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Need some help with trying to figure out our technological evelutionary spurt

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posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 10:11 PM
Agreed many of Tesla's inventions and ideas are barely being touched upon today. Same with Da'Vinci and others. I'm sure somewhere today there are "starving inventors" that have ideas we are laughing at which will be seen as genious 50 years from now.

To me the biggest question is how does our mind put together things that really at the time have no business being together and come up with these ideas that throw us forward.

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 10:39 PM

Originally posted by Xerrog
To me the biggest question is how does our mind put together things that really at the time have no business being together and come up with these ideas that throw us forward.

Exactly what i was thinking while reading this thread. It seems strange to me that some things that have been invented just "popped" into someones head. I know many inventions were created from ideas, or built off of previous inventions. But, quite a few inventors have just created these marvelous things from scratch. Even now with computers as advanced as they are i couldnt imagine thinking up and creating something of that magnitude. The programming and building of early computers just seems...crazy. 0's and 1' does something like that come to an inventor. I have thought of a few inventions that would be quite useful, but only because they would build off of things already out there. I personally believe that there is something else driving....maybe not driving but pushing us along ever so slightly.

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 11:16 PM
There are some great comments and ideas posted here.

But I can't help it. I have to shake my head. You have overlooked something very important in advancing development. It's something that you consider insignificant. Yet something that each of you use several times a day.


To highlight the idea, look at how much the romans were able to accomplish once they had an aquaduct. Before the toilet there could only be small communities. Disease reigned supreme in cities that became large. Their pots were dumped out the windows into the street. Obviously people did not live very long.

If it is true that electicity was implemented in ancient times, it is an anomoly. Because small communities could not get the word out to many others, the idea could not be passed along to the masses, and they did not live long enough to embelish on the ideas.

Great as Ben Franklin's discovery was nothing was done about it for a long time. He lived in a small community, and although he was able to get the word out to some, life was difficult and for most people, time was spent in the struggle to survive.

Once plumbing was firmly established, lifespans increased, cities enlarged, ideas were transfered to larger quantities of people, and there was more time to spend on ideas. How old was Edison when he got the lightbulb to work? Bell on the telephone?

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 05:31 AM

Originally posted by makeitso

If it is true that electicity was implemented in ancient times, it is an anomoly.

It is certainly anamolous from the perspective of what we're taught about ancient civilizations. Not so much so from the perspective of how ancient civilization appears to have actually been.

As for plumbing,advanced in-house plumbing dates back thousands of years BCE( ). What's interesting is that the Harrapan civilization appears to have sprung up fully formed. Which would heavily imply that the plumbing had already been in use elsewhere by whoever built it.

[edit on 23-11-2005 by Loungerist]

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 05:58 AM
There IS that theory of the exponential learning curve for humans. You know, the one that states our knowledge doubles every so often and over the millenia, the period of time it takes to do so halves. So at one point, we double our knowledge as a race over 100 years, after that it'll just be 50 years before we've doubled it again, then 25 and so on.

If you look at the field of computer technology, this really does seem to be the case. Only trouble is - that they predict (and I can't remember who they were - except Robert Anton Wilson is an advocate...ish) that by 2012 our knowledge'll be doubling every second!

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 10:10 AM
Something else that should perhaps be considered is the concept of “acceptance”. It takes time for people to accept new ideas and new inventions no matter how wonderful or right on they turn out to be. It doesn’t matter that the sun is the center of the solar system if people aren’t willing to accept that idea… and so on.

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 10:43 AM
If you think that technology has increased quickly to this point, then hold on to your butts. You ain't seen nothing yet! There is a saying that if you want to find the easiest way to do something, then get the laziest person you know and put them on the hardest job you have. I remember that first time I tried to program my VCR.

Then I looked at a computer keyboard like it was from another planet, scared to touch any keys for fear it would CRASH.

Now I watch children who have grown up with with all these electronic marvels and they seem joined as one. I cannot wait to see what these little buggers come up with.

