Author Topic: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?  (Read 6332 times)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #100 on: August 15, 2017, 05:17:32 PM »
Birth control is a great answer, but it exists in various form since centuries, although not as effective. The cultural approval for BC on the other hand, that allow women to effectively be free, only really exists since 50 years and mainly in the western world. This is the key factor, that BC is socially acceptable. And this acceptance trace back to the first body of laws like the habeas Corpus and so on. The moment society gave themselves rules to protect the weakest and their property is one of the key moment for happiness. It led to the French Revolution, democratic constitution, patent law, women rise in society, end of slavery and so on. Although is kind of sad that a lot of bad stuff is still happening somewhere


Safe, effective, widely available, inexpensive BC has not been around for centuries.
I agree with your point about the importance of rules to protect the weak.

MustachioedPistachio

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #101 on: August 15, 2017, 10:33:41 PM »
Ok, maybe not so much on the happiness, but here was Carl Sagan's pair of Abe's, vintage 1980:

Quote
What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."

[Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)]

Emphasis mine :3

golden1

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #102 on: August 16, 2017, 05:49:01 AM »
Quote
Pulling out is a perfectly valid, perfectly safe birth control method for us at this point in our lives.

No.  Just no.  Your anecdotal experience means jack and shit, and jack just left town. 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/09/14/sunday-review/unplanned-pregnancies.html

Even with perfect use, the odds are that ~35% of couples will get pregnant using withdrawal.  Also, withdrawal depends on 100% trust in your partner, and a birth control method I do not have any control over is completely invalid as far as I am concerned.
 
Also, it is also way less fun and messier to cum in a towel.....just throwing that out there.  But hey, you do you. 

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #103 on: August 16, 2017, 06:29:48 AM »
Quote
Pulling out is a perfectly valid, perfectly safe birth control method for us at this point in our lives.

No.  Just no.  Your anecdotal experience means jack and shit, and jack just left town. 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/09/14/sunday-review/unplanned-pregnancies.html

Even with perfect use, the odds are that ~35% of couples will get pregnant using withdrawal.  Also, withdrawal depends on 100% trust in your partner, and a birth control method I do not have any control over is completely invalid as far as I am concerned.
 
Also, it is also way less fun and messier to cum in a towel.....just throwing that out there.  But hey, you do you.

LOL. It's always cute to mention my preferred contraceptive method and watch the sparks fly. People get so damn defensive. FYI: there's a difference between an "unplanned" pregnancy and an "unwanted" pregnancy, and anyone who chooses to use withdrawal - or any birth control method besides sterilization or an IUD - should be prepared to accept the possibilities (for example, wife and I used the morning after pill after a condom mishap early in our relationship). If we ever decide we are 100% done having kids, I'll get a vasectomy.

By the way, you are right about the fact that it's more fun to cum inside than out - I fully concede that point. But wife is not 100% ready to "pull the plug" on my man-parts. I'll be ready when she's ready. In the meantime, I'm not going to push her to do medical procedures that she isn't comfortable with.
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caffeine

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #104 on: August 16, 2017, 07:50:55 AM »
I don't think it has been mentioned yet, but MUSIC makes me very, very happy. Everyone has their favorites.

This morning Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime came on. I went from groggy to very happy so quickly. It hit me faster than my caffeine fix.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 08:07:39 AM by caffeine »

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #105 on: August 16, 2017, 07:55:10 AM »
Antibiotics
Vaccines
Birth Control
Toliet Paper

ketchup

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #106 on: August 16, 2017, 07:55:50 AM »
I'd probably go with the antibiotics/vaccine answer.  Or maybe the printing press and all else it's led to.

I thought you'd go with ketchup.

Ha!  We really need a way to up-vote responses. :-)
Ironically, since signing up with this username, my ketchup consumption has gone down by about 90%.  My diet used to be pretty boring/bland.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #107 on: August 16, 2017, 07:58:19 AM »
I don't think it has been mentioned yet, but MUSIC makes me very, very happy. Everyone has their favorites.

This morning Talking Heads - One In A Lifetime came on. I went from groggy to very happy so quickly. It hit me faster than my caffeine fix.

That's a good one. Music is universal. I have 3 kids, and it's always amazing to watch them react positively to music, from the very earliest ages. It's built into our DNA somehow.
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Forever Wednesday

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #108 on: August 16, 2017, 08:43:31 AM »
Clothing.
Money.
Mathematics.
Agriculture.

