[LMB] OT: technological novels & subversion

M R Dolbear fm little.egret at dolbear.fastmail.fm
Mon Feb 26 18:36:59 GMT 2018

On Mon, 26 Feb 2018, at 04:08, Jelbelser wrote:
> > This article is an interesting take on alternate technology in history:
> > 
> > https://medium.com/the-polymath-project/gene-wolfe-a-science-fiction-legend-on-the-future-altering-technologies-we-forgot-to-invent-a3103572a352 <https://medium.com/the-polymath-project/gene-wolfe-a-science-fiction-legend-on-the-future-altering-technologies-we-forgot-to-invent-a3103572a352
> A very interesting article, but too much of a focus on objects and not 
> the physical and social environment they occupy. For example, the lack 
> of wheeled vehicles in pre-Columbian America. There was no point in 
> wheeled carts or wagons when there were no domesticate-able animals to 
> pull them. And suitcases? They didn't need wheels when there were 
> porters, bellboys, and servants to carry them.
> But it is true that the good enough often blocks thinking about the even better.

=== no point in wheeled carts or wagons?

Not so, I think. 

The wheelbarrow (and the improved Chinese wheelbarrow) were productive however many labourers you had.

Did the South Americans use rollers?

Check the tools the Romans, Chinese and Indians used.

Little Egret by email
Michael Dolbear in Walton-on-Thames

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