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Old 10-06-2008, 06:03 AM
 
12,870 posts, read 12,773,798 times
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penicillin.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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The printing press, to exchange known information and share ideas. When the Declaration of Independence was copied and passed around, it changed the world. Imagine school or religion without the printed word.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESFP View Post
The printing press, to exchange known information and share ideas. When the Declaration of Independence was copied and passed around, it changed the world. Imagine school or religion without the printed word.
You know, I was reading down this forum and wondering when somebody would say this. Literacy itself was a good thing, but until there was widespread literacy it was next to impossible to disseminate widespread civilization. After all, literacy was very high in the Roman Empire compared to the rest of the world, but civilization was still dependent on scribes writing every single book by hand.

What's more, in terms of technology, industry, beliefs, and societal patterns, the 1400s weren't really that much different than the 400s. You could have plucked somebody from Ancient Rome and plunked him down into medieval Italty, and there wouldn't be that much that would be different to him.

However, within 100 years of the printing press, the entire world had transformed utterly. The Renaissance, the spread of the ancient works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc. etc. that reintroduced rationalism to the West, advances in science and their communication through written texts, the challenge to the theological supremacy of the Catholic church, and dozens of other revolutions all took place within a century.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
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The printing press has to rank close to the top.
Charmin toilet paper is right up there too.

GL2
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:36 AM
 
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The internet is pretty important too. Otherwise, how would mankind be able to send chain letters, stupid jokes and porn all over the planet?
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Yootó
1,307 posts, read 3,192,111 times
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Paper, the telephone, the clock, television, the printing press, the automobile, the 1873 Winchester rifle, electricity, coffee and beer.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:10 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,211,944 times
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Originally Posted by Vinegaroon View Post
Paper, the telephone, the clock, television, the printing press, the automobile, the 1873 Winchester rifle, electricity, coffee and beer.
Especially the last one. After all, would life be worth living otherwise?
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:29 AM
 
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I'll throw my vote in for written and spoken language. An odd metaphor is Legos. If you think of all the inventions in history, they are like premade Legos kits - you get the one Tie fighter or swamp boat out of the box, but written language is like the Legos themselves. If you have it, you can build, imagine, or create anything. Words are the basic building blocks of past, present and future society.

Or I could be completely wrong and it IS beer.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: The Queen City
1,087 posts, read 2,341,809 times
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Default The Discovery of America by Christopher Colombus

Thanks to him, the Americas were Westernized and we jumped from running around half naked in the jungle or prairies, to a civilized cultured society. Columbus is my hero.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:55 AM
 
3,367 posts, read 9,865,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESFP View Post
The printing press, to exchange known information and share ideas. When the Declaration of Independence was copied and passed around, it changed the world. Imagine school or religion without the printed word.
I agree with the printing press - that changed the world.

Not sure how the Declaration did tho....? It changed America, not the whole world!!!
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