29 Jun '15, 3pm

The Miraculous 1880s

The Miraculous 1880s

Photos, Clockwise from Top Left: United States Patent and Trademark Office; Chicago Architectural Photographing Company/Wikipedia; LennyWikidata/Wikipedia; Wikipedia; Project Gutenberg/Wikipedia; Infographic: Erik Vrielink According to the worshippers of the e-world, the late 20th century brought us an unprecedented number of profound inventions. But that is a categorical misunderstanding, as most recent advances have been variations on the microprocessor theme and on the parsing of the electromagnetic spectrum. Perhaps the most inventive time was the 1880s. Have any two sets of primary inventions and epochal discoveries shaped the modern world more than electricity and internal combustion engines? Electricity alone, without microchips, is enough to make a sophisticated and affluent world (we had one in the 1960s). Yet a microchip-governed e-world is utterly dependent on a...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/the-miraculous...

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