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sithelephant t1_isxb5o7 wrote

Guilds are another problem.

The reason for not preserving many of the techniques was not lack of printing, but intentional control of knowledge to the degree it was often lost going from master->apprentice->Oh, he got hit by a cart.


SpaceInMyBrain t1_isxctmy wrote

Right. And even before that - I've read that in ancient Greece the technology in a temple that was used to do things like open a door or raise a statue from the floor by hidden means was guarded by the priest class. It could have been developed and been useful but instead was lost until archeologists found it and put the findings together with ancient accounts of the moving doors, etc.


alvinofdiaspar t1_isy3hz4 wrote

There are a number of these mechanical devices (even a form of steam engine) - look up Hero of Alexandria. They didn’t make the leap to using these machines in a mass-produced, industrial manner though; mainly just as curiosities. History would have turned out so differently had they been able to make the leap.