Over at the blog for Techdirt (an unfortunate misnomer), my evil-initial-twin Mike Masnick has in a series of posts been arguing, in summary, that ideas are cheap and that execution is what matters for innovation.
To Mr. Masnick (and whomever agrees with him) I present the following proof that his argument is incorrect:
If it is true that execution is what matters to innovation, then it should be possible, in principle, to build a Turing machine capable of innovation. No such Turing machine exists. Therefore, an inventor is required for innovation.
Incidentally, this proof also explains why Malcolm Gladwell is mistaken to distinguish between inventing and artistry on the grounds that inventions may be reproduced independently whereas artistry is unique. He observes, inter alia, that the claims of multiple patent applications have often overlapped. This is true. But the specification and drawings of a patent merely describe in words and with pictures the work of each inventor, which remains unique.
Certain readers may recognize in this proof the general strategy followed by Goedel in proving his incompleteness theorem.