The stunted march of civilization - how come?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Jimbo
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The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 02 Jan 2018, 13:25

Man discovers fire. It should have been a snap after that to come up with the technology of today around, say, and Im being generous, when Jesus was around. I mean c'mon. I'm watching this Japanese history show and they're all amazed that ancient Japanese came up with metal and these very nice bronze statues. Wouldn't one guy or gal have boiled water in a bronze kettle and felt the potential energy and seen how it might be similarly used like the water wheel outside the gristmill? And there was wire which they used for armor and decorations. How hard could it have been? Did we really have to wait 1000s of years for Benjamin Franklin to consider harnessing electricity from lightening? Talk about gaps! Yeah, yeah, there was progress, but how come it wasn't faster? Was it alienz?????
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby The Beatles » 02 Jan 2018, 13:36

Jimbo wrote:Wouldn't one guy or gal have boiled water in a bronze kettle and felt the potential energy and seen how it might be similarly used like the water wheel outside the gristmill?


Ancient Rome was centuries ahead with stuff like this.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Fonz » 02 Jan 2018, 13:47

The lines at NASCAR
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Deebank » 02 Jan 2018, 14:05

BCB's Most Tedious Poster wrote:
Jimbo wrote:Wouldn't one guy or gal have boiled water in a bronze kettle and felt the potential energy and seen how it might be similarly used like the water wheel outside the gristmill?


Ancient Rome was centuries ahead with stuff like this.


Ancient Rome was very good at capitalising on existing ideas and technology - they did invent concrete though and a version of concrete that could be used under water - an innovation I think it took over a thousand years to re-create.

Anyway, if aliens were involved then surely we would have gotten all this tech sooner. I'm not sure what your point is James - are we really slow or really fast with the help of ET? :?
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Toby » 02 Jan 2018, 14:05

There are countless theories about this. It's worth reading Patricia Crone's Pre-Industrial Societies for a general overview of how, until industry took over, civilisations worked and how they developed.

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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Dr Markus » 02 Jan 2018, 14:08

Jimbo wrote:Man discovers fire. It should have been a snap after that to come up with the technology of today around, say, and Im being generous, when Jesus was around. I mean c'mon. I'm watching this Japanese history show and they're all amazed that ancient Japanese came up with metal and these very nice bronze statues. Wouldn't one guy or gal have boiled water in a bronze kettle and felt the potential energy and seen how it might be similarly used like the water wheel outside the gristmill? And there was wire which they used for armor and decorations. How hard could it have been? Did we really have to wait 1000s of years for Benjamin Franklin to consider harnessing electricity from lightening? Talk about gaps! Yeah, yeah, there was progress, but how come it wasn't faster? Was it alienz?????



Maybe their internet connection was slow.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Toby » 02 Jan 2018, 14:16

Deebank wrote:
Ancient Rome was centuries ahead with stuff like this.

Ancient Rome was very good at capitalising on existing ideas and technology - they did invent concrete though and a version of concrete that could be used under water - an innovation I think it took over a thousand years to re-create.


It is only in the last 20 years that Roman concrete has been matched. That's because Roman soil (Puteoli) is volcanic and creates the honeycomb shape that a lot of modern concrete cannot.

I think in terms of "capitalising on existing ideas" that's a bit vague. I'd say that the intellectual and political climate of the Roman empire allowed for a flowering and spread of ideas across the Mediterranean Basin that allowed technological ideas to prosper - see how bathing culture happened all across North Africa, Greece and Asia Minor for example. To say that the "Romans" did these things is problematic, although certainly we can say that they built roads.

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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 02 Jan 2018, 14:31

Toby wrote: bathing culture


Ooh, bathing.

Nowadays a guy or gal looks at a flyswatter and says I can make an application that'll do that better, say, with sound waves. A week later its for sale on Amazon. Assuming the ancients could cup their hands around their mouths - or even fold a pine cone megaphone - or even build the Greek and Roman amphitheaters, how come they didn't go that extra step to an electric microphone? The gap between then and Bing Crosby was frigging huge.

Patricia Crone's Pre-Industrial Societies
I'll probably not read that. Could you give me some for instances why even the great Roman culture could not make that leap into our concept of modernity, which is pretty friggin modern.

