Reinvent the wheel

Everybody has heard it at least once:

Don't reinvent the wheel.

And I keep asking myself, why is this such an important piece of advice and why does it get taught almost everywhere?

Would it be of any help if people didn't sit down and actually reinvented the wheel?

Let's look at the LADA with the supposedly-not-reinvented-wheels:

If we suppose this LADA would be able to drive (which it surely will) do you think it could pass emission tests without some cheating? 

I guess not. 

Without reinventing, there is no improvement and no room for creativity. It's only by reinventing that we can truly understand how stuff works and where, what and how to improve something. 

Else, it's just trying hard not to do worse than our predecessors. Which is lame. 

Do you think we would have the iPhone, Facebook, Electricity, or even Computers if somebody didn't sit down and reinvented something? We reinvented the wheel because our means of transportation changed. Now many of us teach and preach not to reinvent the wheel. I beg to differ. 

Not reinventing the wheel will make us captives of our predecessors' judgement. It also makes us unwilling to learn how they achieved what they achieved. We take their advances for granted and for immutable, to build upon and improve upon. But the higher the tower is built, the stronger it's foundation must be - but there is no longer someone who's willing or able to understand foundations, because of centuries of:

Don't reinvent the wheel.

So I say screw that, reinvent the shit out of the wheel and have fun doing so. 

Any theory is right until it is proven wrong.

It is alright to work on prior knowledge and know the state of the art, but obeying to it blindly is wrong. In fact, it is the only wheel we're constantly willing to reinvent and pride ourselves in doing so.


written by Karim Jedda on 2015-01-01