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Thread: 5 top areas of progress over past 500 years ?

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    Default 5 top areas of progress over past 500 years ?

    In the West I think we've obviously made large progress as a species in the past 500 years. I wonder what do other posters think are the top 5 areas of progress, here's my first stab (in no particular order)

    Transfer of knowledge (includes education)
    We've become very good at sharing knowledge and discoveries amongst millions of people

    Specialisation of labour & complex co-operation
    People are able to specialise very strongly in one area, nearly all jobs take weeks of training and most takes years. This frees up people to pursue their own niche & best talents.

    Individual rights
    Rather than the State, the Crown or the Church rights are now vested in individuals

    Diminished violence
    We've massively reduced our violent tendencies

    Scientific/empirical method

    We rigorously test and refine hypotheses and discover new truths

    What do others think ?

    (note I'm claiming the 5 above as the fundamental/source/causation factors - so outcomes such as increased wealth, health etc come from them)

    cYp
    Last edited by cyberianpan; 10th January 2009 at 02:23 AM. Reason: added note re cause & outcome
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    Don't forget the number one area of progress in the last five hundred years - War.

    It created many inventions and even more social change.

    Regards...jmcc

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    Duh, health is the obvious answer.
    Life expectancy is about three to four times what it was 150 years ago, never mind 500.
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    Politics.ie Member 20000miles's Avatar
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    Probably the toilet and plumbing. Must have saved millions of lives.

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkinner View Post
    Duh, health is the obvious answer.
    Life expectancy is about three to four times what it was 150 years ago, never mind 500.
    Life expectancy is an outcome.

    Can you name any significant contributions to increased life expectancy that don't have their roots in the 5 factors I suggested above !?

    cYp
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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post
    Diminished violence
    We've massively reduced our violent tendencies
    That one is a little hard to believe given the countless wars and imperial conquests and genocides that has happened in the last 500 years.

    Medicine is a major development though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post
    Life expectancy is an outcome.

    Can you name any significant contributions to increased life expectancy that don't have their roots in the 5 factors I suggested above !?

    cYp
    The life expectancy improvement is directly caused by two things - better sanitation and better health care. Oh, and the scientific method pre-dates the past half-millennium by some way, you know.
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    Politics.ie Member Bobert's Avatar
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    Massive developments in engineering have allowed for mankind to transcend any limits we might have reached 500 years ago.




    We could easily have built a road through the valley, but why when we could build a bridge?



    Massive developments in defence have brought about the most social change in the last 500 years then since homoerectus.



    Advancments in medicine have allowed us all to have a second chance.
    Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are, and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them.

    - Niccolò Machiavelli

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    Politics.ie Member Bobert's Avatar
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    The European Union has shown it's self to be the greatest example of human cooperation ever.
    Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are, and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them.

    - Niccolò Machiavelli

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    Politics.ie Member spidermom's Avatar
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    Undoubtedly what has made the difference in the last 500 is the water we drink and how we dispose of the water et al we produce!!!
    500 years ago the water we drank was fermented (ie alcohol) as this was its safest form!!(did cause a few problems in itself mind you!!!)
    and what we produced fermented in the streets for us to inhale as we walked by!!

    You need only look at the aftermath of any natural disaster,earthquake,volcano etc or manmade ie the Gaza or lest we forget Zimbabwe to see what the human toll is without clean water to drink and decent sanitation!!

    Source: Government of Zimbabwe; World Health Organization (WHO)
    Date: 08 Jan 2009

    Full_Report (pdf* format - 100.6 Kbytes)


    * Please note that daily information collection is a challenge due to communication and staff constraints. On-going data cleaning may result in an increase or decrease in the numbers. Any change will then be explained.
    ** Daily information on new deaths should not imply that these deaths occurred in cases reported that day. Therefore daily CFRs >100% may occasionally result
    1- Highlights of the day:
    - 632 cases and 28 deaths added today (in comparison 709 cases and 26 deaths yesterday)
    - 52.7 % of the districts affected have reported today (29 out of 55 affected districts)
    - 88.7 % of districts reported to be affected (55 districts/62)
    - All 10 of the country's provinces are affected
    - Matate area in Gokwe South (4 households affected), Rumour in Munyati Area of Kwekwe , Makuwerere and Rambire in Mberengwa.
    Last edited by spidermom; 10th January 2009 at 02:57 AM. Reason: extra info on zimbabwe
    When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity.

    ALBERT EINSTEIN

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