Something was missing when "The Spirit of Kitty Hawk" soared out of President Obama's Farewell Address to the nation. The innovation was there but Wilbur and Orville were not.
Yes, innovation and its "spirit" are "essential" to the future prosperity of America. However innovation is not a faceless, inevitable phenomenon or spiritual effervescence of nature. Behind every innovation is a struggling one or more lone wolves who step out from the herd, take risks, absorb the cost of failures and hope for personal reward.
It is no secret that the Obama administration has not been a friend to lone wolf inventors. The passage of the America Invents (Not) Act or AIA was no gift to the inventor community. The positions adopted by the Obama controlled Patent Office were not for sake of making life easier for inventors. Quite the opposite.
And now President Obama has the audacity to look back on his legacy and talk about innovation being essential? About yes "we" can? ...
Who wants to give inventors a grace period? Not I, said audacious Obama.
Who wants to let inventors invent first and file later? Not I, said impatient Obama.
Who wants to take credit for the accomplishments of others, for what "we" did, for the tiny computer in everyone's pocket? Here I am, here I am, crowed nostalgic Obama.___________________________________
"Take the challenge of climate change. In just eight years, we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil [*n1.]; we’ve doubled our renewable energy [*n2.]; we’ve led the world [*n3.] to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet. But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects: more environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves of climate refugees [*n4.] seeking sanctuary.
Now, we can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem [*n5.]. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country ― the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our Founders.
It is that spirit, born of the Enlightenment, that made us an economic powerhouse ― the spirit that took flight at Kitty Hawk [*n6.] and Cape Canaveral; the spirit that cures disease and put a computer in every pocket.
It’s that spirit ― a faith in reason, and enterprise, and the primacy of right over might [*n7.]..."
Notes: *n1.: This is utter science-divorced nonsense. The atmosphere does not "care" (Obama-wise or otherwise) what nationality is assigned to the oil or other fossil fuels burned in our relentless lemming charge towards the ledge.
*n2.: As well known, 2 times zero is zero
*n3.: US representatives come kicking and screaming to all the climate change conferences.
*n4.: Yes, many more "spring" times for the Middle East.
*n5.: Nothing is being "solved" or mitigated. The can keeps getting kicked down the road. (The road that says This way to Lemming's Ledge.)
*n6.: A "spirit" did not take flight. Wilbur and Orville did, using their invented and non-abstract flight control mechanisms.
*n7.: Go tell the inventors in In re Bilski about that right over might thing.