Infidel wrote:I can think of no other excuse for 50,000 years of lack of significant progress, other than lack of curiosity, and a lot of cultural pressure to conform to the way things are, as opposed to a cultural impetus to make the way things are now, better. Belief in yourself, belief that change can be better, and the belief that curiosity and reason are good things, not bad habits that should be beat out of children.
I don't really have a horse in this race... I just thought I'd point out my own pet theory for why things didn't improve fast. A necessary focus on survival, and the lack of the spare cultural energy to spend on innovation. Deaths in childbirth, deaths by unknown diseases, death by toothache, deaths by fights with neighbors, death by environment. When you're spending all of your cultural energies just managing to not be wiped out, you don't have much free time to try a new arrowhead design. When the guy who makes the best arrowheads is killed by a trivial fall that breaks an arm that becomes infected and kills him, that knowledge is gone until someone else studies his work enough to get good at it again. And they don't try to make the arrowhead differently while trying to recreate poor dead Bob's designs.
This is completely different than the culture of Erfworld. We've seen no disease, there is no childbirth, there is no burden of raising and teaching children. There is no environmental death, unless you are mounted on a dwagon and promoted to heavy.
There is still war, and skirmishes, but we know that Sides such as Jetstone and TV have the luxury of units designated "courtiers." This is an environment in which innovation could flourish.
Infidel wrote:Nice quote on the Vicker's gun. My first thought when I started reading that was, "How did they keep those guns cool?" I dunno that this is a good example though. A crew fed gun isn't really an example of two soldiers one gun since that gun is significantly more effective than two standard issue weapons. And many gun crews would still possess their personal weapon. But over 1million rounds and still kept on chugging, totally awesome.
Thanks. I was glad I finally found it. I read it in a historical treatise, the description was similar to that which Wikipedia quoted but with much more detail. Although I don't believe it was the same source they quote from. But yeah, 2 companies of men to carry ammo for 10 guns? Just a tiny bit out of scope for a discussion of "two men one gun." Although it was the unique situation which forced this amount of support. The gun was typically a 6-8 person weapon, according to Wikipedia. This still doesn't count as a "two men one gun" example, I think, because it was designed so, and I believe the "two men one gun" discussion was about a simple lack of ample weapons to equip all of the men appropriately.
But I want to share a story about keeping guns cool. Or guns getting hot, at least. So, guns get hot when fired. You obviously know this, and so does anyone with any experience firing a firearm, more than a few shots at a target range. They are called "fire" arms for a reason... I was in ROTC basic camp, sort of like a basic training light for those taking participating in ROTC. One of the advantages of ROTC: Girls. We were an integrated company, even if we (sadly) had separate barracks. One day we were transported over to a range where we got to fire various weapons. The 9mm, the SAW, and a .50 cal. The .50 was lined up roughly on a target a few hundred yards down range, and it was locked down tight. You could swing it maybe 2 inches off of downrange left or right, and it was set up on the ground. We all (in a squad of 9) got to fire a few seconds of sustained fire. And then the typical: We all got to police up the brass. One of the girls squats down to pick up brass, all of us were squatted down picking up brass. Then she decides she needs some support. And grabs.... The barrel of the .50. I yelled something that wasn't a word, but it was too late. The sizzle was audible. I grabbed her cap, stuffed her hand in it, and dumped her canteen on her hand. But she had already begun to blister.