This is a course blog for the members of EH236 at the University of South Alabama, Spring 2006.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Time is of the Essence

Since our beginnings mankind has been making discoveries. Whether or not these discoveries improve our lives depends on how society chooses to utilize them. Our ability to discover enables us to create inventions that lessen the effort and amount of time we put into our daily tasks. Therefore inventions better our human existence by making life easier. One cannot help but wonder why we have this beneficial ability or what types of circumstances allow us to invent and make discoveries. Does the key to inventing lie in an individual’s intelligence over others or is it simply due to timing? Jaucourt presents various aspects of this question in the article “Invention,” which elaborates in great depth about the crucial relationship time has with human inventions.

The article covers a plethora of inventions spanning from the printing press and compass to the earliest forms of paper and the telescope. Jaucourt makes connections throughout the article, which stress that time has much more to do with the possibility of inventions that intellect. Humans are always adapting to changes in their environment and make inventions in order to aid them in this process. Most ideas are old ones in theory and humans use them as building blocks to make inventions. Anywhere from the arts to the sciences, other discoveries have influenced inventors. In simplest terms, the procedure of inventing needs to have a series of events that lead to the over all discovery of something new rather than the new ideas forming out of nowhere. An example of our influence by others can be found in the invention of the windmill. This particular invention would not have existed with out theory of compound movement

Jaucourt states, “We owe inventions to time…” but also relates that they do form from pure chance or lucky. He focuses on time as being the cause of inventions over the possibility of generous due to the fact that it is more blatantly evident if we look at history. Everything develops as a chain of events, which couldn’t form without it’s prior links


Blogger Jeremiah Newell said...

I truly enjoyed how you continued to relate the theme of time througout your discussion. You repeatedly cited examples of Jaucourts writings that discussed this theme. However, I would have liked to see you relate a few more examples of how current inventions evolved from preceding theories. All and all, great job!

9:15 AM  

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