An Orgy of Innovation

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147 Responses to An Orgy of Innovation

  1. Geriatric Mayfly

    Not one of those advances in civilisation or technology appears to have emanated from Muslim lands, either by design or accident.

    [I would like it to be possible to put up a post without anyone and everyone immediately talking about Muslims. It shouldn’t be that hard. Sinc]

  2. Zatara

    The “Hockey Stick” might not have been the best device to illustrate his point….

  3. Andysaurus

    Not one of those advances in civilisation or technology appears to have emanated from Muslim lands, either by design or accident.

    The age of enlightenment introduced the concept that every individual was important and not subject to the path laid out by God. I would contend that this is the most important difference between Western entrepreneurial and innovative society and those who still stick to the concept of in sha Allah – it is the will of God. What is the point of striving for betterment if you think that your place and path is determined by a higher being?

    Sadly, I would also suggest that it has gone too far in the West and there is a whole generation being taught to believe that they are entitled to any unproven and crazy ideas they may dream up. I just hope the marketplace puts them in their place before they corrupt everything.

  4. Rafe

    Marvellous. So much in 2 or 3 minutes.
    The hockey stick is apt in this context.

  5. Geriatric Mayfly

    Exactly, Saurus. Cause and effect or Why is it so? never seemed to enter the into the thought processes of Islamic ‘scholars.’ Omar has a badly infected leg. Why is that? Why is it spreading? What can be done about it? Omar dies of sepsis; it is the will of Allah.
    Also in the above video clip, mention of cheap energy (coal) as a stimulus to create work saving devices that would put it to use. The Arabs were sitting on top of vast reservoirs of potential energy, and donkey carts prevailed until Western expertise was brought in to exploit it.

  6. Mark A

    Geriatric Mayfly
    #2323651, posted on March 12, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Not one of those advances in civilisation or technology appears to have emanated from Muslim lands, either by design or accident.

    GM the often quoted ‘golden age of Islam’ when scientific advances were made they always forget to mention the fact that most of those discoveries were not made by muslims themselves.

    As to medical doctors, I follow my father’s advice, “never go to a doctor who believes in Karma or in the will of their God”.

  7. iain russell

    I understand Sinc’s plea for an Islamo-timeout, but things being the way they are, I doubt there will be one.

  8. Dr Fred Lenin

    What happened there? Innovation before malcolm was even born then ,surely there can be no innovation without a malcolm ,it aint right . You never mentioned agility either did ya ?
    Excuse the grammer Sinc ,but you would be used to semi literate students from our green/leftoid education aparat I mean when giliard is held up as a champion of Ejykayshun ,nuff said .

  9. Zatara

    Rafe, given that the left equates human progress with global warming and the hockey stick is one of the classic BS illustrations they use to attempt to justify their cult, it has much too much baggage to be used in this context.

  10. Zatara

    Not that they asked me for my opinion mind you.

  11. duncanm

    sorry Sync – the muslim point is very apt.

    “Rather than celebrate conquerers and kings, they began to celebrate merchants and innovators”

  12. duncanm

    oh – apologies for Sync vs. Sinc — EE touch-type coming out there.

  13. Bruce

    Geriatric Mayfly noted:

    “Not one of those advances in civilisation or technology appears to have emanated from Muslim lands, either by design or accident.”

    HOWEVER, EVERY one of them, with the possible exceptions of the steam engine and indoor plumbing, has been WEAPONIZED by them, to use against REAL people.

  14. ACTOldFart

    Rather than debating where the innovations didn’t come from, its useful to ask where they DID come from. In an overwhelming number of cases, the answer is, “the joint stock, limited-liability company” – probably the greatest innovation of them all. And it’s another tribute to private enterprise, which cats should appreciate.

  15. calli

    Is freedom at the heart of the “change in attitude”?

  16. Fulcrum

    Anything covered in the video is a massive underestimate of what Western society has contributed to the world in science, art, law, education, literature even old fashion but community.

    Let’s assume there is no resistance with the Christian ethics of Faith, Hope, and Charity but to reinforce the point take a look at

    https://youtu.be/0GSvRsC6-B0

    Before it is banned.

  17. Rob MW

    Is the suicide vest an innovation ?

    Personally I think that walking up stairs to the top of a building only to push someone off then walking back down the stairs to be counter intuitive when installing a perfectly good lift would have saved time to push more people off and money to make other innovations.

  18. egg_

    The smart phone effectively encompasses 4 others (semiconductor, TV, iPad/laptop) and then some (video/still camera, cellphone, wireless modem/wifi router &c.) and the apps can be used for anything from engine diagnosis via an OBD-II bluetooth dongle to video editing.

  19. egg_

    (smart phone) GPS navigator…

  20. Art Vandelay

    It’s pretty sad that he didn’t mention the ‘c’ word: capitalism.

  21. Roger

    The age of enlightenment introduced the concept that every individual was important and not subject to the path laid out by God.

    That is what you were taught in high school/university; the reality is rather more complex. I suggest you read Larry Siedentop’s ‘Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Individualism’.

  22. egg_

    It’s pretty sad that he didn’t mention the ‘c’ word: capitalism.

    +1

    There wouldn’t be a smart phone without Apple.

  23. Confused Old Misfit

    Rob MW’s post has triggered me!

    In order to combat the global menace of obesity all elevators shall, henceforth, be fitted with a meter that accepts a $2 coin. The logic of the elevator shall be that there shall be $2 deposited for every X kilos in the elevator before it will move.

    Otherwise it’s the stairs for you!

  24. Zyconoclast

    HOWEVER, EVERY one of them, with the possible exceptions of the steam engine and indoor plumbing, has been WEAPONIZED by them, to use against REAL people.

