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The Rifle of Course! - FORBES POLL

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by NIGHTWATCH, Jul 31, 2005.

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  1. NIGHTWATCH

    NIGHTWATCH Member

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  2. Boats

    Boats member

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    I voted sword.

    Without the centuries of metallurgical experimentation that went into crafting the sword, the rifle wouldn't have been possible.
     
  3. FPrice

    FPrice Member

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    I want to vote for the remote control.
     
  4. thebucket

    thebucket Member

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    I voted pencil. Without writing, where would we be?
     
  5. BenW

    BenW Member

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    If "watch" generically refers to portable clocks, then that's what I vote for. Where would we be without longitude?

    I too respect Forbes for calling a rifle a tool.

    Edited to add:: I also agree with those who said this poll is too limited (or at least doesn't include better stuff). Going beyond the poll, I too have to vote for agricultural implements mainly because of the free time we gained to think about stuff other than "where's my next meal coming from?"
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Torn between long bow and rifle. Before adaquate ranged weapons, the sword wielders ruled the lands, iron clad and invincable by ordinary peasants. The Welsh long bow changed tht, and the rifle put the final nail in the coffin of the armored knights, thus changing the landscape from fuedalism to the Rennaisance, (spelling?).
    My take. The tool that truly moved a people from substinance living, to having enough food to branch out into studies of what made life better was none of the above - it was the horse collar. A horse harnessed with straps couldn't work much more than two or three humans, and ate the same. With a proper collar, a horse could do far more work, thus cultivating more, and freeing up people for other things, like developing looms, forges, etc.
     
  7. VaughnT

    VaughnT Member

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    Actually, I would have to vote for the knife in its original form, the flake of stone. With this first implement, we were able to process meat, hides, fibers and move up and out. Other primitives of the time might have had fang and claw, but neither is as useful as the sharp edge of a piece of obsidian.

    But, for the sake of our modern society and its unreasonable fear of firearms, I voted for the rifle. Accurate time-pieces made the difference in exploration and general management, but people need to see the rifle as a useful tool and not a weapon of mass killing like the libs would prefer.
     
  8. lysander

    lysander Member

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    I voted for the rifle (for solidarity's sake)....

    This is something that could be debated endlessly....and I love it! :neener: What about:

    The Microcomputer?
    Air Conditioning?
    The Plow?
    The Wheel?
    The Printing Press?

    etc...

    Of course the poll does say "tool" so perhaps an invention like the air conditioner doesn't belong on the list. :D
     
  9. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Stupid list...

    Didn't list the wheel or the printing press. And looking forward in a thousand years I'd bet that the electronic computer may very well be on the top of the list or real close and that's not listed either.

    Nothing on that list had the biggest impact on civilization. Hell, the impact of most was minimal at best. The watch impacted navigation I guess - if they replaced rifle with firearms then that was a big impact other than that - well most of the stuff impacted civ but in tiny incremental amounts not the big evolutionary changes brought about by the likes of the wheel or the printing press.

    AND then of course the list completely ignores that which impacted Western Civ more than any other single event - the Black Plague. That event in Europe essentially gave birth to capitalism and the merchant class.
     
  10. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, but Werewolf, the Black Plague isn't a tool.

    Much as it pains me to say it, the knife is probably the most important. It's one of the very few human implements that doesn't have a very narrow focus.
     
  11. nico

    nico Member

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    The correct answer, the plow, isn't on the list, so I went with the rifle.
     
  12. boofus

    boofus Guest

    Lol I'm going for pottery. Just like in the Civilization type games... Pottery was one of the first technologies you could research. Pottery lets you store food, you don't have to eat things right away and you can make graineries to store food for communities.

    Without pottery everyone would still be nomads or live in small subsistence-farming villages.

    At least I hope pottery is what that poll is referring to... It just says 'pot'. Maybe they want to see what the dopeheads think.
     
  13. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Call me a geek, but I personally vote the silicon age. Purification, growing of, and manufacture of electronic grade silicon monocrystalline from the Czochralski method and processing them into microchips.

    The technology is nothing short of incredible. We can literally grow perfect single-grain crystal structures a dozen feet tall weighing hundreds of pounds at 99.999999999%-99.9999999999% purity...one in one billionths to ten billionths percent of contamination , the most pure and perfect substance in the known universe. Nothing like this even exists in nature. That's damn pure! We then turn what is essentially a small lump of doped silicon and use them to do anything from figuring out your tax returns to flying to the Moon. If you would have repeated what I said a hundred years ago, they'd think it as stupid as getting gold to dance and sing.

