Most important discoveries/inventions EVER

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Dan Gayle's picture
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Joined: 17 May 2006 - 7:00pm
Most important discoveries/inventions EVER
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1. Fire
2. The wheel
3. Writing
4. Paper
5. Movable type (EDIT: The lead kind. Not the software kind.)
6. Electricity

That's where I've made it to so far. Additions? Subtractions? Comments?

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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HA! Funny movie. Zug zug.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll.
But not Smartypants.

Dan Gayle's picture
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I was going to list:
6. Gibson Les Paul

Mark Thoni's picture
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Kind of ironic, but maybe the internet would be a nice addition?

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Antibiotics should probably be number one on the list. There's not a single invention in history that's done more to improve our quality of life. The transistor should also be pretty far up there, as should interchangeable parts and the assembly line.

Dan Gayle's picture
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Re:There’s not a single invention in history that’s done more to improve our quality of life.

Psalms 90:9,10
“For all our days have come to their decline in your fury;
We have finished our years just like a whisper.
In themselves the days of our years are seventy years;
And if because of special mightiness they are eighty years,
Yet their insistence is on trouble and hurtful things;
For it must quickly pass by, and away we fly.”

Antibiotics aren't all they're cracked up to be, in my opinion.

David Smith's picture
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Jpad, right on about antibiotics.

How about?:

The telegraph - enabled for first time, really, the coordination of distant events & schedules/trains.

Seaworthy clocks - allowing for rationalized navigation.

There's a BBC show that I used to watch, where this guy would take one simple "technology" (something we take for granted and see as rather mundane and obvious), and shows how revolutionary it was and how much it effected history.

The modern world is such an amazing web of such a myriad of interdependent inventions & discoveries, it's hard to prioritize them. Take the discovery of antibiotics - I'll bet we can name ten prior inventions/discoveries that the discovery of antibiotics depended upon - take away one of them and no antibiotics.

And that interests me too: what is the difference between a discovery or an invention? Are all inventions merely discoveries? Was the airfoil invented - or did we merely discover it in nature?

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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beer...

Matthew Desmond's picture
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How about Pasteur?

Dan Gayle's picture
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I just thought that it was interesting that 3 out of at least the top 10 most important inventions of all time have specifically to do with typography. That means we are cool.

David Smith's picture
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DanGayle,

I'd go even further: every one of them has to do with typography. That makes us supercool :-)

Alaskan's picture
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I second the beer, and I'd like to nominate wine and coffee.

Patricia Fabricant's picture
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 - 9:40am
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SARAN WRAP

In The 2000 Year Old Man, Mel Brooks tells Carl Reiner that "the greatest thing mankind ever devised, I think, in my humble opinion, is Saran Wrap." Why? Because "you can put a sandwich in it! You can look through it!...It's so good and cute."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,989802-1,00.html

Patricia Fabricant's picture
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 - 9:40am
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Or, you could argue, sliced bread. Since you hear all the time, "it's the greatest thing since sliced bread"

Mike Patrick's picture
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I just recently saw Caveman for the first time in over 25 years... last time I saw was in the theatre with my sister. Still offers some good laughs.

My thoughts on what are the some of the most important discoveries / inventions:
•Shoes (I cannot imagine not having shoes, it would suck not having them)
•Red Bull (for sometimes helping me start design jobs)
•Grey Goose (for sometimes helping me finish them)
•OS X (because using OS 9 pretty much become my own personal bug-ridden hell)
•Ramen Noodles (for keeping me alive during some very difficult times)

I was going to list:
6. Gibson Les Paul

Well, you'd get my support. Timeless design, great tone, and no other guitar I'd had sustained a note quite the same way. Mine turns 20 this year, I should celebrate by buying another.

Murray Crocker's picture
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Joined: 25 Oct 2006 - 10:52pm
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BEER AND WINE. Sex is choice as well. Does that count?

Muzz

Patricia Fabricant's picture
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 - 9:40am
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Uh... Muzzer - I don't think you can call sex an invention. A discovery, maybe.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Dan, the rule about talking about the president of Iran applies to pictures too.

Anyway mark me down for beer and nuclear bombs - both in short supply in Iran, so I hear.

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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6. Gibson Les Paul

Bah - only if you want to end up bent over and at the chiropractor. SG - forever.

Just kidding guys - I like the Les Paul tone but man wearing one every night is just too painful…

I have 1968 SG Custom with 3 pickups, a fretless wonder neck and gold hardware. I don't need no stinking Les Paul… :)

peace

Ricardo Cordoba's picture
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The steam engine -- helping to melt the polar ice caps ever since its invention.

