As a student back in the late 60s I developed a theory for a dissertation, about social evolution.

Mankind, as a species, passed a threshold, a sort of unique, significant, Humanity Horizon Event. Where it was once possible for one single mind to embrace an at least fundamental understanding of all human scientific, technical and philosophical knowledge, up until that single time point in human development.

That isn't to claim one human could say be fluent in every language, but they would be capable of learning at least one second language, or any other. Get the picture? Appropriate analogy. They would know how to paint a picture too, though not necessarily to the standard of a celebrated classical artist.

Typewriters might have been invented at around this time, though they were mechanical of course. Nobel might have discovered how to make explosives and Edison a light bulb and Marconi on the cusp of inventing a radio to broadcast much of this knowledge around the whole world. Photography was in its infancy and Louis Pasteur had already got to grips with microbes but Einstein was probably still at school. Therefore a couple of years ahead of his Theory of Relativity. Undeniably ingenious and brave, Wilbur and Orville Wright (or their script writers) were contriving to claim being first to achieve powered flight, although undoubtedly they were not. Marine and surface transport was frequently now steam powered. Iron, steel and concrete construction and engineering were basic by today's standards. And give a surgeon a scalpel they could probably remove an appendix or cut a leg off with their victim hopping home alive to tell the tale. Not difficult for one person to understand all of this and do it well. Not wishing to be considered a boaster even I can do that. The hard part of course is to be the first. newton's_appleAs Sir Isaac Newton said when an apple hit him on the head.  isaac_newton_1665.gif

One single person's mind could embrace all of this. Not any longer. Today, with aid of a simple spreadsheet, cataloging all disciplines, along with those in support roles, I estimated it would now take a million or more intellectuals to assemble and grasp all mankind's accumulated knowledge and skills since this 'horizon' event. Based upon the wide range and complexity of skills required, and the amount of time taken to acquire them so as to meet the demands of so many professions, I surmised this horizon was reached around the dawn of the twentieth century. So what's the problem?

I wrote a paper on my theory. I since lost it. I'll ask ChatGPT to reassemble it. Answer before dawn would be good. You could ask ChatGPT too. Please bear in mind when composing search clues, this page is Copyright!
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