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Greatest invention of the 20th century?

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Posts

  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong Warning: Donkey Kong is not a real doctor Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I would like to ask Bob Livingston if he'd like to partake in some smallpox cocktail together after I've been vaccinated and he has not been.

    easy_tetris_sig.gifbubbulon3_sig.png
  • CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I would like to ask Bob Livingston if he'd like to partake in some smallpox cocktail together after I've been vaccinated and he has not been.

    We all know you'd secretly infect his drink with miasma and yellow bile to REALLY make him sick.

    The libertarian response to anything is, "Sure, that works fine in practice, but it doesn't fly in theory."
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    segway

    See, you think you're joking, but once peak oil hits, well...

    tmsig.jpg
  • CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The Cat wrote: »
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    segway

    See, you think you're joking, but once peak oil hits, well...

    It will still be retarded?

    The libertarian response to anything is, "Sure, that works fine in practice, but it doesn't fly in theory."
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    Cervetus wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    segway

    See, you think you're joking, but once peak oil hits, well...

    It will still be retarded?

    ba-dum tssssh

    tmsig.jpg
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Cervetus wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    segway

    See, you think you're joking, but once peak oil hits, well...

    It will still be retarded?

    ^ This.

  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    not to mention, the segway was revealed in 2001, making it not an invention of the 20th century

    it did bring us some awesome gob jokes, though

    steam_sig.png
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    1: Antibiotics
    2: The Haber Process - Artificial Nitrogen Fixation, aka "we can make artificial fertilizers AND explosives/gunpowder without naturally occurring nitrate deposits!"
    3: Dwarf Wheat
    4: Computers (both vacuum tube based and later integrated circuit based)
    5: The Ballistic Missile (used for satellite launches, human space exploration, and MAD)

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Wait. Vaccines? Antibiotics? How could those be the greatest inventions when they are the greatest hoaxes of all time?

    D:

    can we just pretend this post never happened please

    I found out that Bill Maher didn't believe in Germ Theory and I was just aghast, how the fuck can any sane person not believe it?

    He says he doesn't get sick because he's cleansed of toxins. What the fuck is a toxin? Can you see them in a microscope? Because you can fucking see microorganisms raping cells with a microscope.

    Have these people just never taken a biology class?

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    what a huge idiot

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  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    1: Antibiotics
    2: The Haber Process - Artificial Nitrogen Fixation, aka "we can make artificial fertilizers AND explosives/gunpowder without naturally occurring nitrate deposits!"
    3: Dwarf Wheat
    4: Computers (both vacuum tube based and later integrated circuit based)
    5: The Ballistic Missile (used for satellite launches, human space exploration, and MAD)

    Antibiotics and computers all predate the 20th century

  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong Warning: Donkey Kong is not a real doctor Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    1: Antibiotics
    2: The Haber Process - Artificial Nitrogen Fixation, aka "we can make artificial fertilizers AND explosives/gunpowder without naturally occurring nitrate deposits!"
    3: Dwarf Wheat
    4: Computers (both vacuum tube based and later integrated circuit based)
    5: The Ballistic Missile (used for satellite launches, human space exploration, and MAD)

    Antibiotics and computers all predate the 20th century

    Disinfectants were common but not antibiotics. What antibiotics were around before 1900?

    The first tube computer was made in the 1940s for WWII.

    easy_tetris_sig.gifbubbulon3_sig.png
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The ancient Egyptians determined several substances that would prevent infection, including some fungi. And computers existed before tubes, and the abacus is a computer. Most 'modern' luxuries are just the result of incremental improvements, truly radical new innovations are often the improvements to basic technology that allow these concepts to develop, and these innovations are often themselves incremental improvements - the core 'idea' is often impossible to distill. I would argue that Einstein's Theory of Relativity was greatest invention of the 20th century, as it was purely original thought and reshaped our concept of the universe.

  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    1: Antibiotics
    2: The Haber Process - Artificial Nitrogen Fixation, aka "we can make artificial fertilizers AND explosives/gunpowder without naturally occurring nitrate deposits!"
    3: Dwarf Wheat
    4: Computers (both vacuum tube based and later integrated circuit based)
    5: The Ballistic Missile (used for satellite launches, human space exploration, and MAD)

    Antibiotics and computers all predate the 20th century

    Disinfectants were common but not antibiotics. What antibiotics were around before 1900?

    The first tube computer was made in the 1940s for WWII.

    Penicillin was discovered in 1928. What antibiotics existed before that?

