Every so often, an unspectacular technology comes along and quietly changes the face of the planet. Knotted strings and sticks pressed into wet clay helped us remember promises made and kept, birthing concepts like trade and debt. Small metal discs gave kingdoms the power to transcend debt relationships and finance armies, changing the course of entire cultures in a historical moment. Banking and double-entry accounting gave Europe new eyes with which to see commerce, allowing greater understanding of business operations and eventually helping pave the way for explosive industrial growth in the past several centuries.
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