...and donuts.

Laura33

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #109 on: August 16, 2017, 08:46:47 AM »
I'm going to vote for the invention* of preserving food, primarily via salting**.

Before food preservation, most people spent most of their time hungry, foraging for food. The task of finding food, particularly in the winter/dormant season literally took up almost every waking hour.  Once we could stockpile enough calories to make it through the winter we suddenly had all this other time to build civilizations, develop complex languages, do art and invent the high-five. Without salting (or food preservation in general) few pre-industral civilizations could have existed, because they'd never have enough to their people during leaner months.  Having a constant source of food has allowed people to stay put long enough to build up rule of law and wonder what champion rock-thrower Ulgg puts in hair to make so shiny.

yes, refrigeration has helped greatly, but that came much, much later (only in the last half-century in many parts of the world).

*not sure if you can call the discovery of applying salt to meat an invention... 
**there are also of course other methods like fermentation that occurred for the same purpose and around the same time.

bonus: read Mark Kurslansky's book Salt.


I agree with your line of thinking, but doesn't conventional wisdom credit agriculture above preservation for the shift from a nomadic lifestyle to civilization? I'm not saying you're wrong, but cereal grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, rice, etc.) don't require preservatives and formed the base of the diet for most early stationary societies.

As i recall from my anthropology classes, we learned first to preserve food through a combination of drying and salting (greatly curtailing hunger and the time we spent foraging), and then later we developed agriculture.  But both "inventions" fall into the same vein for me. 
Before we had a constant food source we were constantly hungry, miserable species.  Once our basal caloric needs were met the motherload of QOL upgrades happened.  That's my theory, anyway...

Food preservation kept us from starvation when times were tough, but civilization didn't really take off until after agriculture.  One person growing massive amounts of food meant there could be people who didn't need to farm and could do other things with their time.

Ironically, the oldest know surviving examples of writing are beer recipes and tax records.

Speaking of this how has no one voted beer yet?  How many hours of laughter and shenanigans have we all had due to beer, or alcohol in general.

Seriously though, I watched a documentary, "How Beer Save The World" on Netflix a year or so ago, that I thought would be good for a laugh, but it talked about how beer really may have saved the world, because while having to heat the water, and ferment to make alcohol, they may have inadvertently killed many bacterial that could have caused mass sickness.  Not sure if it was true, or not, but it was interesting to think about.

So for those two reason, Beer gets my vote.

There is some truth to that.  Making alcoholic beverages requires boiling water, and for a few thousand years that was the safest way to get clean fluids into your body.  You could drink water, but there was the risk of local contaminates.  I expect that is a contributing factor in the European beer or wine at every meal culture.  My first trip to Germany I asked for tap water at a restaurant and the waitress looked at me like I was a monster.  If you want water you have to buy it in a glass bottle.

Not to mention that beer is the perfect union of two awesome inventions in their own right, agriculture and food preservation.  Yes, grains do last longer than meat/dairy/vegetables, but they can spoil and rot.  OTOH, if you convert it into beer, you can drink those calories all winter and spring.  Same with wine, whisky, vodka, etc.  And it's transportable!  Just imagine trying to transport your whole crop of grain or grapes or potatoes or whatever up and down unpaved tracks to market.  But distill that down (literally) to whisky or vodka, or ferment into wine, and it takes a fraction of the effort.  So beer advances trade, too. :-)
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scantee

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #110 on: August 16, 2017, 09:20:30 AM »
I've thought about this thread a little more and I now think that most of the suggestions from earlier in the thread (writing, birth control, sanitation, vaccines, etc.) work more to reduce suffering than increase happiness. That distinction might seem like splitting hairs, but I do think it is an important to separate the two. Across time and cultures, I think reducing suffering is a more important goal than increasing happiness, even today, because it means providing basic health, food, shelter, and safety to people. Increasing happiness should be more than that though, it should require a certain joyfulness or hedonism. With that, I think some of the more recent suggestions are better contenders for increasing happiness:

Music
Beer/wine
Dancing
Sex (that is not rigid or restrictive or only for procreation)
Food (not just subsistence, but delicious food that can be enjoyed with family and friends)
Air travel (ability to go anywhere around the world fairly easily and cheaply)

robartsd

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #111 on: August 16, 2017, 10:34:15 AM »
Just imagine trying to transport your whole crop of grain or grapes or potatoes or whatever up and down unpaved tracks to market.  But distill that down (literally) to whisky or vodka, or ferment into wine, and it takes a fraction of the effort.  So beer advances trade, too. :-)
Barley has about 3.5 calories/gram, alcohol has about 7 calories/gram; so you're right that strong drinks (>50% alcohol content) may have higher energy density than grains. However, beer does not improve on the energy density (<.4 calories/gram) due to all the added water. Beer also does not on the preservability of grain.

