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  1. #1
    Senior Member LunarMoon's Avatar
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    Default Amazing Inventions and Scientific Phenomena That Are Taken For Granted

    Everyone gawks over the Internet, black holes, and parallel universes, but what are some bizarre scientific phenomena that are really taken for granted? Case in point, the airplane. It’s a gigantic piece of metal, several tons in weight, that is generally found floating above major metropolitan areas. And yet it was invented over 100 years ago by two bicycle salesmen who dropped out of high school. The only reason people take it for granted, as they do, is because all but a handful of people throughout the entire world were born after airplanes became omnipresent. The invention of the airplane long before that of ghost paper is the most concrete proof to me that scientific and technological progress is anything but linear.
    Surgeons replace one of your neurons with a microchip that duplicates its input-output functions. You feel and behave exactly as before. Then they replace a second one, and a third one, and so on, until more and more of your brain becomes silicon. Since each microchip does exactly what the neuron did, your behavior and memory never change. Do you even notice the difference? Does it feel like dying? Is some other conscious entity moving in with you?
    -Steven Pinker on the Ship of Theseus Paradox

  2. #2
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Transistors. The transistor itself is a quite easy invention, what they made with them tho is quite marvellous (best example -> your computer)



    The electromagnetic effect, which polarizes little magnets to be magnetic to the North or to the South. ( example -> your hard drive )


    The diesel engine, just marvellous, ingenious:


    And not to forget: press buttons. Where would we be without them today, prolly already depleted our iron ressources to zip fasteners
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

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    Senior Member Trentham's Avatar
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    83% I 70% N 64% T 73% P | 5w4 sp/so/sx | Chaotic Good

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    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    The post-it note.
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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    This isn't so much taken for granted because it's a rare event, but not enough people know how cool it is, and it's unexplained:

    Ball Lightning

  7. #7
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Electricity.

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    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Germ theory and the invention of antiseptics - with which it's possible for surgery to be performed safely.

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Heh, most of the stuff listed is just because the technologies have been around for a while. People used to think airplanes and pilots were crazy awesome. They've been around for a while now so they've lost some of their amazingness feel.

    Really if you look back at the history of technology you'll see plenty examples of unexpected turns and amazing results. The world truely could have been a very different place today if you just remove a couple of key inventors or if they pursued different interests. By the same token there is a lot of potential today to develop new technology or science in areas that have been long neglected. The most notable inventions and discoveries did not follow a predictable trajectory. And yet that is what most inventors and scientists are trying to do today. Food for thought.
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  10. #10

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    Written language (+paper and the pen) might be the most significant thing humans have ever invented. And might still be the most significant thing we have. I couldn't imagine anyone these days looking at words and saying "wow, it's written language!". But the ability to write and draw things is the very basis of our ability to think symbolically, which is the basis of our ability to understand, solve and discover new and complex things. Before computers it was also our best way of retaining knowledge over long periods, and sharing it in a form which allowed analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Really if you look back at the history of technology you'll see plenty examples of unexpected turns and amazing results. The world truely could have been a very different place today if you just remove a couple of key inventors or if they pursued different interests. By the same token there is a lot of potential today to develop new technology or science in areas that have been long neglected. The most notable inventions and discoveries did not follow a predictable trajectory. And yet that is what most inventors and scientists are trying to do today. Food for thought.
    Quite true. I've always wondered if the greats came about because the scene was set for them, or they are just the freak outliers in terms of ability, or got lucky, or maybe just went a direction no one else was.

    If Newton became a farmer would someone have discovered things like modern calculus within the next century? Aristotle went pretty close but there were almost two millenniums between them.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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