knowledge attendant upon the emergen

Found at: zaibatsu.circumlunar.space:70/~visiblink/phlog/20190115

knowledge attendant upon the emergence of printing (and 
thought[1]. Anthropologists have been documenting and 
nvention of the same technology or practice in multiple
locations) vs. cultural diffusion (the spread of single 
nventions amongst and between populations) since at least
the 1890s. It's clear that different people do independently 
nvent the same technologies and indepedently arrive at the
Wallace both putting forth the idea of evolution).

So why, then, is there such a focus in academia on "who was 

Here's my attempt to answer that question, for what it's 


Our traditions of evidence-based scholarship and our 
nfluenced scholarship. The scientists and scholars who
knowledge, but rather a trickle. They could expect to "drink 
t all." A competent scholar in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries might have been expected to gain a 
mastery of all of the important discoveries in his or her 
field. And the major objective of those Enlightenment- 
nfluenced scholars was to make significant additions to
those small bodies of extant knowledge. They were focussed 
on (and believed in) progress. The systems of citation they 
acknowledged additions to their collective understanding. 
They did not want to incentivize the re-publication of 
existing knowledge, but hoped instead to encourage their 
Essentially, their position was, "You want credit? Say 
article and book should either address a new, unexplored 
aspect of the subject matter, or should say something new 
about an already-studied topic.

Are those traditions still relevant today, when we are 
value in insisting on the pursuit of new discoveries, so I'm 
not sure that a change would be good. But I'm also 
ncredibly conservative in some ways. It's the radicals of
the world who force the greatest changes and I'm not one of 

ABE Books for it. One of my favourite works on the history 
of science is Thomas Kuhn's _The_Structure_of_Scientific_ 
Revolutions_, but I haven't read anything in that field for 
a very long time.

[1] gopher://zaibatsu.circumlunar.space/0/~tfurrows/phlog/2019-01-14_endlessRiver.txt