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Forum LockedHumanity's greatest invention

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 13:10
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:


Yeah, nobody knows about the aqueducts, the roads, or the colloseum. It's so ... obscure.

That's the easy and popular stuff. But not many know they also knew acoustic to build theirs theaters, they knew hydraulics, had pumps, cranes, concave mirror and had the clockworks most advanced of the time.
They also build the tallest building of theirs time and knew to make concrete. They also have feedback mechanism, abacus and used printing in stamping cloths. Just that as a start for the many things the Greek-Roman engineering produced.
 
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:


Quote but they didn't developed anything close to axiomatic geometry and they didn't reach the math skills of Archimedes at all.


Sure. They had pi, they had pythagorean theorum, etc. Zhang Heng and others like him were easily the equal of anything produced in the Classical world.
 
Pi is kids' stuff. The pythagorean theorem was known by Egyptians in their PRACTICAL aspect. What is new to greeks is that they DEMOSTRATED the theorem. Before Greeks mathematics was empirical, Greeks developed the axiomatic method to demostrate everything in Geometry. In that they were light-years ahead of Chineses and anyone else in the planet.
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 30-Nov-2007 at 13:12
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 14:02
ehh tough question, umm fire? not sure if it was invented or just happened.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 20:04
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

That's the easy and popular stuff. But not many know they also knew acoustic to build theirs theaters, they knew hydraulics, had pumps, cranes, concave mirror and had the clockworks most advanced of the time.


And the Chinese had acoustics, hydraulics, pumps, cranes, clocks, seismographs, the odometer ... "light years" behind? That's silly and just indicates an unfamiliarity with the Han.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 20:53
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

That's the easy and popular stuff. But not many know they also knew acoustic to build theirs theaters, they knew hydraulics, had pumps, cranes, concave mirror and had the clockworks most advanced of the time.


And the Chinese had acoustics, hydraulics, pumps, cranes, clocks, seismographs, the odometer ... "light years" behind? That's silly and just indicates an unfamiliarity with the Han.
 
I know Needham well, and also Greek and Roman achievements. I know Chineses developed a lot of technology, mainly in the Middle Ages, but in Han times they were even. Now, the comment about the "light years behind" applies to axiomatic geometry and abstract science where Greeks really reached higher levels. Modern technology has a good share of Chinese inventions (not all, though), but modern science is highly based in Greek (geometry, physics, astronomy), Muslim (algebra, astronomy, optics) and Indian (arithmetics) abstract developments rather than in Chinese science.
 
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 20:55
Originally posted by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu wrote:

ehh tough question, umm fire? not sure if it was invented or just happened.
 
If invented, it wasn't by Homo Sapiens Sapiens but probably Homo Erectus, Neardhentals or who knows...


Edited by pinguin - 30-Nov-2007 at 20:55
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2007 at 05:17
In science, Greeks created abstract science and axiomatic geometry. Without that science and technology wouldn't have reached the standards of modern society. Now, in technology, the Greeks, particularly Heron of Alexandria and Philo, were amazing engineers, and the Antekitera clockwork show the were ahead of anything in Asia by the 1rst Century AD. Yes, China catch up and by the Middle Ages China was the most advanced industrial society. But, please, do not downplay as easily Greek-Roman achievements that were many.
 
In Astronomy? Hardly, the model of Ptolmey was predictive up to fractions of the second. In practical use of mathematics, if you mean in arithmetic and numerical calculus, Chineses had a small advantage, particularly with the Pascal theorem. In metallurgy, Chineses have a lead. In scientific theory there is no comparison, Greeks already had formulated statics in Physics in its modern form.

okay pinguin, can you explain what you mean by "advanced", because it's quiet unclear. so scientific theories are consider "advanced" and focusing on practical use is considered "primitive"? and please what do you know about chinese astronomy? and mathematic? ever heard of nine chapters on mathematic? and Mozi. ring any bell? you say chinese engineering is primitive, than what about siege weapons, the chinese are by far more advanced than than greeks. and who build these marvelous marble architecture?  millions of slaves , that doesn't sound very advanced to me. China on the other hand had abolished slavery by the end of zhou dynasty.


Edited by Siege Tower - 01-Dec-2007 at 05:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2007 at 08:48
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

but modern science is highly based in Greek (geometry, physics, astronomy), Muslim (algebra, astronomy, optics) and Indian (arithmetics) abstract developments rather than in Chinese science.


That's strictly because of its lineage and has nothing to do with the degree of advancement in ancient China. It has alot to do with the stagnation of Chinese science relative to the West, a few centuries ago.

Edited by edgewaters - 01-Dec-2007 at 08:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2007 at 22:39
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

the Antekitera clockwork show the were ahead of anything in Asia by the 1rst Century AD.


