More evidence today of how much smarter people were in the past than they are today. I already had a general idea of this when I was a kid, and it only got reenforced further when I came to TAC (either Euclid was some sort of weird savant or he wasn't entirely human). But when something like the Antikythera Device came up, it only weirds me out even more. The Device was discovered in 1901 onboard a shipwreck near Greece. It's aparently from the 1st century BC. It's only within the last month that scientists have figured out what it does; track the planets, the sun, and even follow the irregular orbit of the moon, along with predicting eclipses. What the aztecs figured out with math, the Greeks built. There's other evidence besides this that the ancient world, especially in the late Roman empire, was on the verge of an industrial revolution, and with technology like this, I believe it. Examples of this kind of clockwork were never seen again until almost 1500 years later, when they had to be reinvented from scratch. I just can't wait till someone builds a replica.
From Ben - 6.12.06