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Industrial Revolution was thanks to Columbus

  1. Aug 22, 2004 #1


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    Columbus report of another continent helped to create a
    widespread state of mind in which things are discovered.

    An epidemic of bold optimism and imagination ensued (at first primarily
    in Europe)

    Of course there was a downside---the Europeans got syphillis and
    the Aztecs and Incas got their civilization wiped out and so on---a long
    litany of woes. But the electric motor was invented. Get it?

    Columbus didnt just discover America he also invented the electric motor.
    You and I benefit because after supper we dont have to do the dishes---the electric motor does them. A lot of repetitive drudgery is taken care of that way. So we should be thankful for this and have some respect for the bold optimism and determination that causes discovery.

    It isnt just finding something, it is reporting. We shouldnt celebrate that he sighted one of the Bahamas in October 1492. We should observe the date March 9 which was when, the next year, he was received by the King of Portugal soon after making safe harbor in the Tagus.

    What matters is reporting back.

    If the Chinese had had some guy sail across the Pacific and discover
    San Francisco and come back and tell them about it, then they probably would have gotten so excited they would have invented the steam engine and had the Industrial Revolution in 1350.

    Then they would have invented the electric motor and by 1450 they would have all had dishwashers. But the Chinese did not have a Columbus experience, as it happens, when technically they could have rather early on.

    Actually it was Benjamin Franklin who built the first electric motor and he used it to turn a chicken. Roasting a chicken could be very tedious because you had to keep turning the spit. So he connected a chemical battery to his electric motor and made it turn the chicken. That lunatic optimism comes straight from Columbus and it is why you have a dishwasher. So be thankful.

    This thread is in Social Sciences forum. That is where it belongs because it is about the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution is very important and people dont understand it well enough. They think it has to do with intelligence. Either the IQ of a gifted few or the educability of the masses or whatever. It doesnt. it has to do with imagining that you can do something and being willing to try. Columbus helped to ignite this, initially of course in Europe but eventually for everybody anywhere who joined in the scientific and technological quest.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2004
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  3. Aug 22, 2004 #2


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    Dispelling Popular Misconceptions

    Many people labor under the misconception that economic performance has something to do with intelligience and talent and that these unevenly distributed blessings have something to do with race, but in fact this is totally false. The three things: economic success, natural ability, and race, are quite unrelated. This was revealed to me this morning in a blinding moment of illumination.

    The fact is that all three have a significant genetic basis, but although each of them is related to genes they themselves are not causally connected among themselves. (This fact can be used to prove the existence of God but I will postpone that till later.)

    A. The brain is wired to a high degree---the structure and functioning of the brain has been pre-programmed genetically to an amazing extent by evolution. This is why special abilities like being able to spot birds nests and play 7 card straight Poker is passed down from parent to offspring.
    Your brain is probably the most complexly genetically-determined organ in your body. I speak as a recognized authority of course.

    IQ tests are nothing. The ability to tapdance is inherited, which is a great deal harder than taking IQ tests, as I have often observed to my chagrin.

    B. Ever since the building of cities like Jerico in the Fertile Crescent an evolutionary situation has been set up selecting for various genetically-supported tendencies, like being able to fill out tax forms and listen patiently to the Voice of Experience. People who are genetically incapable of these things were weeded out by natural selection, except in my family.

    God, however, has intervened so that while both A and B have genetic determinants there is no overlap----both A and B are genetic to a large degree but have nothing to do with each other.

    C. Race is one of the prettier things about humans. While human behavior is frequently dreadful, human racial varieties are a delight. Racial varieties have a solid genetic and scientific basis and they are in the process of being discovered and validated by DNA analysis. When the tree analysis is done and one really knows what the trunks and branches are then people will name them, which will be fun. Many or all of the old categories will be trashed and there will be a new bunch of names for human varieties.

    I gather that the Finns will be one of the DNA-validated varieties. When the tree is worked out it will tell lots of interesting things about the human story. Like who went where and had sex with whom---admit it, we are all interested in those things.