    Indoor plumbing can be dangerous

  25. Bruce

    Last I heard, the Tamil “Tigers” invented the suicide vest, though the Imperial Japanese Forces (pre-August 1945) set the bar pretty high on “suicide” operations, but even they had the “decency” to generally use this method on ACTUAL military targets in actual, (desperate) combat situations.

    Bayoneting prisoners, male and female, military or civilian, was more their normal style.

    Then again, the Khmer Rouge saved bullets by slashing the throats of many of their victims, using a trimmed sugar-palm frond; VERY “eco-friendly”!

  26. Art Vandelay

    For those interested in a far more in-depth and well researched discussion on how innovation (and prosperity) have improved over time, I recommend Matt Ridley’s book: The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves.

  27. Occupy Centrelink

    Andysaurus
    #2323663, posted on March 12, 2017 at 11:47 am


    The age of enlightenment introduced the concept that every individual was important and not subject to the path laid out by God.


    The Enlightenment enlightened us about God, not from God. As noted by Weber, essentially Protestants discovered that God gave us a few more career options than we first realized. We don’t all have a “calling” to pursue holy orders. Some can be business people, some engineers, some artists and, yes, it’s a stretch, but some even politicians. Those who behead and conquer as a career path in 2017 have just chosen the wrong deity.

  28. Leigh Lowe

    It’s pretty sad that he didn’t mention the ‘c’ word: capitalism

    Yes.
    Name one innovation which is down to Government.

  29. King Koala

    Sinc you can try and bury your head in the sand but that won’t stop muslims cutting it off.

    Nice video, just a collection of things white people have created.

  30. classical_hero

    It ws the Reformation and Renaissance that brought the West into the light. A lot of the intentions really started around that time. I would say the age of “Enlightenment” has brought us back from the highs of the previous era, as we are starting to bear fruit from the many terrible ideas that came out from that age.

  31. Rev. Archibald

    Innovation is shit.

  32. Splatacrobat

    Name one innovation which is down to Government.

    Deeming

  33. Rev. Archibald

    Very few people are capable of coming up with genuinely new ideas.
    Most of the innovation is due to a tiny, tiny, tiny minority of very unusual people.
    Trying to figure out what sparks it is like looking for unicorn shit.
    Good luck with that.
    There is a civilisation we are familiar with that hung around for 40 000 years without figuring out that round things make hauling stuff from place to place easier. Maybe they just thought it better not to lug big amounts of stuff around.

  34. Rev. Archibald

    Look at ants.
    Most ants, probably 99.999% of them just follow the scent trials set down by other ants to find the sugar to bring back to the hive.
    Follow scent trial. Pick up sugar. Take sugar back to hive…
    This is what most ants need to do.
    You don’t want them wandering off looking for new shit.
    But you do need a small minority of ants to go out there off on their own exploring for sugar.
    Most of these ants will die alone, miserable and unfulfilled, having wandered into my oven just before I cook a pizza.
    Any effort to increase innovation will hit the wall that most individuals in any population of any critter at all are simply not designed to wander off and figure shit out for themselves. And this is the way it is meant to be.

  35. Splatacrobat

    How we got to today without diversity and inclusion yesterday is an excellent argument for ignoring SJW’s tomorrow

  36. Pivot

    Geriatric Mayfly
    #2323651, posted on March 12, 2017 at 11:27 am – Opening remarks

    ROFL +5

    “Innovation-ism”??!.. No it’s not ever an “Ism”, lets just call it what it actually is, “innovation”

  37. Fulcrum

    To the Rev.

    Fortunately modern Australian societies have covered the ‘shit’ issue also

    From the lavatory to water recycling and recycled shit you can avoid the age old warning ‘gardez loo’ Cholera. which still kills millions every year, is just another oversight for some

  38. Leo G

    Name one innovation which is down to Government.

    There are many, in fact.
    They’re all taxes.

  39. +10 to Rev Archibald.

    I would posit (love saying that) that writing and then the printing press accelerated the innovation process. Any form of written knowledge transfer seems to have increased innovation. Maybe more people became “wondering ants” by reading and adapting.
    Getting away from ones place of childhood (either physically or in the mind) seems to be one of the prerequisites to innovation.
    And just to piss Sinc off, the Muzzie doesn’t read much other than the one book, no need apparently.

  40. RobK

    I think much of modern innovation is enabled by intellectual property rights (limited state protection for revealing process) and powered by the rewards of capitalism.

  41. duncanm

    It’s pretty sad that he didn’t mention the ‘c’ word: capitalism

    Yes.
    Name one innovation which is down to Government.

    sorry Leigh and others – you’re wrong there.

    The fundamental technologies often came from government labs (espec. US): semiconductors, internet, flat panels, wireless comms used in mobiles, GPS, etc etc.

    Commercialising it is important – and that’s where capitalism comes in.

    Apple is just a good marketing and packaging company – they haven’t innovated since they stole the idea of the mouse from Bell Labs.

  42. duncanm

    sorry – mouse came from PARC / Xerox, not Bell Labs.

  43. Rev. Archibald

    The fundamental technologies often came from government labs (espec. US): semiconductors, internet, flat panels, wireless comms used in mobiles, GPS, etc etc.

    ..
    I did not know Faraday had a government job.

  44. Dr Fred Lenin

    We should all venere the name Crapper ,the inventor of the flush toilet ,a man to be truly venerated by all races ,religions and non religions ,(like greens and narxists ) , without his genius there woukd be no toilet jokes for lefty “comedians ” on the alpbc

  45. Rev. Archibald

    Let’s face it.
    A very small number of people like Faraday invented all the ideas behind modern electronics, and everything subsequent was just fleshed out by numerous worker ants following his well laid down scent trial.

  46. Rev. Archibald

    Another example: Rutherford basically invented nuclear physics.

  47. Art Vandelay

    Government-funded science just crowds out that which would have been done by the private sector anyway.

