Sander van der Leeuw’s “The Archaeology of Innovation”

Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 02009 by Danielle Engelman
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Sander van der Leeuw

History of Innovation

The development of human mental ability can be tracked through the
progressive crafting of stone tools, Van der Leeuw explained. First
we learned to shape an edge—a line—then the surface, then the
whole volume of the tool, then the sophisticated sequence required to
make a superb spear point. It took 2 million years. But by 300,000
years ago the human brain had developed a sufficiently complex
short-term working memory to keep 7 (plus-or-minus 2) considerations
in mind at once. We could handle problems of multi-dimensionality….

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary

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