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  • File Size: 44915 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; 1 edition (September 30, 2014)
  • Publication Date: September 30, 2014
  • Language: English

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I found this book to become well written, entertaining and very informative. I have got not previously read any of Stephen Johnson's textbooks, but now We are upon the lookout for these people. This book reminded me associated with the books by James Burke, "The Day the Universe Changed" and "Connections", which discuss the complex evolution of technology, plus the interactions of events ultimately causing our modern world. "How We Got To Here" focuses more on innovation than Burke's books, nevertheless like them it is also written for a new general audience and needs little or no specialized background.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in history, science and technology and to anybody interested in the strange interconnected tales of just how the things that we take for granted were created. My only minor sidestep is that the book is a new bit light on specialized details. For instance, that discusses pendulum clocks and after that pocket watches, but would not describe the difference in their operation, or anything about the development associated with naval chronometers. I would certainly have liked a little bit more technical detail, nevertheless this was not a new big enough problem to be able to reduce my rating coming from 5-stars.

What is in the book -
The book explains six innovations that follow the author's contention that - "An innovation, or bunch of innovations, in a field end up triggering adjustments that seem to belong to a different domain completely. " This idea can best be understood by examining the six innovation chapters plus the short summary chapter that make up the publication. These chapters are since follows:

1. Glass - The first innovation, the introduction of glass and how that impacted society, starts along with the natural pieces associated with glass found in the Libyan Desert, and goes on to how men eventually discovered to make glass. This specific required the concurrent technological innovation of furnace building and the segregation of the Venetian glassblowers towards the isle of Murano due to the fire that these furnaces maintained to cause. These glassblowers arrived from Constantinople mainly because it fell to the Turks and the segregation led to be able to the cross fertilization associated with ideas and techniques. The particular concept of one innovation leading to another in a different field is discussed in terms of the development associated with the printing press, which often made books easily available, which often in turn resulted in many people seeing that these people were farsighted and could therefore not read these people. Previously, Johnson contends that this deficiency was not necessarily readily apparent because people performed not require the capacity to see small things close-up, although I in person find this a bit of a stretch since tasks like regular sewing would have also required this skill. Books resulted in the development of spectacles and spectacle makers that experimented with the contacts come in the invention associated with the microscope and telescope, which in turn modified our concept of the microscopic world and the cosmos. Glass also brought to better mirrors, which often in turn altered their view of self.

two. Cold (as in refrigeration) - Here the story begins with Fredric Tudor's idea (obsession) to provide ice from the frozen lakes and ponds of New England to the tropics, and exactly how this ultimately brought to an extremely highly lucrative business, although not before he first went broke trying to perfect this scheme. Ice eventually led to a fridge and to changes in the living patterns in the US and now in much of the rest of the globe because tropical climates had been now made more usable. Cold is also the story of frozen food and how this offers changed eating habits.

3. Sound - This part discusses the importance of sound and how it led to the concepts of recording that. The different field discussed was how recordings led to the acceptance of Jazz music, and to ultrasound and exactly how this has altered the ratio of men to female children in China.

4. Clean - This chapter deals along with sanitation, chlorination of water, and exactly how this has brought the development of huge cities. It has likewise led to the development associated with advertising through the must sell soap and to be able to advertising of soap through soap operas on the radio.

5. Time - This chapter discusses just how Galileo's observation of the swinging of a pendulum in a church brought to clocks, and just how accurate clocks transformed routing and promoted trade. This also goes on to be able to discuss the way the development associated with railroads led to the advantages of better time keeping and finally to time zones, atomic clocks and to the GPS system.

6. Lighting - This is regarding lighting, from candles to be able to light bulbs to neon signs. One of the concurrent technologies which are discussed is the ability to be able to remove Neon gas coming from the atmosphere and the need for signage in Las Vegas.

7. Conclusion - This is a new short chapter dedicated to what Johnson calls "time travelers", people who anticipate a need that so far offers not developed. Contrary to be able to the discussions in the remaining book, these "time travelers" are not inspired by concurrent technologies, nevertheless anticipate them., What a new fascinating book! If you like entertaining and interesting, well-written, well-researched, journalist-style non-fiction history, you will be sure to be able to enjoy this. It requires 6 innovations (glass, clean, gentle, cold, sound, time) through history, including all the creators and all the quirks of history that brought to the present day day make use of of these innovations. With regard to instance, glass starts along with a meteor strike in the Egyptian desert that results in an incredibly rare substance in nature (sand turned to cup in extreme heat) - so rare that that was used in a good ornament in King Tut's tomb -- through to be able to the present day use associated with it virtually everywhere, which includes, of course, fiber optics. Each chapter is a new fascinating journey, filled along with interesting, quirky, and brilliant inventors and odd juxtapositions. (The invention of the printing press led to the widespread use of reading material, which made many individuals realize for the very first time that they necessary reading glasses). It is in the general genre associated with Mary Roach (though not necessarily as hilarious), Malcolm Gladwell, and Steven Jay Gould. In other words, science and history for the interested, educated, but non-expert reader. You will become sure to bore your buddies with all sorts associated with little factoids gleaned coming from this book for quite a while., Because a scientist and creator, I found "How We all Got to Now" to be able to be a delightful publication on invention and innovation. The author focuses upon six section of innovation: cup, cold, sound, clean, time, and light. As an example, he describes the accidental finding of glass in the wasteland and traces the introduction of lenses, eyeglasses, telescopes, and microscopes.

The stories of innovation and how society have been changed is fascinating. As an example, ice cutting from frozen lakes leads to cooling machines to population development in areas of warm climate. Clocks and railroads give us timezones and standardized time depending on atomic transitions, not around the rotator of the Earth. The author does miss the function played by glass (silicon oxide) in integrated signal chips, where the cup is utilized as an insulator. There are few other absences in this book.

Inside the section on light, the author reveals a little-known magic formula about invention. Edison's most crucial innovation was the corporation of groups of researchers and engineers to discover solutions to technical issues. Of my 118 released United States patents, there are a small number with regard to which I am the sole inventor. These symbolize the flash-of-genius type associated with invention. The majority had been inventions-by-committee, where typically three to four people of different experience combined their knowledge to be able to come up with new solutions.

The final part deals with the work associated with Ada Lovelace (software), and Charles Babbage (hardware), that designed the first programmable computing machine. This short section could easily have been expanded into a complete part on calculation. However , the author uses the story to illustrate an unusual invention that preceded its enabling technology.

The publication is full of drawings and interesting anecdotes. It will a good job associated with telling the story associated with technology development and just how it can transform the way we live., My internal geek loves this publication! It's so interesting to be able to trace a history of improvements for broad categories these kinds of as Sound and A glass. I loved reading the " Light" chapter about how precisely we got from proceeding to bed at sundown to staying up all night in Las Las vegas. The Cold chapter has been fascinating: who knew that ice had such a good intriguing history? Time mezmerized me; I read several portions of that time period chapter once again and again. The publication makes me feel like I have a well-rounded knowledge associated with these topics instead associated with knowing just trivia. It can well written and completely documented. I was impressed with the amount of study that went into each part. The book made my morning and evening go pleasant.

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How We Got Now Innovations
Average Rating: 4.28
Votes: 11
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