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The situation in the 18th century was very different. The 18th century had several breakthrough ideas and products that the Romans lacked: calculus, gunpowder, printing press, discovery of the Americas, magnetic compass and clocks, to name a few. But the biggest difference was the “scientific method”. The belief that you could decipher nature by observation, hypothesis and experiment. In Roman times, understanding of nature was only attempted by “logic”. Hence, Aristotle and other Greek philosophers were considered the experts and no one doubted them. You can’t have an Industrial Revolution without science. Engineering by itself isn’t enough.
OK, so we discovered gunpowder. In some other parts of the world, it had been known for a thousand yeard. We got magnetic compasses. Others had been using compasses for around a thousand years.
I am quite sure that the redskins discovered America long time before Columbus. Even long before Leiv Eriksson.
Mechanical devices for measuring time was known in the 13th century, even in Europe. Sundials was known in prehistoric times.
Your argument is valid. Certainly the invention of zero preceded all of the examples I mentioned. And was a prerequisite for calculus and science in general. In fact, it pushes back the time when the situation in European was about the same as imperial Rome to no later than the 13th century. My argument was only about whether the situation in the 18th century was similar to Rome. It wasn’t even close.
'Necessity is the mother of invention' - since Rome ruled the known world and had the strongest military force perhaps they didn't feel much need to innovate any further. One might think that better medicine would have been an incentive, but they probably believed their fate to be in the lap of the gods.
really cries out for another equally ridiculous study where men rate pictures of women with and without cats or dogs.
to control for possible subliminal arousal of participants and particiskirts, I suggest only faces and shoulders of subjects be shown, with cat or dog visible only on shoulders. maybe have the male and female subjects draped in a way that conceals breast size ?
p.s. i'm getting a cat soon, but this study has nought to do with it (my mug's repugnant as is); it's to deal with a mice fibonacci population problem: they eat my white t-shirts. and, while i like dogs, i love cats !
«One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.» Salvador Dali