Wine does improve on both the preservability and the energy density of grapes (1 calorie/gram vs. 0.7 calories/gram). Raisins have higher energy density (3 calories/gram) but shorter storage life than wine.

nereo

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #112 on: August 16, 2017, 10:51:00 AM »
Just imagine trying to transport your whole crop of grain or grapes or potatoes or whatever up and down unpaved tracks to market.  But distill that down (literally) to whisky or vodka, or ferment into wine, and it takes a fraction of the effort.  So beer advances trade, too. :-)
Barley has about 3.5 calories/gram, alcohol has about 7 calories/gram; so you're right that strong drinks (>50% alcohol content) may have higher energy density than grains. However, beer does not improve on the energy density (<.4 calories/gram) due to all the added water. Beer also does not on the preservability of grain.

Wine does improve on both the preservability and the energy density of grapes (1 calorie/gram vs. 0.7 calories/gram). Raisins have higher energy density (3 calories/gram) but shorter storage life than wine.
Interesting comparison but you're forgetting about the water component. With grains (including barley) you need to add water for consumption, negating the energy-density argument made above. Beer, wine, mead and other fermented beverages served both purposes - they provided calories as well as hydration; the added alcohol helped keep water-bourne nasties commonly found in streams and wells at bay. there's a reason why even small children drank mildly alcoholic beer as their primary beverage throughout many cultures for thousands of years.
beer absolutely is a preservation technique. you can either dry the grains and store them away from moisture and humidity, or turn them into beer, bottle/cask them and store them that way. both take effort but allow calories to be socked away for months or even a few years.
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Cwadda

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #113 on: August 16, 2017, 11:54:06 AM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #114 on: August 16, 2017, 04:29:59 PM »
In addition to my previous list:

Ice cream.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #115 on: August 16, 2017, 04:38:50 PM »
In addition to my previous list:

Ice cream.
Chocolate.  Much yummier stimulant than caffeine.

And combined with ice cream - ambrosia.
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Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #116 on: August 16, 2017, 07:12:02 PM »
I've decided to change my answer.  Happiness requires moving up Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs.  The invention that has allowed more people than any other to meet their basic needs and accumulate enough resources to work towards self-actualization is: Capitalism.
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Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #117 on: August 16, 2017, 08:16:31 PM »
Just asked my husband the question and he responds immediately and without hesitation: toast.

Grog

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #118 on: August 17, 2017, 12:08:46 AM »
Birth control is a great answer, but it exists in various form since centuries, although not as effective. The cultural approval for BC on the other hand, that allow women to effectively be free, only really exists since 50 years and mainly in the western world. This is the key factor, that BC is socially acceptable. And this acceptance trace back to the first body of laws like the habeas Corpus and so on. The moment society gave themselves rules to protect the weakest and their property is one of the key moment for happiness. It led to the French Revolution, democratic constitution, patent law, women rise in society, end of slavery and so on. Although is kind of sad that a lot of bad stuff is still happening somewhere


Safe, effective, widely available, inexpensive BC has not been around for centuries.
I agree with your point about the importance of rules to protect the weak.
They were not using it because women were repressed and forced in the role of mothers, but they knew how to stop a pregnancy, which herbs to take to cause a miscarriage and so on. It is still a form of BC. They were repressed in not using it because the equation was woman=mother and nothing else.

Only the written body of laws and his evolution allowed for women, minorities and so on to take conscience and emerge from the repression. It allowed to protect your IP and to separate your professional debt from private debt. Without all of these laws, tribunal and concepts you probably won't even have the pill because there would not be a pharma industry (without patent law)



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jaykim0505

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #119 on: August 17, 2017, 12:55:18 AM »
cellphone lol

nereo

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #120 on: August 17, 2017, 04:45:52 AM »
the emoticon.
At least.... before Scott Fahlman put a colon next to a right parenthesis... how could anyone else know you were happy?
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Drifterrider

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #121 on: August 17, 2017, 07:31:46 AM »
Since I don't see it anywhere else I'll say it:  Viagra.

