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Northern Paladin
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 01:53 AM
What is the greatest European Country in Terms of Achievements?

Fox
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 01:57 AM
germany, imo

jcs
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:01 AM
In terms of Culture, in the Spenglerian sense, Germany surpasses all other nations in terms of music, art (Italy may be greater than Germany in this respect, but Germany is still up there), philosophy, and spirituality.
The Scandinavian lands have a more interesting history, though.

Nordgau
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:13 AM
I'll keep back with my opinion; I'm probably prejudiced here. :tongue: The discussion seems to flow anyway in the right direction. :icon_ques

Luh_Windan
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:17 AM
Great Britain, obviously. On a per capita basis, the Netherlands.

jcs
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:21 AM
Great Britain, obviously. Why?

Skildur
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:27 AM
I'll go with Russia, Germany, Great Britain and France.

fog
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:44 AM
Great Britain

Luh_Windan
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:46 AM
Why?
Achievements in industry, science and literature. I think the Germans superior in music and the French & Italians superior in visual art, but on the whole more achievements of significance have come out of Great Britain than any other. Especially on a per capita basis they excelled, their population before the first quarter of the 19th century being less than a third that of Germany or France, and still around half thereafter.

Of course the weight of these considerations depend on the scope and definition of 'achievement', something there'll doubtless be no agreement on.

jcs
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 02:55 AM
Achievements in industry, science and literature. Industry: yeah.
Science: most great achievements were the product of Germans. The English had Newton and...--that's about it. Aside from Newton, Einstein, de Broglie, and Compton, all other great scientific discoveries were German.
Literature: Shakespeare? I'll trump that with a Goethe.

Siegmund
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 03:07 AM
Without a doubt, greater Germany gets my nod for philosophy, music, statecraft, science and racial beauty. But England for poetry, the Netherlands for typography, and Belgium for waffles. If you think I'm belittling Belgium, then you have never had a Belgian waffle! :)

Luh_Windan
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 03:41 AM
Science: most great achievements were the product of Germans. The English had Newton and...--that's about it. Aside from Newton, Einstein, de Broglie, and Compton, all other great scientific discoveries were German.
Quite the overstatement there. I'll withdraw from the discussion to make room for others as this will go nowhere anyway, but you should look into the development of the scientific method...

Literature: Shakespeare? I'll trump that with a Goethe.
I'll see your Goethe and raise you a King James Bible... There really isn't much competition in this area, especially on a per capita basis...

Btw a good book to read for background, if you haven't, is Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences. There's been consensus in this area for a while, but this is a pretty recent and thorough account.

jcs
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 03:54 AM
you should look into the development of the scientific method The scientific method has more to do with philosophy and logic than science. It's hardly a discovery.


I'll see your Goethe and raise you a King James Bible... There really isn't much competition in this area, especially on a per capita basis... :rolleyes:
Yes, because the value of something is as great as how many copies are sold. Based on this logic, one would have to argue that Eminem's "music" is superior to Beethoven's.
Plus, the KJ Bible is merely a translation of Jewish writings.


Btw a good book to read for background, if you haven't, is Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences. There's been consensus in this area for a while, but this is a pretty recent and thorough account. I'll look into it and respond to some of your comments regarding the issues in this thread that arose in another thread tomorrow.

Luh_Windan
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 04:09 AM
Yes, because the value of something is as great as how many copies are sold. Based on this logic, one would have to argue that Eminem's "music" is superior to Beethoven's.
I was referring to the general comparison between countries, and the population of England...


Plus, the KJ Bible is merely a translation of Jewish writings.
But a great literary achievement nonetheless.


I'll look into it and respond to some of your comments regarding the issues in this thread that arose in another thread tomorrow.
Good-night

Gustavus Magnus
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 07:12 AM
Tough question. My first thought was that the German countries (I count all of them except Austria as "Germany") always have been superior through innovativeness, craftsmanship and so on, mainly during the latter part of the last millenia. But then again, Great Britain and the Netherlands was once the great innovators of Europe, starting the Industrial Revolution, being superior at sea and so on. And yet France introduced on of the most important innovations ever: The metric system. So I'm having a hard time deciding, but I'll go with Germany.

If the question was "Which European country with the toughest conditions is the greatest in terms of achievements", the answer should of course be: Sweden, Sweden, Sweden.

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 07:52 AM
I didn't even know I posted this thread. :scratch: :bier:

I say it's a coin toss between Great Britain and Germany. As these are the two countries who contributed the most to the industrial revolution.

A list of inventors and inventions that have revolutionized the modern world as we know it would both be very long indeed.

Lissu
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 08:27 AM
I didn't even know I posted this thread. :scratch: :bier: There is 2 things you should not do while being drunk; Driving a car and posting to internet forums :annoysigr


:biggrin:

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 08:35 AM
There is 2 things you should not do while being drunk; Driving a car and posting to internet forums :annoysigr

1 White Russian.
1 Beer.

Lissu
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 08:54 AM
1 White Russian.
1 Beer. :rotfl: How big were your drinks? :biggrin:

Todesritter
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 09:00 AM
Quite the overstatement there. I'll withdraw from the discussion to make room for others as this will go nowhere anyway, but you should look into the development of the scientific method...

I'll see your Goethe and raise you a King James Bible... There really isn't much competition in this area, especially on a per capita basis...

Btw a good book to read for background, if you haven't, is Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences. There's been consensus in this area for a while, but this is a pretty recent and thorough account.

King James Bible an accomplishment? I suppose the German speaking lands were deficient a bible then....? ..where did the Printing Press that made this English publishing accomplishment possible come from? :)


Industry: yeah.
Science: most great achievements were the product of Germans. The English had Newton and...--that's about it. Aside from Newton, Einstein, de Broglie, and Compton, all other great scientific discoveries were German.
Literature: Shakespeare? I'll trump that with a Goethe.
... even Newton's famous work in physics and astronomy was largely dependent Johannas Kepler, and Gottfried Leibniz's work in mathematics accomplished the same things first, though Newton is remembered.

A big problem is Anglo-American-centric education, which often overlooks the accomplishments on the continent, unless they are French, and glorifies the first instance of an accomplishment in England or America. I would say that this makes the Anglo-American spin-doctoring & copyrighting mechanisms used to 'borrow' continental discoveries, and legitimize their incorporation into English or American patents in this cultural area seem to be ahead of the other countries mentioned. :icon12:

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 09:07 AM
:rotfl: How big were your drinks? :biggrin:

8 oz of Vodka. 1 can of beer.

Todesritter
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 09:13 AM
... beer sizes, and names of mixed drinks vary between countries.

You will get strange results from European (non-English) bartenders if you order most drinks common in the US, even if you speak the foreign language, and literally translate the English name ... trust me I know. I asked for 'several shots of vodka' in German, and the poor German bartender, she replied, 'You want me to shoot you with vodka?' ['vodka pure' is the literal way of asking for a shot there]

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 09:22 AM
... beer sizes, and names of mixed drinks vary between countries.

You will get strange results from European (non-English) bartenders if you order most drinks common in the US, even if you speak the foreign language, and literally translate the English name ... trust me I know. I asked for 'several shots of vodka' in German, and the poor German bartender, she replied, 'You want me to shoot you with vodka?' ['vodka pure' is the literal way of asking for a shot there]

Vodka tastes like ****. You have to mix it. That's when it gets interesting.
Mixed Vodka is better than pure Vodka. Pure Vodka is clear and bland. You mix it and it becomes exotic refreshing.

