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Thread: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

  1. #121
    Chaplain bobafett_h's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Victrix View Post
    Let's play a game.

    If you think "your side" is superior, list a technology that proves it.
    Others can then counter with other technologies..
    Unfortunately, this then brings up the issue that there is not enough information in the fluff that clearly points out all of the best technology that was available at Eldar's peak, nor what the true technological level of the Necrontyr was as they fought the Old Ones before they and the C'Tan were put into their living metal bodies. It is difficult to make a fair and accurate debate without more of those details.

    You also mention that some hard-technology involves the Warp. This is true, but psykers also use the Warp. While it would be unfair to bring up pure psychic powers/abilities like they are in the current game, the idea that technology which is built/driven by psykers is different from what you mentioned would be incorrect as it is just another way of using and harnessing the powers of the Warp.
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  2. #122

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    That is actually a terrible analogy and based on a human-centric viewpoint. For humans Eldar psychic powers are magic, but holding a blowtorch is not, because the ability to use tools is innate within us. We have the anatomy and intelligence to manipulate tools, unlike many other species. Likewise the Eldar are innately psychic, when they use a psychic power it is not special or magical, it is something any one of their race can do with the right training. Just like any human can become a wlder given the right training/knowledge.

    The technology listing is also problematic, we have virtually no information on the Eldar Empire but lots on the Necrons because the old Necrons arethe current Necrons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Victrix View Post
    Let's play a game.

    If you think "your side" is superior, list a technology that proves it.
    Others can then counter with other technologies.

    And as much as it hurts the Eldar lovers, we can't really bring up psychic powers.
    Because that's like saying the ability to build a blow torch, and the ability of a psyker to conjure a burning flame are the same technological feat. Does some hard-technology involve the warp? Yes. But we're talking about a half-sentient force that can "skip" quite a few steps that hard science is needed to replicate.
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  3. #123
    Chapter Master El_Machinae's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    It also leads to some interesting technological gaps. why invent a blowtorch if you can make plasma appear psychically? There're whole branches of technology not discovered because we have opposable thumbs!
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  4. #124

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    ^Machinae gets it.

    It doesn't matter what Eldar can innately do. This thread is about technology. So if you want to compare, say, creating an "Eldritch Storm" to cloud-seeding and generating artificial lightning - ONE of those is technology, the other is manipulation of the mind / emotions / warp.

    Comparatively: Chaos can warp a planet. No technology required. Or you can terraform is using microbes, injection of elements or compounds into the atmosphere, etc.

    If I recall, the current tomb worlds aren't exactly "peak". A lot of technology is lost due to tens of millions (?) of years lying dormant, and there are an enormous number of tomb worlds that have not yet awoken.

    It's regrettable that the inertia-less drives were retconned since that was huge - but does any other race have the technology to slow, or reverse time? How about a small, wrist-mounted railgun-ish (Since the metal is inert?) device that can fire a small projectile through a mountain?
    How about the capacity to build a Dyson-esque ship?

    I am however excited for the upcoming Eldar Codex whenever it arrives. We need better background.

  5. #125
    Archanist Lord Damocles's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Victrix View Post
    It's regrettable that the inertia-less drives were retconned since that was huge
    The inertialess drive wasn't retconned at all.

    They're still there in the Necron BFG list in Armada.

    People just assumed that the inertialess drives allowed for realspace FTL travel - something which was never stated, and so hasn't changed in the slightest.

  6. #126

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Machinae gets it, you don't. Not trying to be rude. Note what he says 'whole branches of technology we didn't develop because we had opposable thumbs'. He is quite correct. We use tools to manipulate our environment, our science is based on this. The Eldar can manipulate their environment using their innate psychic abilities. To them it is technology, to us it is magic. Is eldritch storm technology? No, but neither is using our hands to paint. Both use innate taltents but aren't technological, yours is a flawed example. What is technology is a Bonesinger manipulating psychic energy into matter and using it to build machinery that exists and operates outside of and independent of the psychic energy used ot create it. It isn't summoned, or magiced into existenced. It is crafted, it is technology. All Craftworld Eldar technology is created out of nothing by bonesingers, and the codex and all the literature refer to it as technology. Because it is. You continue to rely on a narrow, human-centric view of technology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Victrix View Post
    ^Machinae gets it.

