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    Re: Finding longitude in the 12th century
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2012 Sep 2, 14:52 -0400

    > A "very good" one was able to keep
    > time to about 10 minutes over the course of 8 hours.    This one was a
    > three container system.   One container puts water in a container that has
    > an 'overflow' and keeps the depth of the water column constant, this one
    > then drains into a cylinder that actually tracks time by the height of
    > water accumulated.
    This reminds me some of the late antiquity designs (in the level of
    > I suspect that a lack of drive for precision in longitude may have come
    > from the lack of utility in the middle ages.   The main use of latitude
    > and
    > longitude tables was to make natal horoscopes and figure out how to face
    > Mecca.
    That's the point. For very long time, the only "scientific activities"
    on which one could make a living were astrology, theology and medicine.
    It is the most interesting question to me (though completely out of the scope
    of the list), how did it happen that what we call "civilization" could
    almost completely collapse. And whether it can happen again...

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