And I can see if you don't think I'm joking about aliens, but I am … probably. :?

I mean, look the fuck at this! I am more amazed at the ingenuity of modern man than I am with the universe and all that primal stuff.

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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Toby » 02 Jan 2018, 15:45

Jimbo wrote: Could you give me some for instances why even the great Roman culture could not make that leap into our concept of modernity,


Well, I think accusing a culture of not being able to make that leap is a fallacy. No-one knew what the future was, or what was possible.

The Industrial revolution happened in Britain due to a number of factors - firstly an Agricultural revolution that increased food production, centralised financial institutions, the growth of inland waterways and the fundamental change in smelting iron.

Just read some history books Jimbo - and you'll be enlightened as to why the Industrial revolution happened and why it didn't happen earlier.

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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Goat Boy » 02 Jan 2018, 15:46

Read books?!

Can you not just recommend him a decent website or summat?
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 02 Jan 2018, 16:16

Goat Boy wrote:Read books?!

Can you not just recommend him a decent website or summat?


Yeah, High five, Goat Boy!

I suppose a particular society's culture can effect what gets created but I don't want to disparage "backward" societies so I won't. I guess it's western-style industrial societies' good but surprisingly slow march I'm thinking about. So, Leonardo pretty much invents perspective, Egyptians build EGYPT! How could it have taken until Joseph Lister in the late 1800s to suggest we wash our hands before handling raw chicken or performing surgery? Where was the mental block on that one?

Are we better men than then? If evolution is about adaption, have our brains adapting to the technology from the agricultural revolution into the industrial revolution, have we evolved a bit? Is there a newer gene we have for logic, for puzzle solving, for better common tool making sense?

You ever sit at your machine and fantasize that Leonardo shows up and you show him Porn Tube?
Last edited by Jimbo on 02 Jan 2018, 16:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby The Beatles » 02 Jan 2018, 16:25

It's actually an interesting topic.

Progress is accelerated in times of need. So during world wars, the level of innovation and invention is much higher than at other times. Maybe that explains the fact that the Greeks created primitive catapults several centuries B.C.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Toby » 02 Jan 2018, 16:29

Of course it's an interesting topic - it's history.

Competition drives the human species forward. And marshalling human endeavour on a grand scale in a shared interest (i.e a conflict) has been shown to move us forward in many ways. Consider that the two most significant political revolutions of the 20th century in Britain were during a World War.

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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby The Beatles » 02 Jan 2018, 16:33

oh OF COURSE
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 02 Jan 2018, 16:35

Yeah, but isn't every day a struggle. That's how I came up with the cut open milk carton disposable cutting board. You can funnel your chopped onions right into the pan, too!
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby The Beatles » 02 Jan 2018, 16:42

You could also argue that progress is deliberately slowed/arrested by organisations which wouldn't benefit from it. Environmentally-friendly products, electric cars, all that.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 02 Jan 2018, 16:45

Toby wrote: Competition drives the human species forward.


I'm a nut for electric car videos and I am impressed that in a world with strife and chaos and horrible politics how the car companies, well, so many gizmo manufacturers have their shit so together that they crank out so many new and cool and sophisticated goods. Forget the cars of 2017. Here's a new shitload for 2018! Maybe I should read Ayn Rand. That's what she was about I hear.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Toby » 02 Jan 2018, 16:47

Of course, the notion of "progress" is in itself subjective.

I don't subscribe to the notion that we are "better" than those who lived before us. There are many who think that technology stunts our abilities as humans. Some of the achievements of Antiquity and the Renaissance are astounding when you consider the limitations they worked with. Homer's Iliad for one.

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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby toomanyhatz » 02 Jan 2018, 18:16

I think the bottom line is, we are just like any other animals - we evolve based on need. The technology develops based on the needs of the culture. We are probably already starting to be born with more mobil thumbs and spines that can be rested on for ten hours a day. We didn't develop phones because we weren't there in our development. It's just that simple.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Deebank » 02 Jan 2018, 18:29

The other thing you have to understand about so called civilisation is that we have only had it for the last six thousand years or so. For the other million odd years of human history we lived as small hunter gatherer communities. As a whole that is what we have been the most. It is our environment that has driven change always.
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