I don't know, I'd say Zhang Heng's hydraulic powered armillary sphere was nearly as complex - and powered, too.

Heng's armillary sphere:



Antikythera clock:



Edited by edgewaters - 01-Dec-2007 at 22:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2007 at 03:08

Yes, edgewaters, but the Antikythera calculator was designed several centuries BEFORE the Zhang Heng armillary sphere..

And no doubt that Zhang Heng was a very important advancement. In fact he invented the escape mechanisms, which is an outstanding invention in the history of clocks. However, those hydraulic clock are from the Middle Ages, and we are trying to compare the state of development in classical times.

During the Middle Ages, China has no parallels. I said that to you before,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2007 at 03:19
Originally posted by Siege Tower Siege Tower wrote:

...
okay pinguin, can you explain what you mean by "advanced", because it's quiet unclear. so scientific theories are consider "advanced" and focusing on practical use is considered "primitive"? and please what do you know about chinese astronomy? and mathematic? ever heard of nine chapters on mathematic? and Mozi. ring any bell?
 
I never used the word "primitive". I know relatively well all the developments of Chineses and Greek alike, and we are talking about genious in here, in both sides. There is no doubt about it.
However, what I was trying to explain, is that the path that leads to modern science was followed by Greeks and not by Chineses. Although Chineses have many brilliant minds, for instance, there was not an institution equivalent to the Library and Museum of Alexandria in Asia.
 
In abstract mathematics, for example, Greeks reached level of complexity and studied fields never known in China before the Jesuit contact in the 17th century. In fields like engineering and medicine, things were more even.
 
Originally posted by Siege Tower Siege Tower wrote:

...
you say chinese engineering is primitive, than what about siege weapons, the chinese are by far more advanced than than greeks. and who build these marvelous marble architecture?  millions of slaves , that doesn't sound very advanced to me. China on the other hand had abolished slavery by the end of zhou dynasty.
 
I didn't say chinese engineering was primitive. I say Greek and Roman engineering can't be downplay with that easy. With respect to gadgets, the sysmograph and some other things were invented only in China. In the west you could find hydraulic pumps, the water wheel and a steam machine in very earlier times.
 
Comparing brutality is another matter. It is well known Romans were brutes and most its people were slaves; besides having those inhuman espectacles like the Circus. However, we can't say that China was a land that respected human rights either, at least at Han times. Wasn't the Chinese wall build with the skeletons of theirs workers? like the legend say? That show quite well we can't expect the same human rights standards that we have to day from the civilizations of the past.


Edited by pinguin - 02-Dec-2007 at 03:19
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2007 at 03:23
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

but modern science is highly based in Greek (geometry, physics, astronomy), Muslim (algebra, astronomy, optics) and Indian (arithmetics) abstract developments rather than in Chinese science.


That's strictly because of its lineage and has nothing to do with the degree of advancement in ancient China. It has alot to do with the stagnation of Chinese science relative to the West, a few centuries ago.
 
See it in this way, the Greek and Roman civilization also stagnated by the time China reached its glory, during the Sung, Tang and early Ming dinasties.
 
The level reached between the second century BC and the third century AD in Alexandria wasn't reached back by the west up to the times of Sir Isaac Newton in the 17th century. While the West was going down, China arose to its glory. However, strictly during the times of glory of the Greek Roman civilization, there you could find most of the top science and technology of the world, rather than in China.
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 02-Dec-2007 at 03:24
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote longshanks31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2007 at 09:07
star trek
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote elenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2007 at 10:41
Virtual reality.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FAQ FAQ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 16:20
I think this is a great topic and I learnt a lot from posts made in this thread.Personally I think paper money and plastic money are humanity's greatest inventions.I think capitalist economy won't be possible without these inventions.Ofcourse fire,wheel,metal and alcohol are important too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 19:59
Radio, the ability to communicate across distance changed everything forever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 20:05
Originally posted by SearchAndDestroy SearchAndDestroy wrote:

Quote The early American colonists used corn cobs for the toilet! 
Corn Husk, not the cob. The cob was eatten, the husk was left, so they used'em!Smile
 
 
Errm, as incredible as it sounds, Elanos is correct.  Cobbs were used in the toilet.  The husks were generally fed to the animals.  I have excavated enough privy sites to know this one first hand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FAQ FAQ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 15:06
Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

Radio, the ability to communicate across distance changed everything forever.
 
Manufacturing radio [on a commercial scale] or even the components which makeup radio won't have been possible without the invention of paper money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 15:12
Quote
Errm, as incredible as it sounds, Elanos is correct.  Cobbs were used in the toilet.  The husks were generally fed to the animals.  I have excavated enough privy sites to know this one first hand.
I'll take your word for it, lol. I only read the opposite, but you are much more wiser then I am redclay.Smile
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