Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Boorstin, Daniel Joseph (1983), The discoverers, Random House Inc, Retrieved on 2013-08-08
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies:

    Memes

    08 AUG 2013

     The Clock United Communities

    IN Europe the clock very early became a public machine. Churches expected communicants to assemble regularly and repeatedly for prayers, and flourishing cities brought people together to share a life of commerce and entertainment. When clocks took their places in church steeples and town belfries, they entered on a public stage. There they proclaimed themselves to rich and poor, awakening the interest even of those who had no personal reason to mark the hours. Machines that began as public in...
      1  notes

    Large clocks in every town brought everyone together under one precise time. It was a reminder that we are all part of a community.

    08 AUG 2013

     Secrecy Led to the Loss of Chinese Technological Achievem...

    While these state records survive, most of the ancient Chinese literature on astronomy has disappeared. Because astronomy was so state-oriented, so security-bound, and so secret, the old astronomy books have left few traces. By contrast, the early books on mathematics, which were used by merchants, directors of public works, and military commanders, have survived in considerable numbers. Repeated imperial edicts enforced state security for calendrical science, astronomy, and astrology. In A.D...
      1  notes

    The state guarded its understanding of Astronomy and Time-Keeping so that history has little record of the details of how advanced it was. In contrast, public science is known and revered by historians.

    08 AUG 2013

     The Experiment that Disproved Astrology

    A story told by this friend, Firminus, shook the young Augustine from his pagan faith. Firminus’ father, an earnest experimenter in astrology, always noted the positions of the stars and even “took care with the most exact diligence to know the birth of his very puppies.” Firminus’ father learned that one of his women-servants was to be delivered of a child at about the same time that Firminus’ mother was expecting. “Both were delivered at the same instant; so that both were const...
      1  notes

    Two children born at the same time, one a master, the other a slave.

    13 OCT 2013

     The Clock, Icon of Science

    Philosophers were always looking for new handles on the universe—new similes, new metaphors, new analogies. Despite their scorn for those who cast the Creator of the Universe in man's image, the theologians never ceased to scrutinize man's own handiwork as their clues to God. Now man was a proud clockmaker, a maker of self-moving machines. Once set in motion, the mechanical clock seemed to tick with a life of its own. Might not the universe itself be a vast clock made and set in motion by t...
      1  notes

    The first icon to replace religous icons in Western culture.

    13 OCT 2013

     The Talent of Mechanics

    Generally speaking, people have a very erroneous idea of the type of talent proper to the ideal mechanician. He is not a geometrician who, delving into the theory of movement and the categories of phenomena, formulates new mechanical principles or discovers unsuspected laws of nature.… In most other branches of science are to be found constant principles; a multitude of methods offer to the genius inexhaustible possibilities. If a scholar poses himself a new problem, he can attack it fortif...
      1  notes

    It is highly intuitive and cannot be taught from a textbook. It sounds much like an art.

    13 OCT 2013

     The Clock as the Mother of All Machines

    PRECISELY because the clock did not start as a practical tool shaped for a single purpose, it was destined to be the mother of machines. The clock broke down the walls between kinds of knowledge, ingenuity, and skill, and clockmakers were the first consciously to apply the theories of mechanics and physics to the making of machines. Progress came from the collaboration of scientists—Galileo, Huygens, Hooke, and others—with craftsmen and mechanics. Since clocks were the first modern measur...
      1  notes

    It required a number of sciences, was based on multiple engineering developments, and contributed itself to science by allowing the measurement of time.

    13 OCT 2013

     History of the Weekdays

    By the third century the seven-day week had become common in private life throughout the Roman Empire. Each day was dedicated to one of the seven planets. Those seven, according to the current astronomy, included the sun and the moon, but not the earth. The order in which planets governed the days of the week was: sun, moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. This order was not that of their then supposed distance from the earth, which was the "normal" order in which Dante, for exampl...
    Folksonomies: history astronomy ritual
    Folksonomies: history astronomy ritual
      1  notes

    From astronomy and astrology to religion, complete with superstitions.

    13 OCT 2013

     The Emergence of the Week Began the Scientific Mind

    The making of our week was another forward step in man's mastery of the world, in his reach toward science. The week was man's own cluster, not dictated by the visible forces of nature, for the planetary influences were invisible. By seeking astral regularities, by imagining that regularly recurring forces at a distance, forces that could be judged only by their effects, might govern the world, mankind was preparing a new arsenal of thought, an escape from the prison of Again-and-Again. The p...
    Folksonomies: history science astronomy
    Folksonomies: history science astronomy
      1  notes

    It was the first time human beings established an artificial order to things, setting up cycles.

    13 OCT 2013

     The Hourglass

    Not the flowing waters of time but the falling sands of time have given modern poets their favorite metaphor for the passing hours. In England, sandglasses were frequently placed in coffins as a symbol that life's time had run out. "The sands of time are sinking," went the hymn. "The dawn of heaven breaks." But the hourglass, measuring time by dripping sand, comes late in our story. Sand was, of course, less fluid than water, and hence less adapted to the subtle calibration required by the v...
    Folksonomies: engineering invention
    Folksonomies: engineering invention
      1  notes

    Sand vs water, the evolving art and ingenuity involved in crafting this timepiece.

    13 OCT 2013

     Galileo and the Altar Lamp Pendulum

    IN 1583 Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), a youth of nineteen attending prayers in the baptistery of the Cathedral of Pisa, was, according to tradition, distracted by the swinging of the altar lamp. No matter how wide the swing of the lamp, it seemed that the time it took the lamp to move from one end to the other was the same. Of course Galileo had no watch, but he checked the intervals of the swing by his own pulse. This curious everyday puzzle, he said, enticed him away from the study of medi...
    Folksonomies: history invention
    Folksonomies: history invention
      1  notes

    The puzzle and the pendulum time piece.

    13 OCT 2013

     The Importance of Mathematics in Seafaring

    Before there was an accurate seafaring clock, the sailor seeking his bearings had to be a trained mathematician. The accepted way to find longitude at sea was by precise observations of the moon, which required refined instruments and subtle calculations. An error as small as 5' in observing the moon meant an error of 2V2. degrees of longitude, which on the ocean could be as much as 150 miles—enough to wreck a ship on treacherous shoals. Fatal miscalculation might come from a crude instrume...
     1  1  notes

    Sailors had to be mathematicians in order to keep their bearings on the ocean.

    13 OCT 2013

     Anecdote About the Cuckoo Clock in China

    The gaudy watches of indifferent workmanship, fabricated purposely for the China market and once in universal demand, are now scarcely asked for. One gentleman in the Honourable East India Company’s employ took it into his head that cuckoo clocks might prove a saleable article in China, and accordingly laid in a large assortment, which more than answered his most sanguine expectations. But as these wooden machines were constructed for sale only, and not for use, the cuckoo clocks became all...
    Folksonomies: deception anecdote clock
    Folksonomies: deception anecdote clock
      1  notes

    A salesman convinces his buyers that his faulty clocks will work once again once the birds come out of hibernation.