1999 : WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INVENTION IN THE PAST TWO THOUSAND YEA

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Social & Technology Network Topology Researcher; Adjunct Professor, NYU Graduate School of Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP); Author, Cognitive Surplus
Professor, New Media Department of Film & Media, Hunter College

My vote for "The Most Important Invention In the Past Two Thousand Years" is Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. This single piece of mathematical jujitsu, proving unprovability, formally ended the strain of Western thought begun by Socrates and first fully fleshed out by Aristotle. The ancillary effects of that theory — a rejection of master narrative, an understanding that we will never know all the answers, an acceptance of contradiction, and an embrace of complexity — are just now making themselves felt in the dawn of the post complete world.