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MistaGav
22-08-2009, 22:47
One part of the main Fluff I haven't understood is how they can loose technology. I'm refering to the jetbikes and gravtanks (or so I hear) mainly the jetbike that sammael has.

So bascially we have giant skyscraper war machines, genetically superior humans, space travel and space colonisation not to mention a great deal of the imperium is dedicated to machiney (heck they worship it) but they manage to somehow loose the old technology or cannot figure out a way to reverse manufacture it.

I mean if we can do it now then why can they not in 40'000 years in the future?

aad
22-08-2009, 23:18
well read the HH book mechanicum. lots and lots of technolegy is destroyed on mars when the civil wars broke out between different forge,s.

there was also a lot of corruption made in the machine code,s so things are not to be so easyli trusted again.
there are some things that are refound again, for example: landraider and landspeeder.

TheBigBadWolf
22-08-2009, 23:32
Technology is not so much understood in the imperium, it is more revered.

Tech Priest will not meddle with or try to change something incase they offend the machine spirit.

The vast majority of designs also come from the STC (standard template construct) a database with basically every design a colonist would ever need and was a major factor in humanity dominating the galaxy.

The STC became damaged, stopped working on many worlds during the age of stife so many of the designs were lost, i.e. how many plasma drives will a colonist need, but they will need guns, rhinos (a tractor), so these designs were kept in printout from the STC.

STC designs are considered the pinicle of human technology, so when the printouts and designs were lost, the knowladge of how these things were made/developed went too, the backwardness of the AdMech led to the further loss and degeneration of knowladge

Condottiere
23-08-2009, 00:23
You can compare two periods in human history for possible similarities.

During the Dark Ages, a great deal of knowledge was lost in Western Europe due to the disruption of educational and cultural centres by uneducated hordes and the surviving knowledge was conserved primarily in sanctuaries governed by religious authorities, who might suppress, censor or destroy such knowledge due to ideological reasons, and later controlling it to maximize their power base.

The current era, where organizations are trying to control our access to knowledge in exchange for payment or possibly even alter it to control the masses.

Dhazzakull
23-08-2009, 06:14
Many technologies are known on only one world, if this world gets destroyed the technologie is lost, and the reason why they can't invent the technologies new is the fact that even the oldest and best tech magos doesnt have an idea how the stuff works.
all new constructs in 40k are from a new stk, or a combination of some old design.

Hrw-Amen
23-08-2009, 08:41
Whilst I do understand the reasons why the W40K universe is frozen in it's development of technology from a fluff point of view, I find it hard to imagine that this would actually happen in real life. The Imperium is constantly at war with all sorts of enemies and if history has taught us anything it is that the need for advancements in technology are often driven and appear to make huge leaps forwards at times of war/crisis. Therefore they should still be advancing even if it is only slowly.

Maybe they are, after all, the W40K universe as has been said in many threads, is a setting, not an ongoing diary and as much as many of us would want to see the setting advace in years, albeit slowly, it is not. (Apparently.) As such we have no idea what technology may be just on the brink of being revealed by some intuative tech priest somewhere, or even by just an ordinary imperial civilian who just happened to be clever.

grissom2006
23-08-2009, 09:00
Invention isn't really done to much for the Imperium Tech Priests believe to tamper with a machine to be a great offence in a lot of cases. Most technology comes in the form of the Standard Template Construct. Most of which was lost when the first Empire of Man was cut of by Warp Storms. The STC's are in effect computer files (we all know how pesky computer files can be in gettting lost and corrupted) on everything that mankind could make and how to make it, and modify it to new worlds if materials weren't the same. A great tool for terraforming and using what was available to them intead of taking everything with them. Then as we know the Warp Storms passed the Imperium came into being and lots of it was regained. Then we had the Horus Hersey mass war destruction of forges all over the Galaxy STC's going up in smoke along with the forges. Read Mechanicum and you'll get a idea of how costly it was on Mars. The STC's are seen as sacred and also fragile and any Tech Priest would do anything in order to gain a set and find new knowledge contained in them.

