Monday, 18 August 2014
The IDIOTS Timeline of scientific discovery and a piano.
With a quiet day to write about I think it might be best to skip the basic details about sharpening axes, doing a little IT and pointing at the piano and saying those white keys are called notes and those pedals are the accelerator and brake. It appears most pianos are Automatics; well actually they are not only the electronic ones are in general, allowing you to get on with other stuff as they play away to their hearts content. It makes practicing so much easier.
All this is a distraction because it was a quiet day and I have decided to consider the bigger picture of things or Science or in particular the frontiers of science. Yes the frontiers of science do not progress in a linear way they sort of make sudden little skips and then fizzle out for a bit and then skip forward again. History shows us many of these little leaps and I think we should look closely at them.
Step one . . . . . . . Tools (3 million years ago)
This is where man parted from the other critters on the planet he started to use tools such as clubs, pointy things like sticks knifes and axes. This was a seriously major step we still use all these tools to this day.
Step two . . . . . . Boats (10,000 years)
Folk forget about boats but man would never have colonized the entire world without boats and they are still a key part of the global economy
Step three . . . . . . . Wheels (7 thousand years ago)
Man has always liked to move big heavy things about and it started with rollers and ropes but then some bright spark fixed the roller to the heavy thing and created transport. Where would we be today without transport, it is the backbone of almost everything.
Step four . . . . . . Smelting (6 thousand years ago)
Yes the production of metals such as iron and Bronze are so critical to mankind that we even have an Iron Age and a Bronze Age and yet again without metals modern life would not exist.
Step five . . . . . . . Engines (1698)
The invention of the steam engine meant that us humans could do loads of stuff more than we could ever do by hand or using animals or slaves without the steam engine the industrial revolution would not have happened. The steam engine sort of lead to the oil based engine and allowed us to make transport that could go anywhere.
Step six . . . . . . . . Electricity (1800)
Electricity took a while to get going but just look what happens when we have a power cut. . . . . Enough said.
Step Seven . . . . . . Electronics (1950)
This has led to the computer, the internet, my blog and all sorts of clever stuff as long as we still have electricity.