    Vaccines predate antibiotics.

    steam_sig.png
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    The ancient Egyptians determined several substances that would prevent infection, including some fungi. And computers existed before tubes, and the abacus is a computer. Most 'modern' luxuries are just the result of incremental improvements, truly radical new innovations are often the improvements to basic technology that allow these concepts to develop, and these innovations are often themselves incremental improvements - the core 'idea' is often impossible to distill. I would argue that Einstein's Theory of Relativity was greatest invention of the 20th century, as it was purely original thought and reshaped our concept of the universe.

    I think it's fair to say that when someone says "computer," they don't intend that to include things like difference engines or abacuses.

    I agree that the use of various substances to prevent infection or lower fever is fairly common in many societies in history. I suppose some of those might qualify as antibiotics in the sense that they kill bacteria, but I feel like, once again, antibiotics is being used in a more colloquial fashion meant to indicate drugs like penicillin.

    steam_sig.png
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Alecthar wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    The ancient Egyptians determined several substances that would prevent infection, including some fungi. And computers existed before tubes, and the abacus is a computer. Most 'modern' luxuries are just the result of incremental improvements, truly radical new innovations are often the improvements to basic technology that allow these concepts to develop, and these innovations are often themselves incremental improvements - the core 'idea' is often impossible to distill. I would argue that Einstein's Theory of Relativity was greatest invention of the 20th century, as it was purely original thought and reshaped our concept of the universe.

    I think it's fair to say that when someone says "computer," they don't intend that to include things like difference engines or abacuses.

    I agree that the use of various substances to prevent infection or lower fever is fairly common in many societies in history. I suppose some of those might qualify as antibiotics in the sense that they kill bacteria, but I feel like, once again, antibiotics is being used in a more colloquial fashion meant to indicate drugs like penicillin.

    The early computers were no more sophisticated then mechanical computational devices of the 19th century.

  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Alecthar wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    The ancient Egyptians determined several substances that would prevent infection, including some fungi. And computers existed before tubes, and the abacus is a computer. Most 'modern' luxuries are just the result of incremental improvements, truly radical new innovations are often the improvements to basic technology that allow these concepts to develop, and these innovations are often themselves incremental improvements - the core 'idea' is often impossible to distill. I would argue that Einstein's Theory of Relativity was greatest invention of the 20th century, as it was purely original thought and reshaped our concept of the universe.

    I think it's fair to say that when someone says "computer," they don't intend that to include things like difference engines or abacuses.

    I agree that the use of various substances to prevent infection or lower fever is fairly common in many societies in history. I suppose some of those might qualify as antibiotics in the sense that they kill bacteria, but I feel like, once again, antibiotics is being used in a more colloquial fashion meant to indicate drugs like penicillin.

    The early computers were no more sophisticated then mechanical computational devices of the 19th century.

    Alright, programmable/program-controlled computers then.

  • DukiDuki Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Instead of 'computers', we should just say microprocessors.

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Duki wrote: »
    Instead of 'computers', we should just say microprocessors.

    Microprocessors, PLCs or pneumatic control circuits?

  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Semantics were invented prior to the 20th Century. Just saying.

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Corvus wrote: »
    Semantics were invented prior to the 20th Century. Just saying.

    I'm an engineer. Right now, I'm working on a project with microcomputers, PLCs and pneumatic circuits. They're only semantically different from a layman's perspective.

  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    You're not the only one here... electrical, computer, or some combination thereof? (mechanical with a mechatronics background?)

    (And yes, microprocessor is probably the better choice in this instance.)

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    You're not the only one here... electrical, computer, or some combination thereof?

    (And yes, microprocessor is probably the better choice in this instance.)

    Both, I'm designing my chip logic on a DAQ system then shrinking it down to work on a TI MSP430 2012 chip

    Heh nerds all up in dis thread

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    1: Antibiotics
    2: The Haber Process - Artificial Nitrogen Fixation, aka "we can make artificial fertilizers AND explosives/gunpowder without naturally occurring nitrate deposits!"
    3: Dwarf Wheat
    4: Computers (both vacuum tube based and later integrated circuit based)
    5: The Ballistic Missile (used for satellite launches, human space exploration, and MAD)

    Oh shit I completely forgot the Haber process, my chemistry professor would be kicking me if he knew. Something like 2-3% of humanity's entire energy production goes towards the Haber process, it really is incredibly important.

    Robman wrote: »
    The ancient Egyptians determined several substances that would prevent infection, including some fungi. And computers existed before tubes, and the abacus is a computer. Most 'modern' luxuries are just the result of incremental improvements, truly radical new innovations are often the improvements to basic technology that allow these concepts to develop, and these innovations are often themselves incremental improvements - the core 'idea' is often impossible to distill. I would argue that Einstein's Theory of Relativity was greatest invention of the 20th century, as it was purely original thought and reshaped our concept of the universe.