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/STC

Iracundus
23-08-2009, 09:12
How it happens in RL: See the regression in technology accompanying the fall of Rome. When people are forced to more basic pursuits in order to survive, the knowledge to maintain esoteric pieces of technology can die out due to failure of transmission from generation to generation.

If your computer or car broke down, would you be able to fix it or understand how every part works? Likely not. Even if you did understand what needed to be done, if it required specialized parts, you wouldn't be able to make it as these are all made in specialized plants from refined materials. The knowledge to build such manufacturing machinery in turn is also technical and specialized and so on back down the production chain.

The higher the technology, the more reliant it is on an existing widespread technological base. In turn that is reliant on having an educated population base to ensure there are adequate people to learn the knowledge each generation. This doesn't exist in the Imperium. Knowledge is hoarded, and transmitted only to a few. If due to chance cirucmstance or misfortune, those few die before passing on their knowledge, or that database with no backups is corrupted, then the knowledge is lost.

The higher the technology, the more numerous such vulnerable links due to the variety of specialized knowledge and parts involved. If hypothetically all knowledge of the water mill or the internal combustion engine were to vanish overnight, it is easier for that to be recovered or re-invented than if the knowledge of how to build a 40K plasma reactor was lost (or the critical gizmo needed for such a reactor was lost).

AndrewGPaul
23-08-2009, 11:02
A more recent example is battleship armour. Up until WW2, warships tended to be heavily armoured, to protect them from gunfire and torpedoes. Nowadays, with the advent of airpower and missiles, that armour isn't so useful, so tey don't carry so much armour, to save weight.

At present, there's no company in the world who can make that sort of thick armour plate. The expertise and some of the knowledge is gone. Granted, if the need arose again, we could re-invent it, but there'd have to be a lot of trial and error to get back to what we used to do.

Dakkagor
23-08-2009, 11:13
A more recent example is battleship armour. Up until WW2, warships tended to be heavily armoured, to protect them from gunfire and torpedoes. Nowadays, with the advent of airpower and missiles, that armour isn't so useful, so tey don't carry so much armour, to save weight.

At present, there's no company in the world who can make that sort of thick armour plate. The expertise and some of the knowledge is gone. Granted, if the need arose again, we could re-invent it, but there'd have to be a lot of trial and error to get back to what we used to do.

Didn't they find this out when they decommisioned several old warships, and the basic comment was "How on earth did we build that?!"

Any time a major empire collapses or is kicked over by outside influence, alot of knowledge will be lost. The Imperium has been devestated at a galactic level twice, both the Heresy and the Apostasy. That explosion at a hydro electric plant in russia recently should illustrate that its possible to keep a machine running for a long time, but maitenance is no replacement for knowledge of how the thing works. . .

Condottiere
23-08-2009, 11:45
On the same topic, no one builds capitol ship grade cannons anymore.

Ordo Hydra
23-08-2009, 12:18
In the novel Mechanicum, they even mention a law called the Divine Law of Complexity which is observed by the Imperium. According to this, the workings of all machines are set in a pattern laid down by the Machine God and any deviation from it is considered heresy that leads to imprisonment and execution. In that book, a simple transcriber altered her cogitator to make it more efficiently and ended getting locked up.

Mind you, not all Magos believe in the static unchanging world of lack of development with some actually doing some secret research to learn new things.

In the Dark Heresy rpg books, there is a techno-heresy cult called the Logicians who also seek to bring back the technological marvels of the Dark Age of Technology so they go about gathering forbidden sciences and conduct forbidden experiments in order to achieve their goal.

Iracundus
23-08-2009, 13:10
Although there is research (of sorts) in the Imperium, it ends up having to be cloaked in the mask of orthodoxy as in either being a recovered STC design or a new "approved" design assembled from existing STC designs or modules. Genuinely innovative or radical research is thus stifled.

