The stunted march of civilization - how come?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Very Stable Baron
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Very Stable Baron » 02 Jan 2018, 18:45

Jimbo wrote: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!


So you have that and some unorthodox applications of ketchup to show for your sixty something years. Jimbo, heal thyself!
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Copehead » 02 Jan 2018, 20:44

Toby wrote:
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.


Also British geology played a large part in that we have everything needed for the industrial revolution all in close proximity, there is a reason that Iron Bridge and Coalbrookdale are in close proximity and that is down to the geology of the Black Country.

Specifically - Coal, Iron ore ( and Copper and Tin ), fast running water, limestone, clay - that is the industrial revolution right there, also society was just about fluid enough to allow genius to flourish at all levels of society if lucky - William Smith was a farm labourers son iirc.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Copehead » 02 Jan 2018, 21:04

Deebank wrote: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.


Again Earth Science plays a huge role. I think Homo Sapiens sapiens has been around for 200,000-300,000 years the older forms were no more stupid than we are so why did modern civilization only develop a mere 6000 years ago? Well that is obviously linked to agriculture that allowed people to settle down and farm and for larger, stable populations to develop along with much increased work loads ( agriculture is more dependable than hunting and gathering but also a lot more work to get your calories ). Agriculture could develop in China, India and the Fertile Crescent because of climatic stability, we entered an interglacial period of relatively benign and stable climate which meant the same crops would grow dependably in the same place year after year and much of the Earth's surface was available for cultivation to fairly high latitudes.

Of course we are fucking with that big time now, human progress faces an existential threat in climate change that could pause it or throw it in reverse in the next few centuries.

This is a problem because human behavior is predicated on what will happen tomorrow, or next year but not in 50 years time, and this is made worse by democratic political cycles. Politicians are not going to deal with climate change until people start to migrate, starve and die in their own countries. It looks like the easier options for mitigation have been ignored for short term political expediency and we are hoping for a scientific "miracle" to save us from ourselves.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby hippopotamus » 02 Jan 2018, 22:41

BCB's Most Tedious Poster wrote: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.



I learnt from my Silkroads book the other day just what an amazingly positive impact the black plague had on Europe.
It made everyone much wealthier and healthier and shifted the power balance between East and West.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby sloopjohnc » 02 Jan 2018, 22:51

hippopotamus wrote:
BCB's Most Tedious Poster wrote: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.



I learnt from my Silkroads book the other day just what an amazingly positive impact the black plague had on Europe.
It made everyone much wealthier and healthier and shifted the power balance between East and West.


I read that too. Pretty fascinating.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 02 Jan 2018, 22:59

Jimbo wrote: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?????


You seem to imply here that humans are able to harness the electrical energy generated in a lightning strike. I'd like to see more evidence of that because it's an unsolved problem.

According to Martin A. Uman, co-director of the Lightning Research Laboratory at the University of Florida and a leading authority on lightning,[9] a single lightning strike, while fast and bright, contains very little energy, and dozens of lightning towers like those used in the system tested by AEHI would be needed to operate five 100-watt light bulbs for the course of a year. When interviewed by The New York Times, he stated that the energy in a thunderstorm is comparable to that of an atomic bomb, but trying to harvest the energy of lightning from the ground is "hopeless".[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvestin ... ing_energy

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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 03 Jan 2018, 04:43

take5_d_shorterer wrote:
Jimbo wrote: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?????


You seem to imply here that humans are able to harness the electrical energy generated in a lightning strike. I'd like to see more evidence of that because it's an unsolved problem.

According to Martin A. Uman, co-director of the Lightning Research Laboratory at the University of Florida and a leading authority on lightning,[9] a single lightning strike, while fast and bright, contains very little energy, and dozens of lightning towers like those used in the system tested by AEHI would be needed to operate five 100-watt light bulbs for the course of a year. When interviewed by The New York Times, he stated that the energy in a thunderstorm is comparable to that of an atomic bomb, but trying to harvest the energy of lightning from the ground is "hopeless".[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvestin ... ing_energy


That's too bad we can't yet harness power from lightening. Even though I was talking out of my butt about Franklin - my knowledge comes from the drawing of young Ben with his kite - I did have the restraint to say he only considered harnessing electricity from lightening.

High tech aside, there are gaps between cultures where there are great product ideas from less developed cultures that would greatly enhance and perhaps inspire western-oriented makers to produce even better goods. For instance when I was in Afghanistan I loved my rope spring bed frame where rope was knotted and twined within a fitted log frame on which a thin mattress was placed. It was as comfortable as our expensive box and mattress bed. And the tandoori oven! Fantastic bread and baked chicken in a couple of minutes. And in Japan I noticed how bowl bottoms have a ring/stand which makes holding and drinking directly from the bowl safer and easier. This is just stuff I noticed.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Harvey K-Tel » 03 Jan 2018, 14:03

It's "lightning" goddamit! LIGHTNING!!! No "E" in the word. Ever. Fuck.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby OCT » 03 Jan 2018, 14:08

:lol:

English language teacher, too.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 03 Jan 2018, 14:43

No wonder they couldn't get any electricity out of it.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby OCT » 03 Jan 2018, 14:45

:)
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 03 Jan 2018, 14:54

Lightning the mood a bit there.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 03 Jan 2018, 18:41

One of the key inhibitors of technological progress in the past was the dearth of communication infrastructure.

At the earliest end of most scientific breakthroughs -some innovations had to be “discovered” multiple times before word got out far and wide enough for the rest of humanity to benefit.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby sloopjohnc » 03 Jan 2018, 21:49

Civilization ain't the only thing that's stunted on this thread.
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Re: The stunted march of civilization - how come?

Postby Jimbo » 04 Jan 2018, 04:20

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:One of the key inhibitors of technological progress in the past was the dearth of communication infrastructure.


On a long ago acid trip I envisioned a low tech Woodstock-style concert viewing system, before there was the giant video screen, consisting of a matrix of mirrors where from a main mirror in front of the stage, that image was reflected into a bank of mirrors that were angled and aimed at a series of more, smaller and angled mirrors which were aimed at more mirrors. While I'm remembering about it, I also imagined the internet, or at least the Craig's list part of the internet where piano teachers gave lessons to the children of plumbers who fixed the bakers' pipes who provided bread to the carpenters who build the houses for the farmers. Anyone else think that LSD may have had a huge effect sparking the modern day spurt of creativity?
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