The Wheel, the Original Meme
One reason that we know that ideas stick and spread is because they’re useful.
Ideas spread for lots of reasons. It might be a catchy tune or a funny joke that you’ve heard that sticks in the brain and makes you want to propagate it, to tell others. But one reason that we know that ideas stick and spread is because they’re useful. The useful ones propagate.
So an example is the wheel. The wheel was invented in Egypt but it was improved upon hundreds of years later in Sumaria by going from a solid disk to spokes. How did it get to Sumaria? Well, merchants used it to travel and spread their goods from point A to point B. So that utility to them, the fact that it was a useful invention helped the invention itself spread from place to place. It was carried by humans to other places where then it was improved upon by other people.
60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.