The Twenty Most Important Tools is writing a 20-day series of articles on "the 20 tools which have had the biggest impact on human civilization."

They asked me to be on their advisory board. "Writing," I proclaimed. "The invention of writing is probably the most important tool for human advancement, making it possible for each new generation to build upon the work of the previous, to transmit knowledge from person to person, across cultures and time."

"Sorry," came back the response. "We decided early on to try to limit the list to handheld objects that could be physically manipulated to complete a task."

So I advised them, but they are letting me publish a 500 word essay on what I really believe when the series is over.

Read the individual articles - you will find them interesting. And after my essay has been published, i will aslo post it in the "Essays" section of this website. Note added March 15, 2006. Forbes just published the article, entitled "Things that make us smart." My essay is now available in the "Essays: Technology and Society" Section of this website.