How It Began: A History of the Modern World

How It Began: A History of the Modern World

howitbegan.com
A thrilling podcast about the History of the Modern World. Humanity has been hard at work for centuries to empower itself with better tools and insights, from science and surgery to electricity and the Internet, and this series celebrates the history of those triumphs. Compared to our ancestors, we live like superheroes and sorcerers, endowed with powers they could never have imagined. But how did we achieve all this? Historian Brad Harris tackles that question head on, revealing how the most important scientific, technological, and cultural advancements in history began, and inspiring us to keep reaching for new historical triumphs along the way.
What Defines the History of the Modern World?
Nov 20 • 6 min
In this introduction to Season Two, historian Brad Harris challenges the growing cynicism toward the ideas of progress and modernity, recalling what The Enlightenment was all about. Music provided by Zack Hemsey, “Redemption,” from the album, The Way,…
The Theory of Evolution: A Triumph of Wonder, from Coal Miners to Darwin
Aug 3 • 46 min
In this Season One finale of How It Began, historian Brad Harris reveals the beautiful history of how life came to know its true origins through humanity’s theory of evolution. Witness the courage and the brilliance of investigators, from modest coal…
The English Language: From a Dark Ages Dialect to Global Domination
Jul 20 • 42 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris takes us back to collapse of the Roman Empire to reveal how the world’s most popular and expressive language, English, emerged from the dimmest moment of the dark ages. Hear how English actually sounded a thousand…
The Stock Market: How Democratized Investment Changed the World
Jul 6 • 42 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris reveals the surprisingly fascinating history of financial markets and how the development of stock sales since the 1600s powered everything from the age of discovery to the ability of senior citizens to avoid poverty…
The Internet: From Sputnik to the World Wide Web
Jun 22 • 35 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris takes us back to the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and reveals how that moment scared America’s best scientists and engineers into inventing the Internet. Discover how a series of brilliant technical breakthroughs…
Computers: From Charles Babbage to Steve Jobs
Jun 8 • 37 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris uncovers how we managed to advance from building machines for our muscles to building machines for our minds. Explore the history behind the life or death struggle to process information at the speed of light through…
Electricity: The Beacon of Modernity
May 25 • 37 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris reveals the incredible story of how humanity learned to harness electricity. From William Gilbert’s work with magnets and sparks in the 1600s to Nikola Tesla’s establishment of the modern electric grid in the 1900s,…
Surgery: How We Learned to Heal
May 11 • 29 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris illuminates the history of humanity’s efforts to heal. Discover the origins of surgery 12,000 years ago and follow the heroic efforts of doctors through the ages as they conquered pain and infection first in the…
Monumental Infrastructure: From Stonehenge to the Golden Gate Bridge
Apr 27 • 25 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris unearths the history of engineering that has made possible the biggest construction projects of all time, from Stonehenge and the Pyramids to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building. Learn how humanity…
Wolves to Dogs: The Origins of Our Alliance
Apr 13 • 26 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris brings us back in time over 35,000 years ago to reveal the very beginning of dog domestication. Learn how humanity gained the upper hand in an ancient competition with wolves to enable more friendly interaction and…
Modern Science: From Belief to Knowledge
Mar 30 • 28 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris explores the origins of our modern methods of scientific discovery. From ancient Greeks who developed rational inquiry to Galileo and Newton who led the Scientific Revolution, the historical process of moving beyond…
Horsepower: From Stallions to Steam Engines
Mar 30 • 25 min
In this episode, historian Brad Harris compares the horsepower of our modern machines to the power of stallions that helped empires rise and fall for millennia. Travel 30,000 years into the past to witness the first cave paintings of horses, and follow…
Introduction: Discovering the Origins of Progress
Mar 30 • 4 min
In this exciting introduction to the series, historian of science and technology Brad Harris gives an epic preview of what’s to come as he shares his vision for the show. While there may be much in the modern world to inspire our condemnation, How It…