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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Most influential invention in history (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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+1 to money

various notions and systems of tokens/money (add clock/calendar to get time-value accounting)
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Rick Holcombe
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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.
mastermindreader
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No- it's not money. It's necessity that is the mother of invention. (And Frank Zappa.)
Mary Mowder
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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
mastermindreader
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I think cooking food was more of an accidental discovery than an invention.
Mary Mowder
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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
mastermindreader
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That's true. Whenever I need inspiration for a new routine, I order a pizza.
JoeJoe
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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
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
stoneunhinged
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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.
Pecan_Creek
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I didn't read the whole thread.

Has anyone said Air Conditioning?
landmark
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Quote:
On Oct 30, 2014, Pecan_Creek wrote:
I didn't read the whole thread.

Reading? Smile
landmark
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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.


Of course the argument could be made that not 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.
Jack Straw
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Syringes.

Without them I (and many others) would not be alive.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
Marlin1894
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Quote:
On Oct 30, 2014, JoeJoe wrote:

Gun powder, explosives, and cooking can all be categorized as "fire".


No.
stoneunhinged
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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.


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

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.
Marlin1894
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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.


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



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 many 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.
acesover
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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.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
stoneunhinged
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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.


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.
0pus
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Liquid Prell
landmark
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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.

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.
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