Accidental Genius

I just finished a long post to the digital humanities seminar about free writing, which they will be doing, and the internet. I mentioned Mark Levy’s Accidental Genius, from which I will be drawing for some of our free writing techniques, and my quick search to turn up a link both to the book and to his website, turned up this wonderful article from Wired, entitled “Accidental Genius” which recounts how the law of unintended consequences has worked out for several inventions:

  • Gunpowder was meant to prolong life (as a pill).
  • The mechanical clock’s intended use was to regulate monastic prayer.
  • Edison developed the phonograph to record telephone calls.
  • Viagra was developed to help with angina.