While Glenn Curtis made many advances in aviation, it's also true that he didn't have much use for patents and royalty payment. Or methodical development. He ignored the careful work the Wright Bros. did in developing a stable aircraft, and the first ones he built didn't work. When he copied the Wright designs, he got sued (and lost). But he made it back. And he ultimately joined forces, helping found the Cutiss Wright engine company; until the jet age began after WWII, C-W and Pratt & Whitney were the dominant engine companies.
It's all in the viewpoint. Many of us don't give a crap what Old Europe (the font of fascism, nihilism and a whole host of other planetray ills) thinks about us. Being hated by the likes of Germany and France is a badge of honor.
At the time Curtiss set that record most people were consumed with much more mundane pursuits and getting from one place to another was mainly done by walking. What we see as quaint in the past was far in the future for those living at the time. If you really wanted to spend all your money on a motorcycle it would have been a 2 or 3 hp machine with atmosheric valves and belt drive. It wouldn't have gone far without repair.
Today, the pioneers working on cars of the future will eventually invent engines and drivetrains we have no familiarity with today. Fueling stations will look very different as well, if they exist at all.
Really? No one hated america before 2000 huh? When exactly was the Cole bombed? And how many hostages did Iran take in 1979? What about those embassy bombings back in the 80s? Or the first time the Trade Center was bombed?
I guess somehow Bush invented all that too huh?
This is what I love about liberals... They have not the slightest grasp on history... or economics for that matter... but that's another story.
There is such global access to education theses days that research institutions are putting out tremendous quantities of brilliance. The world of biotech is astounding and is comprised of a legion of geniuses. Look at stealth technologies. You won't soon see the brains behind those discoveries because the info is classified. Innovation is so commonplace these days that it takes an earth-shattering discovery to rise above it all and be recognized.