Creating the Twentieth Century

Andrew Chien
2 min readDec 18, 2020

The book “Creating the Twentieth Century” talks about the greatness and importance of the period between 1867 and 1911. Many great invention and technological advancement all happened in this period and this further established a strong foundation for the technology and economy development.

From my personal perspective, the huge development in this period to some extent is due to the protection of the personal property and invention. In the book, it can be found the importance of filing the patent and how the patent war affected the standard of the new technology and survival of the business. In addition, interestingly, we can also find that many great inventions actually not all come from scientists or experts but were developed by ordinary people whose curiosity and the spirit of trial and error experiments pushes them to break the shackle of the conservative thoughts. However, the solid foundation of fundamental sciences still plays the vital role to push the technology development. Many great inventions, like electricity grid, combustion engine, bulb, car, wireless communication and new material and syntheses for the feedstocks and fertilizer all heavily relies on the fundamental science.

All in all, many great technologies we are enjoying actually are developed on the technology foundation established in the early 20 century. Without these predecessors’ contributions, it’s hard to imagine how the modern world would be. Although, the advancement of the technology brings about the pollution and many social problems, this truly reduces the hunger and makes the whole world more civilized in many parts. Like the Factfulness this book said, we’re actually moving toward a more ideal world than what we thought. There can be many ups and downs on this path, but overall we are not only making the history but the better history. As long as people are willing to take a pause from time to time to reflect ourselves, correct our the mistakes we have made and embrace the world with an altruistic heart, the challenging problems we’re facing now, sooner or later would be resolved.

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