Lost Inventions That Could Have Changed The World

Lost Inventions That Could Have Changed The World

What would the world be like now if they saw the light of day?

There have been many inventions throughout the years that have changed the course of human life. From the light bulb lighting up our streets, to the car, to assembly lines generating more products, and even to the stars with rocket ships, we have managed as a species to accelerate our progression in the sciences as well as social capabilities. However, have you ever wondered what life would be like if we had some of these inventions that never saw the light of day?

1. Chronovision

We start off our list with a little something a member of the Catholic Church created. Father Ernetti was regarded as one of the best exorcists the Church had to offer, and in 1960, he claimed to have created what we would call a time machine. No, not a Delorean or a big blue police call box, but rather, as he claimed it, a pair of glasses that could allow you to see into the past. Some claim that Wernher von Braun and Nobel Leareate Enrico Fermi were in a group with him to construct such a machine. Ernetti claimed to have seen the death of Christ and other historic scenes. With his death in 1994, the only Chronovision was destroyed at the Vatican.

2. Ogle Carburetor

Ever get tired of your car constantly running out of gas? Well, in the 1970s, Tom Ogle created a new carburetor that pressurized gasoline into a vapor and injected it into the firing champers. After extensive research and design, the cost of changing car production standards were minimal. After installing the new carburetor in his Ford Galaxie, the car was measured to get 113 miles per gallon! He tried convincing the car companies to implement the new designs in their vehicles, but there were too many licensing dilemmas. Ogle died in 1981, never revealing the secret to the miracle carburetor that could save us $3.25 a gallon.

3. Global Wireless Energy

Nicola Tesla is regarded as one of many great inventors. One such invention that never saw the light of day was the concept of long-range wireless energy. Sure, there is wireless energy in some cases with Apple’s charge pad, but Tesla had grander plans. He wanted to provide energy on a global scale! He started construction on the Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham, Long Island to function as a wireless telecommunications facility as well as fulfill the task of broadcasting electrical power to the world. This plan seemed great at first, but proved to be to expensive as JP Morgan, who financed the operation, backed out of it. Tesla was left high and dry, and the facility was eventually abandoned due to lack of funding.

4. Baghdad Battery

Imagine a world where we discovered electricity hundreds of years earlier than now. Around Baghdad, an artifact known as the Baghdad Battery was discovered in which a terracotta pot housed a cylinder rolled copper sheet with a single iron rod inside that sheet. Filling the container with either wine, lemon juice, grape juice or vinegar could supply a small amount of electricity, up to four volts. Though that may seem a minute amount, it still brings up the interest of what if the idea of using such a method to provide power could have been implemented into society earlier. Who knows what kind of world we would be living in now!

5. Flexible Glass

Have you ever been carrying a glass cup or bowl when suddenly you trip and drop it? Well, at one point in time, there was such a thing as flexible glass. According to reports, during the reign of Emperor Tiberius, a glassmaker came to him and presented a cup. When the emperor was done with it, he threw it onto the ground, not resulting in a heart-shattering crash, but instead only a dent in the cup. The glassmaker quickly removed the dent by hitting it with a hammer. Tiberius asked the man if anyone was aware of this new invention, to which the man said no. Tiberius promptly had the man executed in fear that the new items would devalue gold and silver. To make matters worse, Tiberius also had the man’s workshop burned to the ground so that the secret of flexible glass could never be replicated.

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The Dangers Of Ideology And The Importance Of Free Speech & Debate

Universities are currently policing thought, indoctrinating students into a radical egalitarian ideology, and crushing dissenting opinion.

It’s truly amazing to consider how quickly the culture on college campuses has changed over the last several years. Once staunch defenders of speech and academic freedom, modern universities are quickly turning into ideological echo chambers, indoctrinating students into a radical left-wing egalitarian worldview, while crushing dissenting opinion.

The disturbingly Orwellian trend to quell free expression on campuses can best be illustrated by an event that unfolded last year at James Madison University’s freshman orientation, when “student leaders” distributed a list of 35 things that incoming students should avoid saying, including phrases such as “you have a pretty face,” “love the sinner, hate the sin,” “we’re all part of the human race,” “I treat all people the same,” “people just need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps,” among other expressions.

You might find yourself laughing this off as nonsense, an isolated set of events perpetuated by a select group of fringe radicals. Unfortunately, I can assure you that this is not an isolated incident. In addition to the slew of protests that erupted at universities last year in response to conservative speakers being invited to campus, these kinds of events are indicative of a larger, and more pernicious attempt by the radical left to control the linguistic territory.

At universities across America, the campus left now demands that people accept certain preconditions for discussion. Not the kind of reasonable preconditions such as “treat people with respect,” or “don’t resort to personal attacks.” Rather, It is demanded that you accept a neo-Marxian worldview, rooted in the notion that the world is nothing more than a power struggle between two groups of people: those who oppress and those who are oppressed. They demand that people accept notions like white-male privilege as axiomatic – not to be debated – and force people to acknowledge how they've been privileged by the current socio-economic structure.

Refusing to accept these presuppositions not only bars someone from participating in the discussion. To challenge an idea, such as white privilege, is to reject the fact that racism and bigotry exist in our society. To challenge the notion that being white necessarily means you must be more privileged than a person of color is akin to blasphemy. To push against the idea that certain classes of people in America are ‘victims of systemic oppression’ is to deny the humanity and individual experiences of people of color, women, and other minority groups.

