Nautilus

Most Tech Today Would be Frivolous to Ancient Scientists

The tech that most people depend on must appeal to our fears and vanities and must require continuous and rapid overturn. If it were truly necessary, the market would demand durability.Wikicommons

Surrounded by advanced achievements in medicine, space exploration, and robotics, people can be forgiven for thinking our time boasts the best technology. So I was startled last year to hear Sarah Stroup, a professor of classics at the University of Washington, Seattle, give a speech called “Robots, Space Exploration, Death Rays, Brain Surgery, and Nanotechnology: STEMM in the Ancient World.” Stroup has created a college course integrating classics and science to show how 2,000 year-old Greek and Roman STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine) underlie and illuminate the sciences today.

Stroup starts with robotics. The Greeks made self-acting machinery such as an , a first step toward building a real robot, and that chooses its own targets. In the 4th century BCE, Aristotle foresaw other implications of intelligent machines when he wrote, “If every instrument could accomplish its own work… chief workmen would not want servants, nor masters slaves,” as is now happening when robots and artificial intelligence replace people.

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da Nautilus

Nautilus3 min letti
Are We Flushing Our Resistance to Antibiotics Down the Drain?: Taking account of the drug-resistant germs turning up in rivers and soils.
You may think the key to beating antibiotic resistance is for doctors to prescribe less and scientists to find new drug candidates. But the fundamental solutions may lie far from medicine. They may lie in managing our rivers and soils. Scientists who
Nautilus5 min lettiSelf-Improvement
The Simple Dutch Cure for Stress
Recently I was in San Francisco, a city known for its tech companies, steep hills, and fierce winds. Each day I’d run around the neighborhood and up through the park, ending with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Back in my AirBnB, I’d fe
Nautilus7 min letti
Where to See the Real Living Dead
Talk of “Mother Trees,” from a scientist studying plant life, can sound fanciful, like something out of a fairy tale. Suzanne Simard is here to tell you that it’s not. For the past two decades, Simard, a professor in the Department of Forest & Conser