Kinda in the same vein, there was a British TV show a few years back called "Connections". It chronicled some of the major technology breakthroughs in history and showed how that breakthrough was not possible until a string of prior events paved the way. As a poor example - the steam engine wasn't possible until a certain type of metal was made, that metal couldn't be made until a certain chemical process in an unrelated field was made, that process was made possible by the invention of calculus, and on and on. Not to take away from trying the hard and "impossible", it simply showed that some things in our lives could not exist without that chain of prior events. And it implied that once that chain existed, then it was almost inevitable that the next breakthrough would come. I found it fascinating and rational.