(Bit of gallows humor there, sorry.)

Alexander Kominek's picture
Joined: 10 Dec 2004 - 6:27pm
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Paul - I've got a 1961 SG with gold hardware as well. One day I'll get it refretted with gold wire and get some gold humbucker covers too.

I vote SG.

- Lex

Casey Hickey's picture
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Joined: 7 Apr 2006 - 2:07pm
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Vision correction.

(How many of the top 10 listed here are useful if you can't see?)

Oh, did anyone say indoor plumbing and clothing? I'd be very cold in New York without them.

AzizMostafa's picture
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This + Lipsticks + Mirrors?!

Jeff Tupper's picture
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Sex -- invention / discovery? I think it depends on how it's done!

Personally, I'd include a bunch of mathematics in the list.

Aleksander Lenart's picture
Joined: 4 Sep 2006 - 9:58am
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Just a little reminder. Most of these inventions apply to very small wealthy part of the human kind, unfortunately. Internet (two per cent?), electricity, sometimes even wheel, medicines and writing are still unknown/inaccessible for many.

_______
AL
lenart.pl

J. Edward Sanchez's picture
Joined: 10 Sep 2004 - 2:47pm
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Art.

Sebastiaan de With's picture
Joined: 22 Dec 2006 - 5:14am
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Vision correction. (...)
Art (...)
(...) coffee (...)

and I'd like to replace this:

OS X

By Free Open Source Software (FOSS), UNIX, and the C programming language, which got us where we are.

Simon Daniels's picture
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>which got us where we are.

I really don't think you can blame these things for 'where we are'

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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> I’ve got a 1961 SG with gold hardware as well.

Lex - you're obviously a man with superb taste… :)

No Fender players here?

peace

Chris Goodwin's picture
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Chalk up another vote for the SG. (Chrome hardware only for me thanks...)

Murray Crocker's picture
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Art? If I can't vote for sex then art is out as well! As far ai I know we have always been artists.

Muzz

Tim Daly's picture
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Flint
Bronze
Iron
Fulcrum & lever
Pulley
Vaccination
Bikini

Tim

Chris Rugen's picture
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- manned flight
- mass production
- the transistor
- motor vehicles
- irrigation

Many of these inventions/ideas have spurred fundamental changes in the way we interact with the world and each other, as well as spawning enormous related systems (such as the road system for cars). Their relative goodness or badness is debatable.

Chris Rugen's picture
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- legal property rights

Chris Lozos's picture
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Vacations

ChrisL

PS: Patty who first discovered sex? It wasn't Adam because he's been taking a ribbing for it :-)

Georg Kraus's picture
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To know to be
Communication
Music
Books - more books - even more books
But the most exciting discovery for me in my life was:
my wife - again and again, since 24 years.

Georg

Patricia Fabricant's picture
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 - 9:40am
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Chris - sex was probably discovered by an early invertebrate many gazillions of years before humans were (unfortunately) invented. But I'm no biologist.

Georg - you have a lucky wife to be so loved.

Joshua Lurie-Terrell's picture
Joined: 2 Apr 2003 - 4:37pm
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God

kink

music

art

sushi

David's picture
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g-spot
music
cooking

Nick Shinn's picture
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sushi -- I guess that rules out cookery.
but not wasabi.

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Music

Air travel

Language (although not necessarily languages… ;-) )

Letters, letter drawing, typography, and printing! :-D

And British television

David Smith's picture
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Lagavulin (16 year) & Talisker

Theatre

Patricia Fabricant's picture
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 - 9:40am
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Lagavulin, now you're talking!

I'd have to put God on the other list tho. And he is for SURE an invention.

Neil Caldwell's picture
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Architecture - pure raw Architecture.

_________
Hiro

Joshua Lurie-Terrell's picture
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yes, i realize she / it is an invention. however, this list isn't for the best, but the most important.

joshua

---

jlt : http://www.hewnandhammered.com : rnrmf!

Linda Cunningham's picture
Joined: 26 Jul 2006 - 3:55pm
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Scotch, Calvados, Port, and Champagne.

Real cheese (not artificially flavoured orange gum).

Monty Python.

Chris Lozos's picture
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"It's only a flesh wound!"

ChrisL

Derek Schusterbauer's picture
Joined: 7 Oct 2005 - 12:38pm
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flying cars

Jarrod Beglinger's picture
Joined: 19 Aug 2005 - 3:14pm
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futbol.

Casey Hickey's picture
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When I said vision correction, I should have included the needed hint of sarcasm, which reminded me... someone once designed a punctuation glyph to denote sarcasm (jokingly of course). Does anyone remember this, or have I gone off the deep end?