America was discovered accidentally by a great seaman who was looking for something else, when discovered it was not wanted, and most of the exploration for the next fifty years was done in the hope of getting through or around it. — Samuel Eliot Morison
What if the Gates Foundation had been involved?
(1) Gates Foundation announces the Reach the Indies Fund
(2) Columbus gets funding to test Going West approach
(3) Rigorous Evaluation design filed in advance to test effect of Going West on Reach the Indies
(4) October 12, 1492.
(5) Rigorous Evaluation finds no effect of Going West approach on Reach the Indies
(6) Rigorous methodology means Evaluation not permitted to include any ex-post outcomes of Going West not filed in advance in the design (3).
(7) Going West approach declared ineffective, funding ends.