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Topic: Most influential invention in history
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 06:34PM)
What one thing had the biggest influence on the evolution/de-evolution of society?

Not thinking about "discoveries" like fire or electricity, but how man harnessed something and made something out of it.

My vote goes to the printing press. All of the sudden ideas could be distributed in mass and knowledge built upon knowledge across borders, across languages. Look what it did for Christianity for example.
Message: Posted by: Ray Tupper. (Oct 27, 2014 06:38PM)
The day after pill, condoms, and guns....In reverse order.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 06:46PM)
These could go either way I guess; for the benefit or detriment of mankind that is.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 27, 2014 07:49PM)
The mirror.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 07:55PM)
Good one.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 27, 2014 08:30PM)
White Castle hamburgers.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 27, 2014 08:35PM)
The wheel.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 08:41PM)
A wheel is worth nothing without an axel and chassis.

At conception it was probably just a few logs under a huge load.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 08:42PM)
What's burger without bread?

Ahhhh bread; a beautiful thing.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 27, 2014 08:51PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
The wheel. [/quote]

A wheel is worth nothing without an axel and chassis.

At conception it was probably just a few logs under a huge load. [/quote]
Which changed the world in the most sweeping of ways for man.

Your printing press is pointless without language and ideas to spread. What's your point?

Come to think of it, language might be the top invention ever.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 09:01PM)
My point is the printing press was a vehicle for language. Just like a wheel needs a vehicle to become useful. At the very basic level a one wheeled vehicle like a wheel barrow has an axel and a chassis to make the wheel actually useful.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 27, 2014 09:08PM)
You got it 180 degrees backwards. No wheel, no axels, no vehicles. No language, no printing press. Language was doing so much more so importantly without the printing press. If anything, the printing press has cheapened language, like any mass production eventually does.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 09:37PM)
I contest Tom. Aside from your other points, more fundamentally a printing press couldn't even exist without wheels/gears and axels to operate it.

With further thought, what about a lever?

Probably the precursor to the wheel.
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Oct 27, 2014 09:41PM)
The electric guitar.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 27, 2014 09:53PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
I contest Tom. Aside from your other points, more fundamentally a printing press couldn't even exist without wheels/gears and axels to operate it.

With further thought, what about a lever?

Probably the precursor to the wheel. [/quote]
So the wheel trumps the printing because it begat even that. Thank you. ;)

I'd put electric guitar second. You can't have it without wheels (knobs, tuning pegs)
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Oct 27, 2014 09:55PM)
The spring. Hands down.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 09:57PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
I contest Tom. Aside from your other points, more fundamentally a printing press couldn't even exist without wheels/gears and axels to operate it.

With further thought, what about a lever?

Probably the precursor to the wheel. [/quote]
So the wheel trumps the printing because it begat even that. Thank you. ;)

I'd put electric guitar second. You can't have it without wheels (knobs, tuning pegs) [/quote]

Which brings up another invention... music

You don't need wheels to create a beat or even language for a melody.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 27, 2014 10:11PM)
Ahhhh, but music is a language. It's a language of rhythm"!

Check and mate!
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Oct 27, 2014 10:20PM)
The wheel is one of six simple machines, and every mechanical device you have ever used in your entire life (including the printing press) is a combination of these six simple machines to become "compound machines". My upcoming "Super Spinner with Penny Reel Technology" DVD is a combination of all six of these machines into one simple easy to use thread device.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_machine



-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 27, 2014 10:24PM)
God.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 10:31PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
Ahhhh, but music is a language. It's a language of rhythm"!

Check and mate! [/quote]

Well, if you want to use the word "language " in that context, we might as well say mathematics too. What's music without math?

And mathematics is not an invention, but a discovery.

Music is a way of harnessing mathematics, not language. A precursor to language itself.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Oct 27, 2014 10:49PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
The wheel.[/quote]
A wheel is worth nothing without an axel and chassis.[/quote]
That's absurd.