    My private guess is that when the tree analysis is done there will turn out to be exactly 85 human racial varieties. this was how many breeds of dog those people analyzed and it seems like a good number. Quite a lot of people will turn out to be raceless. They will give a bloodsample to the computer but the classification algorithm will not be able to classify their DNA and their race will come up blank. But that will not happen to Finns.
    It might also not happen to Tutsis. I dont know how the people who turn out to be raceless will feel about it. they might be unhappy, or might not.

    Anyway human racial variety is a scientifically based reality and the tree will be unearthed like a big dinosaur fossil for everybody to see one of these days, you better believe it.

    That is C. and let me tell you racial variety has nothing to do with adapting successfully to an urban economic setting and nothing whatever to do with talent and intelligence or any kind of natural ability
    God has foreseen that you would be wondering about this and He (yes He)
    has taken care that although A and B and C each have a good fat genetic component they are causally disconnected the one from the other. They are like 3 separate cabbages growing side by side from the same dirt, who by agreement do not talk to each other.
  4. Aug 22, 2004 #3


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    Marcus, you are such a gem. :smile:

    I love your way of looking at things, you often force me to rethink things. :approve:
  5. Aug 22, 2004 #4


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    Evo you were incredibly flexible and openminded to answer like this. thank you.
    it helps to have a response. you can see that my thoughts here are\
    either too wacky or too wackily expressed for most poster's taste
    and, had you not answered, i would be quite alone.
  6. Aug 22, 2004 #5


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    Well, no one has responded to my thread on the most unusual language known on earth and the most unusual group of people, culturally. I thought people would be intrigued. Guess not. :confused:

    Oh well.

    Did you see the creation myth in Heimskringla? I thought you would get a chuckle out of it.
  7. Aug 23, 2004 #6


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    Now someone has responded.
    I'm not sure if this is good however.
    Where we live there are wild turkeys, sometimes walking around in the street or in the other neighbors backyard. On rare occasions i throw corn to them.

    I am not sure if I would try to talk about the Piraha with
    my neighbor. She is intensely interested in American society and
    the culture and language of the media. I do not know if she
    ever stops thinking about the contemporary political and sociolinguistic scene.

    But there is another person I could ask, a proper anthropologist (not linguist). Maybe.

    the main thing is to read the first-hand account and try to imagine being with those people. it is science fiction.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2004
  8. Aug 24, 2004 #7
    I have read your postings as good as my time and my language has aloud it. But I can’t agree with you. I guess You are a person which believes in Good and you tray to be a god human. But your three Points are as dangerous as to believe in IQ tests. If we believe in such determinations you can all inequity explain properly.

    What you said with Columbus is quite truth. But I like to explain this as well with cultural differences. The Chinese culture was (and maybe is) evasion. The European is exploration....
    Thank you Alexander the great that you have risque all and attain,... by chance.
    With you self-overestimation you have given us centuries of war and weapons. Now we can kill ourselves several times. Thank you many times.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2004
  9. Aug 24, 2004 #8


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    Right :smile:

    thank you thank you thank you.

    Personally I am often discouraged about the human future and what is happening to the Earth. I am also disgusted by self-righteous people who sermonize. So in this darkness I do not know what to say, besides to joke a little and try to stay cheerful.

    Selbst, tell me this personal thing about you, if you dont mind. You mention your LANGUAGE. (a non-English language I suppose, from what you say)
    What is your first language? (until I hear from you the truth I will suppose French because i must have some preliminary hypothesis to see if it is right)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2004
  10. Aug 24, 2004 #9
    Marcus my first Language isn’t French. But you are very close. My first language is Swiss-German. Tats a German dialect with French elements. How do you get so close? If I may ask. :smile:
  11. Aug 24, 2004 #10


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    come on Selbst! that is not close at all!
    to be close I would have to guess German, or so I think

    It was not such a serious guess. I just could not imagine how a
    "real" Hochdeutsch german could possibly stand to spell
    "selbstueberschaetzung" improperly---with a letter missing.
    It would kill him to do this. Like discovering at a party that one
    had not zipped up one's pants

    Now that I understand I am very happy with the way you spell your name. It makes a little commentary and maintains a little distance from the concept.
  12. Aug 24, 2004 #11
    I wanted to be polite. Yes I am also happy with my little error in my Nickname so it macks it self a bit clearer :rolleyes:
  13. Aug 24, 2004 #12


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    Selbst, I do not have a social agenda, unfortunately----I have confusion, despair, combined with a belief that probably recognizing the truth is best whatever it is.