    It doesn't matter what Eldar can innately do. This thread is about technology. So if you want to compare, say, creating an "Eldritch Storm" to cloud-seeding and generating artificial lightning - ONE of those is technology, the other is manipulation of the mind / emotions / warp.

    Comparatively: Chaos can warp a planet. No technology required. Or you can terraform is using microbes, injection of elements or compounds into the atmosphere, etc.

    If I recall, the current tomb worlds aren't exactly "peak". A lot of technology is lost due to tens of millions (?) of years lying dormant, and there are an enormous number of tomb worlds that have not yet awoken.

    It's regrettable that the inertia-less drives were retconned since that was huge - but does any other race have the technology to slow, or reverse time? How about a small, wrist-mounted railgun-ish (Since the metal is inert?) device that can fire a small projectile through a mountain?
    How about the capacity to build a Dyson-esque ship?

    I am however excited for the upcoming Eldar Codex whenever it arrives. We need better background.
    In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only British.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jes Goodwin
    They breed more anyway, its a pretty rough place, Commoragh, there's a lot of it going off.

  7. #127
    Chapter Master stormblade's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Too bad that the 'narrow' 'human-centric' definition of technology is the only one we have. Making the distinction is meaningless as there is no other definition. The only difference between edritch storm and making something is the duration. Knowing the design of the object would be technology (something akin to blueprints) but the act of creation would not be technological in itself as it is essentialy the same as mining and crafting but much more direct as warpstuff can and is all you need it to be.

    I guess that making an eldar rifle is in one way simpler than making a lasgun but still beyond the reach of humans and the tau.

    Although one might think that Eldar have 'gaps' in their technological development as their psychic powers would remove the need to invent a lot of stuff humans had to invent, but this is off topic.
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  8. #128

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    If that were true then there would be no point debating fictional alient technology at all then. If you do not accept Eldar psychic-based technology as technology then they have no technology, which is clearly wrong as it is referred to as such in the codices and rulebooks. Again I bring up the third of Clarkes Three Laws:
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    In 40k the Warp is real, so technology utilising it is still technology. Jus because the Eldar can use their minds to shape and manipulate materiel rather than tools doesn't make it any less technological. Anyway this is getting quite off topic.
    Last edited by eldargal; 27-05-2012 at 13:10.
    In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only British.
    Actual (alleged) girl. Alpha Female.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jes Goodwin
    They breed more anyway, its a pretty rough place, Commoragh, there's a lot of it going off.

  9. #129
    Chapter Master stormblade's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    But that begets the question what is magic. As in is there magic in the setting?
    "WE ARE THE ONLY SOURCE OF GOODNESS, SEVERE AND DRASTIC. THERE IS NO OTHER SOURCE OF HOPE THAN US. WE ARE AGONISINGLY ALONE."
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  10. #130

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Yes, where technology is based on knowledge and the application of that knowledge (whether the blowtorch is physical or not), magic is based on supersitition and ignorance. A cultist engaging in arcane rituals to summon a daemon from the warp neither understands nor controls the power, so it is magic.

    Still off topic though, and as enjoyable as it is we should probably stop.
    Last edited by eldargal; 27-05-2012 at 14:26.
    In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only British.
    Actual (alleged) girl. Alpha Female.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jes Goodwin
    They breed more anyway, its a pretty rough place, Commoragh, there's a lot of it going off.

  11. #131
    Chapter Master Stonerhino's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    I think this is mainly being cause by the blurring of the lines between magic and tech.

    A blow Torch = tech
    Shooting a blow torch like warp plasma from your finger = magic
    Creating a stick with carved runes that can be used by a non-psyker to shoot a blow torch like warp plasma = tech
    Creating a stick with carved runes that requires the use of a psyker to shoot a blow torch like warp plasma = magic stick

    The diffining feature being that for warp based technology to make the jump from magic to technology. Is for that technology to be able to able to accomplish it's given task through it's own manipulation of the warp; not someone else's ability to use it to manipulate the warp.