[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
At conception it was probably just a few logs under a huge load.[/quote]
No axle, no chassis.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 27, 2014 11:06PM)
So, the wheel is a discovery and not an invention?
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Oct 27, 2014 11:34PM)
Water runs down hill.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 28, 2014 12:05AM)
[quote]
And mathematics is not an invention, but a discovery. [/quote]
Contestable. There are many systems of math, only some of which correspond to the world we live in as far as we know.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 28, 2014 12:15AM)
Dynamite.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Oct 28, 2014 01:10AM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
And mathematics is not an invention, but a discovery.[/quote]
[i]God gave us the integers; all the rest is the work of man.[/i]
- [b]Leopold Kronecker[/b]
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 28, 2014 02:33AM)
The internal combustion engine.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Oct 28, 2014 03:48AM)
It's a tie between toilet paper and soap. Both helped make the handshake possible, contributing to peaceful conflict resolution and good trade practices worldwide.

Just kidding. It's gotta be ice cream.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 28, 2014 07:07AM)
Nope ..

it has to be when somebody lied and people accepted that over the truth.

Inventing your own truths is the source of all creativity, good and bad.
Message: Posted by: Joe McIntyre (Oct 28, 2014 07:24AM)
How about the sail on A boat?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Oct 28, 2014 09:23AM)
Calculus is an invention.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 28, 2014 01:06PM)
You could see mathematics as we use it as an invention, but it is only a tool invented to help us understand and calculate what is occurring naturally. In this way I say math is a discovery.
Message: Posted by: silvercup (Oct 28, 2014 01:21PM)
Glass
Message: Posted by: slowkneenuh (Oct 28, 2014 01:37PM)
Plastic.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 28, 2014 01:38PM)
The brassiere.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Oct 28, 2014 04:16PM)
Sliced bread remains the standard by which all inventions are measured.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 28, 2014 04:49PM)
Everyone ignores me, as usual.

What changed the direction of life for homo sapiens sapiens?

Agriculture.

The internal combustion engine.

Stuff like that.

My personal choice might be something like the Marshall amplifier, but that would be disingenuous.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 28, 2014 08:40PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:
Everyone ignores me, as usual.

What changed the direction of life for homo sapiens sapiens?

Agriculture.

The internal combustion engine.

Stuff like that.

My personal choice might be something like the Marshall amplifier, but that would be disingenuous. [/quote]

I kind of see agriculture like mathematics. Man took something that is occurring naturally and put it in order/organization. Although we merely invented the system, what actually happened is we discovered ways to sustain life. Was agriculture really an invention, or just a shift in the way we gathered food?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 28, 2014 08:56PM)
It was invention that allowed us to effectively implement agriculture.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 28, 2014 10:16PM)
OK I have a new one.

The camera
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 28, 2014 10:17PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
[...Was agriculture really an invention, or just a shift in the way we gathered food? [/quote]

it's the difference between nomadic life and having cities.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 28, 2014 10:37PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
The brassiere. [/quote]
You *******!
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 28, 2014 10:39PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Rick Holcombe wrote:
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:
Everyone ignores me, as usual.

What changed the direction of life for homo sapiens sapiens?

Agriculture.

The internal combustion engine.

Stuff like that.

My personal choice might be something like the Marshall amplifier, but that would be disingenuous. [/quote]

I kind of see agriculture like mathematics. Man took something that is occurring naturally and put it in order/organization. Although we merely invented the system, what actually happened is we discovered ways to sustain life. Was agriculture really an invention, or just a shift in the way we gathered food? [/quote] Using that logic, music is just the adaptation of nature's beats and harmonies, so it's as much a discovery and adaptation, not invention, as anything else.

BTW I don't believe that for a second.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 28, 2014 10:52PM)
Well.. we invented GOOD music
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 28, 2014 10:59PM)
Indoor plumbing and air conditioning should rank pretty high too
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 28, 2014 11:08PM)
Nope, let me poop in the woods and sleep out under the stars!
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 28, 2014 11:15PM)
Mathematics went away from base description and calculation by the time irrrational numbers were accepted and Plato's Republic and its allegories of the sun, divided line and cave were understood.

The camera may have been an artists tool to use light to put an image on the canvas ready to color
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 28, 2014 11:18PM)
Man made global warming.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 28, 2014 11:32PM)
I contest. Mathematics is an invention.