    You show that you are against inequity. Bravo. suppose that there are some genes that contribute to inequity. what are the logical possibilities?

    1. one can remedially redistribute the genes (if unequal access to certain genes is the underlying problem then one addresses that)

    2. one can redistribute the wealth and income on a regular basis (if inequality of wealth is the deplorable result then one corrects that)

    3. one can redistribute opportunity---by special quotas and opportunities and systematic adjustments (this may not succeed, but it is morally attractive to many people)

    4. one can apply remedial programs of diet, medical care for pregnant mothers, preschool education (this may not succeed, but again it is morally appealing to many people)

    5. one can hope that all statistical groupings in society will be destroyed
    by a process of natural homogenization, so there are no genetically different subpopulations any more.
    (as a Swiss you may share my dislike for homogeneity---you have a tradition of preserving separate identity---in any case homogenization does not seem to proceed very rapidly)

    6. one can ignore the inequity---so that eventually the social contract breaks down, people do not care for each other, and whatever happens will happen----plague, extreme politics, extreme religion, decline of the educational system, self-destructive belligerence, whatever may be.

    7. one can declare that there is no problem except for the bad grace of the people who insist on talking about it. These people are silenced to the greatest possible extent by loud orthodox duckspeak.

    By the way Selbst. Did you ever read Orwell 1984? It has a very good word in it "duckspeak"----in the world of 1984 it is a term of approval
    used to complement people who repeat their ideological lessons quickly, energetically, and by unthinking reflex.

    Something else I was going to ask----did you ever read the novel by Kesey called "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"? I would like to know your title of this book---whether in German or French (as I suppose you must read both languages).
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2004
  14. Aug 24, 2004 #13
  15. Aug 24, 2004 #14


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    thanks hit,
    so someone else is occasionally dropping in on this thread!

    Selbst, how would you feel if I asked you to celebrate Columbus Day with me this year on October 12, in our separate locations Switzerland and California?

    you have said that many terrible things can result from the spirit of exploration. I am suggesting that one can bear this in mind while nevertheless having a day for honoring the drive people have to discover

    and also to honor the "Columbus experience" which people had, if it actually did happen, which gave them a lot of energy and made them dream. A little while ago I was reading in the book written by Cyrano de Bergerac about traveling to the moon to visit the people there.
    Cyrano was a real person who wrote a physics book and also some
    curious science fiction adventures----I think it was around 1650

    (not long after that, in 1675, someone else in paris measured the speed of light, not too badly, as it turned out---using the Jovian moon Io as a clock)

    So Columbus brought back a report of a continent and in less than 200 years someone had measured the speed of light.

    and in 250 more years we are already equipped to explode ourselves with the help of E = mc2

    So suppose you and I decide that on tuesday October 12 2004 we will give some thoughtful consideration to the spirit of discovery and give thanks
    to Columbus for inventing the electric motor and measuring the speed of light. what do you think?

    We might be the only ones doing this. What used to be the holiday of Columbus day has now been redefined to be Indigenous Peoples Day in California where I live. I am reaching out for some help regarding this.
  16. Aug 24, 2004 #15
    Marcus I’m happy that you have written so much because of me :smile: .

    First I have to say that in my experience Logic, the truth and Moral is exactly the same. If their is a proof of good there it is. Perhaps you know Mr. Kant… Einstein once said: “Gott würfelt nicht”

    I’m agreeing with you: There is inequality between individuals and commercial inequality in family and Groups. The question from a pure logical point of view is: How can we benefit in the best way from the Individual (Like Columbus was one) in a society.

    One of the elements to get the best out of the single and the best on his right place is the tray to give all the same chances in their education. So I’m strictly against privatised school system which you have.
    The only legitimating witch is given to this are IQ Tests and thoughts that the rich has is money because of good.