I'll keep that in mind if I ever go to German pub or whatever you call it.

Gustavus Magnus
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 01:11 PM
Stick to the topic, people...

Väring
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 05:58 PM
I have to say England.

Rehnskiöld
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 06:08 PM
I you consider large alcoholconsumtion as a achievement, Sweden is quite great. 700 pubs in Stockholm during the "freedom" time the city had 70.000 inhabitants then... :beer1:

Luh_Windan
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005, 06:10 PM
King James Bible an accomplishment? I suppose the German speaking lands were deficient a bible then....?
Yes, an accomplishment. Read about it, maybe. No, the German speaking lands were not deficient a bible.


where did the Printing Press that made this English publishing accomplishment possible come from?
What is your point? Do you think I've simply overlooked this fact, or for some reason neglected to factor it into my analysis? Why?

FadeTheButcher
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:46 AM
What is the greatest European Country in Terms of Achievements?Great Britain.

FadeTheButcher
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:50 AM
Why?We have had this debate before on The Phora. British achievements in science and technology are overwhelming.

FadeTheButcher
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:59 AM
Industry: yeah.Great Britain.
Science: most great achievements were the product of Germans.This is false. Germany lags far behind Britain, France, and America in scientific and technological accomplishments. Germany was a very rural country until well into the 19th century whereas the Industrial Revolution itself began in Britain.
The English had Newton and...Aside from Newton, Einstein, de Broglie, and Compton, all other great scientific discoveries were German.Central Events in Technology

-400 -- China, Egypt -- First know use of the abacus.

-270 -- Greece -- Sostrates builds the first known lighthouse, the Pharos of Alexandria.

-245 -- Levant -- First known glass blowing.

-200 -- Asia Minor -- First known use of parchment.

1 -- China -- Chinese engineers invent the sternpost rudder, enabling efficient steering of large vessels.

100 -- China -- First known use of paper for writing (earlier verisons had been used for packing and other purposes).

250 -- China -- First gunpowder (date uncertain).

300 -- China -- First known use of stirrups.

984 -- China -- Chinese engineers invent locks for canals.

1045 -- China -- Bi Sheng invents movable type, reinvented by Gutenberg in Germany, 1440.

1502 -- Germany -- Peter Henlein invents the mainspring in a pocket watch (and invents the pocket watch itself).

1556 -- Germany -- Georgius Agricola's De re Metallica is for centuries the best text on mining.

1589 -- England -- William Lee invents the stocking frame, the basis for all subsequent knitting nad lace-making machines.

1603 -- England -- Hugh Platt discovers coke, essential to steel production.

1622 -- England -- William Oughtred invents the slide rule by repositioning Gunter's scales.

1642 -- France -- Blaise Pascal invents a calculating machine, the Pascaline, that can handle up to nin-digit numbers.

1656 -- Netherlands -- Christiaan Huygens invents the pendulum escapement and thereby invents the pendulum clock.

1679 -- France -- Denis Papin invents the pressure cooker.

1690 -- France -- Denis Papin invents the atmospheric engine, pioneering many design principles of the steam engine.

1693 -- Germany -- Gottfried von Leibniz invents an improved calculator for multiplication and division.

1698 -- England -- Thomas Savery invents the Miners' Friend, a practical atmospheric steam engine without a piston.

1699 -- England -- Jethro Tull invents the modern steam drill.

1709 -- England -- Abraham Darby successfully uses coke in iron smelting.

1712 -- England -- Thomas Newcomen uses steam to push a piston.

1731 -- England -- John Hadley invents the reflecting octant, precursor of the modern sextant, which follows in 1757.

1733 -- England -- John Kay invents flying shuttle, an important step toward automatic weaving.

1740 -- England -- Benjamin Huntsman develops the crucible method for making homogeneous steel (Sheffield steel), with high tensile strength.

1742 -- USA -- Benjamin Franklin invents the Franklin stove, a major improving in heating efficiency.

1750 -- USA -- Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning rod.

1764 -- England -- James Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny, which does the work of 30 spinning wheels.

1764 -- Scotland -- James Watt invents the condenser, employing latent heat to improve the efficiency of the steam engine, the first of several improvements that create the modern steam engine.

1765 -- England -- John Harrison completes 40 years of refinement of an accurate ship's chronometer, enabling the determination of longitude and revolutionizing navigational techniques.

1769 -- England -- Richard Arkwright invents the water frame, a waterwheel driven machine device that powers multiple spinning machines and a foundation of the modern factory system.

1770 -- England -- Richard Arkwright, Samuel Need, and Jedediah Strutt open a water-driven mill at Cromford, the start of the factory system.

1776 -- England -- John Wilkinson invents the first precision boring machine, essential for the manafacture of cylinders for steam engines.

1779 -- England -- Abraham Darby III and John Wilkinson build an all-iron bridge at Coalbrookdale.

1781 -- Scotland -- Jame Watt invents a governor for a steam engine and uses a sum-and-planet gear to use a steam engine to drive a wheel.

1782 -- Scotland, England -- James Watt and Jonathan Hornblower invent a double-acting steam engine in which steam is admitted alternatively on both sides of the piston.

1783 -- France -- L.S. Lenormand, Jean Blanchard, and André Gernerin invent the first parachute capable of carrying a human.

1783 -- France -- The Montgolfier brothers conduct the first manned flight of a hot air balloon.

1785 -- France -- Claude Berthollet invents chemical bleach (chlorine and potash).

1785 -- USA -- Oliver Evans invents an elevator to move grain, automating the process and requiring only two workers.

1787 -- USA -- John Fitch invents a working steamboat.

1793 -- USA -- Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, revolutionizing the economics of cotton production.

1795 -- France -- Nicolas Appert discovers that food can be preserved by heating, leading to the invention of canned food.

1796 -- Bohemia -- Aloys Senefelder invents lithography.

1800 -- Italy -- Alessandro Volta invents the voltaic cell, the first battery.

1804 -- England -- Richard Trevithick uses a locomotive on rails to pull iron from an ironworks to the Glamorgan canal.

1805 -- France -- Joseph-Marie Jacquard invents punch cards to create patterns with the Jacquard loom, the first nonalphabetic means of storing information.

1807 -- USA -- Robert Fulton builds the first commercially successful steamboat.

1814 -- England -- George Stephenson invents a practical steam locomotive.

1815 -- Scotland -- John McAdam invents the modern paved road.

1820 -- USA, Scotland -- Cyrus McCormick, Obed Hussey, and Patrick Bell invent independent versions of the mechanical reaper in the course of the decade.

1822 -- France -- Joseph Niépce creates the first permanent photograph.

1824 -- England -- Joseph Aspdin invents Portland cement.

1825 -- England -- Stephenson begins the first rail service using a steam locomotive.

1831 -- England -- Michael Faraday invents the electric generator.

1831 -- USA -- Joseph Henry invents a practical electric motor.

1833 -- England -- Charles Babbage designs an "analtyic engine," programmed by punch cards, that is the conceptual origin of the computer.

1835 -- USA -- Samuel Colt invents the Colt revolver.

1836 -- England -- John Daniell invents the Daniell cell, the first modern battery.

1830 -- USA, England -- William Cooke, Charles Wheatstone, and Samuel Morse independently invent the telegraph in the course of the decade.