    In 2003, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a paper on the “sources of economic growth in OECD countries” between 1971 and 1998 and found, to its surprise, that whereas privately funded research and development stimulated economic growth, publicly funded research had no economic impact whatsoever. None. This earthshaking result has never been challenged or debunked. It is so inconvenient to the argument that science needs public funding that it is ignored.

  48. duncanm

    I did not know Faraday had a government job.

    no – but Shockley did.

    Admittedly, integrated circuits came from a innovations in a few private companies: TI, Fairchild, Sprague

  49. duncanm

    Art – I’m not sure I agree with that.

    Private companies rarely do the fundamental research. They always want an short-term (maybe 5-10yr) payout on any technology investments.

    They often do that by piggy-backing on the fundamental stuff coming out of government labs.

  50. Art Vandelay

    Art – I’m not sure I agree with that.

    Well, debunk the study then.

  51. duncanm

    Another example: Rutherford basically invented nuclear physics.

    mostly while at various universities around the world.

    Try again.

  52. duncanm

    Art – I went to your link.. they had an interesting example: graphene “just invented by a couple of Russians goofing around”

    Funny that — they were goofing around on the taxpayer dime at the University of Manchester.

  53. duncanm

    I do agree with this note:

    Government is going to research what it is palatable for government research. Research will therefore be concentrated on the current preoccupations of those who direct research grants, rather than on whatever it is that the current general state of technology makes it most likely will lead to fruitful innovation. And thus government direction of R&D funds might well be holding back innovation, and the economic growth that comes from it, rather than boosting it.

    (ref. the billions being wasted on glowball warmening and anything remotely related)

  54. Rev. Archibald

    mostly while at various universities around the world

    ..
    None of which were primarily funded by governments at that time.

  55. herodotus

    Yeah, but , you know, those Arabs and their numbers and arches. Right. When was that again?

  56. Leo G

    A very small number of people like Faraday invented all the ideas behind modern electronics, …

    Faraday may have been a brilliant experimentalist and modeller, but modern electronics was really the invention of mathematical theorists, starting with Hamilton (complex maths in 3-d space), Maxwell (also a brilliant experimentalist) Riemann and Planck.

  57. Geriatric Mayfly

    Didn’t realise I had received a slap at the top of the page. Let’s talk about the Rev’s ants then. I watched a formation of Matabele ants in Zim. crossing a track. They formed a V formation, with the head ant in the vanguard. A murderous looking foray, and if you ventured too close they barked their war-cry. First time I have heard ants chant slogans. Once across the track they dispersed, turning every leaf and stick hunting out hapless termites. Behind every rock and tree, according to ancient instinct, they marauded, with the obvious intention that none would remain. The booty was then carried in triumph back to the lair. True story, not made up.

  58. Tel

    A very small number of people like Faraday invented all the ideas behind modern electronics, and everything subsequent was just fleshed out by numerous worker ants following his well laid down scent trial.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Kron

    Also Laurence Nagel who worked on SPICE (started at UCB) which gradually got copied, modified, rewritten many times by many people. Admittedly there have been a great many efforts at circuit simulation, SPICE just became the most popular (mostly because it was dumped into the public domain while in fairly good working condition, so it got the Rugby treatment… pick it up and run with it).

  59. RobK

    Edison’s “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” comment comes to mind. New knowledge is of limited use unless it can be disseminated by practical application. If it is done at a profit, it is likely further development will follow.

  60. duncanm

    None of which were primarily funded by governments at that time.

    ok.

    Personally, I think fundamental insights and much invention comes from smart people having the luxury of idle time in which to think.

    Whether its the rich gentry of pre-industrial England, boffins in the private sector, or government-funded scientists.

    I wouldn’t disagree that the last may be the most inefficent of the three, but in recent history, I’d argue it’d be one of the most productive in terms of output.

  61. John L

    How many by AU aborigines? Boomerang?
    How many of the innovators/inventors did pass the early learning exams?

  62. Leo G

    … I think fundamental insights and much invention comes from smart people having the luxury of idle time in which to think.

    Much more invention appears to have come from smart people who weren’t idle in their formative years.

    The rich gentry of pre-industrial England weren’t all that productive, with some obvious exceptions like John Napier and autistic Henry Cavendish. The rich gentry did fund the kind of institutions for the privately tutored that also taught the likes of Newton.

    Thompson for example, attended a village school until 13, was apprenticed to a merchant until 16, married a wealthy heiress at 19, abandoned his marriage at 23 to join the staff of the British military commander at the start of the American Revolution. No luxury of idle time there, I think.

  63. RobK

    The story of Joseph Whitworth is an interesting tale.
    An overview from Wikipediahttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Whitworth
    A man dedicated to education and research.

  64. egg_

    A very small number of people like Faraday invented all the ideas behind modern electronics, …

    Faraday may have been a brilliant experimentalist and modeller, but modern electronics was really the invention of mathematical theorists, starting with Hamilton (complex maths in 3-d space), Maxwell (also a brilliant experimentalist) Riemann and Planck.

    +1

    Electronics is vastly more complex than electrics – grease monkeys are trained in basic electrical circuits.

    Re semiconductors – Bell Labs were the home of the transistor.

    Many of the technologies above are evolutionary, not a single ‘Archimedes moment’.

    Colour Television back in the day was the first (data) QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) that exists to this day in all modems.

  65. egg_

    … I think fundamental insights and much invention comes from smart people having the luxury of idle time in which to think.

    Au contraire – craftsmen and technicians who come up with a better way of doing their job, rather than the halls of academe.

  66. RobK

    Au contraire – craftsmen and technicians who come up with a better way of doing their job, rather than the halls of academe.
    Exactly. It’s those who make and do stuff that find tweeks, little efficiencies and the occasional biggy from out of left field. The old addage: “it helps if you know what you are doing.”

  67. duncanm

    egg_ and others — I think we’re arguing fundamental scientific insight vs. the 99% hard work remaining to get it working: which is where the technicians & engimaneers come in.