    And the problem does not lie with which is better, warp tech or physical tech. The problem is and the root of this is which is harder to accomplish. For example we know at some point there were stars taken into the webway. We don't know how this was done or if it was even a technological achievement. It's impresive, but does it really trump building a Dyson shell around a star and moving said star around the physical universe???

  12. #132
    Chapter Master El_Machinae's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    If I were forced to choose, I'd think that moving a star into the webway is more impressive than building a Dyson sphere. IF the sphere has historically 'moved around', though ... wow ...
    Until I'm PM'd with better ideas, I suggest that this is the best pro-active transhumanist charity opportunity for this decade.
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  13. #133

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Quote Originally Posted by eldargal View Post
    Yes, where technology is based on knowledge and the application of that knowledge (whether the blowtorch is physical or not), magic is based on supersitition and ignorance. A cultist engaging in arcane rituals to summon a daemon from the warp neither understands nor controls the power, so it is magic.

    Still off topic though, and as enjoyable as it is we should probably stop.
    I think that's a reasonable assessment. Witchblades and Forceweapons are technological manifestations. The webway is certainly a technology. ( I don't think it's off topic either, it's certainly relevant )

    However, even though your definition is magic to the cultist (which I agree with), is that same act "magical" to the daemon possessing him? For me the lines start to get really blurry when you start talking about the chaos entities themselves. Is possession or transmutation a technological feat to a Daemon? I'm inclined to think it's more of a base act, like eating, even though the entity is manipulating the rules governing reality.

    Is equipment like the Lash of Torment a piece of technology or is it magic? Does an Obliterators ability to form weapons out of limbs count as technology? I'm more inclined to say that they are warp-based technological feats, but it's a really blurry area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerhino View Post
    I think this is mainly being cause by the blurring of the lines between magic and tech.

    A blow Torch = tech
    Shooting a blow torch like warp plasma from your finger = magic
    Creating a stick with carved runes that can be used by a non-psyker to shoot a blow torch like warp plasma = tech
    Creating a stick with carved runes that requires the use of a psyker to shoot a blow torch like warp plasma = magic stick

    The diffining feature being that for warp based technology to make the jump from magic to technology. Is for that technology to be able to able to accomplish it's given task through it's own manipulation of the warp; not someone else's ability to use it to manipulate the warp.
    I have to disagree. I don't think that the requirement of a psyker makes said "tool" magic rather than technological. The analogy to your statement might be that to a race that can't see, eyeglasses are not a technology but are instead "magic". To the Eldar I think the warp is a very distinct sense.
    Last edited by insectum7; 28-05-2012 at 01:09.

  14. #134
    Chaplain bobafett_h's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    I like the line from Thor where he mentions that in Asgard, science and magic are one and the same...

    Whether a weapon is built with a hammer and blow torch or it was crafted by a being like a Bonesinger using psychic abilities matters not. They are just the tools and the end result is still a piece of technology...
    Everyone Dies. It's the final and only lasting Justice. There's no greater good than Justice; It is said correctly that law exists not for the Just but for the unjust, I bow to no one and I give service only for cause...

  15. #135
    Chapter Master Stonerhino's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    The technology behind eyeglass is just an application of the technology to refract light. A technology that does not require the ability to see to be usefull.

    But to stay with the eye glasses example. You can say that an item that allows the user to focus warp energy like how the lenses focus light is technology. The problem there is that the item does not just require warp. It requires the warp to be pushed into it using "Magic". So magic goes in one side and you get focused magic out of the other side. And now the blurry clearing up part. The creation of the focusing item is technoogy but it's actions are not.

    So using the previously posted list "Creating a stick with carved runes that requires the use of a psyker to shoot a blow torch like warp plasma = magic stick". The creation of the stick is a technological feat whereas the "Blow torch like warp plasma" is not. IE, requires the technological know how to create the stick with runes on it.

