700 years ago, some monk scraped down the ink from a book, so he could reuse it to write down his stupid prayers.

Recent analysis uncovered that the book he scraped was “Method” by Archimedes that outlined the basics of calculus 1000 years before Leibniz.

It makes me feel miserable and helpless when I think how more advanced our world would be if it didn’t happen. I realize he probably didn’t go like “hehehehe I’m erasing scientific knowledge because religion is better”, and just did what he thought was better, but I feel bad nonetheless.

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    Leibniz was around 1700, Archimedes around -250, which is close to 2000 years.

    Also, don't underestimate the church - it's only thanks to them and the fact that they had a book religion that writing survived at all, including copies of antique texts. Other dark ages had even that art lost for good, such as the after collapse of the Minoic culture.

    Most of our current scientific knowledge will not make it through the next dark age, either, because it will be useless in a world of scarce resources so that there will be no point in taking the effort to preserve it.
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    I'm going to draw more villain moustaches on textbooks, just out of spite, that a future @kiki sees it. Lmao.
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    @Fast-Nop A lot of ancient Greek culture survived, most likely the parts of our culture that are built into everything around us such as calculus will survive.
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    @Fast-Nop lest we forget why it was called the "dark ages".

    Mostly because of the strongarm tactics employed by the Church, which included but was but not limited to, attempting to erase thousands of years of scientific progress because it refused to yield a "proof of God".

    This has, for the most part, been replaced by religious zealots insisting followers "have faith". Far less destructive but far more inflammatory for people that have a strong grip on reality.

    There is no proof of a "God", there is no life after death, and the sooner we as a species stop believing in fairytales the better off we will be.
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    @sariel That's not only one-dimensional, but also historically inaccurate. The collapse of the antique and the resulting dark age from roughly around 400 to 800 CE, depending on the region, was not due to the church.

    They struggled like everyone else in that period of chaos, and them applying strong-arm tactics pretty much required the dark age to be over, and even then it was not the church, but rather mundane kings.

    Their motive, in turn, was centralised power to even have a kingdom beyond sheer tribalism, but that required some sort of administration, and only the monks had the required skill set.

    It was also not an interlude, which is why the term "middle age" is nonsense - it was the birth of our culture.
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    @sariel afaik there are multiple versions of "dark ages"


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    That monk did nothing else than reformatting a floppy disk to store some god memes and art on it. He probably couldn't even read greek and just needed some space to backup his favorite stuff.

    Back in the days where storage space was expensive, i actually did the same - deleted games and software i had no use for and stored games on that precious hand-punched floppy disks...

    Also: What an incredible reuse. Today, we would just burn it. But making a book was laborious and expensive. So they recycled them. We definitely need to copy that aspect of their culture for all of today's goods like phones, cars, buildings, packaging. In the long run, we can't just cherry-pick some metals and cellulose and burn everything else.
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    I’m a librarian’s son. I grew up in a library. That library didn’t have the same books in it when I was 18 as when I was 2. My mom rotated and threw out older stuff to make room for newer stuff. She could do that because of a modern age in which books are no longer scarce. Monks had no such luxuries. However, we “enlightened” secular societies have an achilles heel we don’t recognize. All knowledge is becoming digital. But that is by NO MEANS indestructible. Quite the opposite. One major solar flare, manmade EMP, or asteroid strike and it’s all as inaccessible or destroyed as this Archimedes text. Our secular hubris will be our downfall and we are ungrateful to criticize religions for preserving what we now enjoy. However imperfectly they did it.
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    @stackodev ever head of arctic code vault?
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    @kiki It will be useless if the knowledge of it or how to access it or how to access the data/code is impossible to obtain. We’ve actually done this before, which evidence is just now coming to light for what it actually is, but have had general amnesia about for nearly 13,000 years. There is plenty of evidence that, prior to that, a highly-organized and intelligent version of us existed. Many neolithic monuments we continue to puzzle over are either remnants of them or the attempts their survivors made to mark the death of their civilization and/or try to communicate as much as possible about it to a future civilization that might arise.

    In short, preserving knowledge for recovery after major cataclysmic events is a long slog subject to all kinds of risks. It’s not as easy as tossing some backup SDDs 250m into a mine.

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    @stackodev on a serious note, internet made our knowledge global. There is no country on earth knowing way more about math or physics than other countries. As far as fundamental knowledge goes, we’re all pretty much on the same page, all connected. Modern science is a vibrant and diverse field.

    About the monk. His country was not even close to being connected to what Archimedes and his country achieved, because no means of communication.

    What happened is someone gave you 10 BTC, but you opened the file with the access code, deleted the contents, and written some PHP stuff in it.

    In modern “solar flare” scenario, it would’ve been like losing GCC. Yes, it’s important, and it sets us back somewhat, but we already have the concept, and creating a replacement won’t take long.
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    @kiki Again, though, what if a direct hit by a large asteroid destroys the information? Like utterly, physically destroys it globally. Big asteroid strikes do massive damage globally. Seismically.

    Apophis in 2029 is not expected to hit us. But it is a big enough body and close enough of a flyby that if the orbital estimates are even a 10th of a degree off in the wrong direction, that’s the end of ALL things. For a very long time. None of our current tech will withstand it. Again, our secular hubris is our biggest weakness. Ironically, one thing that can save that knowledge, and humanity in general, is Elon Musk’s proposed Mars colony. But there is an ironic secular fervor that can only be described as religious which is proposing that we should only focus on Earth and ban billionaires trying to make humanity interplanetary. Same priests, different religion.
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    @stackodev information is indeed lost. It will have to be reinvented. But at least the survivors will know where to look. The rest is details. Very important, vital details that cannot be ignored, and without them nothing will work, but they’re still details. The concept persists.

    You know what a compiler is. If you never wrote one, you can! Doing one knowing the concept is easier than inventing the concept itself, from scratch.

    Because of the internet, among other things, we’re on the same page in that manner. This is what I was talking about. It won’t take survivors a thousand years to reinvent what was lost.
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    @stackodev Asteroids are well known - unlike the giant space iguanas who may already be preparing to drown Earth in their shit.
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