I only brought it up to show that if you take this Godel number thing far enough, you can think of ANYTHING as merely "discovered".
Go on then: show me how you reduce a hydraulic jack to a Godel number.
But then mankind would be left with zero inventions (and zero original works of authorship).
More precisely, it might be left with zero abstract intellectual entities which qualified as inventions under patent law. That's not the same thing as "zero inventions" or even "zero new ideas". It just means that abstractions would not be patentable. I can't see that as bad thing, myself.
As for "zero original works of authorship", I really do feel you are exaggerating shamelessly here. People have been writing and creating since the dawn of time. Very few of them have needed patents as an incentive. In fact, even in modern times, copyright has worked perfectly well for protecting these things. Except of course in the area of allowing extremely large software corporations to build thicket patents in order to discourage competition.
But that's not exactly an argument for software patents, either.
Not in my experience,
OK, fair enough. Maybe you have never installed anything on your Mac to change the way it works, maybe you have everything set at default... I can believe that.
or in the experience of any other Mac user I know.
Bullshit, unless you don't know any other Mac users? I find it hard to believe that you would know what they have installed, and how they have changed their own machines.
Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry up is not nailed down. -- Collis P. Huntingdon, railroad tycoon