How inventions change history (for better and for worse) – Kenneth C. Davis

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Invented in 1793, the cotton gin changed history for good and bad. By allowing one field hand to do the work of 10, it powered a new industry that brought wealth and power to the American South — but, tragically, it also multiplied and prolonged the use of slave labor. Kenneth C. Davis lauds innovation, while warning us of unintended consequences.

Lesson by Kenneth C. Davis, animation by Sunni Brown.


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Einstein didn't invent e=mc^2, he just discovered it. This is like blaiming newton for a plane crash because he discovered gravity. Einstein didn't take part in manhattan project

This is why I hate history, everybody is blaming this and that the cause of this and that. If you stop them would you change the world for the better? How about now, could you make a difference? And don't blame Einstein for preWWII Japan stupidity, if it weren't for him you wouldn't not post a video about it now.

The title of this video is absolutely wrong, it should be "how capitalism change history for worse", all the misfortunes depicted here are the essence of capitalism, that is bad concequences shared by sheer numbers of poor people and the greatest profit shared by a reduced minority. If Truman were sitted at the Nuremberg Trials, he would have been condemned to death by genocide, of course that was not proposed by the very many but cancelled by a few.

All I'm getting from this is every invention and discovery is in the gray area. Meaning it has consequences both good and bad. I think that's because every decision and action comes at a price. People say "No Good Deed goes Unpunished" and "Eaten Bread is soon Forgotten." But maybe every decision yields a reward as well; it's just that it's difficult for us to see them both. It's like what my mom once told me, "There's more good than bad in the world. It's just the bad gets more attention, whereas the good is more low-key." We don't know what we loose when we choose to be lazy, and some jobs, although important, seem to be thankless.

So in conclusion, we must always be more considerate of the consequences of our actions; we must ask ourselves what it will yield us, what will it cost us, and weather or not it's worth the price. And more important, we should at least try and show more appreciation for the contributions people make to us. And we should all try and thank people for doing the right thing. Otherwise, the bread we give will soon be forgotten. Thank you.:-)

Meanwhile: in 1816, Krakatoa erupted and everyone had to endure the year without summer. Thousands died of frostbite. I'd wager that the mass produced cotton clothes saved more that a few people that year. Sure, making them was hard work, but the industrial revolution gave hundreds of millions of people a change of clothes.

Life before industrialization sucked, and for the average man it required a huge input of work just to stay alive. Sure, there are issues even in an industrialized society, but they are infinitely preferable to the issues you see in pre-industrial societies. 10% of the society being slaves was still better than 80% of society being serfs to their landlords.

The reason why we don't have slavery or serfdom any more is entirely thanks to the further development of the industrial revolution. The work that used to be done by slaves or serfs is now done by machines. We have gone from a society where almost everyone had to constantly work to make food to one where 2% of society can fully provide the rest with food, working only on a standard eight hour workday with weekends.

It pains me that people don't understand how magical things like flipping a switch to light up a room or clean water from a tap are, and regularly complain about the things that make their lifestyle possible. We live in a society where the magical has become ordinary, and people don't understand just how well off they are.

I think a better example would be the invention of chinesse porcelain, the effect it had on Chinesse/Asian society and how it actually led to centuries of decline in innovation in China compared to the west.

Long story short: The Chinesse was so happy and content with the invention of porcelain that they did not bother to research or adopt the invention of glass for more than 100 years.

In this case we see how a single invention propels society forward for those who study, adopt and perfects the utility of this invention, while we see the indirect damage it causes to those who ignore it.

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