ancient computer

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Rita, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Rita Registered Member

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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks, I know what I'll be watching tomorrow night.
     
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  5. Rita Registered Member

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  7. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    The original astrolabe. Fascinating. I saw an exhibit at the Kimbell Art museum several years ago that included several astrolabes. The craftsmanship was amazing. Brilliant.
     
  8. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    Those Greeks sure were very observant and thinking people, at least some of them were including Archimedes who scientists believe built the apparatus. I too was amazed when viewing the program as to how they found out how it actually was built and why is was built. To be that knowledgeable about making this instrument and understanding the movements of some of the planets, although incorrectly showing them revolving around the Earth not the Sun, they had to be close to genius.
     
  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Another civilization that failed to apprehend what their intellectual and technological developments were on the brink of exploding into (or lacked the socioeconomic incentives to push over the hump and instantiate the incredible future resting on the other side of the mountain which they had climbed to the peak of). If they had done so, the accomplishments of year 3500 would have pre-maturely arrived here in 2013: Archailect "gods" and posthuman species, with self-replicating nanotech "wildlife" filling interplanetary space like ocean creatures. As a more pessimistic alternative, however, the current date might instead concern a long-dead Earth littered with the ruins of either nuclear devastation or bio-engineered plague. A Hellenic or Greco-Roman steampunk empire might have botched the direction of progress in more genocidal and environmentally destructive ways than our own over the last 500+ years.
     
  10. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    But they were invaded by the Romans and were pillaged and destroyed by them. So how can a society continue when they are decimated by outside forces beyond their ability to fight off?
     
  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The mechanism either arose or was still in use during that very period of being under Rome's shadow, if it actually dates to circa 85 BCE. Militarily, the Romans conquered Greece but the latter conquered the former culturally; Rome was parasitic on many of their ways and achievements, even before Greece was subsumed. Thus, while any "alternative history" that never was could ultimately be attributed to dispersal of Hellenistic contributions in the early going, it would have been a "Greco-Roman" empire that implemented or carried out the progress (a partial societal and ideological hybrid in fact for that "alt-history", if not by name and official recognition of the Roman state). That's not to rule out in alt-history fashion that Greek influence might have soared without piggybacking on Rome, if all the right circumstances had fallen in place or converged (for instance, it had a similar opportunity earlier, if Alexander's Macedonian conquests had held together as a viable empire).

    But this is all "shoulda-woulda-coulda" in the realm of alt-history speculation; the bottom line is that the Greek intellectual fuse via Rome or any other major host fizzled out on the way to a "big explosion" because those "just the right factors" were not present to enable it. Just as China's innovative era fizzled out centuries ago when it had the capacity and opportunity to grab the tail of the world and the future. Islamic culture was possibly another one that was poised, if being surrounded by looming clouds on the horizon (both self-repressions and outer invasions) could have been interpreted as a "chance" in retrospect.
     
  12. Rita Registered Member

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    Exactly, when this civilization was rediscovered, the people were thought to be geniuses. The US modeled its education after them, and Thomas Jefferson thought this education was vital to a strong republic. Perhaps their science was lacking, but their point of view lead us science. This is why I keep trying to bring up awareness of it, despite being accused of woo woo pseudonym science. The problem is our lack of literacy in the Greek and Roman classics, which we dropped from public education in 1958, and we replaced Greek and Roman philosophy with German philosophy. We adopted the German models of bureaucracy and education, and are on the path Germany followed when NAZI, Germany was manifest. Now we are crying our economy needs innovations, but that is not what the German model of education leads to. Our pride in ourselves is as false as the NAZI pride in Germany, because our education is no longer manifesting the culture and nation that we defended in past world wars. Sorry if this off topic, but your statement that these people were geniuses triggers me to get on my soap box. :soapbox:
     
  13. Rita Registered Member

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    :thankyou: I love your post! This is exactly what Zeus was afraid of and why he and the first woman created, and gave her to the first man with a wedding gift; the box of miseries that have slowed us down.

    Actually, the US is doing exactly what Athens did in about the same time line. The Persian war made Athens the most powerful military force, and they misused this power, so they were taken down by Sparta and united Greeks. Aristotle is what follows Sparta's victory over Athens. Germany was the modern day Sparta, and it was the world wars that made the US the military power it is, and it is following the world wars, that the US adopted Germany's bureaucratic model, education and philosophy, just as happened when Sparta defeated Athens. I am saying this right? The first time Sparta won the war, but effectively Germany might as well have won the wars, because the US has imitated Germany in every significant way. BOTH TIMES the first Athens and the second one (US) replaced their education with technologically correct education.
     
  14. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    I'd agree with you in part. Our education system in America is in very bad shape and it is getting worse, not better. I'm thankful that at my advanced age I hope not to watch America go down the drain but it sure looks like it is headed that direction doesn't it.
     
  15. Rita Registered Member

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    Thank you, and I wonder why your understanding is the common one, instead of us being aware of what Sparta did to Athens? Aristotle was educated by Plato, who had was educated by Socrates, and he praises the Spartans. I think we need to look at this carefully. I know you all are making me think about it. Who follows Aristotle? Exactly how long after Sparta's victory did Athens power last? It remained the centered of education during the days of Roman. Cicero was educated in Athens, but really, was Athens dead and existing on memory of a great past? Education for technological correctness causes decline because it puts an end to innovation and personal power and liberty.
     
  16. Rita Registered Member

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    Those who do not learn from history and doomed to repeat it. We have the history of Athens, Sparta, and Germany, but we are ignoring it. We have imitated all of them, but have not carefully thought through their rise and fall. However, now we have a new Germany that is doing very well, and perhaps if we get out denial and put in the effort, we can turn ourselves too.
     
  17. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    how many times will they talk about antikythera device...-.-
     
  18. Gudikan Registered Member

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    I love stuff like this, and the people who used to make such things had a "dream job" as far as I'm concerned. Too bad it takes three years to become a horologist, which is probably the closest thing we moderns have.
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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  20. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps, but either way I never would have imagined the Greeks could have built such a device. I didn't know they were capable of making such sophisticated metalwork.
     
  21. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Surely no official stats out there, but it seems like every ten years or so a significant ripple about it bobs up afresh on the science media's radar, "as if" news for the first time. (Well, that's actually just the interval since the first time I saw its parade float driving by with an on-board band playing).
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It would be impossible to build a device of such complexity and precision out of wood or any other non-metallic substance.

    This is why the discovery of the technology of metallurgy is regarded as a Paradigm Shift in the development of civilization and why the Bronze Age (which it launched) is counted as a major chapter in our history.

    Humans are clever and our ancestors did some remarkable things with Stone Age technology, including the invention of flint blades, musical instruments, paint, agriculture and pottery. But it wasn't until the Bronze Age, and the invention of the precise sturdy artifacts that could be made of metal, that they began to make the astounding progress that has been the hallmark of civilization. They couldn't even invent the wheel without metal saws to cut nice straight boards out of trees. (A cross-section of a trunk does not have strength in the required direction.)

    So you can be sure that there were no wooden computers.

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  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Don't be so sure of that. All they would have had to do was make it larger. Wooden clocks exist which are more or less the same level of complexity.
     

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