1839 -- England -- William Grove invents the fuel cell, producing electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen.

1839 -- France -- Louis Daguerre invents the camera and plates that make photography practical.

1839 -- Scotland -- Kirkpatrick Macmillian invents the first true bicycle.

1839 -- USA -- Charles Goodyear invents vulcanization, revolutionizing the utility of rubber.

1841 -- England -- William Fox-Talbot invents a photgraphic negative that permits unlimited paper positives.

1842 -- England -- John Lawes invents the first chemical fertilizer.

1843 -- England -- Isambard Brunel builds a propeller-driven, iron, transatlantic liner.

1843 -- England -- John Lawes founds the Rothamsted Experimental Station for improving agricultural production, introducing rigorous experimental procedures and field trials.

1844 -- USA -- Samuel Morse creates the first functioning telegraph line, from Washington to Baltimore.

1845 -- Germany -- Christian Schonbein invents nitrocellulose, or gun cotton.

1846 -- USA -- Elias Howe invents a two-thread, lock-stich sewing machine.

1847 -- Italy -- Ascanio Sobrero prepares nitroglycerine.

1851 -- USA -- Issac Singer invents an improved sewing machine with treadle and lock stitch.

1852 -- France -- Henri Giffard conducts the first successful flight of a powered airship (a steam powered dirigible).

1852 -- France -- Jean Foucault invents a gyroscope that can be used as a substitute for a magnetic compass.

1852 -- USA -- Elisha Otis invents the safety elevator.

1853 -- England -- Abraham Gesner and James Young invent kerosene.

1853 -- England -- George Cayley invents a glider that accomplishes the first unpowered, manned flight in a heavier-than-air vehicle.

1854 -- France, Germany -- Robert Bunsen and Henri St.-Claire Deville develop an electrolytic process for obtaining metallic aluminum from sodium aluminum chloride.

1856 -- England, USA -- Henry Bessemer and William Kelly invent the Bessemer process for manafacturing steel.

1856 -- England -- William Perkin invents a synthetic dye (mauve), founding the synthetic organic chemical industry.

1859 -- France -- Gaston Planté invents the rechargable storage battery.

1859 -- USA -- Edwin Drake drills the first successful oil well, in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

1859 -- USA -- George Pullman invents the sleeping car.

1860 -- France -- Jean Lenoir invents a practical internal combustion engine.

1861 -- France -- Eugene Meyer and Pierre Michaux invent the chain-driven bicycle.

1865 -- England -- Alexander Parkes creates laboratory samples of celluloid.

1865 -- USA -- Linus Yale invents the pin-tumbler cylinder lock.

1866 -- Sweden -- Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.

1866 -- USA -- Cyrus Field lays the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable.

1877 -- France -- Georges Leclanché invents the forerunner of an easily manafacturing dry cell battery.

1867 -- USA -- Carlos Glidden and Christopher Sholes invent the first commerically practical typewriter.

1868 -- USA -- George Westinghouse invents an automatic air brake for railroad cars.

1869 -- Belgium -- Zénobe Gramme and Ernst Siemens develop and manafacture a DC dynamo.

1869 -- France -- Ferdinand de Lesseps supervises the design and construction of the Suez Canal.

1869 -- USA -- John Hyatt invents a commerically successful plastic (celluloid).

1876 -- Germany -- Nikolaus Otto invents the four-stroke cycle basic to modern combustion engines.

1876 -- USA -- Alexander Bell and Elisha Gray independently invent the telephone.

1877 -- USA -- Thomas Edison invents the phonograph.

1878 -- England, USA -- Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan independently invent the carbon filament incandescent bulb.

1880 -- Herman Hollerith invents the first workable electromechanical calculator, used to automate tabulation of the 1890 U.S. Census.

1883 -- France -- Louis de Chardonnet invetns the first synthetic fabric, rayon.

1883 -- USA -- Nikola Tesla invents a motor using alternating current.

1884 -- England -- Charles Parsons invents a successful steam turbine.

1884 -- USA -- Lewis Waterman invents the free-flowing fountain pen.

1884 -- USA -- Ottmar Mergenthaler invents the linotype machine.

1885 -- Germany -- Carl Benz invents the first true automobile.

1885 -- USA -- William Stanley invents a transformer for shifting voltage and amperage.

1886 -- France, USA -- Charles Hall and Pierre Héroult invent an inexpensive method for extracting aluminum.

1887 -- Scotland -- John Dunolp invents the pneumatic rubber tire.

1888 -- USA -- George Eastman invents the Kodak camera.

1889 -- England -- Frederick Abel and James Dewar invent cordite, leading to smokeless gunpowder.

1889 -- USA -- Thomas Edison invents the motion picture camera.

1891 -- USA -- Edward Acheson invents carborundum, the first industrial abrasive.

1892 -- Germany -- Rudolf Diesel invents the diesel engine.

1900 -- Germany -- Ferdinand Zeppelin begins the first airline, using rigid airships.

1901 -- Italy -- Guglielmo Marconi broadcasts radio waves from England to Newfoundland.

1903 -- USA -- The Wright Brother's airplane achieves the first successful powered flight by a heavier-than-air machine.

1904 -- USA -- John Fleming invents the rectifier, the first radio tube.

1906 -- USA -- Lee De Forest invents the amplifier vacuum tube.

1908 -- Germany -- Fritz Haber invents a process, later perfected by Carl Bosch, for mass production of nitrates, which in turn permits mass production of fertilizers (and explosives).

1908 -- USA -- Henry Ford invents the assembly line.

1909 -- USA, Scotland -- Leo Baekeland and James Swingburne independently invent a thermosetting plastic.

1911 -- Switzerland -- Jacques Brandenberge invents cellophane.

1911 -- USA, Germany -- Elmer Sperry and Hermann Anschutz-Kampfer independently invent the gyrocompass.

1911 -- USA -- Charles Kettering invents an electric starter for cars.

1912 -- Germany -- Friedrich Bergius invents a process of produce gasoline from coal hydrogenation.

1914 -- USA -- The Panama Canal is completed.

1917 -- USA -- Clarence Birdseye and Charles Seabrook invent a technique for quick-freezing foods, founding the frozen food industry.

1918 -- USA -- Edwin Armstrong invents the superheterodyne receiver, making home radio receivers possible.

1921 -- USA -- Thomas Midgley, Jr., invents tetraethyl lead, an anti-knock compound for gasoline.

1932 -- USA -- Vladimir Zworykin invents the iconoscope, the precursor of the television tube.

1926 -- USA -- Robert Goddard invent the liquid-fuel rocket.

1926 -- USA -- Samuel Warner introduces a motion picture system that integrates sound into film.

1927 -- USA -- Charles Lindbergh pilots the first nonstop flight from the United States to continental Europe.

1929 -- Germany -- Fritz Pfleumer invents magnetic recording of sound.

1929 -- USA -- Edwin Armstrong invents frequency modulation (FM), a method of transmitting radio waves without static; perfected in 1933.

1930 -- England -- Frank Whittle invents the jet engine.

1930 -- USA -- Thomas Midgley, Jr., discovers freon, the refrigerant.

1930 -- USA -- Vannevar Bush invents a machine capable of solving differential equations.

1931 -- USA -- Wallace Carothers invents nylon.

1932 -- USA -- Edwin Land invents a synthetic substance that will polarize light, leading to the first synthetic light-polarizing film.

