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Three Great Inventions That Changed the World

June 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 295

I was once asked to list three great inventions that changed the world. Considering the many inventions that I've learned about over the years, I find the most influential to have been printing with moveable type. By far, the most useful was the humanist concept of man's pursuit of excellence. Lastly, the most harmful inventions were Da Vinci's weapons of war.

That printing with moveable type is the most influential invention of this time, or perhaps all time, is quite clear. This early printing press replaced the cumbersome, limited block printing, and revolutionized the world. This invention allowed the printed word to be mass produced and dispersed throughout the world from the middle of the fifteenth century until modern times at an ever increasing rate. The Bible was the first book printed with a printing press. Although initially, the printed word was very costly and most common men didn't read or have access to the sacred texts of the Bible, historically, both the good and the bad effects of the promulgation of this printed book alone are immeasurable. As the printing of books grew and spread, men's knowledge increased exponentially. No other instrument has shaped the lives of men more than the printed word.

The most useful invention was the humanists' concept of man's right and duty to pursue excellence. Honed and developed from the Greek concept of 'arete', this single concept has been the seed of countless human triumphs throughout history. This thought unshackled men from their fixed lots in life, previously thought to be divinely ordained and immutable. This thought enabled men to dream, to invent, and to question the boundaries drawn by church doctrine alone.

I'm sure that topping most of our lists of great inventions is the most harmful invention, weapons of war. Leonardo Da Vinci was responsible for the early vision and detailed descriptions and plans for such instruments. History has witnessed the brutality of such machines, and the evolution of the efficiency of their destruction at the hands of men. Modern warfare can easily trace its roots to these ideas. While they have been used to fight for and defend liberty, they have, perhaps at a disproportionate rate, been used to oppress and murder.

From the heights of brilliance, to the depths of our propensity for evil, these three most influential inventions have changed the course of mankind at numerous points in history. They've shaped our cultures and given voice to our best and worse traits. One would be hard pressed to imagine a world in which each of us enrolled in a university class would have to purchase or gain access to a hand written copy of a text book. Imagine, for a moment, being born into a family with no prior college graduates, or resources to afford education, and having to accept the fact that God has ordained it that way. And lastly, imagine a world not torn by wars and rumors of war... A world in which our children didn't have to fear being murdered at school. These great inventions have shaped all of our lives and literally changed the world.

Curtis Bradley is the father of three and a full time writer and entrepreneur, residing in Connecticut. He holds a B.S. Finance, Summa Cum Laude, from Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT). Curtis is an avid reader and enjoys learning immensely. Currently, he's reading through his list of the top books of all time and writing extensively.

Source: EzineArticles
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