War is often credited as the mother of invention, but a deeper look reveals that competition, not conflict, is the true driver of innovation. This is the central argument of Simon Wardley’s blog post, which explores the relationship between war, competition, and invention.

Wardley posits that while war can hasten invention, it is not the primary catalyst. Instead, competition, whether in a peaceful or warlike setting, is the true motivator for invention. He cites examples from history, such as the development of the printing press, which was driven by a desire to compete in the market, not by war.

Wardley also notes that war can sometimes hinder invention. He points to the example of the Chinese, who were technologically advanced but stagnated due to a lack of competition. The Chinese empire had no serious rivals, and without the stimulus of competition, innovation slowed.

This perspective challenges the common belief that necessity, often in the form of war, is the mother of invention. Instead, Wardley suggests that competition, the desire to gain an advantage over others, is the true driver of innovation.

In conclusion, while war can accelerate the pace of invention, it is not the root cause. The true catalyst for innovation is competition, whether in a peaceful or a warlike setting.

Go to source article: http://blog.gardeviance.org/2014/02/is-war-mother-of-invention.html