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Which historical developments led to mankind becoming ingenious towards todays exponential growth?

Which historical developments led to mankind becoming ingenious towards todays exponential growth?



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I want to ask pretty much the question in the title with some side notes/hints for the context:

  • I don't mean first tools created by homo sapiens, I mean which societal or geographical developments led to first significant exponential growth of inventions (plausible are for instance wars between different tribes, tribal rivalry often creates/pressures technological advances)

  • Is there a steady exponential growth of inventions or was there after a first period of many inventions a decline or only linear growth. I don't know since when patent exists and are tracked/indexed.

The background of my question is that I would like to understand what actually thrives human ingenuity or humans to become ingenious, especially in the pre-industrial times and with existing larger tribes or societies, rather necessity, pressure, spare time, identification of geological sources or catalytic key technologies (nuclear fission)…

Do historians have a list/time of catalytic events in medieval history that led to sudden increased growth. One example


I believe what you are talking about is the rate of accumulation of knowledge, aka information. There's a relatively new branch of history called Informationalist History that studies this.

As an example, Douglas S. Robertson has classified all societies based on the amount of information, in bits, that a typical member has access to. Each is categorized based on the enabling invention that allowed humans access to that amount of information.

Wherehis the amount of info one mind can hold, and is probably in the vicinity of 5Mb (5*106 bits).

  • Level 0 - 107 bits (h) - Pre-Language
  • Level 1 - 109 bits - Language
  • Level 2 - 1011 bits - Writing
  • Level 3 - 1017 bits - Printing
  • Level 4 - 1025(?) bits - Computers

The exponent on that number of bits is the important thing. How far one society outclasses another can be gauged by the difference in those exponents.

In Robertson's view, this is why Native Americans, the most advanced of whom barely had writing, had no hope of competing with Europeans with printing presses, but under the right conditions could actually replace a society of Europeans with no printing press a few years earlier. Being a couple of orders of magnitude back can perhaps be dealt with. However, be several back and you'll be lucky if they bother to treat you as the same species.


Watch the video: Historical Developments in Neo-Freudian and Humanistic Psychology (August 2022).

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