It is safe to say that without the technology that was developed by famous inventors during the Renaissance period we would not have the technology and lifestyle that we take for granted today. Planes and helicopters? Leonardo da Vinci drew his first chopper LONG before the Wright brothers were even old enough to THINK of the idea of an airplane. Unique forms of warfare? Da Vinci and others dreamt of ways to fight wars with focus mirrors to physically burn invading ships.
One could go on and on, listing example after example of amazing, forward-thinking inventions that the Renaissance thinkers came up with. But what is really important to know is WHY these thinkers came up with the inventions that they did. How were they able to predict and invent technology that they didn’t even have the technological capability to make?
Part of that comes from the philosophy that the Renaissance was built on. In fact, almost everything about the Renaissance comes from the thought processes that dominated that day and age. The Renaissance time was obsessed with the ancient Greeks. They loved the order, the philosophy, and the ancient beauty that went with Greek culture.
The reason that these thinkers could do the amazing things that they did was mostly because of their interpretation of Greek culture. Their interpretation led to the idea of the “Renaissance Man,” a person that had a complete education in all areas possible. This includes areas like music, art, sculpture, science, courtly manners, poetry… Everything. The true Renaissance man was also expected to have a full knowledge of at least 1 or 2 other languages, and the known histories of the great cultures of the past.
With such an amazing background in all sorts of education, it’s hardly a wonder that these great men were able to make inventions that still shock people with their complexity and sheer innovation. When you have knowledge of many different types of education and you have competence in at least a few of these areas, there is little that you cannot do. If that sounds a bit esoteric here is an example:
The creators of the game Bioshock are both great programmers, story writers, and trained in literature. They came up with the idea as an extrapolation upon Ayn Rand’s work “Atlas Shrugged,” wondering what would happen if her ideas were able to proceed unchecked. They would not have been able to create this work if they were not knowledgeable in programming, because they would not have had the skill. But if they hadn’t have been readers and thinkers, they would not have been able to come up with the story.
This is also true of any business you’re in. The dog toys from Dogs Rant have to be created with this sort of care, because people care about their pets and innovation in the pet arena.
So if you’re making flying machines or writing great books on dog training, you could benefit from being a Renaissance man or woman yourself!