When I stew upon the word itself I think an invention, whether an object or a process: like mathematics or agriculture or music, is used to create a product.

So, all these are hugely significant in our evolution, but what one thing was most influential? Why?
Message: Posted by: acesover (Oct 29, 2014 01:14AM)
The computer coupled with the Internet. Because without it we would not be having this discussion. :)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 29, 2014 06:27AM)
[quote]On Oct 29, 2014, acesover wrote:
The computer coupled with the Internet. Because without it we would not be having this discussion. :) [/quote]


naaaa ..

the real invention here is the ability to morph any thread intent into something else.

Self-dilusion may be part of human nature, but the idea that by posting it on the Internet it becomes fact is an invention

just funnin' I am as guilty as anyone of inventing memories to suit the situation. Oops, neurobiologics say that is a natural process.

"all inventions are gifts of aliens anyway. Humans only corrupt them." or did I just make that up?
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Oct 29, 2014 08:01AM)
[quote]On Oct 29, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
Nope, let me poop in the woods... [/quote]

Careful. That's probably how agriculture started.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Oct 29, 2014 08:53AM)
Gunpowder.
Message: Posted by: HudsonView (Oct 29, 2014 11:45AM)
I see a difference between "influencial" and "important". While the printing press might have been one of the most important inventions, I don't see it as the most influential, i.e, it's invention led to similar inventions, or its invention influenced the design of other products.

For that, I'd have to say, that without question, the most influential invention in history was the Altair 8800 personal computer, which launched the personal computer revolution.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 29, 2014 12:31PM)
Driven by its duty to use new technology to enable mankindís potential the god of technology demands the sacrifice of old technology.
Message: Posted by: acesover (Oct 29, 2014 03:58PM)
Most of the, most influencial inventions are on Infomercials. :) Just think about it. your hoses goes from small to big and back to small again and never tangles, your clothes come out clean no matter what stain is in them, sweepers pick up all the dirt, dust and pollen and you never sneeze again, you put a cloth of some kind on your rug and it picks up all the stains in your carpet, you put a thingy on your door and it keeps out the cold and you cut your heating bills in half...probably have to turn your air on in the winter...having said all that, television is a pretty important invention.

So my vote for most important invention that affected everyone can be seen by watching infomercials and just pick out the one that influenced you the most and there you have it. No one invention for everyone but with all those infomercials I am sure one is for you. BUT WAIT...IF YOU ORDER NOW WE INCLUDE SHIPPING AND GIVE YOU ANOTHER ONE...YES TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE PLUS FREE SHIPPING.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 29, 2014 06:13PM)
What about the clock? Or Calendars?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 29, 2014 07:54PM)
Calendars were essential to the development of agriculture. Clocks not so much.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 29, 2014 08:34PM)
Has anybody mentioned money?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 29, 2014 08:35PM)
+1 to money

various notions and systems of tokens/money (add clock/calendar to get time-value accounting)
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Oct 29, 2014 10:53PM)
What was the first money? And why did we care about it?

I think money is the most interesting submission thus far.

It drives everything; and has for millennia.

It even drives the desire for invention.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 29, 2014 11:58PM)
No- it's not money. It's necessity that is the mother of invention. (And Frank Zappa.)
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Oct 30, 2014 01:29AM)
My first submission was a discovery rather than an invention. (Water runs downhill.)

How about cooking food?

Eating cooked food gave mankind lots of extra time to pursue other things.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 30, 2014 01:33AM)
I think cooking food was more of an accidental discovery than an invention.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Oct 30, 2014 01:41AM)
I think caching food till it rots is an accidental discovery.

Perhaps the first (many) times animals burned in fires was an accidental discovery.

Most invention is based on some sort of accidental discovery but after a few tweaks it becomes an invention.

Food is a big driver of invention.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 30, 2014 02:04AM)
That's true. Whenever I need inspiration for a new routine, I order a pizza.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Oct 30, 2014 03:19AM)
Cooking is more instinct, as the human body is ill equipped to process food without pre-digestion. Gun powder, explosives, and cooking can all be categorized as "fire".