  68. RobK

    Duncanm,
    Yes, to an extent it’s a case of “all of the above”.

  69. Rev. Archibald

    Au contraire – craftsmen and technicians who come up with a better way of doing their job, rather than the halls of academe.

    ..
    Yes, but even in the field of technicians you will find it is a tiny minority who come up with most of the new ideas.
    Same for song writers.
    How many people out there write songs? Many tens or hundreds of thousands.
    Yet of all the songs you know, most will have been written by a small handful of the same composers.

  70. Rob

    Apple is just a good marketing and packaging company – they haven’t innovated since they stole the idea of the mouse from Bell Labs.
    Duncanm takes the prize for the most stupid comment on the cat. Apple has shaped several industries, including the computer industry numerous times, the telecommunications industry, the music industry. Marketing and packaging are part of innovation too.

  71. Louis Hissink

    Is it appropriate to narrative these decadent socially unjustifiable items of civilizational excesses as “white Trash”?

  72. rickw

    Two important things:

    What we have achieved so far is incredibly fragile, when my uncle was a boy he saw paddle steamers on the Murray, when he started work he did so harnessing up draught horses.

    Invention largely rests on incremental ideas and improvements and their communication and transfer to others so they may be used for further incremental improvements. Occasionally someone manages to open up an entirely new field.

    This is a fragile process that we are not long into, it has been protested at and attempts made to thwart it at every turn. That still exists and continues today, we have mastered the basics of electricity and yet Government and green groups are already chipping at its foundation. How many things won’t be invented or done because of peoples efforts and wealth being consumed working out how to use a small genset to maintain the essentials of their house.

  73. Stan

    The Government, not you, built all of these…

  74. Bruce

    Leigh Lowe said:

    “Name one innovation which is down to Government.”

    Taxes?

    Bureaucracy?

    Quality stuff, right there!

  75. Roger

    And just to piss Sinc off, the Muzzie doesn’t read much other than the one book, no need apparently.

    The reigning iterations of Islam have indeed not, like Christianity, reconciled faith and reason, which accounts for the general backwardness of Muslim societies. The so-called Muslim golden age was brought to a close by the reprise of Islamic “fundamentalism” (to use an anachronism), from which Arab societies have never really recovered.

    I don’t know why Sinclair should complain about the topic being raised here as it is the subject of much academic study and discussion within the Arab world and without.

  76. Anton

    Considering the time the innovation rate turned upwards, and the locations where the most rapid growth took place, innovation was driven by protestant* Christianity. This is not just a spurious correlation, the scientific method is essentially the protestant view of “truth” applied to the physical universe, and also accommodated free market economics (capitalism on its own is not enough), financial transactions and secularism.

    *in the past 500 years the catholic church has come a long way and is no longer an impediment to prosperity, other than their propensity to select Marxists to lead them

  77. NewChum

    The change in attitude noted is really rooted in the removal of the tyrants foot off the throat of ordinary people. Whether the tyrant was a king, a warlord, or a religious figure is immaterial. The human mind is inquisitive by nature, all that needs to happen is to provide free time and freedom to reap the rewards and it will provide answers to complex questions.

    The enlightenment really was just the widening of the gap between what was allowed by the authorities that gradually expanded. Demanding literal interpretation of a holy book prevents that. Da Vinci studying anatomy is an example previously verboten but great gains in knowledge came from it. Sadly it didn’t spread at his time, that would come later.

    The second big driver apart from the freedom to associate and pursue individuals own ends is the provision of cheap energy. All the innovations in the world cannot overcome lack of energy. Harnessing the power of EROEI propels the hockey stick upwards.

    Take a ficitional universe and ask why we don’t have the powers of that. The Star Wars universe for example – it’s not that humans don’t have the innovation chops to produce laser swords or land speeders – we simply lack the energy density to create such things.

    For innovation to continue you must only continue down the path where each new energy source has a higher EROEI than the one you are leaving behind. Otherwise your society will regress back down the path.

  78. old bloke

    Looking at that list of innovations, Australia played a major role in two of them (aviation & penicillin).

    We can thank Lawrence Hargraves for his aeronautical research. Without his experimentation with box kites and wing shapes, the Wright brothers wouldn’t have got off the sand at Kitty Hawk Beach.

    We can also thank Howard Florey (and Ernst Chain) for the development of penicillin. A countless number of lives have been saved as a result of their work.

    Interestingly, both Hargraves and Florey were great believers in the “public domain”. They published all their research widely and never applied for patents.

  79. Chris

    Some really insightful comments above.
    Particularly the ones that point out how
    – its a FEW people
    – the technicians are essential
    -marketing and packaging are part of innovation.

    Innovation can be taught.
    Entrepreneurship is a set of effective behaviours. ALL of them are needed to succeed.
    Government is the worst barrier to new work. Increased compliance costs destroy profits, and the creative energy to try something new comes out of what is left after the shit that has to be done to survive.
    Nitwits think its ‘having a good idea’ creates merit.
    Work creates merit. Good ideas are toilet graffiti without the work to test them and if they are good, the work to carry them to success.

  80. Considering the time the innovation rate turned upwards, and the locations where the most rapid growth took place, innovation was driven by protestant* Christianity. This is not just a spurious correlation, the scientific method is essentially the protestant view of “truth” applied to the physical universe, and also accommodated free market economics (capitalism on its own is not enough), financial transactions and secularism.

    LOL. If we keep this ahistorical claptrap up we deserve to lose.

  81. notafan

    Indeed DB.

    Next up

    Something something bad medieval

    And

    Something something good enlightenment

  82. old bloke

    Rob
    #2324311, posted on March 13, 2017 at 1:14 am
    Duncanm takes the prize for the most stupid comment on the cat. Apple has shaped several industries, including the computer industry numerous times, the telecommunications industry

    Apple’s “AppleTalk” was a disaster. The network design and protocol stack were appalling, users at Apple’s head office would disconnect their computers from the network to get any work done.

