Gutenberg Still Wins

Once again, I am just responding to the headline, so you can take my opinion on this matter with a grain of salt. I tried to read it, but got some page about ‘managing preferences’ and I clicked ‘accept all’ because I didn’t want to argue about it but that, apparently, wasn’t good enough for them. There was a button that said ‘read more’ but I really didn’t want to read more about my computer preferences, I just wanted to read the article, but if they’re going to be dicks about it, well, there you go.
The headline read “Perhaps Gutenberg didn’t invent the printing press after all,” and the accompanying picture showed some kind of metal plate with a bunch of (presumably) Chinese pictograms.
O.K. I guess it’s good that we’ve got people who are willing to continually revisit and revise history. Knowledge is always good. But, even if the Chinese had a kind of printing press, Gutenberg printed a bible, it was a big best seller, and this revolutionized Western, and world society.
Sure, it’s good to know that the Chinese invented spaghetti, but it was the Italians who made it what it is today. Sure, the Vikings were the first to reach North America, but they didn’t begin a wave of settlement. For better and/or worse, Columbus did. It’s good to know, regardless of what they teach in American schools, that Henry Ford did not actually invent the automobile. Before Ford, they were too impractical for long distances, too unreliable for a daily commute, no fun at all in inclement weather and, above all, expensive enough that only crackpot inventors and millionaires could own one.
So, back to the printing press. It’s cool to know someone had had the idea before Gutenberg, but Gutenberg still matters. In fact, he matters the most.

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