Traditional phases: wü xing, or the theory of the five elements. From Shü JĒng
Contrast this with the Greek doctrine of the four elements:
Three great inventions (Sir Francis Bacon postulated) are emblems of “modernity:”
These great inventions are all Chinese originally.
Chinese are originators and transformers of material culture. Four lessons emerge from the transfer of technical discovery and expertise from east to west.
1. Discovery [Gé ZhĒ ] is not use and neither is it the same as dispersal.
2. Use is not always decisive despite proficiency. (Astronomy, polaris)
3. Invention is the parent of necessity.
Canals, canal locks and paddle boats
Cartography Chang Heng, 116 AD, (1311-1320)
Suspension bridges (stone arched)
Mechanical clock (astronomical) with escapement mechanism
Rudders, large ships and watertight bulkheads
Bronze and cast iron bells (120 BC oxygenation used in smelting of iron ore)
Cannons and populous armies
4. Sufficiency may be the purpose of progress but it relates to discontent.
Why then in 1400, when China, India, Persia and the Ottomans stand equally with western European powers does the apparent race to ascendancy not belong to China?
Therefore, at the Thirty Years war’s end, western European rivalry lead to overseas colonialism while Chinese civilization continued migration to parts of Asia as it was “colonized” by the Manchu or Ch’ing dynasty. Foreign domination of China and the subsequent European and Japanese pressure to possess the wealth of Chinese commercial and technical centers prompted an eclipse of Chinese mastery in fine technology, for which it had been world famous since the Tang and Sung dynasties of the Middle Ages.
Shen Kua. Dream Pool Essays 1086 AD Magnetism
Lou Shu. Pictures of Tilling and Weaving 1145 AD irrigation; “step” bucket chain
to raise water into the fields.
Rice & silk were currency used by farmers to pay
|Tools of Toil: what to read.|
|Tools are historical building blocks of technology.|