1935 -- Scotland -- Robert Watson-Watt invents a way to display radio wave information on a cathode ray tube, enabling the development of radar.

1936 -- USA, Germany -- Igor Sikorsky and Heinrich Foch independently invent a successful helicopter.

1938 -- USA -- Roy Plunkett invents Teflon.

1938 -- USA -- The Biro brothers invent the first workable ballpoint pen.

1939 -- Germany -- Hans Ohain designs the first successful jet plane.

1939 -- Switzerland -- Paul Muller discovers the insecticidal properties of DDT.

1940 -- USA -- George Stibitz invents the Complex Number Calculator, the first machine to service more than one terminal and to be used via a remote location.

1943 -- France -- Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan invent the aqualung.

1943 -- USA -- Martin Whitaker and Eugene Wignar lead the construction of the first operational nuclear reactor.

1945 -- England -- Arthur Clarke conceptualizes the use of satellites for global communication.

1946 -- USA -- ENIAC, the first entirely electronic computer, developed by John Eckert, John Mauchly, Arthur Burks, and John von Neumann, becomes fully operational.

1946 -- USA -- Arthur Burks, John von Neumann, and Hermann Goldstine's "Preliminary Discussion of the Logical Design of an Electronic Computing Instrument" provides the conceptual foundation for computer development in the coming decades.

1947 -- USA -- Charles Yeager pilots the first supersonic flight.

1947 -- USA -- Edwin Land, Howard Rogers, and William McCune invent the Polaroid camera.

1948 -- USA -- John Bardeen, Walter Houser, and William Shockley invent the transistor.

1948 -- USA -- Peter Goldmark invents the long-playing record.

1950 -- England -- Alan Turing creates the Turing test, establishing a criterion for judging artificial intelligence.
Literature: Shakespeare? I'll trump that with a Goethe.I would give an edge to the British in Literature, Germany or Austria in Music, France or Italy in Art, Greece in Philosophy.

FadeTheButcher
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 04:09 AM
The scientific method has more to do with philosophy and logic than science. It's hardly a discovery.ROFL . . . you are not serious are you?

FadeTheButcher
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 04:16 AM
Why is Great Britain the greatest European country in terms of achievement?

1.) The Scientific Revolution + 2.) The Industrial Revolution + 3.) The Enlightenment = Modernity. The modern world is as Anglo-Saxon as the ancient world was Greco-Roman. That is why we are speaking English here today folks.

jcs
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 04:19 AM
Germany lags far behind Britain, France, and America in scientific and technological accomplishments. Technological achievements?--I concede that America and Britain surpass everyone else by far.

In terms of theoretical achievements (both in science and mathematics, as the former relies heavily on the latter), I think Germany has more accomplishments.


I would give an edge to the British in Literature Why? There are a number of good British authors, but I'll still trump them all with Goethe.


France or Italy in Art That easily goes to Italy.
What about architecture? I tend to favour the Gothic, but Graeco-Roman civilisations were more architecturally innovative.


1.) The Scientific Revolution + 2.) The Industrial Revolution + 3.) The Enlightenment = Modernity. Hence my problem with Britain :tongue:

FadeTheButcher
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 04:26 AM
Another excerpt from Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment. The other excerpt was taken from the same source.

Samuel Johnson's London, 1737-1784

At two o'clock on an August afternoon in 1768, the bark Endeavor put to sea from Plymouth under the command of second lieutenant James Cook, then just thirty-nine years old. Cook's orders were to sail southwest down the Atlantic, double Cape Horn, and then make from Tahiti, a one-way voyage of some 13,000 miles. The motive behind this expensive, lengthy, and dangerous trip was not trade. No diplomatic services were to be rendered, nor, for that matter, did Cook have messages to convey to anyone at his destination. The purpose of Endeavor's voyage was to observe an astronomical phenomenon known as the transit of Venus.

A transit of Venus occurs when Venus as observed from Earth crosses the face of the Sun. The transit occurs in pairs, separated by eight years, with each pair of transits separated by more than a century. There were no transits of Venus in 20C, for example. A century prior to Cook's deparature, English astronomer Edmond Halley had realized that the transit of Venus offers a unique opportunity to measure precisely the distance from the earth to the sun, by taking advantage of the phenomenon known as parallax -- the differences in the apparent position of a heavenly body depending on the observer's location. If the magnitude of the apparent displacement is known, the application of basic trigonmetry will yield the desired result. But to get the data, people had to be waiting in place at widely dispersed points on the globe when the auspicious day arrive, hence the trip to Tahiti.

In a request for the government's support of the expedition, the British Royal Society had pointed out that everybody else was going to do it and it would be humiliating for Britain to hang back, because
. . . the British nation has been justly celebrated in the learned world, for their knowledge of astronomy, in which they are inferior to no nation upon earth, ancient or modern, and it would cast dishonour upon them should they neglect to have correct observations made of this important phenomenon . . . And so the British government decided to sent a vessel halfway around the world, hoping for clear skies on the appointed day.

Once the decision had been taken, the Admiralty decided to tack on another task. After completing his astronomical observations, Cook was to proceed southward, seeking out Terra Australis Incognita, the continent that had long been thought to be somewhere at the bottom of the world, counterbalancing the land masses of the northern hemisphere. Upon discovering it, he was to take care to describe the land, its features and soils, and collect samples of its "beasts, birds, fishes and minerals, seeds of trees, fruits and grains." The naturalist who would assist him in this endeavor was on Joseph Banks, 22 years old, a wealthy amateur educated at Harrow, Eton, and Oxford, who was paying 10,000 pounds -- on the order of a million dollars in today's money -- for the privilege of cramming his six-foot-four-inch frame into a cabin six feet long and running a fair risk of dying of the next two years.

Few episodes better capture the spirit of intellectual life in 18C Europe. A passion to know was everywhere -- to catalog and classify; to order; to probe into the how and the why of things; to take the world apart and see what made it tick. It was a small change in some ways -- humans had been curious since they became human -- but by Cook's time humans had found a way to continually satisfy that curiosity. They had discovered how to accumulate knowledge.

The rage to learn, understand, and then shape the world had its manifestation all over the Island. Perhaps Britain's most portentous accomplishment during the 1760s occurred in Scotland, in a room that Glasgow University had given over to the use of a young instrument-maker named James Watt. Some years earlier, Watt had been asked to repair a working model of the steam engine, a balky, inefficient, and unreliable device. By the end of the 1760s, Watt had created the engine that would power the Industrial Revolution.

The implentation of that revolution was concentrated not around London, but in a small region of central England, bounded on the west by Shropshire's Coalbrookdale, where Abraham Darby had first smelted iron with coal in 1709; on the south by Birmingham, where mechanized cotton-spinning began in the 1740s; on the east by Derby, where the world's first recognizable factory opened in 1721; and on the north by Preston, where in 1732 Richard Arkwright, inventor and entrepreneur of the cotton textile industry, was born. But for all the activity elsewhere, the indisputable center of English creative life and to an important degree the center of Western civilization -- Paris was its only competitor -- was London. "When a man is tired of London he is tired of life," Samuel Johnson famously wrote, and never did the city merit the accolade than during Johnson's years there.