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 11:44 AM
Well, I don't think that you need to come up with Lost Civilizations or Spaceship Guys to explain scientific and technical advances over the last hundred years. I believe that there are several interlocking reasons why our race has gone from struggling to get off the ground to going to the moon in sixty-six years -- after uncounted millennia of living in caves and clubbing each other with stone-tipped utensils.

There are three things you need to have for there to be a quantum leap in science and technology.

(1) Lots of spare time, which was driven by the most important invention in history: agriculture. With agriculture, you now have time to do something besides walking around and gathering food or running around and catching it. Once the harvest is in, other fun things have time to be invented, like astronomy, irrigation and building engineering, priest-craft, kings, and war. The leisure class has time to start thinking about stuff, which is the first thing we need for technological advances.

(2) A logical and coherent way to think about things, coupled with the willingness to keep an open mind and rely on evidence to build a picture of the universe and how to do cool stuff with it. This way was made possible by the invention of the scientific method, which requires people to make an assumption (called a hypothesis) about one little piece of the universe, test it, re-test it, and re-re-test it until it either falls apart (at which point you toss it out and come up with another assumption) or codify the re-tested hypothesis into a “rule” (now called a theory) which you can use in your attempt to build subsequent hypotheses and then test and re-test them.

This scientific method faced an incredible battle with the entrenched forces of priest-craft which, for the sake of power, had a vested interest in having people not use logical and coherent methods of thought. This war lasted for over four hundred years, starting with the priests burning scientists at the stake, and pretty much ended in 1925 with the Scopes Monkey Trial. Of course, the priest-craft dissidents are still fighting, as evidenced their coming up with new types of suicide bombers (called the “intelligent design" controversy); but, all in all, the priests have pretty well been vanquished or co-opted.

(3) The understanding that the ‘natural’ order of growth (whether of knowledge, bunny-rabbits, or yeast cells) is that of a linear-square function, commonly called the asymptotic-curve rule. That states – simplified – that as the years pass linearly (since the passage of one year doesn’t make the previous year go faster), the knowledge increases as the square (since each piece of knowledge gained makes the next piece of knowledge easier to get and apply).

If you want to know what this curve looks like, and have a graphic calculator, punch in something like [X = Y^2] and you will see how progress goes. Take speed, for example. For ten thousand years, top speed was as fast as a guy could run. For another four or five thousand it moved up to how fast the guy could go on a horse. Two hundred years ago it started to inch up as steam trains were introduced, and by a hundred years ago, tops speed was about a hundred miles per hour. Then airplanes -- and the speed doubled and doubled again and doubled again. Then rockets -- and now we’re zipping along at 25,000 miles per hour. With knowledge, we increase as the square of elapsed time, because each piece of knowledge makes the next piece easier and faster to find, which does the same thing to the next piece of knowledge, and so on

So you see, it’s not Ancient Long-Lost Civilizations Of Atlantis And Mu, or The Benevolent Little Purple Men From Arcturus, or anything like that.

It’s compound interest.

posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 08:05 PM
The wider the distrubition of knowledge, the faster it will advance. People get locked into certain ways of thinking about different aspects of science, engineering, etc. to the point where they simply don't have a wide enough vision to visualize other possible uses for particular bits of knowledge. Others who aren't locked in, generally newcomers to that knowledge, often instantly see new ways to apply it. It isn't invention, but most advances come about in this manner--through innovation. Witholding information always slows progress. Moralists, governments, religious groups, secret societies, etc. often come up with reasons they think certain knowledge should be restricted and so they intentionally try to do so. I will not argue that they are always wrong, but history has shown that over the longer term, they generally are. Further, allowing, even encouraging, the general mass of the population to remain well informed about advances and to facilitate their thorough understanding of those advances, generally pays dividends in the form of additional advances. In a nutshell, that is one of the strongest arguments for general education and for science education in particular.

[edit on 25-11-2005 by Astronomer68]

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