The Logicians for all their profession of rational thought are also debased. They like the AdMech, look back to the Age of Technology, but the Logicians are not really calm rational thinkers either. Instead they are more the "mad scientists" unconstrained by any bonds of morality, and conduct wild "experiments" that certainly wouldn't fit any robust scientific methodology known today.

GodofWarTx
23-08-2009, 15:06
It took us until only a few short decades ago to rediscover how to make concrete as strong as roman concrete.

So that technology was lost for almost 2 thousand years.


For quite a lot of ancient technologies we arnt quite sure how they work, but know of their existence. Quite a few of Da Vinci's war machines and even more ancient chinese artifacts we dont know about.

We have trouble figuring out how the pyramids were built with such exacting standards.

We dont know how the romans and greeks developed their cranes for construction.

Killgore
23-08-2009, 17:39
The resources required to construct certain machines/ weaponry in 40K can be a major factor in technological knowledge becoming 'lost'.


For example a Hi powered Laser Battleship cannon which far outranges anything the imperium can currently produce used special crystals available only from a single cluster of worlds... some time ago those worlds suffered a cataclysmic event, cutting of the supply of those crystals forever.

With no special crystals available the forges that produced the weaponry fell silent, never to be activated again, as years pass information/ knowledge for the super lasers gets lost or forgotten thus sending this Super Battleship laser into history. Which could be rather unfortunate if an explorer team uncover a new source of special crystals :P


This is just one example that someone could cook up for a explanation for loosing technology, its a huge galaxy so let your imagination run wild.

Askil the Undecided
23-08-2009, 18:21
At the base of things technology gets lost because those who created or used it failed to relate thier knowledge to later generations.

To take an extremely simple example:

I invent the non-freeze snow shovel it has a hollow cavity in the handle full of anti-freezing sustance that stores a gel that procuces heat when shaken and stops snow freezing to the shovel, I formulate the anti-freeze and craft the shovel myself. I begin to sell my invention and to preserve my income I tell nobody how to make my product apart from my assistant for whom I draw a set of blueprints.

Years later me and my assistant die naturally having still told nobody fast forward 38,000 years. The planet I was living on is now a baking desert hell wth 40 hours of torturous scorching daylight and freezing nights in inaccurate 80th generation copy of my design is found by a traveller, who burns it to stay alive through the night.

Thus the non-freeze snow shovel that could have saved thousands of valhallans from frostbite every year is lost forever and nobody can ever replace the few existing examples because they are too afraid they'd annoy it's spirit to reverse engineer it.

Condottiere
23-08-2009, 18:49
The resources required to construct certain machines/ weaponry in 40K can be a major factor in technological knowledge becoming 'lost'.


For example a Hi powered Laser Battleship cannon which far outranges anything the imperium can currently produce used special crystals available only from a single cluster of worlds... some time ago those worlds suffered a cataclysmic event, cutting of the supply of those crystals forever.

With no special crystals available the forges that produced the weaponry fell silent, never to be activated again, as years pass information/ knowledge for the super lasers gets lost or forgotten thus sending this Super Battleship laser into history. Which could be rather unfortunate if an explorer team uncover a new source of special crystals :P


This is just one example that someone could cook up for a explanation for loosing technology, its a huge galaxy so let your imagination run wild.That's about what happened to Damascus steel.

darker4308
23-08-2009, 18:53
There is a reason. Warhammer 40k ripped off dune. End of story.

cyenwulf
24-08-2009, 03:39
Innovation? HERESY!

GodofWarTx
24-08-2009, 04:24
In my opinion, the lower scribes of the machine cult really dont understand what they work on and follow simple procedures as litanies and devotions...which have a secondary purpose of keeping the taint of the warp away. The latent warp energy of so many trillions of mankind who believe that blessing a weapon will make it better causes it TO be better. Just like the gestalt consciousness of an ork thinking his gun will fire will fire.


