Started a new book…
This time it is a recommendation from Avi Basu – Steven Johnson’s “How We Got To Now”. This book focuses on six inventions and the surprising downstream long term changes they have brought – “Hummingbird Effect” – as he calls it. These are inventions that you will not come up with very quickly – glass, air conditioning etc.
And that is his point – while we easily understand the short term, immediate effect of these inventions, if you think thru it a few more steps, you will realize that the long term effects have been profound for these seemingly innocuous inventions. As an example, he cites how the printing press gave way to our understanding of the edges of the universe.
While the connection is not apparent at first, the author points out how spread of printed material made people realize they are farsighted (could not read as well the smaller scripts) which gave rise to glasses (lenses) which gave rise to microscopes on one end and telescopes on the other. Without the need to read the small print so often, we would have never stumbled upon lenses, the author argues.
Will continue to enjoy reading the book by the fire the next few evenings.