Catholic and medieval automatic machinery

The term “Automata” is derived from ancient Greek and means – a device that moves as you wish. To be precise, automata differs from AI in that it is not intelligent and can only work under the framework provided by the designer, such as a simple and practical hydraulic mill. Some complex machines that are out of manpower seem to have intelligence.

Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Catholicism has monopolized the cultural life of Westerners. The topic of daily discussion is not the existence of the devil, but the return of Jesus. When faced with magical things, they no longer choose rational analysis, but they are more inclined to believe in the theory of black magic. It is for this reason that the Middle Ages lacked serious science and technology practitioners, and the Latin database of this period was full of explanations for mechanical superstitions. The rigorous Greek mechanical knowledge faded out of sight in the Middle Ages, and the rational voice was gradually buried. On the contrary, the level of science and technology in the Islamic world has sprung up.

High technology from the east
Since the eighth century, the Islamic region has inherited the legacy of ancient Greece and has been working tirelessly on automatic machinery.

In 807 AD, the caliph of the Abbasid caliph (Islamic leader) Harlan Rashid presented to Charlemagne a gift never seen in Western Europe: the brass water clock. The water clock falls into the bowl through the metal ball, and a “beep” sound is emitted to report the time. Instead of using a digital disk to display time, it was shown by 12 different mechanical knights. Each knight corresponds to a different moment, and the knight pops up from a small window on time.

The idea of ​​an Arab engineer’s avant-garde is not limited to this. As early as the eighth century, they tried to use the gravity of water to make various automatic machines. In order to believe and compete for living space, for more than 400 years, there has been an endless war between Arabia and Byzantium, and in the mechanical invention, they also fought each other.

The most famous Byzantine machine is the throne of King Solomon. In fact, Solomon is a Christian and Jewish figure, not a Byzantine monarch. According to the Bible, Solomon is the king of the Jews. He is a “heavy metal fan”. All living utensils are not gold or silver. According to legend, Solomon also has a throne made of ivory, which is extremely luxurious under the pure gold package. It is definitely a collection of the “high-precision” technology of Byzantium at that time. The throne is backed by a large copper-plated tree, and the branches are covered with metal birds. Next to it are two gold-plated lions that can not only open their mouths, but also shake their tails to hit the ground. All metal parts have been polished and look radiant and eye-catching. Once someone approaches the throne and touches the organ, the lion begins to roar and the bird sings. Obviously, the “sound card” device is installed under the throne, setting different sounds from different species.

The Solomon Throne in the Bible has six steps, high above. The Byzantine version of Solomon’s throne in reality is even more fascinating. It is like an elevator and can lift and lower. When the king sits on it, the throne automatically rises to the height of the flush ceiling, and everyone needs to look up to see the king’s honor and show the king’s supreme power to the extreme.

dark magic
The belief in the monopoly of civilians in the Middle Ages used “God’s will” to dominate all aspects of civilian life. The society’s perception of the natural sciences has also fallen back one year. The history of the Frankish kingdom can still distinguish the water clock as “extraordinary mechanical works”. After six centuries, the officials who hold the highest secular powers, superstitiously regard the stage machinery as “the supernatural power of hell.”

In 1204, Western European troops traveled to Constantinople, burning and destroying some cities. An insignificant little soldier named Claire recorded the “miracle” encountered during the Fourth Crusade.

Claire recorded that there are various kinds of simulation robots in the arena of Constantinople, from men and women to lion beasts. They are lifelike, and if you don’t observe them carefully, you can completely confuse them. They used to move with magic, but now they can’t move at all (lost magic). After observing the robot at close range, I insisted that the power of the robot was the magic of ancient Greece. That magical power may have originated from the Greek Apolloni in the first century AD – Tyne magic (Apollon Tane is an ancient Greek philosopher, he also studied sacrificial magic, although many of his works have been lost, but His autobiographical novels are still widely circulated in Western Europe.

Elephant water clocks made in the medieval Islamic world, drawings and physical restoration maps.

Coincidentally, in 1414, at the Aragorn Queen’s coronation ceremony, everyone was full of food and eagerly watched the after-dinner entertainment. I saw a cloud falling from the ceiling, and then the image of God appeared in the clouds. It is not difficult to imagine that the audience’s horror at that time was no less than the first time the French saw the train in the movie, and they panicked around. Since all the mechanical controls were hidden behind the scenes, the audience under the stage only saw the ghosts of the sky, but did not know why. In a short while, the god of death came to the stage with a cloud of fog, screaming a hemp rope and shouting to catch an official named Paula. Later, the king ordered people to find Paula and tie him up. The god of death slammed hard, and Bola flew up in the air and hung in the air. Paula believes in “the miracle”, but where does he know that this is actually a group of entertainment programs carefully rehearsed by the king. Seeing that he was going to be taken away by the god of death, Bora was scared to lose weight and incontinence, and the excrement was smashed into the audience.

From the perspective of the contemporary people, this is just a “small scene” that is commonplace in drama, and at most it is counted as a rough special effect. But on the contrary, Paula’s gaffe is easy to understand. The reason why the Middle Ages was called “an era of ignorance and superstition” is precisely because people are used to seeing the world from the perspective of God, not from the perspective of human beings. As described by the inventor Charlie Clarke: the Catholic stupidity policy makes any advanced technology recognizable as supernatural power.

As the leader of the Renaissance, Da Vinci has an epoch-making artistic attainment. But his innovations in the fields of mechanics, physics and geometry are also fruitful. Da Vinci led the world for three or four hundred years and proposed concepts or designs such as calculators, helicopters, and robots.