  83. Anton

    dover
    LOL. If we keep this ahistorical claptrap up we deserve to lose

    Why?

    Technological and economic development was driven from Northern Europe including the previously Great Britain, following the work of Luther, Calvin and others. The Catholics followed, but did not lead. The religious changes accommodated many social changes relevant to the growth in prosperity:

    >Acceptance of the faith was a voluntary choice by free adults. Not forced on a community as was practiced by the Catholics, and still practiced by Islam
    >This implicitly allowed secularism, because what do you do with adults not yet converted? Persecuting non believers precludes the notion of faith by free choice. The secular state is a natural consequence of this as well
    >An externally imposed invariant truth by a non interventionist god accommodates the scientific method and frees thinking people to explore, including outside the moral and ethical realms. This freedom is unusual in religion.
    >The protestants abandoned the hatred of financial services (money changers) common in early Christianity, and still hated in Islam. This accommodated capitalism, free markets and corporate structures

    Can you present an argument, or are you simply ordained to be right?

  84. Roger

    Anton,

    You need to read more widely in history and be prepared to have your assumptions questioned by the data you uncover.

    Read scientifically, as it were.

    You will then discover than the discontinuity you perceive between the culture of northern Protestantism and that of southern Catholicism is drawn too sharply. The northern Protestant culture was certainly remarkable, and we are heirs to it, just as they were heirs to what came before them from the medieval world. But the idea that Protestant culture gave us the modern world is as simplistic as saying that the Enlightenment did so. Reality is always more complex than such neat theories allow for.

  85. Roger

    Some notes for Anton:

    >Acceptance of the faith was a voluntary choice by free adults. Not forced on a community as was practiced by the Catholics, and still practiced by Islam

    On the contrary, north-western Europe after the Reformation was a collection of confessional states – Lutheran, Reformed/Presbyterian and Anglican in which the religion of the monarch was the religion of the people (cuius regio, eius religio “whose realm, his religion”). Religious dissent was sometimes tolerated by these states but not embraced as a good. Freedom of religion developed only slowly over centuries.

    >This implicitly allowed secularism, because what do you do with adults not yet converted? Persecuting non believers precludes the notion of faith by free choice. The secular state is a natural consequence of this as well

    I dare say Luther and Calvin would be appalled by the notion of the secular state (not to mention the thought fo having masses of unconverted adults about – both were strong advocates of infant baptism). Luther advocated that church and state had distinct spheres of activity, but he did not expect the state to be indifferent or neutral on matters of religion. The notion of a secular state owes more to the radicalism of the French revolution than Protestantism.

    >An externally imposed invariant truth by a non interventionist god accommodates the scientific method and frees thinking people to explore, including outside the moral and ethical realms. This freedom is unusual in religion.

    You’re confusing Protestantism and Deism. Orthodox Protestants believed in an interventionist God no less than Catholics.

    >The protestants abandoned the hatred of financial services (money changers) common in early Christianity, and still hated in Islam. This accommodated capitalism, free markets and corporate structures

    The popes were quite fond of bankers! Capitalism developed in late medieval Italian cities before it took off in north-western Europe.

  86. Anton

    Roger

    Telling me I’m wrong is easy, as is telling me to read more history. Interesting debate however requires some argument from both sides.

    Start with secularism. This is much more important than simply being able to follow the faith (or no faith) of your choice. Secularism implies an accommodation of people not in agreement with the preferred belief system. In its truest form, secularism implies that anyone can adopt any belief system they like, and the followers of any belief system are required to present argument and evidence if they wish to expand their following. Persecution and forced conversion are obviously inconsistent with a secular society. This is essentially true for the scientific method and free market economics as well.

    It was the protestant Christians that presented secularism as a necessary entity in society, because they made conversion to Christianity a free choice by an adult without coercion. You cannot have protestant Christianity without a free secular/non believing community.

    Judaism is essentially non expansionary so not relevant to the discussion. Islam has always expanded by coercive means and actively persecuted non believers. The Catholics today have substantially modernised (excluding their Marxist pope), but weren’t before the reformation. Blasphemy laws, witch burnings and exorcisms are part of the OLD Catholic church. Without the work from Luther, Calvin and others the Catholic church may well have regressed to what Islam has become.

    Look at where the major economic, technological and social developments took place in Europe

  87. notafan

    Yes Roger.

    Some of those 14th C Italian banks are still trading.

    As for the no compulsion in Protestantism , tell that to the Anabaptists.

    I gave a link above that demonstrates your assertion re compulsion is incorrect.

    But do go on.

  88. It was the protestant Christians that presented secularism as a necessary entity in society, because they made conversion to Christianity a free choice by an adult without coercion. You cannot have protestant Christianity without a free secular/non believing community.

    Are you seriously suggesting that Protestant states didn’t persecute their coreligionists? Why do you imagine many nonconformists fled England for the new world in the 17th century? Re science and its indebtedness to the middle ages, you could just peruse the work of James Hannam, Edward Grant, or David C. Lindberg. You seriously need to take a step back from the conventional pap you’ve been reading.

  89. Rob

    Apple’s “AppleTalk” was a disaster. The network design and protocol stack were appalling, users at Apple’s head office would disconnect their computers from the network to get any work done.

    As a low cost zero configuration networking system released in 1985 it was designed to be cheap and easy. It served a purpose in the pre internet days and so did dialup modems. I am not sure what your point was old bloke? AppleTalk is long gone.

  90. Chris

    dover and Roger, the behaviours you are talking about are different PLACES and different CENTURIES.
    I suggest the strengths attributed to protestantism are most applicable to the late 18th and 19th century USA, and latte 19th Century British Empire but the persecutions by Protestants are most attributable to the 16th and early 17th Centuries.