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 30, 2014 04:09AM)
Let me pontificate for a moment:

The world didn't really change much, technologically speaking, until the industrial age. Sure, at some point human beings started eating cooked food and growing it on farms and writing and painting and all sorts of interesting stuff. But human life was still basically similar: you looked for food, you consumed food, you reproduced, you created some culture.

But at some point we started TRAVELING. We went from point A to point B at speeds that smashed cultures and ideas and peoples and races together in ways that we still have yet to deal with in completely appropriate ways. We are reeling from high speed travel. In my opinion, the automobile was MUCH more revolutionary than anything in the digital age. We know how to send and receive information really fast. But this hardly compares with moving OURSELVES around the globe with lightning-like speed. Cars, Trains, Automobiles, Aeroplanes (not to mention Airplanes) have changed human life in ways that the entirety of previous human civilization had never experienced.
Message: Posted by: Pecan_Creek (Oct 30, 2014 06:36AM)
I didn't read the whole thread.

Has anyone said Air Conditioning?
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 30, 2014 06:48AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, Pecan_Creek wrote:
I didn't read the whole thread. [/quote]
Reading? :innocent:
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 30, 2014 06:55AM)
[quote]But at some point we started TRAVELING. We went from point A to point B at speeds that smashed cultures and ideas and peoples and races together in ways that we still have yet to deal with in completely appropriate ways.[/quote]

Of course the argument could be made that [i]not [/i] traveling changed the world. As it was pointed out before in the thread, agriculture--and thus the start of towns and cities--was a radical change form the previous nomadic life of searching for food.

But I think I have to go with money as mentioned above: the commodification of one's labor and social debts is what made it possible to have an exchange of goods and services without the corresponding embedding in a social context which was so important in keeping previous communities together.
Message: Posted by: Jack Straw (Oct 30, 2014 07:31AM)
Syringes.

Without them I (and many others) would not be alive.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Oct 30, 2014 08:44AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, JoeJoe wrote:

Gun powder, explosives, and cooking can all be categorized as "fire".
[/quote]

No.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 30, 2014 09:07AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, landmark wrote:
As it was pointed out before in the thread, agriculture...was a radical change form the previous nomadic life of searching for food.
[/quote]

Uh...yeah...I was the one who first brought up agriculture. :)

I like to think of this question in terms of what kind of things really changed human life. There are more than one. Humans before agriculture lived significantly different lifestyles. Humans before the industrial revolution lived significantly different lifestyles.

On the subject of money: basically we're getting back to the philosophers at this point. Locke started with the idea of PROPERTY as the basis of human civilization. MONEY allows an accumulation of property more than one can use oneself. CIVIL GOVERNMENT is created to protect property.

Following that line, CIVIL GOVERNMENT is the most influential and significant and life-changing invention (or development) for human beings.

So says Locke in the Second Treatise of Civil Government.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Oct 30, 2014 09:41AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, landmark wrote:

As it was pointed out before in the thread, agriculture...was a radical change form the previous nomadic life of searching for food.
[/quote]

Uh...yeah...I was the one who first brought up agriculture. :)

[/quote]

Not to diminish the impact of agriculture, it was a huge in mans progress. Everyone here probably knows, cause we're all so smart, that there [i]many[/i] people who gave up agricultural/village lifestyles to become fully nomadic. Which seems odd but it's true. The culture of the plains indian was greatly influenced not so much by an invention, but by the introduction of the horse. When they got the horse several tribes gave up their village/farming lifestyle to chase bison full time. Others became semi-nomadic.

Off topic I suppose but interesting. To me at least.
Message: Posted by: acesover (Oct 30, 2014 10:51AM)
The biggest and most influential invention or idea has to be. ARE YOU READY? Something we all dislike. The Atomic Bomb, or Nuclear bomb decide on your terminology.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 30, 2014 11:06AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, Marlin1894 wrote:
The culture of the plains indian was greatly influenced not so much by an invention, but by the introduction of the horse. When they got the horse several tribes gave up their village/farming lifestyle to chase bison full time. Others became semi-nomadic.