When he arrived in 1737, London was huge by the stands of the time, even though it was smaller than Hangzhou in 12C. The population of London was approaching 700,000, making it more than twice as large as any city in Europe except Paris. Within the confines of Great Britain, no other city even came close. Cities like Birmingham and Manchester had fewer than 30,000 inhabitants, and Oxford had only about 8,000.

Londoners were crammed into an area that is a fraction of the city we know today. Since the time of Elizibeth, the Crown had tried to restrict new construction. Occasionally new areas were built from scratch, as after the Great Fire of 1666, but within a few decades property owners had subdivided the buildings, adding new entrances, and surreptitously filling up courtyards and back gardens with new structures. London became a rabbit warren of buildings crisscrossed by tiny lanes -- as of 1732, London counted 5,099 streets and alleys. Open country began at Hyde Park.

The London Johnson knew was the London that Hogarth painted -- muddy, unpaved, with open sewers and a stinking Thames, lavish wealth facing desparate poverty in an intimacy that we can scarcely imagine today. "Here lives a Personage of high Distinction," wrote one observer, "next door a Butcher with his stinking Shambles! A Tallow-Chandler shall front my Lord's nice Venetian window; and two or three brawny naked Curriers in their Pits shall face a fine lady in her back Closet." Fishmongers, theatres, silversmiths, brickworks, brothels, hospitals, docks, chophouses, factories, churches, gardens, grocers, palaces, tenements -- all were jammed together on the twisting streets. In the slums, a gin shop could be found in one of every four dwellings, advertising "Drunk for a penny, dead-drunk for twopence." The crowds of pedestrians mingled every level of English society -- "rambling, riding, rolling, rushing, jostling, mixing, bouncing, cracking and crashing in one vile ferment of stupidity and corruption," complained Smollet's Squire Bramble.

The noise was deafening and the stench prodigious. London had no municipal program for collecting waste, no street-cleaners. Policing was like Antonine Rome -- nearly nonexistent. Until 1750, the City of London had been patrolled by some 1,000 night watchmen who had become a national joke -- drunken and ineffectual, the "charlies" of derisive abuse. In 1750, Henry Fielding hired some thief-takers who later evolved into the Bow Street Runners, rudimentary police patrols. But for practical purposes a citizen of London who ventured out of doors after dark should be prepared to fend for himself. Hangzhou of seven centuries earlier had been cleaner and safer.

The transporation system of Georgian Britain had yet to catch up with the one enjoyed by Roman Britons 17 centuries earlier. By the 1780s, the Newcastle & London Post Coach was advertising a service that would leave Newcastle at four in the morning and get the passenger into London after 39 hours of continual travel, breaking only for meals, jouncing along rutted roads at six miles an hour -- phenomenally fast by previous standards. But a Roman Briton making the same journey routinely did it in the same elapsed time, one a much smoother road, with a full night's sleep at a comfortable way station to break the journey.

The British of 18C knew immeasurably more than the Romans about the physics and mechanics of heat, but if you were looking for creature comforts, the villa of a wealthy Roman Briton with its central heating and good plumbing would have been a more comfortable place to live than the palaces built by Georgian aristocrats. And if you caught a chill during the winter damp, good luck. Bleeding was still the treatment of choice for a wide variety of ailments, germ theory was a century in the future, and hygiene was unheard of. A new wife of 18C had to enter upon childbearing knowing that she must expect to lose half of her babies before they reached adolescence and face odds of about one in 20 of dying in each childbirth herself. All in all, if you were going to get sick, you were better off in Song Hangzhou, and perhaps even in Antonine Rome, than in Johnson's London.

British physicians and their continental counterparts had made progress in preventing people from getting sick. One of the first controlled studies in the history of medicine established in 1747 that scurvy could be prevented by the juice of citrus fruits and thereby transformed the health of sailors on long voyages. Western medicine was finally becoming a science of precisely described symptoms and diseases, even if physicians still couldn't cure many of them.

Despite the bad hygiene and filthy streets, public health was improving, mainly because plagues were slowly disappearing. The word plague evokes the Black Death of mid-14C, but plagues had been a continuing fact of life. The single city of Besancon reported plague 40 times between 1439 and 1640. London suffered too. As late as 1667, Sir William Petty still had reason to expect about five plagues in the next century:London within ye bills hath 696 thousand people in 108 thousand houses. In pestilential yeares, which are one in twenty, there dye one sixth of ye people in ye plague and one fifth of all diseases. The people which ye next plague of London will sweep away will be probably 120 thousand.[/quote]But Sir William was wrong. Exactly why is still unclear, but the plague disappeared from Western Europe after an outbreak in Marseilles in 1720. Infectious diseases remained a problem -- pandemics of typhus and influenza swept most of Europe in the late 1730s and early 1740s, and influenza struck London in 1782 -- but the scale of mortality diminished. Other infectious diseases, known today only by their descriptions in obsolete medical books, disappeared altogether. Smallpox had been a killer rivaling the plague -- a medical text of 1775 estimated that it still affected 95 of every 100 people, and killed 1 in 7. But in 1717 Mary Montagu published a treatise on the Turkish use of pus to inoculate against smallpox. Only four years later, Cotton Mather and Zabdiel Boylston used primitive statistical methods to demonstrate its effectiveness in Boston. By 1796, when Edward Jenner developed a safe method of inoculation using the cowpox virus, inroads against smallpox had already been made in the upper classes and vaccination was becoming widespread throughout Europe. Little by little, the power of disease to destroy was being circumscribed. Epidemics in 19C would continue to carry off tens of thousands of people at a time, but in the last half of 18C, Europe saw the end of the days when whole societies were routinely crippled by outbreaks of disease.

Famines subsided along with the plague. It is hard to realize today, but famine was a common European phenomenon through 18C. France, for example, among the richest of the European countries, experienced 13 general famines in 16C, 11 in 17C, and 16 in 18C, plus hundreds of local famines that affected a single town or region. The explanation for the famines was simple. The yields from cereal grains were low and the capacity to store reserves primitive. Two bad harvests in a row, and people starved. It was during 18C that technological progress in agriculture began to break the grip of that brutal arithmetic.

The most striking constant across imperial Rome, Song Hangzhou, and Georgian London was a widespread passion for the arts. An inventory conducted in 1785 tells us that 650 individual businesses in London made their money through books, from writing to printing to engraving to sales. When the newly established Royal Academy opened an exhibition of paintings in the spring of 1780, it drew 61,381 persons by the end of the year -- roughly 1 in ever 12 Londoners in that one season alone, from a population that was overwhelmingly poor and illiterate. Crowds swarmed to the two licensed dramatic companies of the era, Drury Lane and Covent Garden, packing theatres that by the end of the century had been built and rebuilt so that each accomodated 3,000 people at a time. London's first professional concert series began in the 1760s, and by 1771 had led to a dedicated concert auditorium at the Pantheon on Oxford Street -- "the most elegant structure in Europe, if not the globe" in the mind of one observer -- and then in 1775 to a 900-seat auditorium in Hanover Square and Oxford Street.

