} Nope. In fact, it's often the other way around.
} The trouble with ideas is that it's tough to define which ones are
} rational and which are not at first glance. It isn't until time has
} run its course and events have begun adding up that one can truly
} pinpoint which is which.
} For example:
} [The scene: Cro-Magnon era mountainous foothills. Hot, humid, and not
} a little bit muggy. Just outside a cave, we see a lone man, sitting on
} a rock, hitting a rounder rock with a sharper rock. A female
} Cro-Magnon comes out of the cave]
} "Oga no like Og sitting here. Oga think Og waste time."
} "Og no waste time. Og making round thing."
} "Oga think round thing silly. Oga think Og go hunting."
} "Og go hunting after Og finish."
} "Oga think Og go hunting now!"
} "Og want to finish round thing!"
} "Oga think if Og not go hunting, Og no get any!"
} "Og go hunting..."
} And so the wheel was forever lost to the Cro-Magnon, and I was saved
} from having to answer idiotic questions about fire. This was a
} rational idea at the time, but seems to us, now, as completely
} Another example:
} [Scene: England, 1485. The royal court.]
} "Good day to you, my king. I have come from lands far distant to beg
} of you a boon."
} "A boon, you say? What is it you want, er... what's your name again?"
} "Columbus, my liege."
} "Yes, Columbus, yes...what is it you want from me?"
} "I have an idea, my lord, that since the way to the spices in the East
} are cut off by pirates, that it would be far safer to go around them."
} "Around them? How? Surely not by going south around the Cape..."
} "By heading in the other direction -- west."
} "Are you mad? My astronomers assure me that no ship, even one heavily
} laden purely with foodstuffs and naught else could not hope to survive
} such a long journey over nothing but water. You would die in the
} middle of the Atlantic, and where would I be then? Poor as a beggar,
} and no wiser for my troubles. No, go ask some other kingdom for wealth
} to throw away on such a misadventure."
} See, another idea thought completely irrational at the time proves its
} rational given enough time, and the pure chance that land be discovered
} where no one thought it could be.
} One last example:
} [Scene: a laboratory, circa 1903. A man stands next to a device
} consisting of wires, crystals, and no small amount of electrical
} current. There are some other men talking with him.]
} "-- it's not that, it's just I'm not quite clear on what it's supposed
} to -do-, exactly."
} "I told you. It can send and receive signals. I call it a ...
} "I see. And using this 'radio,' you can do what?"
} "Well, if someone attaches a phonograph to one radio transmitter in one
} place, then another person can turn on their receiver at another place
} and listen to the same music."
} "Wouldn't it be simpler just to buy the same phonograph?"
} "It's not just for music, it's for everything! I can send my voice
} across the nation if I wanted to --"
} "Oh, just what we need, a shouting box in every room in America."
} "Look, don't you understand, this can revolutionize our lives! Why, if
} we had this during the Civil War --"
} "Then General Lee would have been unable to command because he was
} listening to Bach's "Symphony #5"? No, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid we
} just don't see any reason why anyone would want a music transceiver in
} their homes. Good day to you, sir."
} In answer to your query, then, rational ideas have the most power, at
} least in the present, but the least advantages. Note in the examples
} above that only those motives that seemed logical at the time were
} considered, and all else was tossed away as complete and utter tot.
} And yet it is those irrational ideas which change the course of history
} -- a neat trick, if you can do it.
} You owe the Oracle at least a dozen irrational ideas.