    If we're going to talk about Einstein, I would call quantum mechanics at least equally important.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The Haber process is a travesty of chemistry. Hey guys, we need to make NH3, how can we do that?

    I know! Let's put H2 and N2 together at high pressures and heat it up!

    Anyone can invent that when given an infinite budget and life-threatening necessity.

  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong Warning: Donkey Kong is not a real doctor Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The Haber process is a travesty of chemistry. Hey guys, we need to make NH3, how can we do that?

    I know! Let's put H2 and N2 together at high pressures and heat it up!

    Anyone can invent that when given an infinite budget and life-threatening necessity.

    Brute force shouldn't always be a dirty word. Sometimes there isn't an elegant trick.

    easy_tetris_sig.gifbubbulon3_sig.png
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    L|ama wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    The ancient Egyptians determined several substances that would prevent infection, including some fungi. And computers existed before tubes, and the abacus is a computer. Most 'modern' luxuries are just the result of incremental improvements, truly radical new innovations are often the improvements to basic technology that allow these concepts to develop, and these innovations are often themselves incremental improvements - the core 'idea' is often impossible to distill. I would argue that Einstein's Theory of Relativity was greatest invention of the 20th century, as it was purely original thought and reshaped our concept of the universe.

    If we're going to talk about Einstein, I would call quantum mechanics at least equally important.

    Quantum Mechanics got going in a big way in the 19th century

    EDIT I know dropping Einstein's name is tiresome, but I mean really - there was physics before the big E and physics afterward.

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Quantum Mechanics is almost exclusively 20th century work. Max Planck quantified energy in 1900, Quantification of light is 1905, by Einstein, and Bohrs atomic model is 1913. (While deeply flawed, it's the first model with discreet electron orbitals). Most of the main theory is from the 1920's.

    The only thing 19th century about QM is that the questions that caused the theory to develop. Around 1875 most physicists believed all important matters settled, with only details to sort out.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Quantum mechanics began with the blackbody radiation challenge in 1859, which Boltzmann became active on during the late 19th century. Sure, most physicists thought everything was settled in the period before Einstein (1905 was a crazy year for publications), but Boltzmann's law predates that and arguably was the first major proof in the field.

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Yeah, Einstein really was amazingly important. It's kinda funny, usually when people have reputations like his you end up learning that they weren't really as important as the general public thinks, but Einstein is pretty much the opposite. He figured out relativity by pretty much just thinking about stuff really really hard, the only data he had to work with that I can think of is the stuff with mercury's orbit.

    The problems that caused it to be discovered/invented were in the 1800s, yes, but the actual formulation of it wasn't until the 20th century. That's kind of like saying that integral calculus was invented before jesus because people had trouble working out volumes of various shapes then.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    L|ama wrote: »
    Yeah, Einstein really was amazingly important. It's kinda funny, usually when people have reputations like his you end up learning that they weren't really as important as the general public thinks, but Einstein is pretty much the opposite. He figured out relativity by pretty much just thinking about stuff really really hard, the only data he had to work with that I can think of is the stuff with mercury's orbit.

    He had the Michelson-Morley experiment as well and it's perenial answer for the speed of light in all directions as being c=1.

  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    GungHo wrote: »

    It would need to have conditioned air blowing out the crotch.

  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Add me to the microprocessor camp. Not only because of their profound effects on industry, but on society as well.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    Has anyone brought up the assembly line? Because we wouldn't have much of anything else without that

    What about the plane? Renewable energy? Recycling?

    I mean, sure there was basic assembly lines way back in the 18th century, but the developments made for the model T, not to mention WW2 and the like are an order of magnitude 'better'. Of course, I'm probably as biased towards it's importance as an industrial engineer as all those EE people and their microprocessors

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  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    I'm going to go with the ZFC axioms. Why? The formalisation of metamathematics led the way for a huge boom of new mathematical fields and all sorts of interesting results. These mathematics led to much of the math that lies at the heart of quantum mechanics, chaos theory, etc.

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  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Corvus wrote: »
    Semantics were invented prior to the 20th Century. Just saying.

    I'm an engineer. Right now, I'm working on a project with microcomputers, PLCs and pneumatic circuits. They're only semantically different from a layman's perspective.

    I was more referring to the "computers pre 20th century" line. Sure they existed, and the Greeks had steam powered toys, but neither of those examples of a principal had anywhere near the societal impact that the steam engine had on the 18nth century or the computer had on the 20th century.

    Now, I hope I'm done having to explain things that should have been obvious given the context of the thread.

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