Off topic I suppose but interesting. To me at least. [/quote]

Interesting to me, too. They made a cultural choice which shows no less sense of "advancement" than other choices, if one thinks about it. They didn't choose to invent the internal combustion engine, either.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (Oct 30, 2014 11:11AM)
Liquid Prell
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 30, 2014 11:12AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, acesover wrote:
The biggest and most influential invention or idea has to be. ARE YOU READY? Something we all dislike. The Atomic Bomb, or Nuclear bomb decide on your terminology. [/quote]
Not enough to renounce first use evidently.
Anyway, I don't think so. It's easy enough to threaten the end of civilization without the use of nukes.

Re civil government: David Graeber who wrote a fascinating book called Debt has a thesis that money, rather than being the result of the free market, is in fact a result of civil government. Distant armies and taxes had to be paid, and the idea of social obligation had to be wrested from its human social communitarian context and so, commodified.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 30, 2014 11:12AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, 0pus wrote:
Liquid Prell [/quote]
Not the gel?

What about
Hexa, hexa,
Hexachlorophene!

(Don't mind me. It's just an old geezer having tv ad flashbacks.)
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Oct 30, 2014 11:18AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:

They made a cultural choice which shows no less sense of "advancement" than other choices, if one thinks about it.[/quote]

True. Although in retrospect they might have been better off staying put and sticking to agriculture, with an emphasis on not only crops but animal husbandry as well.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Oct 30, 2014 11:23AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, Marlin1894 wrote:
The culture of the plains indian was greatly influenced not so much by an invention, but by the introduction of the horse. When they got the horse several tribes gave up their village/farming lifestyle to chase bison full time. Others became semi-nomadic.

Off topic I suppose but interesting. To me at least. [/quote]

Seems an economic consideration of sorts. The horse changed the means of production. Similarly, around where I live, the introduction of European (and, later, American) trade goods encouraged the indigenous population to give up their traditional ways of life to trap and trade furs. Buffalo teepees were replaced by canvas. Cooking was changed by the introduction of metal cookware and flour. Time spent hunting was greatly reduced by the introduction of guns and horses. All this lead to increased time to spend on other activities.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Oct 30, 2014 11:29AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, landmark wrote:

Anyway, I don't think so. [/quote]

Nor do I. Especially compared to gunpowder which is clearly on of the most influential inventions of all time. It changed the course of warfare which in turn fundamentally changed the entire world. Entire empires were born and destroyed because of it, it ended the medieval era in Europe, it changed food gathering, it changed exploration and expansion, it changed, in a huge way, the lives of pretty much every person on the planet in one way or another, at one time or another. And still does for good or bad.

Plus it gave us fireworks!
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Oct 30, 2014 11:33AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:

Seems an economic consideration of sorts. The horse changed the means of production. Similarly, around where I live, the introduction of European (and, later, American) trade goods encouraged the indigenous population to give up their traditional ways of life to trap and trade furs. Buffalo teepees were replaced by canvas. Cooking was changed by the introduction of metal cookware and flour. Time spent hunting was greatly reduced by the introduction of guns and horses. All this lead to increased time to spend on other activities. [/quote]

No doubt about it. They clearly felt it was an advancement over their current way of life and felt it was a more prosperous and healthy way to live and more beneficial to their survival and overall well being.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Oct 30, 2014 11:54AM)
Liquid Prell;

[youtube]iqPtV-tOoMA[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: acesover (Oct 30, 2014 07:11PM)
I don't know. Liquid Prell, Atomic Bomb. It's a coin flip. :)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 30, 2014 07:17PM)
Tang
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 30, 2014 10:05PM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, landmark wrote:
As it was pointed out before in the thread, agriculture...was a radical change form the previous nomadic life of searching for food.
[/quote]

Uh...yeah...I was the one who first brought up agriculture. :)

[/quote]
Uh...yeah...well...I knew that...
Okay, well I knew that after you told me anyway.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 30, 2014 10:43PM)
After agriculture, which is really the foundation of civilization:

bronze working
mining
iron working
masonry
animal husbandry
the wheel
sailing
writing
philosophy
theology
banking
education

(I play Civilization V a lot.)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 31, 2014 01:02AM)
Maybe I missed it, but why has no one brought up "magic?"

humans have been though unique in the ability to hold an imaginary solution in mind and compare it with a hypothetical problem.

