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How We Got to Now
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World | Steven Johnson
12 posts | 30 read | 26 to read
From the New York Timesbestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Everything Bad Is Good for You, a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas. Look out for Johnson's forthcoming How We Got to Now Book Two, an investigation into the world changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained. In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakesfrom the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and BluetoothHow We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life. In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the speciesto cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe. From the Hardcover edition.
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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

I found this interesting – the connections more than how the things were invented. Many inventions would have happened even if the person who invented had not been the one to do so – someone else would have done so soon after. I listened to the audio. The narrator was mostly fine, but there was the occasional odd pause that was noticeable, though the content was enough to (mostly) keep my interest in the book, anyway.

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CaitlinByTheBook
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My latest book purchases from an indie bookstore. Excited to dive into both of these books! #supportindependentbookstores

12 likes1 stack add
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vlwelser
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Pickpick

This was interesting. It's about 6 things that changed the world and what they lead to. Like glass and ice. It's actually not as detailed as a book on one subject would be. But it's fairly short and it works as an #audiobook.

#BookSpinBingo free space
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
30 likes1 comment
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theadl
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Pickpick

"Big ideas coalesce out of smaller, incremental breakthroughs." This is the underlying theme behind Johnson's book "How We Got to Now ". In this book Johnson explores the technological advances of the following concepts: cold, glass, sound, light, time and clean.

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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

Fascinating read! I learned a lot from this look at inventions and discoveries that helped move civilization forward. Some of the stuff I already knew, but there's lots of extra details to keep you entertained.

#TIL Did you know that before the invention of the printing press there was no such thing as being near-sighted? Once people started reading more this became a problem which led to the creation of spectacles. #NFNov @rsteve388 @Clwojick

Bookwormjillk That‘s weird but I guess it makes sense 3y
Clwojick 9 pt. 3y
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
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scowler1
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Pickpick

Best non-fiction I've read this year. Six ideas that have really shaped so much of our lives today. I won't tell you what they are but you'll likely be surprised. The other books of his I've read have also been excellent.

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SharonGoforth
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Pickpick

Science in and of itself was never my best subject in school, so I've never been particularly interested in it. But the history of science is something entirely different, and it fascinates me. This is a really nice overview of the effects of scientific and technological innovations on our lives today. I see many rabbit holes in my future as a result of reading this. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

56 likes3 stack adds
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SharonGoforth
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Still partying 📚🎉👍... I switched books because this one is for book club on Tuesday. #LitsyPartyofOne

Marchpane This is a great book 👍 6y
SharonGoforth @Marchpane Yes, its fascinating! I'm almost finished with it. 6y
64 likes1 stack add2 comments
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SharonGoforth
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At my happy place, having breakfast after book shopping. I need to read this for book club, so it's being added to my #apriltbr.

JazzFeathers Love that cover. I find that lately l like minimalistic covers ^_^ 6y
59 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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doomfelter
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Reading the chapter on sanitation. Just read that there were only 1 billion people alive in 1850. We hit 7 billion in 2011. It's astounding how much we've grown as a species in 161 years. #insane

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mynamerhymes
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Started a new habit walking along the river and listening to audiobooks. Lovely setting. This one has plenty of interesting facts, but the overall structure and premise haven't enthralled me.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Beautiful walk though! Great picture 6y
mynamerhymes Thanks! 6y
6 likes2 comments
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Crazybusymama
Pickpick

This book tickled my geek bone and left me excitedly babbling and pushing the book every time I finished a chapter. I found myself stopping after a section to talk about and digest it. I am generally a lover of fiction so to find something non-fiction that I found so interesting, rather than dry, was encouraging and exciting for me.