    Or maybe a better prespective would be the "Harry Potter" movies/books. The creation of the wands would be technology but what the user of the wand does is magic. Or would you consider that all of the magic preformed in the movies is really a technological achievement??? And not counting the "Movie magic" to create the visual effects.

  16. #136

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerhino View Post
    The technology behind eyeglass is just an application of the technology to refract light. A technology that does not require the ability to see to be usefull.

    But to stay with the eye glasses example. You can say that an item that allows the user to focus warp energy like how the lenses focus light is technology. The problem there is that the item does not just require warp. It requires the warp to be pushed into it using "Magic". So magic goes in one side and you get focused magic out of the other side. And now the blurry clearing up part. The creation of the focusing item is technoogy but it's actions are not.

    So using the previously posted list "Creating a stick with carved runes that requires the use of a psyker to shoot a blow torch like warp plasma = magic stick". The creation of the stick is a technological feat whereas the "Blow torch like warp plasma" is not. IE, requires the technological know how to create the stick with runes on it.

    Or maybe a better prespective would be the "Harry Potter" movies/books. The creation of the wands would be technology but what the user of the wand does is magic. Or would you consider that all of the magic preformed in the movies is really a technological achievement??? And not counting the "Movie magic" to create the visual effects.

    So constructing a witchblade, which is presumably done by bonesingers, is that a magical crafting of a piece of technology? I feel like that's incorrect.

    I agree that the casting of Psychic Storm is a form of magic, like a spell from Harry Potter. But even though psykers are required to inscribe the runes necessary for a Force Weapon, the result is a piece of technology.

  17. #137
    Chaplain MooseOnTheLoose's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Its a loaded question as asked. As currently would technically be "their peak" in technology. It would be like saying Europe was the most tech advanced at their peak when they began colonization. However that simply isn't the "peak" of european technology. That would be today, right now, this second. As all these races still exist they are all currently at their technological peak.'

    Now if it was phrased as at the height of their power who was most technologically advance, then you have debate which would be Eldar or Necron beyond doubt. This isn't "men are advanced and conquered the galaxy" that was advanced tech plus sheer weight in numbers. Drastically different then say Eldar who have never had the weight of mankind yet hold their own despite sure small numbers, due too more advance technology. Tau are the only "progressive" race so their tech is the only seemingly able to improve further, while technically Nids have no technology at all.

  18. #138
    Chapter Master Stonerhino's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Quote Originally Posted by insectum7 View Post
    So constructing a witchblade, which is presumably done by bonesingers, is that a magical crafting of a piece of technology? I feel like that's incorrect.

    I agree that the casting of Psychic Storm is a form of magic, like a spell from Harry Potter. But even though psykers are required to inscribe the runes necessary for a Force Weapon, the result is a piece of technology.
    Yes, the creation of the weapon would be technological but the use of the ID power is not.

    The weapon is created to provide a specific effect when powered. But that effect is still magical in nature, not technology.

  19. #139

    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Except if you understand how something works and create tools to harness it can't be magic. Manipulating a resource with tools is at the heart of science and technology.
    In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only British.
    Actual (alleged) girl. Alpha Female.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jes Goodwin
    They breed more anyway, its a pretty rough place, Commoragh, there's a lot of it going off.

  20. #140
    Chapter Master TheDungen's Avatar
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    Re: Which Race Was The Most Technologically Advanced At Their Peak?

    Its all dependent on whihc trope you want to go with, either:

    Magic Versus Science

    or:

    Clarke's Third Law


    The question is if the warp can be understood if it can be if it follows a set of underlying rules then it can be considered science and thus anything derived from it is technology. My impression have always been that while chaos cannot be understood the warp can. While chaos is as random as the minds that spawn it the warp is actually suprisingly simple, it might even be possible to break down how the minds of mortals affect it into math. That makes it science.

    But humanity dont understand these things (atleast they no longer do) so to them it would seem like magic.


    The thing is that as soon as a phenomena attributed to magic is proved to be true science adepts to allow its existance, it becomes science.

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