An Ancient Computer Surprises Scientists

NYTimes about the Antikythera Mechanism:

“It seems clear, Dr. Charette said, that ‘much of the mind-boggling technological sophistication available in some parts of the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman world was simply not transmitted further,‘ adding, ‘The gear-wheel, in this case, had to be reinvented.

This makes me think how valuable patents are. Not because you have to license them in order to use their ideas (that’s the part everyone hates in the open source world), but because they are so well documented and securely filed. Patents in US usually go invalid within 20 years, but their filing persists. There is no reason to re-invent something that has already been invented because their knowledge is public. Social progress through technology is a given and patents play a role on this, you like it or not.

Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.