I originally wrote this article for the Brainspace Blog.
Where Does Progress Come From?
In Kevin Kelly’s book, What Technology Wants he puzzles over why it wasn’t until the 18th century that scientific progression began gaining momentum…
[T]here is a puzzle. The necessary ingredients of the scientific method are conceptual and fairly low tech: a way to record, catalog, and communicate written evidence and the time to experiment. Why didn’t the Greeks invent it? Or the Egyptians? A time traveler from today could journey back to that era and set up the scientific method in ancient Alexandria or Athens without much trouble. But would it catch on?
Ultimately, Kelly concludes that such a pursuit demands time and attention—in other words, a civilization with the leisure to think about future needs.
Science is costly for an individual. Sharing results is of marginal benefit if you are...
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