The campus left emphatically espouse the notion that “the personal is political.” Thus they believe, unequivocally, that the primary responsibility of the University should be to ensure students from “diverse cultural backgrounds” feel safe – and by safe they mean “not having their identities challenged;” and by identities they are referring to their belief systems – the lens by which they perceive the word.

From the perspective of a radical leftist, to participate in debate is not seen as merely engaging in criticism of some abstract idea. To challenge an idea is to challenge someone’s identity, and to challenge someone’s identity is to debate their humanity.

And that is one of the axiomatic rules of the campus Left – you cannot debate someone’s humanity.

Indeed, with more than a fifth of college undergrads now believing its okay to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive or hurtful statement,” the future of the First Amendment itself is currently uncertain.

What exactly is so dangerous about this movement?

For starters, the freedom of speech has wrongly been construed as just another value that we in the West hold in high regard. But it is more than a Right that we share as citizens of this nation. It is, ultimately, the mechanism by which keep our psyches and societies functioning.

See, most people just aren’t that good at thinking. I don't mean this as a sleight against anyone, but we’re all insufficient and we have limited awareness of most things because we just can’t know everything. We rely on communication with one another to facilitate the process of learning about things outside our realm of knowledge. Often we have to, first, stumble around like the blithering idiots we are, espousing our biased beliefs in a public forum, and subjecting our ideas to criticism before we can properly orient our thoughts.

When the open exchange of ideas is allowed, you get the opportunity for multiple people to put forward their biased oversimplifications and engage in debate that raises the resolution of the particular question and answer at hand. Ideas are hit with hammers, combed for contradictions, inadequacies and even falsehoods. On an individual level, this kind of scrutiny sharpens the schema you use to navigate the world because other people can tell you things you can’t know by yourself.

Maybe it’s an opinion espoused, or a behavior that manifests itself, or a misconception you hold- in any event, subjecting your beliefs to criticism is, in the short term sometimes painful because we often learn things about the world and ourselves that are uncomfortable; but, in the long term, it is the only way method we have for moving closer towards something that more closely resembles truth – and if not anything true, at least something less wrong. As a result, the lens by which you look at the world becomes clearer.

Further, it is also through a collective process of dialectic that we identify problems in our societies, formulate solutions, and come to some sort of consensus.

Thus the right to say what you believe should not just considered as "just another value." It's a conical value, without which all the other values we hold dear, that people have fought so hard, in such an unlikely manner, to preserve and produce all disappear.

Without it, there can be no progress. Without it, individuals abdicate their responsibility to engage in the sacred process of discovery and renewal. Without it, we can’t think. Without it, there can be no truth. Without it, there can be nothing but nihilistic psychopathology. The end result is a populist that is not only afraid to say what they think, but that doesn't even know what they think because they haven’t been allowed to stumble around in the dark to find some tiny fragment of light.

Therefore, when we consider placing restrictions on the freedom of speech we must do so with the most extreme caution. By setting ridiculous preconditions for discussion, the campus left not only makes the process by which we solve the problems with our society more difficult, but also, if taken to its extreme, it can lead to totalitarianism.

In the wake of dozens of campus protests last year, universities are now in a position where they have to choose between two incompatible values: truth or social justice. The former will lead us to a greater understanding, while the latter can only divide.

Cover Image Credit: Teen Vogue

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Being An English Speaker Is A Privileged Status

Multi-lingual is the way to go

English is not the official language of the United States of America. But even if it was, a country apparently founded on the idea of valuing every citizen as a free individual could do a much better job welcoming people who do not speak English.

While it is natural that one language became the most common, and that this has simplified many processes, this same simplification is not afforded to those who do not speak the language.

Language barriers can reduce one’s job opportunities, meaning that even if one has degrees and plenty of experience, many jobs are simply not available. Many employers are unfortunately unaccepting of those who do not speak English fluently, and some even discriminate against those who do not natively speak English.

Education becomes extremely complex for non-English-speakers. On the student side, while many schools offer English as a Second Language programs, which is wonderful, it should be acknowledged that these students face more work and less support than students who are native English speakers. To add to this, if parents do not speak English, communication from the school or with teachers becomes harder to access.

One of the greatest privileges of English speakers lies in healthcare. They can be sure that they will find a doctor who speaks their language and can clearly explain their medical situation in that language. The same goes for psychologists, social workers, and others in the health professions.

This becomes especially complicated for those who speak languages that are not commonly studied.

A friend of mine who teaches was mentioning recently that while there are many students and families in her district who speak Arabic, there are so few people working in psychology, social work, or other support services who speak the language that for the district to access them is not only difficult but expensive.

This too often means that schools fail to offer students and parents speaking these less-commonly studied languages sufficient aid.

So what is the answer? To adopt English as an official language would be so wrong in our country full of diverse and wonderful languages, backgrounds, and cultures. Instead of attempting to make English more and more widespread, we should focus our efforts on ensuring that people in this country who do not speak English can receive all of the same support as those who do speak English.

Some of this lies in ensuring that systems and institutions offer resources in several languages and that employers will not discriminate against those who are not native English speakers.

Much of the solution, however, is on us, especially if we are students entering a people-oriented profession. In fact, in all professions, becoming multi-lingual does not merely open doors for us but creates a society where more people have access to the services they need.

Cover Image Credit: Maialisa

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