Alternatively; compound interest.

aceyou

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #122 on: August 17, 2017, 08:34:45 AM »
Quote
How does birth control provide a way for sex to be something more than a man's right to his property?

Control over reproduction > Allowed women to enter the working world > Which provided financial independence and ability to support themselves > Meaning they could leave abusive or controlling marriages > And have sex (i.e., pleasure, happiness) without fear of lifelong consequences > Which is also good for men

Well said

Cache Stash

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #123 on: August 17, 2017, 10:31:53 AM »
Fire
The wheel
Steam Engine
Motor/Generator
ICE
Sanitary systems
Light bulb
Pennicillan
Adding Chlorine to public potable water systems
Transistor
Integrated circuits




Cache Stash

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #124 on: August 17, 2017, 10:43:27 AM »
I've thought about this thread a little more and I now think that most of the suggestions from earlier in the thread (writing, birth control, sanitation, vaccines, etc.) work more to reduce suffering than increase happiness. That distinction might seem like splitting hairs, but I do think it is an important to separate the two. Across time and cultures, I think reducing suffering is a more important goal than increasing happiness, even today, because it means providing basic health, food, shelter, and safety to people. Increasing happiness should be more than that though, it should require a certain joyfulness or hedonism. With that, I think some of the more recent suggestions are better contenders for increasing happiness:

Music
Beer/wine
Dancing
Sex (that is not rigid or restrictive or only for procreation)
Food (not just subsistence, but delicious food that can be enjoyed with family and friends)
Air travel (ability to go anywhere around the world fairly easily and cheaply)

I'll disagree.  I believe Maslow's hierarchy of needs "pyramid" clearly shows that basic human physiological needs must be met prior to attainment of other needs such as love and self actualization.  I argue love and self actualization heavily promote happiness, thus without the basic needs being met, true happiness cannot be fulfilled. 

Can one be happy living in a cave in the wilderness?  Maybe.  But as soon as other standards such as today's standard of living are compared, I would argue that it would be mostly be miserable for people living today.  Thus those things that advance mankind's standard of living truly help out in less misery and more happiness.  Of course it is a perpetuating cycle in which wanting  advances with the standard of living due to the comparison of what "others" have attained.

The things you point out are much more enjoyable when 90% of your time during a day isn't spent on seeking water, food, shelter.  It also leads to much more time spent enjoying those things.



Cache Stash

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #125 on: August 17, 2017, 10:44:57 AM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

I don't think the scientific method is an invention.  It is a process that ultimately produces inventions.



Cwadda

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #126 on: August 17, 2017, 11:04:59 AM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

I don't think the scientific method is an invention.  It is a process that ultimately produces inventions.

I didn't think so either until I looked up the meaning. It refers to a device or a process.

Travis

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #127 on: August 17, 2017, 12:31:04 PM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

I don't think the scientific method is an invention.  It is a process that ultimately produces inventions.

Anything not created by nature can be considered an invention. Including ideas and processes.

Cache Stash

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #128 on: August 17, 2017, 12:53:54 PM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

I don't think the scientific method is an invention.  It is a process that ultimately produces inventions.

Anything not created by nature can be considered an invention. Including ideas and processes.

I would argue otherwise.  Scientific method was "developed" to document a  process by which theories could be tested.  The theories would come from observation of data.  In a rudimentary sense, if we see "a" and "b" occur then a result of "c" happen through observation, we conclude that in order for "c" to happen then "a" and "b" must occur.  This is a natural thought process.  I think the process wasn't really invented, but it was the drawn conclusion of what a structured approach would like like using observation.  Man has used "scientific method" long before it was named "scientific method".  The fact that it became documented and more structured was to standardize such that testing could be reproducible.

Who invented it?

I would think the "method" part of the name would imply that it isn't an invention but it is a method or process.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 12:57:44 PM by Cache Stash »



dividendman

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #129 on: August 17, 2017, 01:35:30 PM »

Anything not created by nature can be considered an invention. Including ideas and processes.

I would argue otherwise.  Scientific method was "developed" to document a  process by which theories could be tested.  The theories would come from observation of data.  In a rudimentary sense, if we see "a" and "b" occur then a result of "c" happen through observation, we conclude that in order for "c" to happen then "a" and "b" must occur.  This is a natural thought process.  I think the process wasn't really invented, but it was the drawn conclusion of what a structured approach would like like using observation.  Man has used "scientific method" long before it was named "scientific method".  The fact that it became documented and more structured was to standardize such that testing could be reproducible.

