Monday 28 September 2009

Most remarkable inventions of the human species

Indeed, I should have been taking a shower now so I could do my reading afterward, but given my mental status (i.e. stressed, angry et. al.), I decided to catch up a bit with all the Reader posts that piled up.

So, I came across xckd's post The Search, more specifically its tooltip.

So, here we are to the [rather funny] objective of this post, i.e. a Liviu index of the human species' most important discoveries/inventions (I have first written it as a funny comment on my shared items on Google Reader).

First, discovery/invention of the cat flap (by Sir Isaac Newton). I admit, it's taken from Hitchhiker's Guide, since it's brilliant. Go ahead, laugh!

Second, Sir Isaac Newton's (yes, he got second place too) Law of Universal Gravitation, so he could have a good explanation to present to his wife for his head getting hit all too often when standing under an apple tree. (It's gravity, for God's sake, and even God cannot do anything about it.)
Update (Sep, 30th): since Sir Isaac Newton did not have a wife (see the first comment, thank you for pointing that detail that I missed) and Wikipedia concurs it, I must rephrase my theory: he developed the Law in order to have a good explanation to present to his lovers or mistresses. Now, since he didn't actually have a wife, the theory was either too bad for women to believe it, or too good and kept him both popular and trouble-free. (There's also the possibility he did not have any interest whatsoever in women, but that would prove boring to develop comments on.)

Third, Einstein's general theory of relativity, to prove, in part, to his wife that every time he had been late (just as I used to be many times) he has in fact arrived sooner. (One may find entertaining the relativity priority dispute, especially considering his wife was very smart also.)

Fourth, e-mail, so students can submit their assignments (homework) without having to come to school, therefore longer time intervals could be dedicated to even more assignments, improving both levels of education and stress.

Fifth, my favorite trio: electricity, computers and Internet - so everyone could have access to [and waste their short life with] unlimited knowledge and entertainment.
Knowledge implies studying/learning, and, since it gives quite nice headaches, most humans have learned to avoid it.
Entertainment implies the instant messaging services (text and/or audio and/or video), piracy (software, entertainment TV programs, movies, songs etc.), pornography (which is a feature of Internet, not a bug, as most think), DOS (and DDOS) attacks, e-commerce for those too shy to talk to the pretty/handsome shop assistant etc.

Sixth, running water, both cold and (especially) warm, so everyone has what to wash with their cats once they enter the house through the flap door, and the shower (for humans), which I should have been taking about 1.5 hours now, which means I'm behind my already stressed schedule, making me even more stressed.

Seventh, file sharing networks, which have helped faster development in less developed countries, on the expense of the more developed countries. Ok, piracy is the main issue here, it may be bad, but helped a lot. Thank you! This comment was for real, no kidding included!

I certainly hope I made you laugh a bit or a bit more. Life ain't perfect, so try enjoying the stress!

See you next time with some more technical and boring posts!


Sinziana said...

"(...) so he could have a good explanation to present to his wife for his head getting hit (...)"

Sir Isaac Newton didn't have a wife (fortunately).

etor said...

Of course, you have missed one essential invention, without which life would have never been so... careless.

Please refer to (and praise) the toilet

etor said...

Oh, and, also, come on: flight. It's cool. Anybody who used an airplane (and is not scared of flying) knows how damn cool the thing is. And it leads to space. And far beyond. Where no one has gone before. (Taaaa, daaaa, la la la laaaaaa laa, la la laaaaaa la laa, la la la laaaaaaa)

Liviu said...

@Andrei: about the toilet

Ah, the toilet, of course. Quite a nice invention, I may say.

ReT provides an interesting approach and argumentation towards this useful invention. I agree with him. I appreciate the inventor of the toilet, too.

However, I do not consider the toilet remarkable enough to be present in my top n (n may change over time, currently reached 7). In the comments, yes, it may be present. It is a well deserved place.

The toilet has always been there in one way or another. The inventor is actually all the humans that improved it over time and reached its current status, shape and utility.

Why have I not included the WHEEL or the HAMMER yet? They had actually to have been invented, but all in all it's almost the same: they kind of always had been there (due to the fact they had been invented at our very beginning as tool inventors), in one shape or another, continuously improved by all humans.

Liviu said...

@Andrei: about the flight

First, flight is not cool. It's useful; entertaining to some extent. It's been cool on the times of "Catch Me If You Can" or the "Aviator", but now it's just some other means of transport. Fast, indeed. Almost fail-safe, indeed, considering one ignores stupid media networks which make a big deal out of every plane crash.

Second, we, as a species, have not reached space. I consider the term scratched more appropriate. So, we have scratched space.

Since we have not reached space, we cannot infer that flight leads to space. It could be some other means of traveling not yet developed.

Why have I not included flight?
I feel it just as a stage in our rapid evolution. I feel that at the right time it shall be massively replaced by the next best thing. It took quite a long time to replace carriage with automobile/truck etc. It took incredibly less time to replace land telephones with mobile cell phones. It shall take even less time to replace flight (therefore airplanes) with the next best thing.