I feel the higher levels of the Mechanicum know *exactly* what they are doing and use their restrictions both as a power-control mechanism and as insurance against technological disaster.

abasio
24-08-2009, 05:31
As smart as they want us to think they are, the Mechanicum are really a bunch of talentless, univentive, fanatical religious zealots and they horde the knowledge that they do have and discourage smarter people from making anything better.

Condottiere
24-08-2009, 05:53
Sounds strangely familiar and topical.

massey
24-08-2009, 07:17
Or...

The Imperium really isn't in any danger. Tyranid invasions, Ork waaghs, Chaos Black Crusades, none of them actually threaten to overturn Imperial rule. The Mechanicum knows this. The Imperium has always simply had enough soldiers that it can throw at any problem until it is solved. Nid invasion? They'll drown under the bodies of our dead. Chaos attack? Your chainswords will eventually run out of fuel.

Bottom line, the Imperium doesn't need to develop more advanced tech. It's big enough that it can win with the stuff it has. Therefore, the Mechanicum has no interest in creating an environment where technological development is common.

In 2009, anyone can become a mechanic. You can take courses over the internet, and in 12 weeks (or whatever), you too can have an exciting career of a refrigerator repair man. Friends and neighbors aren't impressed by the guy who fixes toasters for a living. In general, mechanics are blue collar workers who get payed okay, but they're far from doctors or lawyers. The skills are simply too commonplace, too easy to learn. The Mechanicum creates layers of mysticism and superstition, because it makes their skills more rare, and thus, more valuable. It's politics. It's like Master Blaster from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Master Blaster knew how to make the machines work. No one else did. So he had great political power, and sought to maintain it.

Askil the Undecided
24-08-2009, 10:04
The difference being that the Mechanicus didn't intend to be a bunch of superstitious retards or add mysticism by contrivance they "got religion" when everything went to hell after the golden age of technology and their understanding of the machines that protected them faded to twisted parodies of the simple ryhmes that their masters had taught them to remember.

The Highlander
24-08-2009, 16:53
The key reason in why the Imperium loses technology is that they do not understand HOW and WHY things work. There is little or no understanding of the physics, chemistry etc behind the technology, they may know how to make something but they don’t understand why it works.

To use battleship amour as an example, even if there were no details of how to manufacture it available it would still be relatively easy to start production today. The principals behind it (the properties of different alloys, effects of heat treating and tempering etc) mean that a competent engineer could easily work out how to produce it. In 40K they wouldn’t understand any of this. They may know how to make battleship amour (get molten steel, add this much of such and such, heat the this temperature etc), though it would all be heavily ritualised. But they wouldn’t understand WHY they were doing any of this and if anything happened to the plant then they would be unable to reproduce it.

Lothlanathorian
24-08-2009, 20:40
Good example: The microwavable beef and broccoli I just ate. Heat for 4 minutes, shake and heat again for two minutes. I know that, every time I do this, I get hot food. Now, what if once I burned it while wearing a certain pair of socks? Well, now I know I need to heat up my food while barefoot so as to not anger the microwave.

Or maybe I skipped the shaking and mixing it about and just left it in for 6 minutes straight. Well, skipping that step was bad, and I know that, but I don't know why it was bad. So now, I follow the instructions to the letter. I have no idea how it works or why, but it does and I get hot food. Every time. Except when I wear those damnable socks. I think.

Mr_Rose
24-08-2009, 21:01
Good example: The microwavable beef and broccoli I just ate. Heat for 4 minutes, shake and heat again for two minutes. I know that, every time I do this, I get hot food. Now, what if once I burned it while wearing a certain pair of socks? Well, now I know I need to heat up my food while barefoot so as to not anger the microwave.

Or maybe I skipped the shaking and mixing it about and just left it in for 6 minutes straight. Well, skipping that step was bad, and I know that, but I don't know why it was bad. So now, I follow the instructions to the letter. I have no idea how it works or why, but it does and I get hot food. Every time. Except when I wear those damnable socks. I think.
Well, if you will wear neon paisley...

massey
24-08-2009, 21:33
The difference being that the Mechanicus didn't intend to be a bunch of superstitious retards or add mysticism by contrivance they "got religion" when everything went to hell after the golden age of technology and their understanding of the machines that protected them faded to twisted parodies of the simple ryhmes that their masters had taught them to remember.

