Eyeglasses and Stagnation
A few years ago, Michael Flynn mentioned in the Analog article “De revolutione scientiarum in ‘media tempestas’” (with my earlier comments here and there) that there was a pause in the European scientific revolution between the High Middle Ages and the Baroque and speculated that it was due to the bubonic plague epidemic killing off most of the potential scientists.
More recently, he posted that the invention of eyeglasses doubled the working lives of scholars. I just realized that that might have caused the world to be taken over by gerontocracies. On the other hand, we managed to recover.
Let's see … the explanations of the pause include: bubonic plague, the Little Ice Age, the state monopoly on guns, and now eyeglasses. What's next?