Re: retrograde technologies?

Cynthia (
Sat, 29 May 1999 09:06:15 -0700

> > Lee Daniel Crocker wrote: ... It is idle fantasy to
> > imagine that (1) technology can move backwards, ...
> The latest Star Wars episode made me wonder: can technology
> go backwards? They seemed to imply technology was going
> violently aft. Can anyone think of an example, now or in any time
> past, where a society had it and later didn't? Descended from
> enlightenment to superstition? Would dark ages Europe qualify? spike

There are examples of that. Loss of technology has been known to happen when a branch of a civilization gets cut off from the main branch. Small groups cannot maintain the level of sophistication that larger groups can. And when there are not enough members of the group, so that all technology can be passed from one generation to the next, technology is lost.

The Stratavarious family died out and the making of a Statavarious violin is a lost technology.