Who invented it?

I would think the "method" part of the name would imply that it isn't an invention but it is a method or process.

Processes and methods of doing things are definitely inventions.

By saying they aren't you are saying that things like the assembly line manufacturing method is not an invention.

Travis

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #130 on: August 17, 2017, 02:08:46 PM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

I don't think the scientific method is an invention.  It is a process that ultimately produces inventions.

Anything not created by nature can be considered an invention. Including ideas and processes.

I would argue otherwise.  Scientific method was "developed" to document a  process by which theories could be tested.  The theories would come from observation of data.  In a rudimentary sense, if we see "a" and "b" occur then a result of "c" happen through observation, we conclude that in order for "c" to happen then "a" and "b" must occur.  This is a natural thought process.  I think the process wasn't really invented, but it was the drawn conclusion of what a structured approach would like like using observation.  Man has used "scientific method" long before it was named "scientific method".  The fact that it became documented and more structured was to standardize such that testing could be reproducible.

Who invented it?

I would think the "method" part of the name would imply that it isn't an invention but it is a method or process.

You're describing logic as a natural process (I agree).  The scientific method inserts controls to ensure things like confirmation bias and correlation/causation don't become the final result.  I could use your "A to B" example above and still come up with the wrong answer.  If it was a natural thought process, then the scientific community wouldn't be struggling on a regular basis to remind people how it works.  Off the top of my head I can't say who invented it, but I imagine it was a lot of someones who had to validate the entire process over many years and remove the appearance of various logical fallacies.  The rules for testing had to be tested themselves.  This wasn't done overnight.  Concepts like "have a control and don't contaminate your samples" weren't intuitive.  These rules had to be developed, and are therefore inventions. 

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #131 on: August 17, 2017, 02:10:13 PM »

Anything not created by nature can be considered an invention. Including ideas and processes.

I would argue otherwise.  Scientific method was "developed" to document a  process by which theories could be tested.  The theories would come from observation of data.  In a rudimentary sense, if we see "a" and "b" occur then a result of "c" happen through observation, we conclude that in order for "c" to happen then "a" and "b" must occur.  This is a natural thought process.  I think the process wasn't really invented, but it was the drawn conclusion of what a structured approach would like like using observation.  Man has used "scientific method" long before it was named "scientific method".  The fact that it became documented and more structured was to standardize such that testing could be reproducible.

Who invented it?

I would think the "method" part of the name would imply that it isn't an invention but it is a method or process.

Processes and methods of doing things are definitely inventions.

By saying they aren't you are saying that things like the assembly line manufacturing method is not an invention.

Scientific method is a thought process for approaching theory validation.  It isn't a physical "thing".  An assembly line is a physical "thing". 



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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #132 on: August 17, 2017, 02:12:15 PM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

I don't think the scientific method is an invention.  It is a process that ultimately produces inventions.

Anything not created by nature can be considered an invention. Including ideas and processes.

I would argue otherwise.  Scientific method was "developed" to document a  process by which theories could be tested.  The theories would come from observation of data.  In a rudimentary sense, if we see "a" and "b" occur then a result of "c" happen through observation, we conclude that in order for "c" to happen then "a" and "b" must occur.  This is a natural thought process.  I think the process wasn't really invented, but it was the drawn conclusion of what a structured approach would like like using observation.  Man has used "scientific method" long before it was named "scientific method".  The fact that it became documented and more structured was to standardize such that testing could be reproducible.

Who invented it?

I would think the "method" part of the name would imply that it isn't an invention but it is a method or process.

You're describing logic as a natural process (I agree).  The scientific method inserts controls to ensure things like confirmation bias and correlation/causation don't become the final result.  I could use your "A to B" example above and still come up with the wrong answer.  If it was a natural thought process, then the scientific community wouldn't be struggling on a regular basis to remind people how it works.  Off the top of my head I can't say who invented it, but I imagine it was a lot of someones who had to validate the entire process over many years and remove the appearance of various logical fallacies.  The rules for testing had to be tested themselves.  This wasn't done overnight.  Concepts like "have a control and don't contaminate your samples" weren't intuitive.  These rules had to be developed, and are therefore inventions.

Did anyone get a patent on it?  (TIC)



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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #133 on: August 17, 2017, 02:16:06 PM »
I'm also voting for the scientific method.

