been someone rubbing it against a rock out of boardom or trying to start a fire with it then realising it was pointy. In that case it was a discovery, not an innovation.

We may have had a very suboptimal way of doing it for centuries while the process evolved. I'm sure a lot of people here have stories of their pets confusing cause and effect.

Great point!! Yes, exactly!!

So you agree? Innovators are responsible for depleted resources and global warming.

Well, perhaps it's the previous generation's innovators and the current generation's maintainers...if you want to trace out lines of responsibility but that's tricky...whoever discovered petroleum probably never wanted so much burned up to heat up the whole planet! The maintainers (energy companies) do...they're going to die (those firms) and they're ready to take the whole planet and all of us with 'em.

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