Mirror, mirror on the wall, what do solar plants, HD-TVs, and microscopes have in common all? In this episode of Johan Norberg’s New and Improved, Norberg examines the latest research on where and why the first written languages developed.
Early mirrors were made from volcanic ash or bronze and reflected light poorly. When 14th-century Venetians learned to coat glass with a mixture of tin and mercury, they enabled people to readily see their own faces and features in sharp detail for the first time.
Historians speculate that mirrors changed human psychology, encouraging more individualistic outlooks by highlighting people’s distinct attributes. With the advent of mirrors, there was an explosion of new introspective phrases in the letters of the day.