Studies show that most happiness is realized when basic needs are met. I.e. Food, shelter, clothing. After that, happiness doesn't increase nearly as much simply by having more. No surprise this aligns with MMM.

No doubt, the scientific method has, by far, used to improve humanity's basic needs listed above, and then some (including health care). All sanitation, food production, conversion of natural resources to useful items, antibiotics and vaccines, are a result of the scientific method. The list could go on and on.

I don't think the scientific method is an invention.  It is a process that ultimately produces inventions.

Anything not created by nature can be considered an invention. Including ideas and processes.

I would argue otherwise.  Scientific method was "developed" to document a  process by which theories could be tested.  The theories would come from observation of data.  In a rudimentary sense, if we see "a" and "b" occur then a result of "c" happen through observation, we conclude that in order for "c" to happen then "a" and "b" must occur.  This is a natural thought process.  I think the process wasn't really invented, but it was the drawn conclusion of what a structured approach would like like using observation.  Man has used "scientific method" long before it was named "scientific method".  The fact that it became documented and more structured was to standardize such that testing could be reproducible.

Who invented it?

I would think the "method" part of the name would imply that it isn't an invention but it is a method or process.

You're describing logic as a natural process (I agree).  The scientific method inserts controls to ensure things like confirmation bias and correlation/causation don't become the final result.  I could use your "A to B" example above and still come up with the wrong answer.  If it was a natural thought process, then the scientific community wouldn't be struggling on a regular basis to remind people how it works.  Off the top of my head I can't say who invented it, but I imagine it was a lot of someones who had to validate the entire process over many years and remove the appearance of various logical fallacies.  The rules for testing had to be tested themselves.  This wasn't done overnight.  Concepts like "have a control and don't contaminate your samples" weren't intuitive.  These rules had to be developed, and are therefore inventions.

Take a look at wikipedia on who "invented" it.  It wasn't just "some" people.  It was "most" cultures.  It was documenting one of the ways our brain functions.  I guess "evolution" or "God" invented it (take your pick).



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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #134 on: August 17, 2017, 02:48:36 PM »
Fire
The wheel
Steam Engine
Motor/Generator
ICE
Sanitary systems
Light bulb
Pennicillan
Adding Chlorine to public potable water systems
Transistor
Integrated circuits


Did anyone get a patent on it?  (TIC)

I guess patents aren't universal to declaring something an invention?



Take a look at wikipedia on who "invented" it.  It wasn't just "some" people.  It was "most" cultures.  It was documenting one of the ways our brain functions.  I guess "evolution" or "God" invented it (take your pick).

Again you're conflating logic with the scientific method. The latter certainly comes from the former, but logic by itself doesn't give us the same results.  If was as naturally occurring as you say (evolution or God take your pick) then we wouldn't have droves of conspiracy nutters running wild shouting "It worked for me, therefore it works."  I can logically come to the wrong conclusion. One of us is doing it right now in this debate.  The scientific method was developed to take logic and applies controls to it to ensure the conclusion is correct.

And what does [TIC] mean?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 02:50:09 PM by Travis »

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #135 on: August 17, 2017, 03:38:57 PM »
Fire
The wheel
Steam Engine
Motor/Generator
ICE
Sanitary systems
Light bulb
Pennicillan
Adding Chlorine to public potable water systems
Transistor
Integrated circuits


Did anyone get a patent on it?  (TIC)

I guess patents aren't universal to declaring something an invention?



Take a look at wikipedia on who "invented" it.  It wasn't just "some" people.  It was "most" cultures.  It was documenting one of the ways our brain functions.  I guess "evolution" or "God" invented it (take your pick).

Again you're conflating logic with the scientific method. The latter certainly comes from the former, but logic by itself doesn't give us the same results.  If was as naturally occurring as you say (evolution or God take your pick) then we wouldn't have droves of conspiracy nutters running wild shouting "It worked for me, therefore it works."  I can logically come to the wrong conclusion. One of us is doing it right now in this debate.  The scientific method was developed to take logic and applies controls to it to ensure the conclusion is correct.

And what does [TIC] mean?

Tongue in cheek.

:)



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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #136 on: August 17, 2017, 03:42:37 PM »
Fire
The wheel
Steam Engine
Motor/Generator
ICE
Sanitary systems
Light bulb
Pennicillan
Adding Chlorine to public potable water systems
Transistor
Integrated circuits


Did anyone get a patent on it?  (TIC)

I guess patents aren't universal to declaring something an invention?



