[Humanist] 25.740 ancient technology

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Feb 21 08:54:18 CET 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 740.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2012 10:30:42 -0800
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim.urim at gmail.com>
        Subject: Perhaps not enough is known about ancient technology

For example, those tremendous columns in, say, Rome's Pantheon were turned
on a huge lathe.  That is technology.  Electronics as we know it was
utterly unknown when my own grandfather was born, just yesterday, the year
the Origin of Species was published.  People invoke the term "Science," a
tremendously inflated honorific, when they really mean Technology.  And
from the first, technology was based on the art of measurement — let's
think about the drawings of the phases of the moon in a paleolithic cave.
Measurement, in short.  The Greeks termed it Tekhne.  Latin Scientia, for
knowing.  What is done in labs and by our satellite telescope is
measurement.  That includes the suggested geometry of a Black Hole, as
described by the late Barrett O'Neill, an avid poker player until the end.
 And counting cards is technology, not science.  Measuring chance, in short.

Jascha Kessler
Professor Emeritus of Modern English & American Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648

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