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July 17, 2010

Watershed events in technological evolution

I've been pondering stuff today trying to mentally list all the major technological breakthroughs that humans have come up with over the past 20,000 years or so.

Obviously, the wheel/fire rank pretty high on the list, but what else is there out there our fertile brains have conjured up/harnessed over the millennia? For the sake of this discussion I've explicitly ignored weaponry - which is something humans are particularly adept at developing.

I'll start this out by tossing out few that struck me as pretty handy:

1) Hinges. Imagine a world without hinges. Pretty tough, eh?

2) Glues/adhesives. People have been gluing shit together for thousands of years using anything that was even remotely sticky. Try to imagine going through a day without using something that didn't have some component glued to something else.

3) Paint/protective coatings. Does a day go by that we don't see something that has a coat of paint on it?


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posted by Purp at 07:14 PM

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