Read the passage given below and solve the questions based on it.
The starting point for our discussion is the common view expressed in the saying “Necessity is the mother of invention.” That is, inventions supposedly arise when a society has an unfulfilled need. Would-be inventors, motivated by the prospect of money or fame, perceive the need and try to meet it. Some inventor finally comes up with a solution superior to an existing, unsatisfactory technology. Society adopts the solution if it is compatible with the society’s values and other technologies. Some inventions do conform to this commonsense view of necessity as inventions’ mother. Eli Whitney’s 1794 invention of a cotton gin to replace laborious hand cleaning of cotton, and James Watt’s 1769 invention of steam engine to solve the problem of pumping out water out of British coal mines were some such instances. These familiar examples deceive us into assuming that other major inventions were also responses to perceived needs. In fact, many or most inventions were developed by people driven by curiosity or by a love of tinkering, in the absence of any initial demand for the product they had in mind. Once a device had been invented, the inventor then had to find an application for it. Only after it had been in use for a considerable time did consumers come to feel that they needed it. Still other devices, invented to serve one purpose, eventually found most of their use for other, unanticipated purposes. Some inventions in search of an initial use included most of the major technological breakthroughs of modern times, including the airplane, the automobile, internal combustion engine, electric light bulb, the phonograph and transistor. Thus, invention is often the mother of necessity, rather than vice versa. For example, when Edison built his first phonograph in 1877, he published an article listing ten uses to which his invention might be put. Reproduction of music did not figure high on that list. Only after 20 years, did Edison reluctantly concede that the main use of his phonograph was to play and record music.
Again, when Nikolaus Otto built his first gas engine, in 1866, horses had been supplying people’s land transportation needs for nearly 600 years, supplemented increasingly by steam-powered railroads, for several decades. There was no crisis in the availability of horses, no dissatisfaction with railroads. In 1896, Gottfried Daimler built the first truck. In 1905, motor vehicles were still expensive, unreliable toys for the rich. Public contentment with horses and railroads remained high until World War 1, when the military concluded that it really did need trucks. Intensive postwar lobbying by truck manufacturers and armies finally convinced the public of its own needs and enabled trucks to begin to supplant horse drawn wagons in industrialized countries. Thus the commonsense view of invention that served as our starting point reverses the role of invention and need, and probably overstates the importance of rare geniuses such as Watt and Edison. That “heroic theory of Invention” is encouraged by patent law, because an applicant for a patent must prove the novelty of the invention submitted. Inventors thereby have a financial incentive to denigrate or ignore previous work. In truth, technology develops cumulatively, and through the inventions and improvements of many predecessors and successors; rather than in isolated heroic acts, and it finds most of its uses after it has been invented, rather than being invented to meet a foreseen need.
The last sentence of the passage implies that