Mechanical manufacturing crown
Nowadays, the scientific and technological community recognizes that aero-engines are the crown diamonds in the industry and an important criterion for measuring the industrial level of a country. So what did people use to measure the technological level of a country five or six hundred years ago? Yes, it is a mechanical clock. Although the water clock first appeared in ancient Greece, its role is equivalent to a rough timer, which is difficult to improve accuracy, can not display specific moments, and lacks technical content.

The mechanical timepiece in the true sense was born in the church bell tower at the end of the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, automatic machinery was equivalent to a clock, and a clock represented an automatic machine. However, even if technology has made great progress, it can’t get rid of the strong religious color. With the improvement of gear transmission technology, the clock tower was built into a sparkling fire and burned into all the rich churches and monasteries. The tradition of the church with the clock tower continues to the present.

The original mainstream lighthouse consisted of 34-36 gears. The gear that powered was connected to the winch, and a pack of sandbags hung under the winch. The gravitational potential energy lost by the falling of the sandbag pulls the winch to rotate, providing power to the entire system.

Why only build a clock tower? On the one hand, limited by the state of the art at the time, the fine mechanical structure inside the clock could not be reduced; on the other hand, the clock tower dial was huge, which not only reminded the believers to pray, but also the residents in the town can accurately read the time and facilitate the daily life. Life and business transactions. Each time a new watch is introduced, it represents the highest level of technology in Europe. One of the giant clocks, called the “Astronomical Clock”, can accurately display the profit and loss of the sun and the moon and the constellation position, and become an epoch-making masterpiece.

The astronomical clock built by the Notre Dame de Strasbourg in France to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus is the first clock in the world to use mechanical calculations of calendars and astrology. In fact, the Notre Dame has built three astronomical clocks. The first was born in the late Middle Ages. It was put into use in 1354 and has been in operation for 150 years. This clock is as high as one floor, and different statues pop up every 15 minutes; every hour, there will be mechanical death with an axe to report the time; at 12:30, the music is ringing in the clock. Most of the church clocks can be done in the previous chapters. Where is the difference in the astronomical clock? The astronomical clock can not only display time, but also express astronomical information, such as the location of the planets and constellations, the profit and loss of the sun and the moon. Regrettably, although the astronomical clock is accurate enough, its manufacturing theory is still based on the theory of geocentric theory that is universally pursued in the Christian world.

The difficulty of the astronomical clock lies in the high cost of manufacturing and maintenance. It requires not only superb mechanical processes, but also huge financial support. In the Middle Ages, the richest was nothing more than the land lord and the church church, so having the astronomical clock is a symbol of wealth.

The architect of the astronomical clock in Strasbourg, Rene Descat, claims that the internals of living things are like clocks, and the organs are like gears. They are coupled to each other and are as precise as the nervous system.

The natural philosopher of Ireland, Boyle (the prophet of ideal gas and isothermal change), once compared the world to this clock. He predicted: Although the astronomical clock is an independent item, the time and astronomical data it displays is the result of the work of numerous gear links behind it. All phenomena in the world are not accidental, and there is always some kind of physical logic behind them.

An astronomical clock that completely links the macrocosm, microcosmic human society and human body structure. The change of methodology has made humans a big step in the exploration of the natural sciences. Until the end of the 17th century, the superstitious interpretation of natural phenomena gradually faded out of people’s horizons. The knowledge of mechanics with laws and rules gradually replaced the theory of black magic.

Renaissance Black Technology
As the leader of the Renaissance, Da Vinci has an epoch-making artistic attainment. But his innovations in the fields of mechanics, physics and geometry are also fruitful. Da Vinci led the world for three or four hundred years and proposed concepts or designs such as calculators, helicopters, and robots.

In 1498, the Duke of Orleans, Louis XII, succeeded the French King. Louis XII tried to become a good king. He not only reduced the people’s tax, but also committed to reforming the judiciary in order to maintain social justice. It happened that the last three years of Da Vinci’s life was spent on the banks of the Loire River in France, and his worship of Louis XII was beyond words. In order to commemorate the “good king of the people”, Da Vinci deliberately made a mechanical lion with a length of 2 meters and a height of about 1.3 meters, and can automatically walk without external force. Even more amazing is that the mechanical lion can also make a variety of lifelike micro-expressions, such as twisting the head, turning the eyes, closing the mouth and shaking the tail. It is said that when the mechanical lion walked in front of Louis XII, the darkroom on its chest automatically bounced off, and the Valuwa dynasty badge appeared in the cabin.

It is not difficult to imagine that the appearance of the mechanical lion caused the French court to explode. No one knows what forces are driving the wood lions weighing up to 60 kilograms. Although everyone scratched the scalp and could not understand the working principle of the automatic mechanical lion, but people do not believe in the theory of black magic, more inclined to use scientific eyes to analyze automatic machinery. As the saying goes: Every step of science advances, religion takes a step back. It was not until a century later that someone used gears, drive belts, wheels and pendulums to recreate the mechanical lions of Da Vinci.

People’s attitudes toward robotics range from ignorance to fear to understanding applications. Behind cognitive change is the change of human science methodology, the transformation of power, and the evolution of ideology. In the past half century, the human lifestyle has changed far more than the sum of the years 2000, and technology itself is experiencing drastic changes.

According to estimates, by 2045, artificial intelligence can completely surpass human wisdom. Unlike artificial robots, artificial intelligence has its own self-awareness and may also evolve advanced emotions. What kind of posture should we greet with the AI ​​waves? This is a question involving philosophy, ethics and religion.