midtskogen wrote:That sounds what politicians have been doing in Europe for many years. They set all kinds of targets that look good on paper, but without a practical plan for how it will be achieved. Politicians tend to think that outcomes can simply be written in a resolution and the job is basically done. Rather, politicians must find the right actions and the outcome is what it will be, and what their actions will be judged by.

Yes meanwhile all this could've been done decades ago. Yesterday, I also learned that President Jimmy Carter had plans for a widespread nuclear power network as well as an early framework for what became the Paris Climate Treaty, way back in the late 70s. If he had had a second term he could've implemented it, instead we got a former Hollywood actor as president who was so old he developed Alzheimers in his second term.

It's a less extreme version of how advanced we might have been had the Romans not been so interested in conquest and Archimedes been allowed to live. And we know how the Romans always loved to alter the telling of history to favor themselves (which is what they did with Carthage when they exterminated them.)

https://www.famousscientists.org/archimedes/Immersed in the scientific culture of Ancient Greece, Archimedes blossomed into one of the finest minds our world has known. He was the Einstein of his time, or perhaps we should say that Einstein was the Archimedes of his time.

An Annoying Mathematician Ignites Curiosity Far into the Future

Two thousand years after Archimedes’ time, during the Renaissance and 1600s, mathematicians looked again at his work.

They knew Archimedes’ results were correct, but they couldn’t figure out how the great man had found them.

Archimedes was very frustrating, because he gave clues, but did not reveal his full methods. In truth, Archimedes enjoyed teasing other mathematicians. He would tell them the correct answer to problems, then see if they could solve the problems for themselves.

A Real Life Indiana Jones Style Discovery

The mystery of Archimedes’ mathematics wasn’t solved until 1906, when Professor Johan Heiberg discovered a book in the city of Constantinople, Turkey. (The city is now, of course, called Istanbul.)

The book was a Christian prayer book written in the thirteenth century, when Constantinople was the last outpost of the Roman Empire. Within Constantinople’s walls were stored many of the great works of Ancient Greece. The book Heiberg found is now called the Archimedes Palimpsest.

Heiberg discovered that the book’s prayers had been written on top of mathematics. The monk who wrote the prayers had tried to remove the original mathematical work; only faint traces of it remained.

It turned out that the traces of mathematics were actually copies of Archimedes’ work – a momentous discovery. The Archimedes text had been copied in the 10th century.

Archimedes Revealed

The book contained seven treatises from Archimedes including The Method, which had been lost for many centuries.

Archimedes had written The Method to reveal how he did mathematics. He sent it to Eratosthenes to be lodged in the Library of Alexandria. Archimedes wrote:

“I presume there will be some current as well as future generations who can use The Method to find theorems which we have not discovered.”

And so by reading The Method, twentieth century mathematicians learned just how far ahead of his time Archimedes was and the techniques he used to solve problems. He summed series; he used his discoveries in physics – the law of the lever, and how to find centers of gravity – to discover new theorems in pure mathematics; and he used infinitesimals to do work as close to integral calculus as anyone would get for 1,800 years.

Archimedes died during the conquest of Syracuse in 212 BC when he was killed by a Roman soldier.

Cicero at Archimedes' Tomb

Cicero at Archimedes’ Tomb. Painting by

Benjamin West

He was buried in a tomb on which was carved a sphere within a cylinder. This was his wish, because he believed his greatest achievement was finding the formula for the volume of a sphere.