In his quest to make a camera from scratch, this guy extracted silver from ore

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If you want to make an apple pie from scratch…


Pfft, you mean he’s not forming the ore itself from scratch.

I’m doing this properly, all the way. Just gotta figure out how to induce a big-bang event without destroying this universe, and then gonna live-tweet-and-stream the whole thing for sweet social media cred. Only a few billion years to go before anything noteworthy happens.


Far more successful than the guy who tried to make a toaster from scratch. He was unable to smelt nickel using 15th-century techniques when he tried. He did manage to break down a modern toaster into 400 separate parts that would have to be made before it could be assembled. But one person alone was hardly able to reproduce any of them, from scratch.

(Story was told in Tim Harford’s “Adapt” book.)


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