Whether they were attending a theatre, a concert, or an exhibition at the Royal Academy, or buying a book at the local bookseller, Londoners in 18C had available to them a range of work that the citizens of neither imperial Rome nor classical China could approach. And yet the major artistic genres were curiously different phases, and the public's attitude toward their practitioners was mixed. Some fine painters were at work in 18C, among them Britain's own Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Hogarth. But the prevailing British attitude toward these living artists, like the Romans towards theirs, was scathing -- to the influential art critic Anthony Ashley Cooper, contemporary British painters were "illiterate, vulgar and scare sober." History has treated the targets of Cooper's scorn more respectfully, but the world of art was still absorbing the extraordinary outpouring of great art during the Renaissance, and the output of 18C could not compete. Drama had a similar problem. Despite a few luminaries such as Congreve, Goldsmith, and Sheridan, the legacy of the Elizabethean era was so daunting that it cast a long shadow over playwrights of 18C. In contrast, fiction and poetry were blossoming. Fielding and Richardson were turning out the earliest examples of the genre that would peak in 19C, the domestic novel, and late 18C would see the first work of the great Romantic poets.

If you sought a golden age in 18C, the place to look was music. Johnson's London consisted of a half-century that saw parts or all of the careers of Mozart, J.S. Bach, Haydn, and Handel. Any one of them would have made the era musically distinguished. To have all four, plus Gluck, Rameau, Telemann, Pergolesi, Domenico Scarlatti, and Stamitz at the same time, plus Couperin and Vivaldi in the earl decades of the century and Beethoven showing his energetic genius at the end of it, makes 18C the most densly packed century of realized musical genius in history. London did not contribute people to this collection of stars -- it had not produced a major composer since Henry Purcell in 17C -- but it provided enthusiastic patrons. When Joseph Haydn was brought to London late in the century, he was astonished and overwhelmed by the British passion for music -- "his presence seems to have awakened such a degree of enthusiasm in the audience, as to almost amount to a frenzy," wrote another musician. In a sign of things to come, the British backed their enthusiasm for the arts with cash. Haydn cleared 350 pounds for one concert in 1791 and 800 pounds for another in 1794 -- liberating sums for a composer who had felt himself little more than a glorified servant in the continental courts.

Densely packed is the right descriptor for Johnson's intellectual London writ large. The city was jammed with men of immense accomplishment, sometimes resident, sometimes visitors, and they knew each other across disciplines and professions in a way that rarely happens today. In Johnson's London, this intellectual cross-fertilization was reified in The Club, which formed in the winter of 1763-1764. It was nothing like the imposing institutions that became the famous London clubs of 19C, just a group of men getting together every Monday night at the Turk's Head in Gerrard Street.

But those men included statesmen James Fox and William Wyndham, linguist Sir William Jones, naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, dramatists Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, actor David Garrick, Bishop Percy, historian Edward Gibbon, Johnson himself, and two men who together were to provide the intellectual templates for the Whigs and the Tories of British politics for the next century, Adam Smith and Edmund Burke. Other eras have had their roundtables and salons, but in 18C London they were peopled by men who would change the intellectual shape of the West, for Samuel Johnson's London was above all the London of the Enlightenment.

By the 1750s the Enlightenment had become the continent's child as well, but it had been Britain's baby. Issac Newton's relevation in Principia Mathematica (1687) that the universe is rational, obeying fixed and predictable laws, had changed the way that people perceived the universe. God was not longer the interfering, jealous God of the Old Testament nor the loving personal God of the New, but God the Clockmaker, setting the universe on a course governed forever after by mathematically perfect immutable laws. If only mortals had enough data, they could predict everything that happened, and the tool whereby they could do this in a clockline universe was reason. Reason, sweet and infallible, should be brought to bear on hoary traditions that governed the pursuit of knowledge, relationships between the sexes and the social classes, standards of art and music, and the exercise of political power.

In 1690, three years after Newton published Principia, John Locke, an English physician and friend of Newton's, published two short works that fit perfectly with the emerging new world view. The first to appear was Essay Concerning Human Understanding, proclaiming the doctrine of tabula rasa. Humans came into the world as blank pages upon which experience writes -- a doctrine perfect for a world in which reason rules, perfect for a world beginning to think that all things are possible. Human nature was not immutable, nor was human history required to move in cycles. By applying reason not only to institutions but to the socialization of the young, humans could be improved along with their institutions. History henceforth could take on a direction, and that direction was progress.

A few months later, Locke's Second Treatise of Government was published, averring that government is the servant of men, not the other way around, tand that men come into the world possessing natural rights to their own bodies (and therefore to their labor) that governments can legitimately circumscribe in limited ways. We in the United States think of Locke as an intellectual aspiration of the American Founders, which he was. But his more immediate role in English life was to put in philosophical terms the movement toward liberty that had swept England during its Glorious Revolution and was to provide the foundation for the reforms that continued throughout 18C.

By the late 1720s, England's combination of economic prosperity, social stability, and civil liberties had no equivilant anywhere on the continent. The young Voltaire, forced by circumstances to live in England (he had been exiled for inappropriately challenging a nobleman to a duel), was entranced. After returning to France, he wrote Letters on the English, praising their virtues. The book was a sensation in French intellectual circles. Before Letters on the English, according to report, there were but two Newtonians in all of Paris; now, Parisian thinkers learned English, translated English works, and borrowed from English fashion. Voltaire followed up with essays on Newton and Locke, taking the Enlightenment to Paris, where it evolved in its own way, producing some decades later a Revolution very different from England's Glorious one.

The philosophes of the Enlightenment, whether French, English, or Scottish, included only a few actual philosophers. As a group they were more like a meeting of The Club, thinkers from many fields who had a common interest in starting with first principles, with human liberty heading the list. The philosophes, in Peter Gay's words, sought "freedom from arbitrary power, freedom of speech, freedom of trade, freedom to realize one's own talents, freedom from aesthetic response, freedom, in a word, of moral man to make his way in the world."

Some, like Rousseau, would be the inspiration for artistic and literary movements that continue to this day. Another, the University of Glasgow's Adam Smith, would lay out an economic theory so influential that it would be as powerful a force for economic growth in 19C as James Watt's steam engine would be for industrial growth. Published in 1776, Wealth of Nations introduced three elementary principles that now are seen as common sense, but which were at the time revolutionary. It was Smith who taught the world that a voluntary exchange benefits both parties -- trade is not a zero-sum game in which one person wins while another loses, but win-win. It was Smith who taught governments that the trick to becoming rich is competitive advantage -- don't try to subsidize the production of goods that others can produce better or cheaper. It was Smith who invoked the metaphor of the Invisible Hand to explain why a person whose only motive is to make money will be led to produce goods that other people need, of the right quality, at prices they can afford, if only that person is constrained to compete with others who are also trying to make money. Beyond these specifics, Smith changed forever the age-old assumption that wealth is a limited pie over which governments and men fight to get the biggest price. Wealth can grow without limits -- that was perhaps Smith's most revolutionary idea of all.

Growth, accumulating knowledge, change -- Johnson's Britain was in a ceaseless, restless state of becoming. In the decades when Johnson was in London, the visible results were still limited. When Johnson died in 1784, London was not physically much differentfrom the way it had looked when he arrived in 1737. The city was still lit by candles, people still traveled no faster than a galloping horse, and they communicated no more rapidly than a message could be conveyed on horseback. The middle glass had grown during Johnson's decades but was still a thin layer sandwiched between manual laborers below and the landowning gentry above. Women had few more rights in 1784 than they had enjoyed in 1737. Even among men, the right to vote in 1784 was still restricted to a minority. Poverty and illiteracy were rampant. On a long list of measures, a comparative ranking of Rome, Hangzhou, and London at their respective points would show London lagging. What London had that the two other cities did not was dynamism. In 18C, the intellectual change was already kaleidoscopic. In a few decades, every other kind of change would become kaleidoscopic as well.