  91. Anton

    Thanks notafan

    Looks like the early protestants weren’t perfect. But watch the video again – the innovation really took off after about 1700, a fair time after most of the incidents in your attachment. This is no apology for any religion BTW, just an observation. Who knows, perhaps there are even a few paedophiles in our schools and criminals in our police force.

    I am actually not religious, but part of the secular population. But unlike the angry atheists and Gaia worshippers, I don’t look to destroy the culture that allows me to have the belief system I do.

  92. notafan

    The proposition was that the introduction of Protestantism gave people the right to choose religion or not.

    When it was shown that Protestants used compulsion the goalposts got shifted.

    Now you need to show it was Protestantism in the US in the 18th and 19 that lead to innovation there and in the 19 in the UK.

    What about that enlightenment ?

  93. Anton

    dover

    that is a lot of material to read for a simple blog response. Can you point to anything in particular?

  94. egg_

    Rev. Archibald
    #2324286, posted on March 13, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Rather than generalising, how about analysing one/all of the inventions above – all electronic?

    As you are from a mechanical backgound, liken electronics to complex circuits you may have worked with – pneumatic or hydraulic – I’m familiar with completely hydraulic power and control systems in methane environments literally at the underground coal face – it’s about complexity.
    Electronics technical folk constantly innovate and often have to craft custom “tools”/test beds as a matter of course – the are tinkerers by nature.

  95. egg_

    egg_ and others — I think we’re arguing fundamental scientific insight vs. the 99% hard work remaining to get it working: which is where the technicians & engimaneers come in.

    Per my reply to Arky – pick one invention above and analyse it – it didn’t come from a University.

  96. Rococo Liberal

    One of my great bugbears is the idea that somehow governments can bring back depressed areas into economic health.
    This is particulalrly a recurring theme in the UK, where generations of plebs in the old industrial areas have slid into welfare dependence.
    I keep on explaining to lefties that the industrial areas became great in the first place not because of governments but because a few clever blokes wanted to make serious money. Reviving industry can only come if the environment is right for some more clever blokes (and also blokesses) to come up with new ideas to get rich. Unfortunatley, the left thrives on promoting pig ignorance among the populace of commerce and business. The selling of goods and services is thus constantly deemed vulgar by those in the MSM or government.

  97. egg_

    Innovation can be taught.

    “Necessity is the mother of invention” – folk often invent “tools’ on the job.
    Progress is often evolutionary, a series of “one small step”.

  98. egg_

    Invention largely rests on incremental ideas and improvements and their communication and transfer to others so they may be used for further incremental improvements. Occasionally someone manages to open up an entirely new field.

    Precisely, unfortunately on an anonymous forum there are SMEs mixed with numpties talking out of their butts, and the most persuasive can override an SME.

  99. egg_

    how about analysing one/all of the (most recent) inventions above – all electronic?

    Curiously.

  100. dover and Roger, the behaviours you are talking about are different PLACES and different CENTURIES.
    I suggest the strengths attributed to protestantism are most applicable to the late 18th and 19th century USA, and latte 19th Century British Empire but the persecutions by Protestants are most attributable to the 16th and early 17th Centuries.

    Catholics and nonconformists were persecuted until the 19th C in the UK, Chris.

  101. Rev Archibald

    Catholics have ruined this thread with their ludicrous self- obsession.

  102. that is a lot of material to read for a simple blog response. Can you point to anything in particular?

    Just pick up any of it, for instance, the work of Hannam, or Franklin’s essay, the Renaissance Myth.

  103. notafan

    Rev

    Two points.

    Roger isn’t a Catholic and Anton made the ahistorical assertions.

    Catholics should shut up when we are told we are lazy good for nothings riding the coat tails of the ‘Protestant work ethic’

    Of course.

  104. NewChum

    One of my great bugbears is the idea that somehow governments can bring back depressed areas into economic health.
    This is particulalrly a recurring theme in the UK, where generations of plebs in the old industrial areas have slid into welfare dependence.
    I keep on explaining to lefties that the industrial areas became great in the first place not because of governments but because a few clever blokes wanted to make serious money.

    Well, several East Asian economies have gone from economic backwaters into serious economies guided by government (industry) policy. Japan and South Korea included, but even Thailand and Malaysia as well. The one thing the UK dropped was workable industry policy – at one point it was a quarter or a third of economic output worldwide, now just an asterisk like Australia.

    The UK particularly suffered as it unionised and killed off formerly successful industries. But there is no reason that industrial areas could be returned to greatness through determined application of policy and careful guiding. The same as here. All of the real value adding industries don’t really have a wages gap between countries, but they do have a regulations gap.

    It’s all very well relying on entrepreneurs – but you have to have government policy to get them to set up shop. Even Silicon Valley is a result of government guidance and investment and rules.

    The problem is (a) results are very slow – decades in the making and (b) it’s very hard to convince lazy people busy selling off the family silver to maintain a lifestyle that they need to buckle down and start working hard.

    Case in point is people getting rich selling off the Sydney suburbs to Chinese investors. Sure beats investment and hard work to get an industry going. Problem is you can only sell off the land once.

    Australian productivity decline is baked in at this point and can’t be reversed without serious pain. But when the pain comes, will the cities and suburbs be abandoned like so many northern English cities (or laughably turned into ‘cultural centres’)? Or will hard work and investment become the way out?

    Who am I kidding? As if our schools will ever compete with Japanese standards, or our labor productivity against South Korea, or our taxes with Singapore. We will be too busy teaching primary school kids to tuck their genitals, minting another ten reasons for another RDO and raising taxes on people with an income to ‘pay their fair share’. All the while our industry policy will be ‘shut down industry wherever you find them, smote the necks of chimneys and stop the trucks from moving’.

