Did you find this year’s new technology presented at CES boring? The Antikythera device has been described as being so sophisticated for a 2100 year old machine that it’s discovery 100 years ago was like discovering a functioning Buick in the middle ages. Recent technological advances in 3D imaging have allowed us to see that that may be putting it mildly.




  1. lemonademaker says:

    holy sheet! incredible minds!!!

  2. amodedoma says:

    Humans have always been clever little simians. Only recently has technology started to reach the masses. Before, it was considered magical treasure or magical knowledge. Magicians (the scientists of old) were among the very few with access to the culture’s accumulated written knowledge. Kings used the knowledge of the magicians to enhance and extend their authority.

    So, it’s not really that surprising if you check out the Greek’s technological history.

  3. testtubebaby says:

    I’m sure Nature will find a hockey stick dial on this device that proves AGW. It’s the science.

  4. Improbus says:

    Yes and yet we still had the dark ages. I fear geeks of any time period can’t overcome be the inherent stupidity of the rest of the species.

  5. AdmFubar says:

    durn the first video isnt available at this time.. waaaaaa! :((

  6. Pikachu says:

    Fantastic.

    I wonder if HP expected to help their sales figures by doing this work. Alas, the harm done to HP’s reputation by Carly Fiorina is permanent as far as I’m concerned. She’s an ass who doesn’t want the USA to have a middle class.

  7. Heinrich Moltke says:

    The lesson ought to be that history doesn’t necessarily have to fit our linear schema; that it’s a chaotic system that proceeds with fits and starts and all sorts of retrogressions.

    Just look at the intelligence of people on the internet if you’re wondering whether everything progresses forward in a straight line or whether it goes in all sorts of directions.

  8. Macbandit says:

    @#7

    Why? If that was the case you would probably be Roman today and therefore you would have been brain washed from birth by the Roman rhetoric just like any country you grow up in today.

  9. chuck says:

    I’m sure the Apple version (to be announced later this month) will be vastly superior.

  10. rosebush says:

    We’re giving too much credit to the Greeks. Greek Math, Science etc comes from the Egyptians. Greeks were students of Egyptian knowledge and culture.

  11. yanikinwaoz says:

    This, and other marvels depress me. Look at the pyramids, the Panama Canal. The Golden Gate bridge was built in 4.5 years. The US designed, tested, and used atomic weapons in just about 3 years. Hell, WWII only lasted about 5 years. The US sent men to the moon in the 1960’s.

    We are now coming up on 9 years since 9/11. The WTC towers site is still pretty much nothing. We are no closer to having universal health care. We are still in Iraq. Afghanistan is still the shithole it was in 2001.

    I feel like we have somehow come to a screeching halt and are now sliding backwards into a new dark ages. There is lots of bickering, but nothing gets done.

    sad.

  12. sargasso says:

    #11. what utter rubbish! With few exceptions Greek logic, mathematics, reasoning and strategy were wholly original, the Athens schools of philosophy are still studied today in scientific and commercial ethics and law, almost all of modern philosophical thinking and critique is built upon it, we still use Pi if I’m not mistaken. Egypt’s influence over Greece was minimal, Greece’s influence over Rome, Renaissance Europe and the modern ages of Man are profound.

  13. Heinrich Moltke says:

    Egypt’s influence over Greece wasn’t “minimal”. Much of the cosmological and spiritual thought of the Greeks was borrowed from the Egyptians. However, it is true that it is the Greek concept of logos, the unity of math, logic, and philosophy it represents, is at the bottom of what is today considered Western thought.

  14. sargasso says:

    #14. You had to mention Greek bottoms, didn’t you?

  15. Heinrich Moltke says:

    There’s something to be said for Egyptian bottoms, too.

  16. ManBearPig says:

    I think it was an Asian kid, did they have exchange students back then?

  17. Corsair says:

    do you think crap talk like that lets you get on the net

  18. Cursor_ says:

    The Middle ages were only dark for the common european man.

    If we, in the west, would only take off our eurocentric glasses we would realise that.

    Cursor_

  19. Zybch says:

    So, after watching for FIFTEEN minutes they finally tell us what the damn thing actually does!
    What a waste of time. Its still impressive, but so long winded that I quickly lost interest.

  20. Zybch says:

    #19 – Of course, most of the east is STILL in the dark ages.

