Memo to Donald Trump: To talk without thinking is to shoot without aiming.
18th Century proverb
The Internet may be the most significant invention since the printing press but education paladin John Dewey cautioned that "new technology carries with it the power to divide and atomize society with individual constituencies increasingly replacing a shared sense of community." Oops.
A neighborhood couple recently celebrated forty-six years together. Their secret sauce: "It's as if we see each other through old eye glasses - beyond all the scratches."
What do you think are the top three greatest inventions? A while ago Atlantic magazine asked
a dozen scientists, historians and technologists to rank the world's most significant inventions of all time. Their list, however, merges inventions and discoveries, meaning 'fire' is a discovery, the automobile is an invention. We're focused on inventions only, the act of creating a physical something that never existed before that literally changes the world.
For your consideration:
The WHEEL is #1. No doubt about it. Imagine, please, it's the Neolithic era, somewhere between 4500-3300 BCE. Some enterprising tribal humanoid comes up with a big round thingy that rolls when pushed. Her buddy figures that if you put two of these round thingies together, carve out a hole in the center of each, connect the two holes with an axle, put a seat on top of that, get a big ox to pull it and you've got the world's first human-made vehicle.
The award for the second greatest invention of all time goes to PAPER, first developed in China around the second century BC. Before paper, if you wanted to write a to-do list or spread an idea, you chiseled on the nearest animal skin or tree bark. With paper, you've given the written word a vehicle to travel anywhere.
Of course, paper writing cannot be duplicated in mass quantities unless you come up with the third most significant invention, the PRINTING PRESS built by German Johnny Gutenberg around 1440. The press became so synonymous with the enterprise of printing everything that it lent its name to an entire new branch of media we call the press.
Unfortunately, nowhere on The Atlantic's list* will you find what many of us feel is mankind's most useful invention and the geezer's most favorite tool ever: POST-ITS!
Things You Wish You Didn't Know:
In ancient Egypt, the recommended method of contraception was for a woman to smear crocodile dung on her reproductive organ.
Source: Prof. Robert Garland's engrossing
The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the
Ancient World, forty-eight
fascinating lectures of thirty minutes each