In this he Invented (or recognized) force at work that he did not understand and attempted to control them.

By pretending to control them he gained some sense of security of mind and body. Magic was born.

Our play-acting at controlling inexplicable phenomena as entertainment gives hope that we can actually control other things we do not understand.

..................

invention?

apes have now been observed acting strangely during an approaching lightning storm.

They select a member by a ritualistic process -- and the "select" goes forth with stick to jab at the sky in defiance.

When he is not killed and the storm passes he is applauded by his peers.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 31, 2014 03:36AM)
Apes have been observed. Cool.

Of course, humans interpret what the apes are doing.


.......


Perhaps it is a ritual. Perhaps not.


.......


I saw "Planet of the Apes".

I'm scared.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Oct 31, 2014 09:24AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, acesover wrote:
I don't know. Liquid Prell, Atomic Bomb. It's a coin flip. :) [/quote]

2000 YEAR OLD MAN Look, you got the atomic bomb in your medicine cabinet. You open the door, it falls out, what happens[q] It breaks, that's what.
Now you got Liquid Prell in there and it's gonna bounce. And you can put a pearl in there and it'll go slow and then you can put another one in
there and then you got two.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Oct 31, 2014 01:44PM)
Yeah, I'd have to go with Mastermindreader on agriculture being the start of it all; but Jared Diamond makes a good point for guns and steel as moving us all into the modern imperialist dominated world. Diamond also mentions 'germs'... not an invention per se, and not always consciously used .... but germs did make a huge impact on how human society developed. Of course, nowadays, one can make a good argument that certain germs can be considered 'inventions'; but now we're venturing into philosophy.fun topic, ciao, Lynn
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Oct 31, 2014 01:52PM)
IIRC, Diamond's main argument was for "geographic determinism"--he held that your location on the planet has an enormous influence on how your culture and technology develops. We live in a world where, for example, only a few animals are readily domesticated, only a few plant species are amenable to mass production for consumption, local mineral resources may or may not be useful for metallurgy, and local timber may or may not be useful for building. Before modern communication and transportation, your technological and social development, he argues, are enabled and constrained by your local resources. The "fertile crescent" had favourable growing conditions and suitable natural grains for the development of agriculture, which enabled the development of cities, and the class division that provides time for other innovations. Turns out that the raw materials for bronze-making were available in the same area, leading to improved agriculture, technology and, of course, warfare. (If "improved" is the right word here.)

I have nowhere near the competence to evaluate Diamond's thesis, but I found it fascinating and compelling.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Nov 1, 2014 11:10AM)
The enlightenment gave us our modern conceptions of rights and tolerance. The greatest inventions in the history of humanity.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 1, 2014 12:17PM)
+ 1

Well done, John.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 1, 2014 04:35PM)
+ 2
Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Nov 2, 2014 11:01PM)
You've all missed the most important invention which started it all and start man on his path of domination over all other creatures, the spear.
The next greatest invention was the plow.
And then a writing system
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 2, 2014 11:14PM)
The club came before the spear.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 3, 2014 01:14AM)
The club? I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member.

The real answer is something only Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick knew, and they are both dead. So the real meaning of the monolith--which was the catalyst for the evolution from apes to men--is now lost.

Unless Tommy knows.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 3, 2014 01:41AM)
I'm sure tommy will point out that the club is actually the Club of Rome.
Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Nov 3, 2014 07:07AM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
The club came before the spear. [/quote]
True, but it was the spear that dedidedly gave man the upper hand.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Nov 3, 2014 07:28AM)
Most influental invention?

Song.
Message: Posted by: Ray Tupper. (Nov 3, 2014 08:49AM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2014, Intrepid wrote:
[quote]On Nov 3, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
The club came before the spear. [/quote]
True, but it was the spear that dedidedly gave man the upper hand. [/quote]
That all depends on how many were in the club.