  21. joaoPT says:

    #7 #9

    We are Romans!
    All of the western culture is heavily influenced by the Greco-Roman world. Just look at Washington D.C. All the buildings are Neoclassical, with a bit of suspension of disbelief one could just picture itself in ancient Rome. The urban society is not that different from what could be experienced in Rome. All the southern European Languages are derived from Latin, and even English has a strong Latin influence. American Government has a senate and a congress…

    What are you talking about? We ARE Romans.

  22. jules says:

    The Greeks borrowed a lot from the ancient Egyptian and Babyloian astronomers, but that doesn’t make their contribution less astonishing.

    Sometimes it takes a dash of sheer genius to make an advancement, similar to the way that Newton synthesized the knowledge of Tyco Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Descartes into the universal law of gravitation.

  23. deowll says:

    #22 Sush! Most moderns don’t know that. They forget that each generation must stand on the shoulders of the giants that went before or we’d all still be working out the mysteries of pebble tools.

    The achievements shown in this device are staggering and yes much was lost during the dark ages. Two key inventions the Romans missed were paper and the printing press. This vastly limited access to learning and during the dark ages books almost vanished throughout much of Europe. Yes a few continued to be copied by isolated monks but more was lost than saved not that progress completely came to an end. Some advances were still being made in metal working and farming.

    It is always possible for another dark age to occur. Most of our knowledge is now in a highly perishable form and could easily vanish in a single generation and our national leaders appear to me to be a disgrace to our species.

    The claims being made by the government as relates to the the health care bills among others bears no resemblance to the bills and the people that claim that they are in any way budget neutral have to know the claim is a staggering bold faced lie. What they actually expect to achieve other than the ruination of the nation escapes me.

    Perhaps they have lost the skill needed to do basic math? Perhaps they suffer from dementia. All I can figure out is that they are completely dishonest or completely delusional. Of course nothing excludes their being both I suppose.

    What I do know is they are neither reasonable nor prudent and we are heading for the crapper of history. No nation can long survive bad leaders making bad choices.

  24. Uncle Dave says:

    “The achievements shown in this device are staggering and yes much was lost during the dark ages.”

    In other words, when Christianity was in control of the West.

    As someone commented in the article that lead me to those videos put it, if it hadn’t been for Christianity stomping on science and free thought, imagine where we’d be technologically today. We’d have had colonies on Mars hundreds of years ago, etc.

  25. Thomas says:

    #25
    I’m no fan of Catholic Church either but that really is not a fair assessment. Even during the height of the Roman empire, the East was always the wealthier of the two sides of the Empire; it’s just that the center of the empire happened to be in Rome. There wasn’t much scientific or mathematical thought in West to begin with although there was plenty of engineering thought. When Constantine moved the capital to Istanbul, what little brain trust existed in the West left with him. Were it not for the Church and its foolhardy crusades, the West would have remained a cesspool of ignorance for generations even longer than it did.

    Further, your claim that the Church is responsible for holding us back is not quite on target. The Middle-East, India, Egypt and China had plenty of geniuses in science and mathematics and yet they did not go on to quickly develop rockets or even explore and colonize the globe. It was the Church’s notion of “baptizing the heathens” (that and money) that pushed the Europeans to colonize and thus spread their culture across the planet.

  26. RBG says:

    7. GetSmart “Although the idea of the Roman Empire having jet aircraft, electronics and atomic weapons by the Sixth or Seventh Century A.D. is kind of scary.”

    Kinda like Iran with nuclear weapons?

    RBG

  27. Civengine says:

    Our ancestors weren’t stupid. Technology is different than science. This object is technology. It created a device that demonstrated the science of the known world. People had known all about the heavens for millenia.

    Read this book,”The Ancient Engineers” by L. Sprague de Camp. Filled with well researched stuff on our ancient technology and knowledge. You’ll be amazed at what was known and built during ancient times. Some is obviously wrong given the additional research we have over when the book was written. For want of one or two breakthroughs, the modern world would have been here around 300 AD.

  28. zeitgeistmovie says:

    Yes it is amazing what technology and science are capable of achieving. It is usually humankind (men, almost singlehandedly) that destroys it’s own knowledge through senseless wars and “organized” religion – oft they go hand in hand. You really want to see what we can do, stop the insanity of these 2 actions.

  29. srgothard says:

    I say it just evolved from the ground. How do we know it had a creator?


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