- Jun 2021
But, supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.
Finally (in this second paragraph), we again have insight into the political and scientific issues of the day: the search for the famed "Northwest Passage" (big, big deal) and the awareness of a major source of danger for polar navigation: the distortion produced in magnetic equipment as one came nearer to the source, at the pole.
It is obvious, is it not?, that most people are motivated by social goods: fame, power, money, and prestige. Because that is the world we live in.
It's all about the Benjamins! Then and now!