Wednesday, December 17, 2008

From the Gadget Lab at Wired: Antikythera

An ancient Greek computer comes back to life. A British museum curator has built a working replica of a 2,000-year-old Greek machine that has been called the world's first computer. Featured on the History Channel in December 2004, the complete reconstruction now also has further inscriptions replicated. A Conference was held on it in 2006 in Athens. See the article, a video and historical links here.History reaches to us in the present, in many forms. Just like the Intihuatana - the sun's hitching post at Machu Picchu - the brilliance of early cultures in understanding the cycles of the natural world led to astonishing constructs that expressed the nature of the physical world. This knowledge was used to harness a place and its resources to human purpose. Its purpose carried human meaning as well as consequences of use and its influence on the natural environment.

Is it possible in this era to now capture the intelligence that will allow humanity to inhabit the earth in balance? Can we take biomimicry to the next level in human affairs? Can we express our purpose so that it benefits all living things and embraces life instead of destroying it?

Update 12/7/16: Built by more than one person on the island of Rhodes, it shows that the ancient Greeks were apparently even further ahead in their astronomical understanding and mechanical know-how than we’d imagined.