What is the greatest invention?




Answers:    1. The Mechanical Clock. Before this invention, time was inseparable from events, the basic one being the Sun crossing the sky. Only local time existed, no common river of time. If you agreed to meet someone at sunset, you have to say where on earth, because the Sun is always setting somewhere. The sundial merely divided the Sun's day by day journey into unit, which meant the hour have no fixed length: it swelled and shrank with the season. Besides, no one carried a sundial around, so you never hear anyone say, "Can't tell now, I'm on the sundial." Then, power-driven clocks came around--gears, springs, pendulums, the works. Gradually, as these clocks adjectives came to be coordinated, they created public time, a point in itself: one single, wide-ranging current flowing everywhere throughout the universe, always at like pace. People could presently communicate with respectively other by coordinating to this universal frame of hint. Thus, clocks made factories, office, schools, meeting, and appointments possible. The activities of millions could be meshed resembling, well, clockwork. And logically, what clocks made possible, they soon made necessary. In a clock-driven world, most of us are very soon either "in good time," "ahead of schedule," or "running postponed."

2. The Toilet* and Modern Plumbing.* Go ahead. Laugh. Then try to imagine New York City lacking toilets. You can't. The ability to remove sewage from and bring verbs water into places of dense human habitation make the modern city possible. Without it, we'd still have cities, but not resembling the ones we know. A high-rise building would be impossible, really, without toilets and plumbing. Remove apartment buildings, bureau towers, and dense downtown cores from your picture of the world and you have to renovate the whole rest of your picture too, because the implication keep rippling.

3. The Printing Press. Unoriginal, I know, but still it's true. Gutenberg's press, beside its movable type, launched publishing. In the short possession, this made the Reformation possible by putting a Bible in the hand of anybody who wanted one. The Church lost its lock on truth, and the sovereign individual soon emerge as the key component of Western society. In the longer term, publishing universalized literacy*. Before this invention, so few could read that, effectively, even those few lived within a world of oral tradition and memory. Humanity's consensual picture of reality be shaped by stories, told and retold. In this fluid world, if the big picture shifted, no one know, because they had nought to check it against. The proliferation of text fixed aspiration reality. Now, when two folks disagree about what happen yesterday, they can look it up. Stories have survived, but merely as entertainment. Our modern collective picture of actuality is founded on facts archived as text.

4. Immunization and Antibiotics. Three centuries ago, almost everyone died of infectious diseases. When the plague broke out within 1347, it killed nearly partially of Europe--in about two years. When diseases such as smallpox reach North America, they reduced the indigenous population by about 90 percent in a century. As late as 1800, the main cause of destruction in the West be tuberculosis. Hardly anyone died of old age vertebrae then, one explanation why elders be revered. Today, elders are a dime a dozen: zilch unusual about surviving long-gone 70. In the United States, 73 percent of people die of heart downfall, cancer, and stroke. Chronic respiratory illnesses (related to smoking mostly) account for the fourth biggest slice of funeral business. It's a different world, folks.

5. The Telephone. Lots of culture imagined the telephone previously any telephone existed. Wouldn't it be cool, they said, if you could natter to someone in another city minus leaving home? Once the device be invented, and businessmen had wrested it away from the inventors, the Network begin to form. That's the actual invention--the Network. It enables anyone to bargain to anyone anywhere at any given moment. So today, anyone's real-time group includes people not physically present, and they could be anywhere. The infrastructure took some time to develop, but the touchtone phone implied all this from the start. Wireless cell phones don't relocate the core idea, they merely extend it. The Network continues to deepen.

6. The Electrical Grid. Electricity existed adjectives along, but the system of devices needed to generate this force and distribute it to individual buildings was an invention, launch initially by Edison: He effectively turned electricity into a salable commodity and his Pearl Street station was the world's first electric power station. Nikola Tesla's invention of alternating current (AC) technology afterwards made it possible to transmit electricity over long distances, leading to the general grid we know today. Now, anyone in the West and throughout most of the world can touch into the grid to power everything from light bulbs to computers. We are, within fact, a social organism animated by electricity (and rendered conscious by the Network--see above).

7. The Automobile. Once cars be invented, roads were superior. Once roads were superior, cities sprouted suburbs, because people could presently live in the country, but work in the city. And thus we hold become a nation of sprawl, rather than density. Furthermore, as cars grew popular, the grease industry boomed. Oil became a knob to power and wealth--and one of the major factor for political and economic unrest surrounded by the Middle East. And here we are today.

8. The Television. Wherever a television set is on, it absorb attention like no other piece of furniture. Jane Healy, surrounded by her book Endangered Minds, says small screen has changed the human brain itself. Our neural networks are not hardwired at birth but verbs to develop for several years, new circuits forming surrounded by response to our first interactions with the environment. In much of the developed world, youthful children interact largely with box, so their neural networks hardwire to accommodate its warm, one-way, pacifying, activity-dampening stimulus.

9. The Computer. Okay, look. I'll come verbs: My deepest, richest, most diverse, and rewarding relationship is with my computer. It plays games beside me, tells me joke, plays music to me, and does my taxes. I have great conversations beside it, too. These conversations appear as e-mail and take on the personality of supposed "friends," but the human embodiments of those "friends" are now and then with me. My concrete relationship is beside this object on my desk (or within my lap). Anyway, when we can take the equivalent of our own brains onto an airplane next to us in an attaché casing, that's got to be shaping who we are within some important agency.
I believe it to be electricity?

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