Oh didn't they?

First, I think we need to seperate regular technology from "golden age" technology. There's a difference between understanding how a Land Raider works and understanding how a vortex grenade functions. I do get the impression that some of the more exotic technologies are now beyond their reach. But for the most part, I think the "religion" aspect of it is simply a cover. There are numerous examples of the Mechanicum being frighteningly competent. Either they actually know what they are doing, or those are some really good rituals. I don't think the Mechanicum just happened to have rituals on hand to make genetically engineered viruses to kill off Tyranids, you know.


The key reason in why the Imperium loses technology is that they do not understand HOW and WHY things work. There is little or no understanding of the physics, chemistry etc behind the technology, they may know how to make something but they donít understand why it works.

To use battleship amour as an example, even if there were no details of how to manufacture it available it would still be relatively easy to start production today. The principals behind it (the properties of different alloys, effects of heat treating and tempering etc) mean that a competent engineer could easily work out how to produce it. In 40K they wouldnít understand any of this. They may know how to make battleship amour (get molten steel, add this much of such and such, heat the this temperature etc), though it would all be heavily ritualised. But they wouldnít understand WHY they were doing any of this and if anything happened to the plant then they would be unable to reproduce it.

Uh, no, I'll disagree with you there. I know a lot of competent engineers, and while they may be able to reverse-engineer some technologies, without detailed knowledge of the production lines and techniques that were in use at the time, they'd have a very hard time putting something back into production. It's like a puzzle. You see the completed puzzle. "Look, it's a sailboat." You understand how puzzles work. Now, duplicate the puzzle exactly.

I know one very intelligent mechanical engineer who plays Eldar. He understands the concepts of molds for plastic, etc. But he doesn't know the exact techniques that GW uses to produce those miniatures, and that's not exactly something he can just divine from looking at the miniatures. It requires specialized knowledge of plastic molding technology.

In the real world, it takes a lot of time and effort to start major programs over again. Right now, NASA is attempting to create new space exploration modules, but they're running into the problem that all the old guys who actually knew how to do that have long since retired. So they basically have to start from the ground up. And this is in the research-heavy United States, not in the Imperium, where most worlds have never had much in the way of tech research.

That's the other thing to think about. Most of the worlds in the Imperium have very little in the way of research labs or universities, and they have never had them, at least not since the Great Crusade. Humanity had gotten by with just using the STC, so it wasn't worth it to invest in extra research if you were some small backwater world, because you simply didn't have the population base necessary to ever get anything better than you could find in the database. So most worlds never developed a culture devoted to research or development at all.

Condottiere
24-08-2009, 23:12
It also might be the fault of the STC - if you have an automated industrial complex that can produce anything as long as you feed it the correct program, new engineers might have no concept beyond the basics of how it functions, and wouldn't be allowed to tinker with it in fear that they might break something.

Poseidal
26-08-2009, 11:32
View the Mechanicum as a business.

The most important thing they need to do is maintain a monopoly on the technology in the Imperium, and keep out competitors. They use aggressive marketing techniques to make sure that their stuff is used, and make sure that their stuff doesn't get copied by a competitor by having their agents around everywhere.

They can't afford a PR disaster like the Iron Men, so they make sure their marketing portrays that sort of AI as bad, which also discourages any competitors from using it.

Their RnD probably has some great new wacky stuff, but it's too expensive and not worth giving out to the Imperial customers though some of their employees get some bits to play with, like conversion beamers.

The technology isn't so much as 'lost' but is not needed by the customer. Things like Jetbikes and Grav Tanks can still be produced, but it's expensive and (maybe purposefully) not designed for mass distribution along with military specifications.

