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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by dreamwalker74
I agree that the educational system is abysmal (in the US). But I don't think it has anything to do with an active plan to hide the information you're talking about. You see, in most cases, students aren't going to encounter these people unless they have enough curiosity of their own to find out about it. And as you have demonstrated, it's pretty easy to find out who "invented" television, integrated circuits, and microwave ovens. But what about postit notes? There are thousands (millions) of things that affect our daily lives, should every single inventor of each thing be taught?
Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by dreamwalker74
One may consider that many modern inventions are brought about in secret "Corporate" labs. Everybody is looking out to maintain control of said invention and will only release such discoveries after they have covered themselves legally against patten infringement.
Gone for the most part are the days of Thomas Edison and the like. Sweating away in some oversize garage [paying somebody else to invent while he takes the credit.]
I'll use NASA as an example of how some aspects of the modern world fails to inspire today's youth. Ever watch the NASA channel or anything to do with their endeavors? It's like watching paint dry. Outside of the most staunch enthusiast many simply switch channels or knowing how boring their coverage is simply look for highlight videos.
Necessity is the mother of invention. So what happens when all your needs are met? Seems that in today's disposable society most if not all our physical needs have been met, for the most part. Therefore why strive? This is exactly why in the newer developing countries, China & India for example they are striving and putting out many more engineers than in the west.
I think people are pain or strife motivated. If people are too comfortable they become complacent. I agree we should be teaching more of the details not just hitting the highlights. I doubt that this alone will spur a resurgence in creativity though.
Originally posted by dreamwalker74
There is a fundamental part of our recent history that has either been overlooked or intentionally ignored.
I have to now admit that I have NO idea how 90% of the modern technology I use on a daily basis actually works. I could go back in time and bring with, or tell them about these amazing inventions. Yet I would likely no be able to re-create any of 95% of them.
Originally posted by Swing Dangler
I didn't read through every post to see who is actually drenched in the American Educational System. I am. As a teacher at the secondary level for the past 15 years I can speak as an expert on the topic, especially the U.S. History part as well as the particulars of the OP.
Originally posted by Phage
Neither the microchip or the microwave oven was in common use when I was in school.
You can't really say that Nipkow invented television. His system had nothing to do with modern television.
While Dummer may have come up with the idea for integrated circuits, he never created a working version. If you want to credit someone, you might want to consider Jack Kilby.
Spencer didn't invent the magnetron, though he did come up with the idea of using it to cook food.
[edit on 7/7/2010 by Phage]
Dr. Isaac Asimov notes1 in his Genetic Code that there seems
to be a 60-year cycle between the first understanding of a new
scientific principle and the transformation of the world by that
For instance, Oersted discovered electromagnetic equivalence—
the fact that electricity can be converted to magnetism,
and magnetism to electricity—in 1820. Sixty years later, in 1880,
electrical generators were in wide use and the Industrial Revolution
had peaked; the telegraph and telephone were already
invented, and our age of Mass Communication was dawning.
Similarly, in 1883, Thomas Edison first noted the so-called
"Edison effect"—the key to electronic, as distinct from electrical,
engineering. 60 years later, in 1943, electronic technology
was appearing everywhere; its primitive form in the entertainment
sphere, radio, had enjoyed a 20-year triumph and was about
to be phased out by television.
In 1896, Becquerel noted the radioactivity of uranium. Sixty
years later, two cities had been destroyed by atomic bombs and
Prometheus Rising 261
nuclear plants were beginning to be built. (This was a contribution
to illth, not wealth.)
In 1903, the Wright Brothers got their monoplane off the
ground for a few minutes. Sixty years later, in 1963, jetliners
carrying over 100 passengers were normal.
Assuming, gambling, guesstimating that this 60-year cycle is
normal, we can predict:
Shannon and Weiner created the mathematical foundations of
cybernetics in 1948. Sixty years later, in 2008, cybernetization of
the world, as complete as the electrification of the 19th Century,
will have jumped us to a new energy-level, a new social reality,
as Toffler predicts.
Hoffman discovered '___' and the chemical control of consciousness
in 1943. Sixty years later, in 2003, every alteration in
consciousness imaginable will be possible by ingesting the
McKay had the first success in expanding life-span of laboratory
rats in 1938. Sixty years later, in 1998, longevity pills may
be routinely available in all drugstores.
DNA was identified in 1944. Sixty years later, in 2004, every
type of genetic engineering should be as routine as electronic
engineering is today.
The latest attempt to estimate the rate of information acceleration—
the manifestation of coherence—was made by French
economist Georges Anderla for the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1973.
Anderla arbitrarily assumed that all the bits of information
possessed by humanity at the beginning of the Christian Era
(1 AD) could be considered his unit of measurement. He made
that information pool one unit in our fund of knowledge.
It took until 1500 AD, Anderla discovered, for the accumulation
of bits of information to add up to two units in our "fund."
It required only 250 years more (to 1750) for our bank of
knowledge to double again, to four units.
The next doubling took 150 years and by 1900 humanity had
8 units in its information capital account.
The next doubling took only 50 years and by 1950 we had 16
262 Prometheus Rising
The next doubling took only 10 years and by 1960 we had 32
The next doubling took seven years and by 1967 we had 64
units. (This was coincidentally the height of the first Youth
Revolution, when reality maps began breaking down everywhere
on the planet and wild new maps were hurtling at us from all