Re: retrograde technologies

James Ganong (
Sat, 29 May 1999 16:27:11 -0700 (PDT)

Certain specific techniques/technologies can be lost; examples:

certain Etruscan & Egyptian metallurgic techniques (this from a metalsmith friend)

China & certain mechanical technologies used in clocks, automatons, etc

the ability to read a given written language
(Etruscan, Minoan, Egyptian til the Rosetta Stone)

I'm sure there are others,but a lot of such lost technologies are more due to a loss of social organization (try building the pyramids without a central govt). About the only thing that can kill a technology is
a total loss of knowledge (rare--the European dark ages were the flowering of
Muslim culture) or loss of access to some vital resource.