John Dee and “The Measurers”
Anton Howes
93

Interesting! I like the idea that innovation is itself an idea that needs to be discovered. I recently read Wootton’s “Invention of Science” and came away wondering if the change in mindset he describes could be a major factor in the Industrial Revolution.

Wootton describes the emergence of a new belief that “the ancients didn’t know everything and we can do better.” Seems to me a small mutation of that belief is “the way we traditionally do things is not necessarily best, and we can do better.” That could give you the start of “innovation” as an idea. The contribution of the scientific revolution to the industrial revolution would then be about changing beliefs about what it is possible to know and do, rather than providing knowledge that can be used to invent new things.