    Oh, and while Japan and South Korea continue to protect their national culture and invest in their people, we will throw open the welcome mat to the teeming mass of nations, not caring about ancient hatreds, the mishmash of languages and the backwards natur of people nation shop ping for the best handout.

  105. Catholics have ruined this thread with their ludicrous self- obsession.

    No, we responded to Protestant hubris. Roger, an Anglican, couldn’t stomach it either.

  106. Rev Archibald

    I don’t think we are disagreeing, Egg.
    I just notice that most things in the world are just copies of what someone else thought of.
    The innovators are a tiny minority.
    They have to be, because most of the work required is copying what is known to work.
    You can buy a hundred different brands of motor vehicle that are all virtually identical.
    This is partly because early designs converged on an optimum solution, but is mainly because most of the innovative design work was done by the same few individuals and just copied over and over again by others.
    Sure, after the major work is done a few details get changed or fleshed out.

  107. Rev Archibald

    Catholics should shut up when we are told we are lazy good for nothings riding the coat tails of the ‘Protestant work ethic’

    ..
    Look, it isn’t our fault you didn’t rotate the potato crop and famine ensued.

  108. Want to see some great innovations? Look at a Gothic cathedral.

  109. notafan

    Toledo cathedral run an excellent video on the Parisian master builder who built their cathedral.

    Much innovation.

  110. notafan

    If only we’d planted pineapple donuts.

  111. nota, that one hit him between the eyes.

  112. Rev. Archibald

    Which one of you two is Beavis?

  113. egg_

    You can buy a hundred different brands of motor vehicle that are all virtually identical.

    Electronics again – CAD design packages such as (Siemens) NX and only a limited number of manufacturers of e.g. fuel injection systems – they’re essentially ‘whitegoods on wheels’ nowadays, thanks the automation and large scale manufacturing, rather than hand built.

  114. Anton

    notafan

    Is a cathedral “essential infrastructure” like a pyramid, palace or NBN, or is it an economically beneficial marketable innovation? Was the construction driven by competitive forces in the free market, or the discretion of an individual with access to “other peoples’ money”?

    Compare the cathedral to the steam engine

  115. Is a cathedral “essential infrastructure” like a pyramid, palace or NBN, or is it an economically beneficial marketable innovation? Was the construction driven by competitive forces in the free market, or the discretion of an individual with access to “other peoples’ money”?

    It doesn’t matter what a cathedral is, we were talking about innovations produced during its construction. And, they were economically beneficial given the skills and trade they cultivated across Europe, and, finally, it was neither of those last two choices, it was a cooperative effort across generations in which people donated their funds, skills, and labour to the construction of these magnificent buildings.

  116. DrBeauGan

    I think Rev A is pretty much right. The human world divides into believers and thinkers. The former know they are right, and the latter suspect they are wrong. So they explore, to try to repair their ignorance. The believers toe the party line. They don’t understand the thinkers and suspect them of being believers who believe the wrong things. Which is why they burnt Bruno. Given half a chance, they’d get rid of all the thinkers. Islam has done a good job of this.

    Egg has correctly pointed out that extracting the laws of thermodynamics required a huge amount of experimental work. It also required a huge amount of thought. Doing good experiments is intellectually demanding on its own, but there is another level of abstract thought required before you get to the laws, and Egg may underestimate this. I don’t know. Certainly, Maxwell was as necessary as Faraday to give us electricity.

    Hurrah for dead white males!

  117. Anton

    it was neither of those last two choices
    Then by logical deduction, it was NOT an economically beneficial marketable innovation

    it was a cooperative effort across generations
    A communal effort then, not compromised by vulgar individualism and the profit motive

  118. Rev. Archibald

    The modern world was invented by a very small number of men, most of whom are now largely forgotten.
    ..
    Take for example Robert Bosch who basically invented the high tension ignition systems that made early motor vehicles possible.

  119. Rococo Liberal

    Great comment New Chum

    The Asian governments could implement industrial policies because Asian culture allows it to be done. And they had the example of 19th century European culture (mostly British).

    You are right that is it an attitudinal problem. If our children are being taught that commerce is vulgar and that being a bohemian bourgoise is the aim in life, then no industrial policy will work.

  120. egg_

    how about analysing one/all of the (most recent) inventions above – all electronic?

    History of Television, pure hardware, as the other three are computer based.

    Many innovators/inventors listed through the evolution from mechanical (motion picture style) to electronic and finally colour TV in the analogue realm.

  121. egg_

    The modern world was invented by a very small number of men, most of whom are now largely forgotten. is constantly evolving – innovation (automation and software) is radically altering the workplace, as is ever the case.

  122. egg_

    Robert Bosch who basically invented the high tension ignition systems

    Interrupting a step-up transformer?
    No different to Nikola Tesla.

    *A single symbol on an electrical schematic.

    How about innovating the differential via electromechanical means?

  123. egg_

    Well, several East Asian economies have gone from economic backwaters into serious economies guided by government (industry) policy. Japan and South Korea included, but even Thailand and Malaysia as well.

    Who will innovate, as well as copy, as plagiarism is often an ingredient in innovation.

  124. notafan

    So believers aren’t thinkers.

    We’d better let Louis Pasteur and a few others know.

    Btw it is fascinating that Israel hard pressed by her neighbours is such a leader in innovation.

  125. egg_

    So believers aren’t thinkers.

    Invention is doing (thinking and acting).

  126. notafan

    Of course but faith isn’t blind and the two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

  127. it was neither of those last two choices
    Then by logical deduction, it was NOT an economically beneficial marketable innovation

    Not at all. You’re confusing my responses. The first addresses the innovations made by craftsmen and engineers in order to build Gothic cathedrals while the second which address the cathedrals themselves.

    it was a cooperative effort across generations
    A communal effort then, not compromised by vulgar individualism and the profit motive

    I never said anything about individualism or the profit motive; you must be jousting with ghosts.

