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Old 02-08-06, 07:54 PM   #1
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what is the most important invention from post 1700's?

This was a quested posed to me today, I like it. I said it was the ball bearing what do you think?
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Old 02-08-06, 07:57 PM   #2
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Indoor plumbing, hands down...
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Old 02-08-06, 08:31 PM   #3
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form a hypochondriac's point of view, it has to be anitbiotics.

About 100 years ago, ~60% of deaths in the western world were caused by infectious diseases; now it's ~3%

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Old 02-08-06, 08:40 PM   #4
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Mechanical refrigeration has always seemed to be a biggie to me. I don't think the Western lifestyle would be very feasible without it, at any rate.
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Old 02-08-06, 08:44 PM   #5
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Steam engine or U.S. Constitution.
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Old 02-08-06, 09:05 PM   #6
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Rush...




Seriously though, I would have to say modern cycling technology.
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Old 02-08-06, 09:09 PM   #7
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How about electricity? Or the internal combustion engine? Airplanes? Plastic? Synthetic fabrics that reduce our need for animal skins? Wait, wait...I've got it. The electronic dartboard!
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Old 02-08-06, 09:15 PM   #8
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stretch denim
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Old 02-08-06, 09:16 PM   #9
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rock 'n' roll!!

Imagine if we still had to listen to Tom Dorsey stuff
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Old 02-08-06, 09:18 PM   #10
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Soap?
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Old 02-08-06, 09:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namenda
How about electricity? Or the internal combustion engine? Airplanes? Plastic? Synthetic fabrics that reduce our need for animal skins? Wait, wait...I've got it. The electronic dartboard!
I'd go with electricity. While the others Namenda said are important, without electricity there contribution would be minimal to non-existant.
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Old 02-08-06, 09:25 PM   #12
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I think electricity or the mechanical engine (be it steam, internal, jet what ever). One drove the electrical age, the other the industrial revolution. Suppose without the steam engine we wouldn't have generators to speak of for electricity (unless you count hydro and wind generators).
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Old 02-08-06, 09:31 PM   #13
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Vulcanized rubber, anesthesia, radio, dentistry, and....ice cream!
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Old 02-08-06, 09:35 PM   #14
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Has no one said transistor?
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Old 02-08-06, 09:38 PM   #15
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The scientific method essentially by Galileo Galilei and Issac Newton as applied by others from this time - from their methodologies all these other things flowed.
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Old 02-08-06, 09:40 PM   #16
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The widget inside a can of Guinness

I think it was voted best invention of the 20th century!
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Old 02-08-06, 09:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 531Aussie
form a hypochondriac's point of view, it has to be anitbiotics.
arent they more Discoveries than inventions?
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Old 02-08-06, 09:44 PM   #18
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In honor of Mr. Hangover himself (free pizza, that would be you), I nominate Tylenol as the greatest invention since 1700.
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Old 02-08-06, 10:02 PM   #19
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The controlled production, regulation & distribution of electricity. It's impossible to think of one thing in our lives that electricity hasn't impacted and would be (as) available without it.
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Old 02-08-06, 10:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Extra #2
Has no one said transistor?
ding! ding! ding!

this is my answer whenever i've been asked this question.
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Old 02-08-06, 10:14 PM   #21
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but there would be no transistors without electricity
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Old 02-08-06, 10:16 PM   #22
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but there would be no transistors without electricity
Oh, there'd be plenty of transistors without electricity. They just wouldn't do a whole helluva lot.
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Old 02-08-06, 10:33 PM   #23
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OK I'm being a party-pooper but internal plumbing of sorts has been around since the Roman Empire. Soap has been around since the dawn of time too. Soap can be accidently made by dripping animal fat on the remains of a wood fire. Icecream has been around since the Romans as well beleive it or not.

Now I'm not sure if I have the timeline right myself but I believe that the most important modern invention is actualy a concept rather than a product. Its the idea of a production line that realy changed things for better or worse.

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Old 02-08-06, 10:37 PM   #24
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Well, you didn't shoot down the electronic dart board, so I guess you left me something. I'll try not to have any more fun, as it appears you just can't stand it...
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Old 02-08-06, 10:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namenda
Indoor plumbing, hands down...
Definitely pre-1700's

I'll swing another vote for electricity. Maxwell is probably the most under-respected scientist of the last 300 years. The antibiotics suggestion was a good one, but I don't think anything has changed our lives as much as electricity has. Transistors did not enable computers, they enabled smaller computers. Electricity gave us on-demand light, heat, and work. Work generally stopped when the sun went down before electric lighting became viable. Ball bearings made a lot of things easier, live longer, or more efficient, but they didn't directly change the way we live.

As an aside, the availability of the internet is having an obviously huge effect on society (bikeforums, anyone?), but some sociologists don't feel that we have even fully adapted to the changes TV makes in our lives yet (something like 60 years after its invention). It really is hard to fathom how we'll go about our daily lives in 50 years. It occasionally boggles my mind just to think that only 15 years ago, email was generally considered more a novelty than a tool.
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