Re: Re: What is the single most important invention that shaped the last millenn

First of all we have to imagine what the "shape" of history is. Is it the population explosion? The proliferation of cities? (Rural to urban shift.) The scientific revolution? (Alchemy to Nuclear physics.) How about a communication explosion? In that case the standardized alphabet and dictionary would be the most important "invention". Actually nevermind; the single most important invention has to be the ocean going ship. Leif Ericson reached North America 1000 years ago and then 500 years later Columbus, backed by a larger, Imperial and "globalization-ist" population busted into this hemisphere and wrecked the whole place. If you minus proper sea worthy vessels out of the last millennium then who knows what civilizations would have independently risen on either side of the Atlantic. Until the Wright brothers came along maybe no one would have crossed it at all? This is of course silly. Engineers building bridges but not boats. (?) The slave trade would never happened too.

Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less