[LMB] OT: unicyclos and wheelbarrows

Tony Zbaraschuk tzbarasc at lasierra.edu
Mon Jul 26 16:02:43 BST 2021

On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 2:50 AM Markus Baur via Lois-Bujold <
lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

> Am 25.07.2021 um 03:37 schrieb Raymond Collins:
> > On the other hand there was no evidence of a hzndcranked
> > calculating device like the Antikythera mechanism until it was discovered
> > by sponge divers.
> yes in regards to the antikythera meachnism ..

Actually, it turns out that there are a number of references to devices
that show astronomical facts.  It's just that most of the literary
references, _by themselves_, would not have given us the idea that they
were as _sophisticated_ as the Antikythera mechanism was -- but now that we
have it, nothing we see in the literary references is inconsistent with it.

how large would be the potential market for such a mechanism in the
> antique world compared to the potential market for wheelbarrows? low
> hundreds at best for the first one vs. multiple thousands at least for
> the second (every farm and building site would have used wheelbarrows)

Agreed.  Toys for philosophers and/or astrologers and/or astronomers and/or
idle rich people are a lot less common than something lots of people would
find very useful.

That said, of course the wheelbarrow seems obvious to us, either in its
one-wheeled form or as a two-wheeled cart with handles.  But let us not
forget that one definition of "genius" is the ability to do something
where, _after it's done_, everyone else says "But that was _obvious_!"

Tony Z

Tony Zbaraschuk
Bookworm, talker, learner
Et vocavit Deus, "Fiat lux!"

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