    The exponential growth of human technology made a monumental jump from the Industrial Revolution, but nothing can touch the silicon age. With our computing power doubling every 18 months (unheard of rate of advancement in any other time in history), there is no other time in history where technology has advanced so quickly as it has during the last 50 years.

    Since we're living in the silicon age, we're not likely going to realize nor appreciate it's impact until many decades or centuries later when someone looks back into a history book and sees the huge plateau in technological leap during this time.
     
  14. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Well - not a tool of man anyway.

    Or maybe it is...

    Didn't Genghis Khan launch the dead bodies of plague carriers via catapault into and over the walls of cities that chose, however unwisely, to defy him? :evil:
     
  15. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Poll is too limited.

    The knife is included, which is good. The knowledge & skill of knapping an edge out of fine grained stone turned us from a scavenging annoyance to dangerous predators.

    The plow is omitted, which is bad. The plow and organized agricultural methods allowed us to accumulate food enough for free time, development of cities, city states and armies.

    W/o those two tools, we'd all still be running about in small bands, hiding in the weeds from lions, tigers and bears.
     
  16. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Member

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    The knife WAS the first tool man made, aside from sticks or stone hammers, that caused early man to control his environment and start learning to use other tools. I think the plow is another pretty good argument, because agriculture probably had a greater influence on groups of people organizing and actually forming civilizations.

    Gunpowder really was invented before rifles, and I think would have played a similar role in shaping wars and human history, even if the rifle was never invented.
     
  17. m.i.sanders

    m.i.sanders Member

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    I personally have always thought that fire was man's most important invention. Without fire we would still be using stone tools, and those would be limited to only the stones we could find laying around on the ground and eating raw meat. We wouldn't be able to clear land as effeciently either.
     
  18. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    "The Plow" wasn't listed so I picked the scythe. I was torn between that and the harness. As much as I like swords and firearms, they have impacted human history for a very short time. And they would hardly have been possible had it not been for the move from nomadic to agricultural life.
     
  19. Tory

    Tory member

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    Another vote for PLOW,

    which this absurd poll did not even mention. Of course, without the harness, there would be no plow; without a plow, there would be little need for a scythe.

    Second GLARING omission: The wheel. Note that watches (as opposed to certain other timepeices, such as candles and buckets) utilize wheels...

    Printing presses made the wide dissemination of knowledge practical; mass writing was the internet of its era. Without printing, it is unlikely there would be a computer or space age - at least not in OUR lifetimes.... :scrutiny:
     
  20. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    The wheel is the most important invention even more so than the plow.

    The plow allowed for agriculture but the wheel allowed for the fast movement of the products of agriculture to areas where it was needed - thus trade and commerce. Along with the movement of goods went the movement of knowledge.

    The Inca, Aztecs and Mayans as advanced as they were (especially in mathematics) never developed the wheel and thus their civilizations ground to a halt eventually and faded away.
     
  21. Ryder

    Ryder Member

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    I think speech is a tool. That would be my answer. It was invented, right?
     
  22. RevDisk

    RevDisk Member

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    Not a tool, but soap was the most important invention.

    Tool? Knife or plow.

    Weapon? Crossbow/bow. It was the start of true stand-off weapons.
     
  23. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    The chisel seems pretty important, since it was probably used to make the wheel and all.
     
  24. PaladinVC

    PaladinVC Member

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    This poll is like trying to pick your favorite Hitchcock film: Aggrandizing one as the champion implicitly demeans all the others, and you know in your heart of hearts that there's no justice in that.

    It's like asking, "If you could only teach children one thing in school, what would it be?" One thing isn't enough. Same here. The significance of these achievements mounted and built upon past accomplishments. The internal combustion engine has transformed the world, but it'd be useless without the wheel. Telecommunications and microprocessing technologies combine to be exponentially more powerful than either of them would be alone.

    Ultimately, the human capacity to make tools is the critical element here, and so I cast my vote for the oldest tool: The Macintosh Performa. :neener:
     
  25. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Member

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    The gunpowder revolution, baby. It's what helped the West rise above everybody else.
     
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