The feedback loop between tool-making and teaching

Our ancestors could have started to make modest improvements to simple tools without the need for teaching.

However, as tools became more complex, teaching started to become beneficial. Improved teaching skills would, in turn, allow for the creation of more complex and efficient tools.

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Relying on more complex tools increase the ability to teach

Humans are most capable of passing knowledge down the generations.

Simple and complex tools generally improve through generations. A study found that with complex tools, teaching consistently led to more improvement compared to other conditions.

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Inventions Come in Stages

Invention often comes in stages and phases, when existing technology is looked at and mixed with new creative insights, a process that sometimes takes thousands of years.

This makes it hard to pinpoint the exact time and place a certain object is invented.

Origins of basketball
  • In 1891, James Naismith, a physical education teacher, created a new game to keep his students engaged during the winter months. The game had to be playable indoors and accommodate several players at once. It needed to provide exercise without a chance for more severe injuries.
  • Two peach baskets nailed to the lower rail of the gymnasium balcony served as goals. The students would play on teams to try and get a ball into their team's basket. The first game was a complete brawl.
  • During the first game, the students were tackling, kicking and punching. One boy was knocked out, some had black eyes, and one had a dislocated shoulder. Afterwards, they nagged Naismith to let them play again.
  • He created some rules and continued to modify them into 13 rules - known as the original 13 rules. Some of the original rules are still part of the modern game today.

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