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In “Big Advances,” (National Geographic, June 2017) Daniel Stone offers Carla Hayden’s selection of the “most meaningful advances in history–the inventions and innovations responsible for the trappings of modern life.”

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Here are the first three:

1.  Printing press

2.  Light bulb

3.  Airplane

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[For the other 7 use the DOOR.]

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   [MORE]

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   4.  Personal computer

   5.  Vaccines

   6.  Automobile

   7.  Clock

   8.  Telephone

   9.  Refrigeration

  10.  Camera

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   “Ranking innovations is more art than science,” says Stone. “Can you really compare a camera to an airplane? But while progress is incremental, it’s also exponential; it builds on itself. The printing press allowed literacy to spread and thinkers to share ideas and, the invent more things.

   “Modern inventions tend more toward improving than transforming: an app that connects the world in a better way, planes that fly farther, faster. But there’s still room, every so often, for dramatic advances like, say, 3-D printing or the Internet. ‘There will be more great leaps,’ says Hayden. ‘We have a momentum and acceleration I think we can all feel.’ “

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   If I went back more than 2000 years, I’d add to that the wheel and the structural arch.

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   That would give us 12, or a dozen–and a impetus to end.