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How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World [young…

– tekijä: Steven Johnson

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
281656,164 (4)-
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!… (lisätietoja)

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This is an adaptation for young readers of the adult bestseller. I'm often wary of young reader's adaptations, but even though I've never read the original I really enjoyed this one and look forward to introducing it to kids.

Johnson takes readers through six major innovations that changed the world. Not the wheel, fire, or computers and engines - think more modern and more generally. His six categories are Glass, Cold, Sound, Clean, Time, and Light. Each chapter explains the evolution of these things and how they affected the modern world. Glass includes the original uses of glass for ornament, into the creation of windows, lenses, and a powerful scientific and industrial tool in the shape of fiberglass. Cold seems like a convenience, until you think about the preservation of food and how it has radically changed life expectancy and the ability to move away from an agragarian society. Sound. From the first inventions of phonograph and telephone to sophisticated uses of sound waves today, here is another invention that has radically changed safety, survival, and our way of life.
Personally, I don't find most historical romances enjoyable because all I can think about is how dirty everything is. Being dirty isn't just a personal dislike; it's a huge aspect of health. Clean water, the ability to bathe and clean your clothing and home, clean food - it all depends on a series of complex medical and engineering advances. Modern society wouldn't be possible without advances in cleanliness and how it has affected health and life in general, as well as industry. Time is a more abstract concept; before clocks and mathematical equations, how did people know what time it was? Why did it matter? How has the invention of time-keeping systems and the standardization of time affected how we live today (well, how some people live. I personally have never quite grasped math+time). The final chapter on light addresses not just the practical aspects of creating light - candles, oil, and the whaling industry, the creation of the electric bulb and the ability to create light during the darkest of days and nights, but also the use of lasers, barcodes, and other scientific tools of light.

The book is amply illustrated with photographs, and includes copious back matter.

Verdict: Hand this to middle grade and middle school readers who are interested in science and history or to anyone who wants to think a little more deeply about how we got to where we are today - and where we're headed in the future.

ISBN: 9780425287781; Published October 16, 2018 by Viking; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Mar 2, 2019 |
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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!

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