Note that modern engineering companies would have loads of stuff they are sitting on, but only release it when the customers have demand of it and the price of easy manufacture comes (way) down.

Memnos
26-08-2009, 12:24
There's a real intellectual snobbery here:

We live in a post-industrial service based economy. We train far more Doctors, Lawyers, Executives and such than we do Bricklayers, Mechanics and Gunsmiths. That's just the nature of our current economy. This will not be a good thing if something like a major war comes along and we have to shift to a manufacturing based economy.


Or...

The Imperium really isn't in any danger. Tyranid invasions, Ork waaghs, Chaos Black Crusades, none of them actually threaten to overturn Imperial rule. The Mechanicum knows this. The Imperium has always simply had enough soldiers that it can throw at any problem until it is solved. Nid invasion? They'll drown under the bodies of our dead. Chaos attack? Your chainswords will eventually run out of fuel.

Bottom line, the Imperium doesn't need to develop more advanced tech. It's big enough that it can win with the stuff it has. Therefore, the Mechanicum has no interest in creating an environment where technological development is common.

In 2009, anyone can become a mechanic. You can take courses over the internet, and in 12 weeks (or whatever), you too can have an exciting career of a refrigerator repair man. Friends and neighbors aren't impressed by the guy who fixes toasters for a living. In general, mechanics are blue collar workers who get payed okay, but they're far from doctors or lawyers. The skills are simply too commonplace, too easy to learn. The Mechanicum creates layers of mysticism and superstition, because it makes their skills more rare, and thus, more valuable. It's politics. It's like Master Blaster from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Master Blaster knew how to make the machines work. No one else did. So he had great political power, and sought to maintain it.

Condottiere
26-08-2009, 13:26
To a certain extent, we're cruising on the technological offshoring and the infrastructure the previous generation created.

Makiaveli
26-08-2009, 14:26
40K wise the problem is the religion as Lothlanathorian said in the microwave comment.

Add in you are judged by what you know, so if I know something and you don't I have power, so why would I pass something on if I discovered it. Especially if it was "new" technology.


As to the real world, even an engineer can't make something like a screwdriver without a source of metal, and does he know how to find the ore and process it into usable metal? And make the tool/machines to make the actual screwdriver? Congrats, now get started on how to make screws. You'll have that computer reverse engineered in no time. My point being it takes a lot of people and a lot of knowledge to make even simple things. With out a way to share ideas and results, things get exponentially harder.

MontytheMighty
26-08-2009, 17:45
regaining the standard template construct and the designs lost with it would be awesome for the imperium

Condottiere
26-08-2009, 18:44
It would be better if they could reverse engineer it and train programmers and engineers to come up with new designs.

kikkoman
26-08-2009, 18:48
In our world, everything is fairly stable in the strongest countries, and we have excellent ways of distributing and storing information. We are one planet in relative peace.

In 40k, a galaxy spanning empire where the most reliable way to send long distance information is psychic projection through hell. The infrastructure cannot reliably handle cross-galactic communications, and the Imperium is in a constant state of war.

I don't think their faith is that much of a handicap, it's just simply the cosmic scale of things and all the places it can go wrong. Though the Mechanicus enjoying their monopoly of arcane technology doesn't help.

Writerski7
26-08-2009, 20:11
No kidding. There is also the added aspect of cetrain objects beign 'Sacred'. Like the Tactical Dreadnaught Armor and the Gauntlets of Ultramar. Both are sacred relics that are not to be tampered with, lest they dishonor the heros who left them.

StarshipBOb
26-08-2009, 21:30
I mean if we can do it now then why can they not in 40'000 years in the future?

It's not one reason, but many topped on top of each other. The primary reason is that there is no actual engineering occurring in the Imperium. Even the simplest STC device is incredibly well engineered and while the AdMech has the knowledge to do so, they do not engage in engineering themselves. This combined with a dogmatic approach to technology and an infamously bad archival structure makes sure that technology is lost and never re-researched.

