Contrast

Can destruction leads to creation?

During my junior year Chemistry class, I was one of the curious few in my class who wanted to experiment on nitroglycerine. With absolute horror in his face, our instructor swept aside the idea with his forefinger wagging,  warning us severely: never ever try.

Perhaps, my love for experimentation originated from that explosive thought. 😀

Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who invented dynamite, could have stopped his experiments had he realized how destructive his invention could be. Thinking more positive (I am guessing here), he probably believed that people would use his product more to the benefit of mankind.

As example, large networks of railroad tracks crisscrossed in Europe and America. Infrastructure projects that would have taken decades to complete with manual labor, benefited much from dynamite blasting. Tunneling became easier; removing huge obstacles like giant boulders and hard earth materials.

The mining industry could have not dug up ore quicker using old-style manual methods. We could not be enjoying now our modern gadgets and appliances if raw element materials underground took too long to be uncovered and refined. Major developments in technology could have been too slow.

Just imagine if any type of explosives was never invented, what would have Earth looked like now?

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13 thoughts on “Contrast

  1. i love this! i once heated hydrogen in a flask and blew a hole in the roof of the lab when the flask had lift-off! got suspended for four days..it was worth it..but to you, this is a lovely thoughtful piece.

    1. (laughs) I would have dared back then if I had the material. 🙂
      This post is all about reaching a balance. I am sure Alfred Nobel got rich making explosives but he also helped create the idea of consensus: the Nobel prizes.

  2. I guess, the earth had already invented its explosives (the volcanoes), probably far earlier than we humans did and they definitely did play a large role in shaping our earth … 🙂

    1. Natural phenomenon is a given. You are correct with your explanation.
      But I asked if man-made explosives were not invented, what could Earth be like?

      1. more natural and less of a concrete jungle… I guess 🙂
        Saying that I remember the pics of your house that you posted much earlier in your blog (something where you mentioned about living with bare necessities)…

      2. Yes, I did mention that. No ref (my neighbor has one), no aircon (fresh air), no washing machine (hands do the work), no microwave or oven (charcoal-fed stove)..Have a TV but unused most of the time.
        Oh, but I have a netbook and a cheap cellular phone. 🙂

  3. Sohumm is so right. Destruction of various types has caused extinction events, leaving openings for new species to replace the previous ones. When will the next extincytion event occur?

    1. The next extinction event? Natural or man-made? A meteor collision with our planet is top of the list. A group of crazy leaders who would trigger our last world war.

  4. Here is something from Investopedia

    Definition of ‘Creative Destruction’

    A term coined by Joseph Schumpeter in his work entitled “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy” (1942) to denote a “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” (from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/creativedestruction.asp)When I was a chemistry student, the instructor made the mistake of turning us loose with a project to find something that would break down a supposedly inert plastic. I tried aqua regia. Fortunately, I was working on a small sample.

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