Work and World

The 71 Most AMAZING Innovations Of All Time

perhaps the greatest ability possessed by humans is to innovate and create in order to overcome obstacles and change the world around us like the formation of language for example which is still one of Sciences greatest mysteries with no consensus on its beginnings but undoubtedly change the world of early hominin species that have existed for nearly 2.5 million years or the ability to control fire with evidence of cooked food as far back as 1.5 million years ago around 200,000 years ago modern humans evolved but it wasn’t until roughly 190,000 years later that we changed from a hunter-gatherer societies and created agriculture gathering seeds planting and tending to them has shaped our modern civilization shortly after the plow was created transforming agriculture by 5000 BCE we got even more curious about our globe and created the sailboat opening up the world of exploration in 3500 BCE the first class is created and 100 years later comes the nail found in ancient Egypt helping us create better structures which helps extend human life a few centuries later and cement is created the foundation of our civilization literally looking to further enhance transportation the wheel is invented in 3000 BCE followed by soap and then the original computer or abacus which helps augment human capabilities and shape our economy and even though paper won’t be created until 200 BCE and the printing press until 1430 the first libraries appear in 2600 BCE with records recorded onto stone tablets making knowledge more accessible to all by 1500 BCE the alphabet becomes prevalent in some societies as opposed to ideographic letters further shaping the transfer of knowledge and 700 years later our modern number system from 0 to 9 comes together paving the way for mathematics the first democracy begins in Greece in 508 BCE where all members have equal share to power and perhaps our favorite innovation this scientific method has origins in the time of Aristotle in 384 BCE a process to acquire information and investigate new phenomena we may be a bit biased and of course it’s been further refined over time the Chinese invent the first compass in 3 hundred BCE allowing marinas to navigate great distances at the same time the Archimedes screw is designed which helps transfer water from low to high elevations shaping irrigation and farming all of this before the Common Era speaking of time the first mechanical clock comes in 725 but it won’t be until 1582 that the Gregorian calendar is created which synched people all over the world I glasses come in the 13th century which may seem minimal but dramatically raised the collective human IQ it was also a precursor to the telescope and microscope just prior to the telescope in 1542 the idea that earth is not the center of the universe was groundbreaking but the Copernican system put the Sun at the center of the solar system however this wouldn’t be accepted for hundreds of years the late 1600s brought the steam engine powering not only trains and boats but factories shaping the Industrial Revolution which would later be replaced by the internal combustion engine around this same time binary numbers and boolean logic which are at the heart of digital computing are created and Newton’s laws of motion and universal gravitation help shape ideas of physics though Einstein’s theory of special and general relativity as well as quantum theory would further build upon these ideas vaccines come in 1796 which in the last 20 years alone have prevented 21 million hospitalizations and 732 thousand deaths water purification and food preservation have also saved millions of lives while the camera has allowed us to capture our past and communicate the events of our present the next few hundred years would see big advances in communication with the wireless Telegraph the telephone radio waves and radio and television all transforming our world and making it feel a little smaller the world of Medicine changed drastically in 1846 with the advent of anesthesia and antiseptic allowing for major surgeries that would previously be too painful saving countless lives the Sanitation system also improved the incidence of many diseases and refrigeration would later change how people eat around the world the invention of the light bulb falls shortly after though observations of static electricity were made in 600 seee and the invention of a simple capacitator in 1745 as well as many other discoveries paved the way for using electricity transportation took another major step in 1885 with the modern car and later the airplane while semiconductors would help regulate the flow of electricity and eventually transistors without which modern electronic devices could not function many more scientific discoveries would follow starting with the electron which would help Niels Bohr create his model of the atom although the atom was actually first theorized 2300 years earlier nitrogen fixation and plant breeding helped sustain our population and are credited with saving 1 billion lives along with antibiotics such as penicillin an accidental discovery which fights bacterial infections birth control has also reduced the number of children women have allowing for higher quality of life and polyethylene or other plastics are all around us affecting so many products we make the discovery of DNA in the 1950s Unleashed so much of what we now know about humanity through heredity and genetics which would also lead to genetic engineering and genome sequencing in the 70s and in the last 80 years communication has taken leaps and bounds forward starting with satellite communications in the 40s for TV weather forecasting and defense to the beginnings of the Internet in the 60s and the personal computer and GPS in the 70s not to mention the device that’s likely in your hands or your pocket right now the smartphone which was first invented by IBM in 1994 and as technology continues forward here on earth space exploration continues to intrigue us with the first successful orbital launch in 1957 the first moon landing in 1969 and the Hubble telescope in the 90s which is both a spacecraft and a telescope that orbits earth every 97 minutes but as we look to the universe and the future what comes next well sometimes it may seem like the world is getting darker these innovations show that people live longer healthier and happier lives and one of the best ways to make sure we keep innovating is to support leaders that recognize the importance of public research programs from global health agriculture information technology or energy you can read more about innovations on Bill Gates’s amazing blog who sponsored this episode to learn more about what we can do to make sure world continues getting better for everyone there’s a link in the description to his blog and subscribe for more weekly science videos
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