Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The most influential human in the last thousand years

Salvino Armolo D'Armati :
The most influential human in the last thousand years

Spectacles .
Andre Willers
30 Dec 2008

"Here lies Salvino Armolo D'Armati
of Florence
the inventor of spectacles .
May God pardon his sins!
The year 1318 "

From "A book of epitaphs" by Raymond Lamont-Brown , ISBN 0-7153-8311-6 , p51

At long last , a name to go with the most influential human in the last thousand years .

I ran across this by pure chance . Most sources (see previous posts) only mention that mass-produced spectacles were invented in northern Italy about 1293 AD or thereabouts .

A quick recapitulation of his significance:

His mass-produced spectacles enabled large numbers of humans of middle-age and later to extend their ability to see fine detail past youth .

This impacted on all areas of human civilization .

The degradation of human vision with age meant that masters of a craft became slowly incapable of exercising their expertise just when they became good at it .

Adding mass spectacles meant a spectacular explosion of productivity as the working life of the most competent elements of society was extended .
Also known as the Renaissance .

None of the scientific or technological developments in the last 700 years would have been possible without mass-produced spectacles . Literally .

Only some sociological implications : (from 1300 AD to present)

1.The rise of the middle-classes , as middle-aged middle business management could exercise greater control . Reading with glasses became an essential competitive practice .

2.A ready-made market for printing , with all that it entails . (The people with surplus money can actually read the fine print .)

3.The loss of control of literacy by the Roman Catholic Church , and the equivalents in other societies .

4. Technology : The Killer . Fine detail work by master craftsmen is only possible with spectacles .
Not only gunsmiths or clockmakers , but artists as well . Michaelangelo's spectacles are still preserved in the Vatican .

How far would Napoleon , Marx , Stalin , Hitler , Mao etc have gotten without their spectacles ? (and yes , they all had spectacles.)

5.Mass-dissemination of spectacles was the trigger to the Japanese and Chinese revolutions . It would be in Africa too , if any foundation would just air-drop millions of ready-made spectacles .

What use is a cheap netbook or cellphone , if the decision-makers (ie the middle-aged middle classes) cannot see the text on the screen ?

Historically , no society has survived unchanged after mass-literacy .
Revolutions come from the middle classes .

6. Family-oriented societies .
These are invariably matriarchal , even if on the surface they do not seem to appear so
Chinese , Vietnamese , etc .

A marker is "More than one wife allowed , ever ? " If the answer is yes , then the system is matriarchal .

Certain consequences follow .

Females compete against each other for resources , males being just some of the resources .

Anti-feminism outside the family becomes institutionalized .
Does this sound familiar ?

An important example is the Islamic system .
Nominally a patriarchal system , but now under extreme stress . Hence the surfacing of female suicide-bombers . The matriarchal control system is unraveling .

Notice the extremely interesting analogue between Roman Sabine woman ("Roman women shall not cook or grind corn." ) and the harem structure of Islam or Middle East . Both forced expansionism and slavery . And also really , really vicious inter-feminine rivalry .
The later stages of the Roman Empire (both East and West) were conflicts between female protagonists , using males as catspaws .

And I thought the Roman Catholic exclusion of women was patriarchal .
It was sheer survival .

Hence the frantic insistence on monogamy and celibacy .

What has this to do with spectacles ?
Females , while actually in control , had limited informational input . Not important in a static society , but very important when things are changing rapidly .
Chinese and Japanese women adapted rapidly .

I draw your attention to Naksh the Beautiful , a French woman who transformed the Ottoman Empire . She had spectacles .

A solution to the present societal distortion caused by oil-wealth on Islamic society would be to limit each person to one wife for life or 3 years , whichever comes first .
And good luck to you .

Another solution would be to force every Islamic woman to wear glasses with her head-scarf . This sounds draconian , but think it through . The point is to shift the directions of the probable interactions (ie a Beth(1) system) . The alternative is extinction for their family-grouping , the very thing they are evolved to preserve .

Nuclear weapons .
These are particularly nasty to family-groupings , since there is no guarantee that any family-member will survive .

Islamic matriarchs with glasses can read what this means to them and adjust accordingly .

If they don't , good bye .

But this is true for any serial monogamist society as well .

Alimony .

Sigh . And another sigh . Alimony is what is keeping the world together .

Note divorce statistics : 67% of marriages in the west end in divorce .
Why ?

One third is the reserve of the system . And everyone wears glasses . So the system has optimized .

If you really love her , give her diamond-studded glasses .
The age of studded spectacle frames has arrived .
(The Sources of the Nile strikes again!)

The D'Armati effect .
A quantitive perception change that brings about a qualitative change .

I salute Salvino Armolo D'Armati .

D'Armati glasses are the most IN glasses you could ever wear .

I specifically state that no copyright be vested in the name D'Armati . This is a brand for all humanity .


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