    Perhaps you don’t aware of it but the flavour of the Christian Religion in your country is based on Kalvin a Swiss Religion Reformist. He said that the rich is rich because good has wanted it.
    Because we in Europe have got a culture of philosophical thinking we have quite fast understand that’s rubbish. Marx said: “ Religion ist Opium für das Volk”. (Just to say that we have here many directions of thinking)

    In the past the USA had unbelievable luck. That’s the only reason way your System of unfairness was successful and not because it is logical. Nowerdays you have a nine time higher crime rate as we in Europe. What do you think will happen if you get even poorer in future?
  17. Aug 24, 2004 #16


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    The Calvinist influence on religion, let alone culture, had almost vanished a century ago. The leading religions in the US are the Catholics and the Baptists, neither of which are Calvinist in any significant degree. The only remaining church of any size whith a calvinist history is the Presbyterian (descended from Scots Calvinism), and they have all but abandoned the old theology.

    US capitalism arises from various sources, and your view is a rather naive one born of ignorance of US realities. For example private schools are in many places an attempt to give children in poor neighborhoods a better education than they can get in the public schools. For it is a scandal well known over here that the public schools, which should be the same everywhere, are much better in the prosperous suburbs than in the poor neighborhoods. State Supreme courts have decreed otherwise must be so, but nothing ever happens.
  18. Aug 24, 2004 #17


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    Dear Selbst and selfA, you are both very kind to join me in this
    thread, which is the woolgathering of wild imagination and not
    well-adapted for discussing serious topics like Calvinism.

    I ask you both in the humblest possible way. Would you be willing
    just this year to celebrate Columbus Day on October 12 in the way of thinking about what it must have been like then
    for those people (if indeed it seemed at all out of the ordinary
    to them to have folks discovering new continents before their very eyes)

    and thinking also of the run of discoveries that have been made
    (especially in science) in the subsequent 5 centuries.


    personally I do not care all that much who wins the superbowl
    whether it is Han or Euro or Punjabi
    I care that life take root at other stars
    before the petty madness of our species exhausts and devastates the orb.
    but I also care about beautiful things
    and the fact that Columbus made that trip is one of them

    so will you join me in finding some right way to observe
    the Sighting of the Bahamas on the appropriate day this year?
  19. Aug 25, 2004 #18
    No my view isn’t naïve in this case I believe I know well from what I talk. Public schools are relatively good in richer arias of your country, but that don’t make any difference. There are Programs for poor children. I already known that either. But I see this as what it is: Camouflage.

    If there are Calvinists in your churches ore not isn’t important at all. Important is in which way religion is seen in interpreted by your mighty class. And as the Argumentations of your politicians and wealthy peoples ( which I would bet is better known in Switzerland then in your one country) indicates exactly such a Calvinistic world view.

    Marcus. I have hope I have understand(?) what you wanted to say with your trade but I feel also the impulse to respond seriously to what is said.

    If you like that we celebrate Columbus day so much: Let’s celebrate. :smile:
  20. Aug 25, 2004 #19

    This shows the arrogance of some Americans. The fact is that the indistrial revolution had nothing to do with the US. Why cannot you understand that there was a time when the US did not dominate the global scene? The industrial revolution came from several sources of genius. If they wanted the best way to love america, they would have gone there. But, they stayed in Europe inventing devices, customs and technology which gave civilisation.
  21. Aug 25, 2004 #20


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    I think you have understood very well. Also I understand you some what.

    Good. let us do that. Is there a mountain or high hill near you?
    C stands for Columbus and C stands for the speed of light.
    columbus reported discovering a continent to the King of Portugal early in 1493, and about 180 years later someone in Paris measured the speed of light.
    We can talk about different ways to celebrate.
    I think now that I will walk up a hill, some little distance until I have a nice view. And then I will take a stick and scratch a letter C in the dirt.
    And then I will sing a little song.

    I dont know what song. this can be a matter of negotiation with you.
    I would be happy if it were a simple German song, but the language does not matter too much and I would be interested any suggestions from you.

    Maybe later I will have a poppyseed cake or something else nice to eat.
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