  128. I think Rev A is pretty much right. The human world divides into believers and thinkers. The former know they are right, and the latter suspect they are wrong. So they explore, to try to repair their ignorance. The believers toe the party line. They don’t understand the thinkers and suspect them of being believers who believe the wrong things. Which is why they burnt Bruno. Given half a chance, they’d get rid of all the thinkers.

    Is this a belief or a thought?

  129. stackja

    Bill Leak innovated 18c.

  130. notafan

    I’d like to hear more about the world of ‘believers’ and ‘thinkers’.

    Is that like, a philosophy.

    Are we all just preprogrammed ?

  131. DrBeauGan

    I’d like to hear more about the world of ‘believers’ and ‘thinkers’.

    Is that like, a philosophy.

    Are we all just preprogrammed ?

    We’re learning machines made of meat. Some of us like to deceive ourselves into thinking otherwise. Vanity gets in the way of truth at times.

  132. We’re learning machines made of meat. Some of us like to deceive ourselves into thinking otherwise. Vanity gets in the way of truth at times.

    You seem quite certain of this, none of the earlier doubt it seems. Must be a ‘belief’.

  133. notafan

    Vanity causes thinking.

  134. Some of the problems with thinking that human beings are just ‘learning machines made of meat’ is addressed in the following article.

  135. DrBeauGan

    You seem quite certain of this, none of the earlier doubt it seems. Must be a ‘belief’.

    That we are made of meat is an observation: lions, tigers and sharks can eat us. That we learn is another observation. You know more than you did when you were five. That most of us don’t get eàten is, I would argue, because human beings are better at learning than lions, tigers and sharks. We invented guns.

    I glanced at the Feser article. It’s a certain sort of contortion for which I have no sympathy. The assumptions are grotesque and pointing out the errors would take a major thesis. I don’t have the time.

    To say that something is a machine or nowadays a system, is apt to offend people who believe they are being compared with a wheelbarrow or a computer. Their vanity gets in the way. All I mean is that the thing can be understood in terms of the interactions of its parts. To assert that an organism is a machine is an hypothesis.

    All of contemporary medicine is based on the assumption that you are a machine in that sense. It seems to work up to a point, and it is at least plausible that the more details of neurophysiology and biochemistry we figure out, the greater our understanding will be. It might fail, but as a strategy it has delivered some impressive results, while alternatives have not.

  136. DrBeauGan

    Vanity causes thinking.

    Both are clearly vices and possibly sins. I wouldn’t know.

  137. DrBeauGan

    Incidentally, while I agree that the mediaeval cathedrals are a magnificent expression of the human spirit, or in less tendentious terms a magnificent demonstration of human learning abilities, a fair number of them fell down. Some of them were rescued before they fell all the way down, by engineers intuitive grasp of stresses and strains, leading to the invention of the flying buttress.

    Nowadays we can calculate whether something will fall down or not. The calculations evolved from rules of thumb and experiments devised by earlier generations of builders. We owe them.

    The idea that mediaeval people were all ignorant and stupid until we evolved television journalists to put us straight is too silly to be believed by anyone except a television journalist.

  138. That we are made of meat is an observation: lions, tigers and sharks can eat us. That we learn is another observation. You know more than you did when you were five.

    Sure, sure, but there is also a lot of meat going around that as you admit is not very good at learning so the ‘meat’ aspect may not be an apt observation.

    I glanced at the Feser article. It’s a certain sort of contortion for which I have no sympathy. The assumptions are grotesque and pointing out the errors would take a major thesis. I don’t have the time.

    Handwaving. The problem for you here is that many of the points he makes are/ were being made by notable atheist philosophers like Nagel and Quine.

    To say that something is a machine or nowadays a system, is apt to offend people who believe they are being compared with a wheelbarrow or a computer. Their vanity gets in the way. All I mean is that the thing can be understood in terms of the interactions of its parts.

    How are you going to explain ‘thought’ merely in terms of the interactions of the human organism’s parts?

    It might fail, but as a strategy it has delivered some impressive results, while alternatives have not.

    Sure, but simply because a strategy has borne impressive results in this aspect provides no basis for expecting that it must also in another aspect.

  139. Incidentally, while I agree that the mediaeval cathedrals are a magnificent expression of the human spirit, or in less tendentious terms a magnificent demonstration of human learning abilities, a fair number of them fell down. Some of them were rescued before they fell all the way down, by engineers intuitive grasp of stresses and strains, leading to the invention of the flying buttress.

    Yes, it was precisely the flying buttress I had in mind when I raised Gothic Cathedrals.

  140. DrBeauGan

    Dover, have you ever read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance?

    It is an interesting book because the author was trained as an engineer, taught himself the elements of philosophy, and was smart enough to see the conflict between Platonism and the unstated assumptions in engineering practice. It made him very unhappy, and he wasn’t bright enough to resolve matters, though he tried.

    The fact is that the whole ontology of Platonism has to go if you are to get anywhere with engineering, let alone science. Which is why I am not going to even start on where Feser is wrong.

    Robert Pirsig.

  141. Chris

    I raised Gothic Cathedrals

    Sweet. Maybe you can tell me what the knobby bits up the roof ridges of the spires are. Are they just for steeplejacks to climb?

  142. Chris

    Notafan that San Vitale is terrific. I am a big fan of Hagia Sofia but to see one that has not been butchered is splendid.

  143. notafan

    There is a book available called How To Read a Church iirc.

    Must buy it.

  144. The fact is that the whole ontology of Platonism has to go if you are to get anywhere with engineering, let alone science. Which is why I am not going to even start on where Feser is wrong.

    Feser isn’t a Platonist. Neither is Kripke, Quine, or Ross. Moreover, the idea that engineering or science disproves Platonism or other types of realism is too silly for words. Aristotle’s revenge.

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