12 MAR 2011 by ideonexus

 How An Idea Makes Something Valuable

White people discovered the Galapagos Islands in 1535 when a Spanish ship came upon them after being blown off course by a storm. Nobody was living there, nor were remains of any human settlement ever found there. This unlucky ship wished nothing more than to carry the Bishop of Panama to Peru, never losing sight of the South American coast. There was this storm which rudely hustled it westward, ever westward, where prevailing human opinion insisted there was only sea and more sea. But when...
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Vonnegut relates how the Galapagos Islands were worthless until Darwin's revolutionary idea made them a huge tourist attraction.