Applied History of Technology

Ravna had known that “jumpstarting” technology must be a topic in the ship’s library. It turned out the subject was a major academic specialty. Besides ten thousand case studies, there were customizing programs and lots of very dull-looking theory. Though the “rediscovery problem” was trivial in the Beyond, down in the Slow Zone almost every conceivable combination of events had happened. Civilizations in the Slowness could not last more than a few thousand years. Their collapse was sometimes a short eclipse, a few decades spent recovering from war or atmosphere-bashing. Others drove themselves back to medievalism. And of course, most races eventually exterminated themselves, at least within their single solar system. Those that didn’t exterminate themselves (and even a few of those that did) eventually struggled back to their original heights.

The study of these variations was called the Applied History of Technology. Unfortunately for both academicians and the civilizations in the Slow Zone, true applications were a bit rare. The events of the case studies were centuries old before news of them reached the Beyond, and few researchers were willing to do field work in the Slow Zone, where finding and conducting a single experiment could cost them much of their lives. In any case, it was a nice hobby for millions of university departments. One of the favorite games was to devise minimal paths from a given level of technology back to the highest level that could be supported in the Slowness. The details depended on many things, including the initial level of primitiveness, the amount of residual scientific awareness (or tolerance), and the physical nature of the race. The historians’ theories were captured in programs whose inputs were facts about the civilization’s plight and the desired results, and whose outputs were the steps that would most quickly produce those results.


An academic field for a galactic civilization in which they study the technological advancement of different species on different planets. Includes the concept of "jumpstarting," where a civilization is given more advanced technology, similar to the concept of "leapfrogging" for third world countries on Earth.

Folksonomies: technology alien leapfrogging jumpstarting other

/technology and computing (0.516053)
/science/social science/history (0.355544)
/technology and computing/hardware/computer (0.324253)

Slow Zone (0.906081 (negative:-0.610922)), Applied History (0.721378 (neutral:0.000000)), major academic specialty (0.687461 (neutral:0.000000)), case studies (0.674571 (negative:-0.358204)), residual scientific awareness (0.653597 (neutral:0.000000)), galactic civilization (0.532305 (neutral:0.000000)), advanced technology (0.488808 (positive:0.202604)), world countries (0.487319 (neutral:0.000000)), technological advancement (0.484678 (neutral:0.000000)), different species (0.483548 (neutral:0.000000)), different planets (0.482586 (neutral:0.000000)), rediscovery problem (0.477206 (negative:-0.371714)), academic field (0.476619 (neutral:0.000000)), dull-looking theory (0.464876 (neutral:0.000000)), original heights (0.456910 (negative:-0.578330)), short eclipse (0.456053 (negative:-0.363351)), true applications (0.443433 (positive:0.303967)), physical nature (0.441269 (neutral:0.000000)), minimal paths (0.437807 (positive:0.802780)), initial level (0.436846 (neutral:0.000000)), field work (0.433282 (neutral:0.000000)), nice hobby (0.431814 (positive:0.270677)), university departments (0.430190 (positive:0.270677)), single experiment (0.429567 (neutral:0.000000)), favorite games (0.428346 (positive:0.802780)), highest level (0.426426 (positive:0.802780)), Slowness (0.356242 (positive:0.469605)), civilizations (0.318886 (negative:-0.435112)), concept (0.290837 (neutral:0.000000)), programs (0.287295 (neutral:0.000000))

medievalism:City (0.737200 (neutral:0.000000)), Ravna:Person (0.699927 (neutral:0.000000)), solar system:FieldTerminology (0.680021 (negative:-0.317889)), third world:FieldTerminology (0.677638 (neutral:0.000000)), thousand years:Quantity (0.677638 (neutral:0.000000))

Scientific method (0.957457): dbpedia | freebase
Science (0.836859): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Research (0.691708): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Solar System (0.674976): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Society (0.649860): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Ancient Egypt (0.636706): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
John Zerzan (0.630719): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Anarcho-primitivism (0.576212): dbpedia | freebase

 Fire Upon the Deep
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Vinge , Vernor (2011-08-01), Fire Upon the Deep, Tor Books, Retrieved on 2012-01-03
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: fiction science fictino