Take a look at wikipedia on who "invented" it.  It wasn't just "some" people.  It was "most" cultures.  It was documenting one of the ways our brain functions.  I guess "evolution" or "God" invented it (take your pick).

Again you're conflating logic with the scientific method. The latter certainly comes from the former, but logic by itself doesn't give us the same results.  If was as naturally occurring as you say (evolution or God take your pick) then we wouldn't have droves of conspiracy nutters running wild shouting "It worked for me, therefore it works."  I can logically come to the wrong conclusion. One of us is doing it right now in this debate.  The scientific method was developed to take logic and applies controls to it to ensure the conclusion is correct.

And what does [TIC] mean?

The question is "Why did so many diverse cultures in times in which information wasn't shared came up with the same process?"  It is natural would be my conclusion.  Refinement of the process to yield better results is just finding a way to reproduce the same results thereby yielding improved theories.  That isn't an invention.  That is a logical way to approach a problem.



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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #137 on: August 18, 2017, 08:03:46 AM »
Fire
The wheel
Steam Engine
Motor/Generator
ICE
Sanitary systems
Light bulb
Pennicillan
Adding Chlorine to public potable water systems
Transistor
Integrated circuits



I assume ICE here means internal combustion engine, but I would also argue that the invention of the ice maker (by extension I guess refrigeration) was pretty great too. Pop a couple ice cubes in a glass of almost any drink, and I am much happier than I was with the same lukewarm drink.

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #138 on: August 18, 2017, 08:19:28 AM »

The question is "Why did so many diverse cultures in times in which information wasn't shared came up with the same process?"  It is natural would be my conclusion.  Refinement of the process to yield better results is just finding a way to reproduce the same results thereby yielding improved theories.  That isn't an invention.  That is a logical way to approach a problem.

Just because a discovery follows a natural progression shouldn't disqualify it from being considered an "invention" - indeed, one could argue that many of the most fundamental 'inventions' exist because they were derived from basic principle of physics, chemistry, biology or other natural science.
As examples, hot air balloons ("invented" by frenchmen in the 1700s) stems from thermodynamics and was conceived as they watched paper bags lift over a campfire. Alexander Fleming "invented" penicillin when he noted bread mold determing bacterial growth in one of his petri dishes. Brearley "created" stainless steel simply by monkeying around with various additives to iron (Chromium & a trace of carbon). In the latter two examples these substances were already present in nature but some enterprizing individuals (and corporations) figured out how to mass produce them.
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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #139 on: August 18, 2017, 10:01:59 AM »

The question is "Why did so many diverse cultures in times in which information wasn't shared came up with the same process?"  It is natural would be my conclusion.  Refinement of the process to yield better results is just finding a way to reproduce the same results thereby yielding improved theories.  That isn't an invention.  That is a logical way to approach a problem.

Just because a discovery follows a natural progression shouldn't disqualify it from being considered an "invention" - indeed, one could argue that many of the most fundamental 'inventions' exist because they were derived from basic principle of physics, chemistry, biology or other natural science.
As examples, hot air balloons ("invented" by frenchmen in the 1700s) stems from thermodynamics and was conceived as they watched paper bags lift over a campfire. Alexander Fleming "invented" penicillin when he noted bread mold determing bacterial growth in one of his petri dishes. Brearley "created" stainless steel simply by monkeying around with various additives to iron (Chromium & a trace of carbon). In the latter two examples these substances were already present in nature but some enterprizing individuals (and corporations) figured out how to mass produce them.

Again, physical processes.  Not mental.



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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #140 on: August 18, 2017, 10:07:36 AM »
I've thought about this thread a little more and I now think that most of the suggestions from earlier in the thread (writing, birth control, sanitation, vaccines, etc.) work more to reduce suffering than increase happiness. That distinction might seem like splitting hairs, but I do think it is an important to separate the two. Across time and cultures, I think reducing suffering is a more important goal than increasing happiness, even today, because it means providing basic health, food, shelter, and safety to people. Increasing happiness should be more than that though, it should require a certain joyfulness or hedonism. With that, I think some of the more recent suggestions are better contenders for increasing happiness:

Music
Beer/wine
Dancing
Sex (that is not rigid or restrictive or only for procreation)
Food (not just subsistence, but delicious food that can be enjoyed with family and friends)
Air travel (ability to go anywhere around the world fairly easily and cheaply)

Was having the same thought. Based on that list, I think music is the winner, even edging out beer/wine (I'd put dancing as at least tangential to music).