Extreme_Nord
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 08:28 AM
England by far! We gave the world Newton, Darwin, Watts, Shakespeare, Rutherford, Maxwell, too many to list. Least amount of contributions: Ireland.

Gustavus Magnus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Central Events in Technology

-400 -- China, Egypt -- First know use of the abacus.

[...]

1950 -- England -- Alan Turing creates the Turing test, establishing a criterion for judging artificial intelligence.

Why would I trust your list, when Carl von Linné, Olof Rudbeck, Anders Celsius and John Ericson isn't even on it? They have achieved nothing?

Todesritter
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Anglo-American-centric educational and publishing society is great at touting the virtues of its own culture while either though ignorance or design ignoring achievements east of Paris, or north of London. It makes its own gravy.

No wonder internet lists of world achievements in English language will predominantly list off accomplishments from the same cultures – and when the majority read those lists, and accept them also without question, is that a surprise?

Gustavus Magnus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Another excerpt from Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment. The other excerpt was taken from the same source.

Less is more, Gaius. Sum it up, or noone will read it. Not me atleast, that's for sure.

Rehnskiöld
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 11:21 AM
Why would I trust your list, when Carl von Linné, Olof Rudbeck, Anders Celsius and John Ericson isn't even on it? They have achieved nothing?

Not to mention others like Gutenberg and so on, that list seems quite subjective.

Graviton
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:02 PM
In terms of theoretical achievements (both in science and mathematics, as the former relies heavily on the latter), I think Germany has more accomplishments.

I disagree. There are too many British scientists each with significant contributions.

James Clerk Maxwell - Did extraordinary work in Electromagnetism. It was from here that Einstein came up with relativity, Einstein was thinking about Maxwell's implications in Electromagnetism. If he had lived longer he may have actually gone on to discover special/general relativity first.
He is Scottish even though someone implied he was English.

Newton - Calculus, not many greater achievements in maths than this. Notably he was a physicist as well. He considered light to consist of 'corpuscles', this leads to wave-particle duality which is fundamental to Quantum Mechanics. (Note this was back in the 1600's).

Hawking - Prominent mathematician and theoretical physicist in modern day. Most notable for his work with black holes and the big bang.

Paul Dirac - Swiss father, English mother. Famous for his work in quantum mechanics, such as the Dirac wave equation used in Quantum Field Theory : a horrible equation involving tensors.
"In 1930 Dirac published The principles of Quantum Mechanics and for this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933"

James Watt - already mentioned.
John Napier - Logarithms.
Brook Taylor - Taylor Expansions.

the list goes on...

In brief, being a physicist the main type of mathematics that I meet is calculus, logarithms and taylor expansion. So in terms of the mathematics that is required for physics (the methods) the British contributed more. Sine, Cosine, Tan functions are courtesy of Newton and Napier, later to be expressed in complex terms by Euler (Not British, Not German).


Compare to Germans:

Kepler - planetary motion mostly, hence Keplerian Motion.
Planck - His result for blackbody radiation was fudged; his use of statistical physics was messy but he got the right answer.
Max Born - Jewish German
Gauss - is born in an area that is now German. So I'll give you that.

fill in more if you wish, but their achievements are eclipsed by the above list.

and compare to others:

Copernicus - Polish
Einstein - Austrian . He crops up in almost every area of physics.
Brahe - Danish
Galileo - Italian
Niels Bohr - Danish
Boltzmann - Austrian, did a lot of work in statistical physics and deserves much praise.
Euler - Swiss
De Broglie - French

I still believe the UK to be far ahead in terms of contributing to scientific knowledge (and overall), however, I think the main conclusion to draw is that everyone above is European. :icon_bigg

Landser_
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Don't forget Schroedinger and Heisenberg for germany. Was Heisenberg jewish? I don't think so, but maybe.

jcs
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:20 PM
Newton - Calculus, not many greater achievements in maths than this Leibniz.

Náttfari
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:30 PM
Icelanders, where would the world be without singed sheep-heads and the revolutional way to store animal entrails for food by pouring milk-acids over them and keeping it in a barrel!?

Feast yourselves on this!!!

http://www.mbl.is/mm/myndasafn/img/195/400x400/MBL0105301.jpg

Graviton
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Leibniz.

Leibniz's notation is very useful, but Newton explained all of calculus from fundamental principles, he effectively derived why such formulae were true. I don't think Leibniz did.

Newton went on to use his calculus to prove that the entire mass of the earth could be integrated over and treated as if though all the mass was at the centre. An important generalization which is quite a feat for someone of his day. Important when considering Keplerian motion of the planets. Their orbits can be predicted to good accuracy using 'newton's theory of gravitation' (later corrected by Einstein).

Are you familiar with Newtonian Mechanics? And Newton's 3 principle laws of motion? Very, very, very (I can't stress this enough) important to physics and they still apply widely. It was only until Einstein proved this to be incorrect for strong gravity fields and that time is not universal, as Newton had conjectured.


Newton >> Leibniz.

Graviton
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 03:40 PM
Schroedinger

He stumbled upon his famous formula. Probably guessed at what was needed and found a fitting form. The equation is of eigenvector form taking into account the wave function of a particle (new idea then) along with Hamiltonian mechanics (already known), bunged them together and hey presto!
Was it him or was it his mysterious mistress that discovered the formula? (He was married too, btw). ;)

That famous formula was later generalized by Dirac, see my above statement of the Dirac wave equation. Dirac's equation considered relativistic effects.

That was a longer side track that I hoped for. Apologies.

The Horned God
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Don't forget Schroedinger and Heisenberg for germany. Was Heisenberg jewish? I don't think so, but maybe.

Heisenberg wasn't Jewish, but Niels Bohr his friend and mentor was half Jewish. A lot of the theoretical physicists during the Third Reich were Jewish, not because of some extra inate aptitude but because they were prevented from working in the more prestigious field of experimental physics, which at that time included rocket science, jet science and other weapons technology.

The Horned God
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 05:35 PM
England by far! We gave the world Newton, Darwin, Watts, Shakespeare, Rutherford, Maxwell, too many to list. Least amount of contributions: Ireland.

I am not going to get into a slagging-match about who has contributed more than whom, thats just :gay: , but off the top of my head I can name at least ten Irish inventions, no bother;

1) The water-proof towel

2) The Solar powered flashlight

3) The Submarine screen door

4) The first 'teach yourself to read' book

5) The Inflatable dart board

6) A dictionary index

7) An Ejector seat for a helicopter

8) Powdered water

9)The Pedal-powered wheel chair

10) The Water-proof tea bag

A and I am nearly certain there are others.. any suggestions? :guinness:

Lissu
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 05:44 PM
I am not going to get into a slagging-match about who has contributed more than whom, thats just :gay: , but off the top of my head I can name at least ten Irish inventions, no bother;

1) The water-proof towel

2) The Solar powered flashlight

3) The Submarine screen door

4) The first 'teach yourself to read' book

5) The Inflatable dart board

6) A dictionary index

7) An Ejector seat for a helicopter

8) Powdered water

9)The Pedal-powered wheel chair

10) The Water-proof tea bag

A and I am nearly certain there are others.. any suggestions? :guinness:....Priceless! :rotfl:

Mistress Klaus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 05:57 PM
1 White Russian.
1 Beer.

