Yet we never know where a line of enquiry might lead, and how profitably. Look at penicillin: Alexander Fleming was not the first to discover its bactericidal effect, and when he did he soon gave up trying to exploit it.
Edward de Bono, the "lateral thinking" man, noted that we come to useful ideas or solutions in roundabout ways and only then build a straight path from A to B. The internet - which itself has developed into something nobody expected - is bound to result in countless fruitful connections being made, by the sort of creative intellectual bummeln that web-surfing allows.
Granted, there will also be rubbish and (apparent) dead-ends, but if one in a billion notions gets us somewhere, then 2.4 billion users playing with the Net on pretty much a daily basis are certainly going to come up with something.
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