Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

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gitgeezer
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Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by gitgeezer » Tue May 30, 2017 6:33 pm

The U.S. Librarian of Congress, who's in charge of archives of copyrights, was asked to list the ten inventions and innovations most meaningful to human life today. Can we get all ten? Give it a try. You can nominate any number you wish. You can also suggest which number each should be on the list, the most important being #1.

Think in terms of recorded history. For each invention and innovation on the list, it's possible to point to specific individuals who made it possible in a modern sense, so such inventions as fire, the wheel, steel, houses, etc. are not included.

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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by bear » Tue May 30, 2017 6:54 pm

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the possible candidates. The list may have had meaningful changes I;m not certain the changes have been good.
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Michael.N.
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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by Michael.N. » Tue May 30, 2017 7:22 pm

I guess that electricity is out because it wasn't an invention, more of a discovery that was already present in nature. You can say that about many things though, after all the wheel isn't too far from a very rounded stone.
I'm voting electricity. Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as the person who discovered it but it wouldn't surprise me if it was someone else. Even the invention of the transistor is debated, some putting it almost a decade before the announcement by Bell labs. The invention of radio is contested. It can be pretty difficult to pin these things down when y is just a development of x and there are numerous people working on the same thing.
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gitgeezer
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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by gitgeezer » Tue May 30, 2017 7:45 pm

The inventions and innovations on the list are all patentable things that we can see or experience directly, so electricity is out. The radio would be a good one, but didn't make the list. Perhaps it would have been 11th or 12th in a list of a dozen. Sorry, you members on the driverless car thread, driverless cars didn't make the list.

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bear
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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by bear » Tue May 30, 2017 7:50 pm

ENIAC
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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by Rasputin » Tue May 30, 2017 7:52 pm

There are not many genuinely meaningful things that have been invented recently enough for us to know whodunnit, or even argue about it, so I think it's a bit of a false question really. I could do without cars, but then in a world without motorised transport I might be labouring in a field, so I guess motorised transport would be on my list - but do we equate that with the invention of the car, or should it be the steam train, the steam ship... Everything is connected to everything else. Once you have the idea of a motor, the car is inevitable, and the Greeks figured out that steam power was possible.

I think the list will say more about the US Librarian of Congress than anything else.

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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by gitgeezer » Tue May 30, 2017 7:57 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 7:52 pm
There are not many genuinely meaningful things that have been invented recently enough for us to know whodunnit, or even argue about it, so I think it's a bit of a false question really. I could do without cars, but then in a world without motorised transport I might be labouring in a field, so I guess motorised transport would be on my list - but do we equate that with the invention of the car, or should it be the steam train, the steam ship... Everything is connected to everything else. Once you have the idea of a motor, the car is inevitable, and the Greeks figured out that steam power was possible.

I think the list will say more about the US Librarian of Congress than anything else.
The automobile is #6 on the list.

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Martin
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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by Martin » Tue May 30, 2017 8:01 pm

I would think the Gutenberg Printing Press and movable type should be in there somewhere.
If all else fails, try reading the instructions...

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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Tue May 30, 2017 8:28 pm

I'll nominate only one :: birth control (any "medical" form of prevention). I'll bet that is on the list as it has profoundly altered social norms, stigmas, and corresponding human behavior.
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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by Rasputin » Tue May 30, 2017 8:39 pm

Yes that's a life-changing one for sure. Having said that some think the ancient Greeks used Silphium as a contraceptive and harvested it to the point of extinction.

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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by eno » Tue May 30, 2017 8:48 pm

Incandescent lamp by Edison
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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by gitgeezer » Tue May 30, 2017 8:53 pm

Martin wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 8:01 pm
I would think the Gutenberg Printing Press and movable type should be in there somewhere.
Congratulations! The printing press is #1!

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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by gitgeezer » Tue May 30, 2017 8:55 pm

Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 8:28 pm
I'll nominate only one :: birth control (any "medical" form of prevention). I'll bet that is on the list as it has profoundly altered social norms, stigmas, and corresponding human behavior.
There's one medical item on the list, but that's not it.

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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by gitgeezer » Tue May 30, 2017 8:56 pm

eno wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 8:48 pm
Incandescent lamp by Edison
Congratulations! The light bulb is #2!

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Re: Top Ten Inventions and Innovations

Post by eno » Tue May 30, 2017 9:08 pm

gitgeezer wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 8:55 pm
There's one medical item on the list, but that's not it.
Aspirin?
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