Music is pretty common across all cultures. Pretty sure everyone has experienced in some music in some form, and it's consumed in massive amounts (I'm listening to Pandora right now!). It's also used to enhance television/movies/etc.

I mean, you can theoretically have a dry wedding, but I doubt you'll have ANY wedding without music...

Musicmusicmusic

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #141 on: August 18, 2017, 10:12:32 AM »

Again, physical processes.  Not mental.
I don't follow why you think something must be physical to be an invention. The very definition given by the oxford dictionary (link here) suggests otherwise. A story, a piece of music, a particular process are all commonly considered inventions when created by an individual or group.
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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #142 on: August 18, 2017, 10:17:47 AM »
I've thought about this thread a little more and I now think that most of the suggestions from earlier in the thread (writing, birth control, sanitation, vaccines, etc.) work more to reduce suffering than increase happiness. That distinction might seem like splitting hairs, but I do think it is an important to separate the two. Across time and cultures, I think reducing suffering is a more important goal than increasing happiness, even today, because it means providing basic health, food, shelter, and safety to people. Increasing happiness should be more than that though, it should require a certain joyfulness or hedonism. With that, I think some of the more recent suggestions are better contenders for increasing happiness:

Music
Beer/wine
Dancing
Sex (that is not rigid or restrictive or only for procreation)
Food (not just subsistence, but delicious food that can be enjoyed with family and friends)
Air travel (ability to go anywhere around the world fairly easily and cheaply)

I like this angle.

I mentioned the scientific method because using it reduces suffering considerably, which in turn ENABLES people to find happiness. On its own, does it produce happiness?

Music is a great answer, and is pretty universal.

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #143 on: August 18, 2017, 10:36:10 AM »

Again, physical processes.  Not mental.
I don't follow why you think something must be physical to be an invention. The very definition given by the oxford dictionary (link here) suggests otherwise. A story, a piece of music, a particular process are all commonly considered inventions when created by an individual or group.

I guess we'll have to defer to the OP for clarification on definition of Invention. :)



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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #144 on: August 19, 2017, 08:10:26 AM »
This may seem a bit odd, but the invention of cutting and drying grasses for winter feed (i.e. hay).  I saw it in a book that was about the 100 greatest inventions.  Before hay, farmers in areas with a growing season and a non-growing season (too cold, too dry) had to slaughter most livestock at the end of the growing season, because they could not be overwintered.  Once they could be overwintered, there was a more even balance of available meat, there were more livestock because more breeding stock could be overwintered, and there were more draft animals to reduce human labour. More food  and less work in a society that was almost all farmers would certainly make people happier.
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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #145 on: August 21, 2017, 07:49:16 AM »

Again, physical processes.  Not mental.
I don't follow why you think something must be physical to be an invention. The very definition given by the oxford dictionary (link here) suggests otherwise. A story, a piece of music, a particular process are all commonly considered inventions when created by an individual or group.

I guess we'll have to defer to the OP for clarification on definition of Invention. :)

I mean, when someone gets a patent on something, it doesn't necessarily have to be something physical. Intellectual property can be an idea i.e. "a work or invention that is the result of creativity"

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #146 on: August 30, 2017, 11:00:51 PM »
processing grains, fermenting grains, drying grains and fruits, running water, refrigeration, insulation, combustion engine, stainless steel, sewage processes.

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #147 on: August 31, 2017, 07:59:44 AM »
processing grains, fermenting grains, drying grains and fruits, running water, refrigeration, insulation, combustion engine, stainless steel, sewage processes.

So beer, cars, and having a proper poop.

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #148 on: August 31, 2017, 08:21:43 AM »
processing grains, fermenting grains, drying grains and fruits, running water, refrigeration, insulation, combustion engine, stainless steel, sewage processes.

So beer, cars, and having a proper poop.

I knows what I likes.

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Re: Which man-made invention has most increased the happiness of Humanity?
« Reply #149 on: August 31, 2017, 10:03:55 AM »
processing grains, fermenting grains, drying grains and fruits, running water, refrigeration, insulation, combustion engine, stainless steel, sewage processes.

So beer, cars, and having a proper poop.

I knows what I likes.

Me too - not getting cholera is a happy-making event.
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