Poseidal
26-08-2009, 21:35
No kidding. There is also the added aspect of cetrain objects beign 'Sacred'. Like the Tactical Dreadnaught Armor and the Gauntlets of Ultramar. Both are sacred relics that are not to be tampered with, lest they dishonor the heros who left them.

They have to do some tampering to repair them though. Look at how scratched Terminator Armour gets after going into a Space Hulk, with damaged eye pieces.

If they didn't tamper with it at least a bit, they'd never fix those.

Wicksy
26-08-2009, 21:47
That's about what happened to Damascus steel.

Yep and more recently thermionic valves. In the 50's before transistors, that technology was at it's zenith. Now we can only make poor reproductions because much of the art is lost. Science and technology aint always black and white...there are ways of doing things that are just far superior. Little tricks etc... you loose them and no matter what you have down you'll never get it bang on. I kind of imagine thats what happens in the 40k universe.

I mean the Emperor had the technology to create practically from scratch 20 super beings....now the imperium struggles to make a decent space marine.

Makiaveli
26-08-2009, 22:42
thermionic valves

Vacuum tubes for us normal people ;)

Condottiere
27-08-2009, 04:17
I mean the Emperor had the technology to create practically from scratch 20 super beings....now the imperium struggles to make a decent space marine.Those indecent Space Marines, out wenching at all hours. Have they no shame?

Wicksy
27-08-2009, 13:02
Vacuum tubes for us normal people ;)

Well, i believe it was Edison who coined that phrase when he invented the diode. However it was DeForest, an Englishman who coined thermionic valve when he took Edison's design and invented the triode. I think they're both right. I tend to say tube more than valve as i chat to mostly Americans about them.

weissengel86
29-08-2009, 08:52
Where did you guys get that information about us losing the knowledge for battleship armor and vacuum tubes? Thats quite fascinating and id love to look into that more. I was aware of the ability to make good concrete being lost when the roman empire fell but I never heard of the other examples.

Basically just goes to show that technology and science have never and probably never will be a simplistic linear progression.

Condottiere
29-08-2009, 15:33
We could reverse engineer it, but that takes time, patience and resources, usually spent on researching more interesting stuff.

One example is trying to discover the ingredients that Renaissance painters used for their paintings, in order to restore them. It seems to have been a trade secret. And then there are the Stradivari.

doghouse
31-08-2009, 00:42
I'd say that it was more to do with the decline of humanity rather than the technology itself.
The dark age of technology was humanity at it's zenith which in the past has been hinted at that the C'tan were responsible for.
Once the expansion took place the colonists found themselves cut off from Terra and their societies began to regress.

Much of the ritual and superstition is to blame for the decline in innovation. You've basically got to the point where technology is now a religious affair with the Mechanicus at the heart of the problem.

There is still innovation such as the predator annihilator or Land raider Crusader but even then there are hundred of years of testing and divination involved in the process afterwards.

I don't think that it's technology regressing but more humanity begining to stagnate under the oppression of superstition and ritual.

Reliance on STC templates didn't really help either but in the 40k universe prefabricated designs were a vital part of colonisation.

Condottiere
31-08-2009, 07:05
The Decline of Humanity could actually be linked to the control of knowledge. While it might be true you need tools to build tools to manufacture goods, automating the process, while more efficient, does seem to ensure that if something goes wrong in isolated worlds, the chances are that the entire structure breaks down.

Writerski7
31-08-2009, 17:50
Yep. THe Imperium has screwed itself up big on this one. I'm still curious if there is innovation that does exists, perhaps in Macragge?

pinegulf
01-09-2009, 09:36
Not to mention dangerous ideas.

In order to develope new technology you need new ideas... Freedom of mind and what's more dangerous in society which whole existance depends on rigorous dogma? Empire can't let rampart developement take place or whole system would collapse under questioning the foundations of the empire; Emperor, fait and obidience. If you aren't allowed to question 'why is this like it is?', then all 'learning' is just reading by hard and isn't really any different than remembering digits of pi. And just as useful.

