By Lance Winslow
I think we’ve all contemplated; what was the greatest invention of all time? Perhaps you’ve decided that it was the printing press, the computer, the telephone, electricity, automobiles, jet aircraft, washing machines, microwave ovens, toilet paper, or maybe you went way back and said it was fire, fences, or building a raft. The reality is those are all very good answers, and depending on how intellectual you are, or where you live your answers will vary. If you live in a very hot desert you might say air-conditioning, or if you live on an island you might say a fishnet. Let’s go ahead and talk some more shall we?
You see, not long ago I bought a very interesting book which addressed this question, and it did so by interviewing some notables in human history, at least in the present. People who are actually considered the thinkers of our time, people who we would want to consult, people we’d want to listen to, and get their take on something of this magnitude. It’s a book that I would like to recommend to you at this point;
The name of the book is “The Greatest Inventions of the Past 2000 Years – Today’s Leading Thinkers Choose the Creations That Shape Our World,” edited by John Brockman, published by Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, 2000, 192 pages, ISBN: 0-684-85998-X.
The ending of this book was written by Jared Diamond who also wrote the book “Collapse”. This book was written in two parts; How We Live, and How We Think. Interestingly enough, this is a follow-up book to a 1995 book titled; The Third Culture. Although I haven’t read the first book, I am so impressed with this book that I think I will go and seek it at a used bookstore, or buy the Amazon Kindle version. I did enjoy reading some of the answers that I did not think of immediately such as the electric motor, the plow, calculus, the eraser, contraceptive pill, gene sequencing, the battery, hay, and stairs.
In this section on How We Think, there were all sorts of philosophical ideas such as our place in the cosmos, evolution by selection, the scientific method, the concept of education, probability theory, time, human ego, self-government and quantum theory. Yes, like I said this is a very good book, and you need to own it if you are a thinker, or wish to be intrigued. It’s the perfect book to take to a coffee shop each answer is explained in about one page, and it goes on for over 150 pages. Please consider all this and think on it
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