Sunday, June 10, 2012

Big wheels

In linking to this I should confess that until very recently I hadn't heard of the Antikythera mechanism myself. Both the machine and my previous ignorance of it are hard to believe, in retrospect. Sure, the mechanism might suffer through today's jaded standards because you couldn't hook it up to other like contraptions to create an Athenian internet. Although that would no doubt make an entertaining alternate history novel. But it did work, in ways that took decades to understand at all, and that we still might not have entirely gotten. It must be that such long distances in time have obscured not only the differences, but also the similarities.


susan said...

I first read about the Antikythera mechanism several years ago. The Graham Hancock website has some weird stuff but is also an excellent resource for links to scientific and archeological news.

The evidence mentioned in this article about it being very likely the device was made by Archimedes is really fascinating. It's probably common for people of every era to think they're the best the world has ever seen but that doesn't mean it's true.

Ben said...

That looks to be a good website. Weird stuff, some of it debatable, just seems to naturally flow from the social sciences. If they're being done right, at least.

Unavoidably we see other times and cultures from a distance and our own up close. There are very definitely distortions.