How We Got to Now

How We Got to Now

Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Downloadable Audiobook - 2018
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Did you drink a glass of water today? Did you turn on a light? Did you think about how miraculous either one of those things is when you did it? Of course not-but you should, and New York Timesbestselling author Steven Johnson has. This adaptation of his adult book and popular PBS series explores the fascinating and interconnected stories of innovations-like clean drinking water and electricity-that changed the way people live.Innovation starts with a problem whose solution sets in motion all kinds of unexpected discoveries. That's why you can draw a line from from pendulums to punching the clock at a factory, from ice blocks to summer movie blockbusters, from clean water to computer chips.In the lively storytelling style that has made him a popular, bestselling author, Steven Johnson looks at how accidental genius, brilliant mistakes, and unintended consequences shape the way we live in the modern world. Johnson's "long zoom" approach connects history, geography, politics, and scientific advances with the deep curiousity of inventors or quirky interests of tinkerers to show how innovation truly comes about. His fascinating account is organized into six topics: glass, cold, sound, clean, time, light. Johnson's fresh exploration of these simple, single-syllable word concepts creates an endlessly absorbing story that moves from lightning strikes in the prehistoric desert to the herculean effort to literally raise up the city of Chicago to laser labs straight out of a sci-fi movie. In other words, it's the story of how we got to now!
Publisher: New York : Listening Library (Audio), 2018
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780525638421
Characteristics: 1 online resource (3 audio files) : digital
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Mar 18, 2016

The 6 points are glass (lens, mirrors, fiber optics), cold (refrigeration, air conditioning), sound (telephone, sonar, sound recording, ultra sound), clean (water purification), time, artificial light.

Mar 24, 2015

This interesting book explores the history of innovation by exploring six key technologies that contributed to the development of modern life. These technologies are lenses, clocks, refrigeration, water purification, recorded sound, and artificial light. He demonstrates how each innovation spawned other devices and technologies over time. The author also explores the ideas of the "hummingbird effect" (seemingly unconnected relationships between unconnected fields) and any technology having both positive and negative effects.

As I listened to this book, I remembered an incident at my grandmother's 90th birthday party in 1989. She was asked by a local reporter what was the most important invention during her lifetime. Her response was indoor plumbing. My siblings and I couldn't understand until much later why this was such a life-changing event for her.


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