The romance of ancient technologies

This evening I had the pleasure of wandering through a museum that featured old technologies. I found myself hovering, fascinated, over the exhibits, my mind trying to work out the steps that had led up to each ancient invention.

There is something lovely about revisiting old technological innovations. Every age of humanity is faced with a unique set of challenges, a particular world view, and its own grab bag of prior art from which to draw.

What can be better than to trace this sweet history, the moment when some beautiful thought — perhaps electromagnetism, perhaps the invention of the Calculus — made its way into our culture, and managed to change us forever.

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