1 White Russian
1 big Cock
25 Beers & 15 shots of Vodka.

I live with one...I know.:laugh:


In relation to the original Thread....What specific 'achievements'?
I would say Britain. On terms of endurance. A hard nut to crack!
Germany....for technology.

Gustavus Magnus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 07:13 PM
What specific 'achievements'?
I would say Britain. On terms of endurance. A hard nut to crack!

Really? Nearly anyone who has tried has succeeded.

Graviton
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 08:54 PM
Really? Nearly anyone who has tried has succeeded.

Semanitcally, no one has invaded Britain and won since it has been known as Britain. Before Scotland/England etc banded together is another story, but it was not identifeid as Britain then. :tongue:

(Ignoring the degenerate subversives that invaded and live here now. sigh.)

Gustavus Magnus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 09:12 PM
Semanitcally, no one has invaded Britain and won since it has been known as Britain. Before Scotland/England etc banded together is another story, but it was not identifeid as Britain then. :tongue:

Semanitically, Britain has been invaded countless times. But not Great Britain... :laugh:

(You do know what Britain is right? Or should I say, Bretagne..?)

Constantinus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 09:36 PM
France, of course.

Gustavus Magnus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 09:43 PM
France, of course.

Well, every invention or exploration that changes every man or woman's life to the better, is worth one point. French is minus hundred points. ;)

No but seriously, please explain. I agree when it comes to the greatly important metric system.

Todesritter
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 10:01 PM
Britain has been invaded countless times, its people are a series of strains of various successful invaders and hybrids between those. Even the Celtic speaking people were invaders, and before them who knows if there were other waves, after them, the Romans, Germanic Angles/Saxons/Jutes, Norse, Norman French (Norse who spoke French), but since 1066 AD, no.

Well that is unless you count the current people who are invading, not because they are successful and powerful, but because they are the opposite - wretched and weak; the model for successful invasion has been inverted I guess.

Constantinus
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 10:41 PM
Metric system, the first flight was French, lots of great engineers, they basically made the continental legal system, the Curies, their contribution to the arts, René Descartes who basically ended the Middle Ages on his own, the fact that they were the first to do away with the shattering feudalism and centralised their state,...

jcs
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 10:46 PM
René Descartes who basically ended the Middle Ages on his own If this is true, Descartes should be credited with destroying Europe.


the fact that they were the first to do away with the shattering feudalism and centralised their state This is an accomplishment?

Náttfari
Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 11:01 PM
Jokes aside, Iceland; the world's first parliament, founded 930.

Gustavus Magnus
Friday, March 18th, 2005, 09:13 AM
René Descartes who basically ended the Middle Ages on his own

Who died because of a cold. Weakling. You're also wrong. Explain how he could do that, "basically".

Constantinus
Friday, March 18th, 2005, 10:15 AM
a) explain to me how dying of a cold influences the value of his ideas

b) His rationalism ended the scholastic worldview and can actually be seen as far more valuable to (looking for an English word for this, it's not 'to support', but it's kinda related in meaning) the idea of European cultural supremacy than the scholastic way of thinking did. It was also immensely valuable for the development of the scientific method. His ideas didn't destroy Europe's mentality, 20th century Europeans did that.

Constantinus
Friday, March 18th, 2005, 10:17 AM
This is an accomplishment?

Yes, actually, unless if you consider a totally fractured and inefficient state where local rulers are supreme leaders each over their own square kilometer to be a good thing.

jcs
Friday, March 18th, 2005, 08:00 PM
Yes, actually, unless if you consider a totally fractured and inefficient state where local rulers are supreme leaders each over their own square kilometer to be a good thing. I consider a state in which authority is delegated to local levels, where people are permitted to retain individual and local autonomy, to be preferable to centralization. Even the Romans acknowledged this.
Let's create a centralized world, while we're at it. To hell with unique cultures and biodiversity.
A centralized and even totalitarian state is a means only to restore Order, not an end in itself, as such a state stiffles freedom, thereby hindering creativity and culture. Furthermore, a centralized state can collapse quite easily. Centralization did not succeed in restoring Order, however. France failed.

perkele14
Friday, March 18th, 2005, 08:48 PM
a Nation which manages to propagate eating of frogs, originally due to starvation, as somehow classy and noble pursuit earns applaudes. :food-smil

My choice twixt the only true powers, G-B and Germany is Germany.

Constantinus
Saturday, March 19th, 2005, 10:52 AM
a Nation which manages to propagate eating of frogs, originally due to starvation, as somehow classy and noble pursuit earns applaudes. :food-smil

My choice twixt the only true powers, G-B and Germany is Germany.

As opposed to the sheapstomache people eat in Britain? Don't forget to eat some faggots and spotted dick as well when you're visiting the country ;).

Constantinus
Saturday, March 19th, 2005, 10:55 AM
I consider a state in which authority is delegated to local levels, where people are permitted to retain individual and local autonomy, to be preferable to centralization. Even the Romans acknowledged this.
Let's create a centralized world, while we're at it. To hell with unique cultures and biodiversity.
A centralized and even totalitarian state is a means only to restore Order, not an end in itself, as such a state stiffles freedom, thereby hindering creativity and culture. Furthermore, a centralized state can collapse quite easily. Centralization did not succeed in restoring Order, however. France failed.

Feudalism didn't lead to local authonomy. Instead of one big shark there were 50 small pirhanas. The amount of self determination for the commoner didn't change one bit. Feudalism just had more powerful nobles.

France was also far more ordely than the German states, which were always kicking eachother's teeth in.

Valhammer
Monday, March 28th, 2005, 06:22 AM
Well, I guess the Scandianvian countries are ruled out, because of their size... so I have to go for Germany in philosophy, technology and music. Their technological prowess is clearly shown in the many advances they made during the war, despite the massive bombing and supply issues. I mean, a huge amount of American technology (particularly military) is based off of equipment and technology captured by the Americans after the war. Heck, von Braun was the man responsible for sending America to the moon.
I've often wondered where the world would have been technologically, had that pesky war not destroyed Germany.

Norway isn't to be scoffed at either, at least when it comes to writers, composers, artists and explorers. We have Ibsen, Bjørnson and Holberg, Edvard Grieg and Ole Bull, and of course Kittelsen, Tidemand, Gude and Munch.
Then there's Amundsen, Nansen and the late Thorburn Heyerdahl.
The invention of the paper clip, and the cheese cutting device also proves we have some impressive industrial and technological capacities as well.

MenschNaturTechnik
Wednesday, March 30th, 2005, 04:52 AM
Ok, we're talking about the "greatest European nation". What do we mean by "nation" here? Are we talking about an ethno-culture/tribe? A political state? A geographical area? Trying to apply the "nation", in the modern sense of the term, will not work. Also we have to know what criteria we're looking for and, of course, for different tribes the priorities will be different. For Italians, Italy is the greatest; for Germans it's Germany. This is kind of obvious but it needs pointing out.

Death and the Sun
Wednesday, March 30th, 2005, 03:19 PM
If we take population size into account, the answer is glaringly obvious:

For a relatively tiny nation, no-one has contributed more to European civilization than Scotland.

Do these names ring any bells?:

James Watt
Adam Smith
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Fleming
James Clerk Maxwell

Scotland makes up only 0.2% of world population, yet these five individuals (and some others) are among the most influential persons who have ever lived.