Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The greatest inventions of all time (a candidate list)

 A couple of years ago I taught The Greatest Innovations of All Time course at Stanford University CSP. At the time, I focused on five areas of human experience: 1) Energy, 2) Communications, 3)Health Care, 4) Money, and 5) Transportation. Implicitly, I also included 6)Agriculture, as part of the discussion on Energy and Health. It was a great experience and I got good reviews from my students, but I felt that a better list of inventions was needed to understand the invented world we live in. Here's my updated attempt at this list in a semi-chronological order.

Double-entry accounting
Smallpox vaccination
Scientific Method
Steam Engine
Telegraph/Morse Code
Software and Universal Computer(The Turing Machine)
Social Networking

* I just noticed that the majority of words on this list start with S. Maybe this is a coincidence, or maybe it's a psychological bias, due to the fact that my last name starts with S :)

tags: invention, technology, history, business, model, system,  course

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