Forgetting tecnology is easy. Do you know how to use a slide rule? (Stick to do exponent calculations before electric calculators) My dad might, but I sure can't, so the tech of slide rule is lost after that generation is gone. Sure we maybe don't need it right now, but lost is lost. It maybe recorded in some arcane tome how to use slide rule. :)

Condottiere
01-09-2009, 09:41
Isn't that when you have to slide your units together to maximize contact?

pinegulf
02-09-2009, 12:03
Isn't that when you have to slide your units together to maximize contact?
That too, but this object is called a slide rule (http://www.tcf.ua.edu/Classes/Jbutler/T389/SlideRule.jpg).

Condottiere
02-09-2009, 12:05
Somehow I have this feeling it's a fetish that nerds use to get excited.

Luckily, we were allowed to use calculators.

Wicksy
02-09-2009, 22:35
Where did you guys get that information about us losing the knowledge for battleship armor and vacuum tubes? Thats quite fascinating and id love to look into that more. I was aware of the ability to make good concrete being lost when the roman empire fell but I never heard of the other examples.

Basically just goes to show that technology and science have never and probably never will be a simplistic linear progression.

Well, i got my info on vacuum tubes through experience building valve amps. I got quite heavily into duplicating old Marshall amps at one point. Old valves sound better as they were built at the pinnacle of technology. Everything from your tv to the radar and ballistic missiles was made with valves. Infact i own a pair of 5881 Tung Sol tetrodes pulled from a junked US missile! Great sounding tubes! These days where everything is solid state we forget how to make the older stuff. You could reverse engineer them but it would take more time and money than is economically viable.

Mr_Rose
03-09-2009, 07:36
Or you could ask the Russians; they never really went fully solid-state and have been developing valve tech independently for years.

AndrewGPaul
03-09-2009, 13:07
Well, i got my info on vacuum tubes through experience building valve amps. I got quite heavily into duplicating old Marshall amps at one point. Old valves sound better as they were built at the pinnacle of technology. Everything from your tv to the radar and ballistic missiles was made with valves. Infact i own a pair of 5881 Tung Sol tetrodes pulled from a junked US missile! Great sounding tubes! These days where everything is solid state we forget how to make the older stuff. You could reverse engineer them but it would take more time and money than is economically viable.

What dop you mean by the "pinnacle of technology"? TVs, radar and missile technology is all better now than it was in the 60s. :) For most applications, valves were inefficient, large and unreliable. The only real benefits are their properties when used to amplify audio signals, and the fact that they're EMP-resistant to a greater extent than normal unhardened electronics.

Condottiere
04-09-2009, 00:39
If we ever discover a cost efficient use for valves, I'm sure someone will reintroduce them.

AndrewGPaul
04-09-2009, 07:37
They have; musical amps. Even then, that's not quite a matter of them being 'better', it's more a case of the distortion being more pleasing to the ear.

Wicksy
04-09-2009, 23:33
What dop you mean by the "pinnacle of technology"? TVs, radar and missile technology is all better now than it was in the 60s. :) For most applications, valves were inefficient, large and unreliable. The only real benefits are their properties when used to amplify audio signals, and the fact that they're EMP-resistant to a greater extent than normal unhardened electronics.

What i mean is that all technology used them. Therefore they were at the pinnacle of their technology. When the transistor came in, pretty much overnight only the military kept them as the were resistant to electro magnetic radiation - such as that generated by an atomic blast.

People refer to the russians...they're use of valve technology follows ours. Infact most of the valve made today come from either russia or china where the less stringent health and safety laws still allow their production. They still arent up to much either ;)

Wicksy
04-09-2009, 23:35
They have; musical amps. Even then, that's not quite a matter of them being 'better', it's more a case of the distortion being more pleasing to the ear.

That to me makes them better...unless you're trying to hump a 100 watt amp weighing 30kg up the stairs! I've amps with transformers you could anchor warships with!