History Main / AliensNeverInventedTheWheel

22nd Sep '17 6:17:42 PM rwe1138
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* One arc in the astonishing ''ComicBook/XMen'' covers a mysterious alien warrior trying to prevent an anonymous mutant from fullfilling a prophecy to destroy his wartorn home planet. War and destruction is so central to his home culture that they don't have a word for hospital, and the concept of a place of healing is so against their culture that the one medieval level hospital on the planet is shrouded in secrecy lest the planet's elders murder its patients.

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* One arc in the astonishing Astonishing ''ComicBook/XMen'' covers a mysterious alien warrior trying to prevent an anonymous mutant from fullfilling a prophecy to destroy his wartorn home planet. War and destruction is so central to his home culture that they don't have a word for hospital, and the concept of a place of healing is so against their culture that the one medieval level hospital on the planet is shrouded in secrecy lest the planet's elders murder its patients.
13th Aug '17 10:27:34 PM TitaniumDragon
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** Only the Central American civilizations developed writing, starting with the Toltecs and continuing on with the Maya and Aztecs and other successor civilizations. The Inca did develop a system for keeping numeric records in the form of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu knotted strings]], while others used [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum colored beads]] as a mnemonic device.
* Much of sub-Saharan Africa also lacked wheels prior to European colonization.
* One of the reason that a disproportionate number of scientific and engineering advances took place in Europe instead of Asia is that Asiatic cultures never invented clear glass (focusing instead on ceramic and metalwork). Thus Asia never invented lenses, eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, and the like. Which must be quite a surprise to the astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age during the middle ages, with such an extensive collective body of work that it still has not been fully reviewed. There are many stars and many terms in astronomy with names that originated in Asia.

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** Only the Central American civilizations developed writing, starting with the Toltecs and continuing on with the Maya and Aztecs and other successor civilizations. The Inca did develop a system for keeping numeric records in the form of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu knotted strings]], while others used [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum colored beads]] as a mnemonic device.
device, but most never had a written language until well after European colonization.
* Much of sub-Saharan Africa also lacked wheels and writing used to record historical events prior to European colonization.
* One The hunter-gatherers of the reason that a disproportionate number of scientific and engineering advances took place in Europe instead of Asia is that Asiatic cultures never invented clear glass (focusing instead on ceramic and metalwork). Thus Asia never invented lenses, eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, and the like. Which must be quite a surprise to the astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age during the middle ages, with such an extensive collective body of work that it Australia were still has not been fully reviewed. There are many stars using very simple technology and many terms in astronomy with names that originated in Asia.had only very limited agriculture when the Europeans discovered the continent.
13th Aug '17 10:20:14 PM TitaniumDragon
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* Likewise, many Native American cultures did not possess a written language, in some cases well after European contact (the Navajo written language wasn't standardized until the ''1920's''.) Some, however, had recorded languages based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu strings]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum beads]].

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* ** Likewise, many Native only the South Americans developed advanced metallurgy; the various Central American cultures civilizations did not possess a written language, have bronze-working and used metal only for decoration. Even in some cases well after European contact (the Navajo written language wasn't standardized until South America, the ''1920's''.) Some, however, had recorded languages based use of bronze tools was only just becoming common when the Europeans arrived.
** Only the Central American civilizations developed writing, starting with the Toltecs and continuing
on with the Maya and Aztecs and other successor civilizations. The Inca did develop a system for keeping numeric records in the form of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu strings]] or knotted strings]], while others used [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum beads]].colored beads]] as a mnemonic device.
* Much of sub-Saharan Africa also lacked wheels prior to European colonization.
4th Jun '17 4:58:16 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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* One of the reason that a disproportionate number of scientific and engineering advances took place in Europe instead of Asia is that Asiatic cultures never invented clear glass (focusing instead on ceramic and metalwork). Thus Asia never invented lenses, eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, and the like.Which must be quite a surprise to the astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age during the middle ages, with such an extensive collective body of work that it still has not been fully reviewed. There are many stars and many terms in astronomy with names that originated in Asia.

to:

* One of the reason that a disproportionate number of scientific and engineering advances took place in Europe instead of Asia is that Asiatic cultures never invented clear glass (focusing instead on ceramic and metalwork). Thus Asia never invented lenses, eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, and the like. Which must be quite a surprise to the astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age during the middle ages, with such an extensive collective body of work that it still has not been fully reviewed. There are many stars and many terms in astronomy with names that originated in Asia.
30th May '17 2:27:32 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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* The Incans, despite being a considerably large and powerful empire, really never did invent the wheel. This makes more sense when you realize that they lived in rocky, mountainous areas, where wheels would be, in a word, useless. They used pack animals instead. More precisely, they never adopted the wheel for practical use. Some wheeled children's toys have been found. Part of the issue may have been that llamas, their primary beast of burden, could easily scale stairs and steep slopes.
** While this made sense for the Inca, it starts becoming a weaker explanation when you get to Mesoamerica, which also used the wheel for assorted things like pottery and toys, but not for carts or other forms of transport, and in some cases did live in areas where wheels would have been used.
* One of the reason that a disproportionate number of scientific and engineering advances took place in Europe instead of Asia is that Asiatic cultures never invented clear glass (focusing instead on ceramic and metalwork). Thus Asia never invented lenses, eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, and the like.
** Which must be quite a surprise to the astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age during the middle ages, with such an extensive collective body of work that it still has not been fully reviewed. There are many stars and many terms in astronomy with names that originated in Asia.
* A minor example in the medieval Japanese army never really using shields. They did use pavise-like shields for sieges, but they were considered to be "portable cover" rather than shields. In the Yamato period [[note]]c.250-710 AD[[/note]] however, the Japanese DID use shields, as this was before samurai existed as such and thus the Japanese generally took more after their mainland Chinese neighbors in general manner of military equipment (which is also why [[EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana not every Japanese sword is a katana]]).
* Many Native American cultures did not possess a written language, in some cases well after European contact (the Navajo written language wasn't standardized until the ''1920's''.) Some however had recorded languages based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu strings]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum beads]]

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* The Incans, despite being a considerably large and powerful empire, really never did invent the wheel. UsefulNotes/PreColumbianCivilizations only used wheels for children's toys. This makes more sense when you realize that they lived in rocky, mountainous areas, where wheels would be, in a word, useless. They at the time, the Americas didn't have any domesticated animals suitable for pulling wheeled carts. The only beast of burden native to the Americas is the llama of the Andes Mountains. The Inca Empire used llamas, but as pack animals instead. More precisely, they never adopted the wheel for practical use. Some wheeled children's toys have been found. Part of the issue may have been that llamas, (which carry goods on their primary beast of burden, could easily backs) as opposed to draft animals (which pull goods in carts). Llamas can scale stairs and steep slopes.
** While this made sense for the Inca, it starts becoming a weaker explanation when you get to Mesoamerica, which also used the wheel for assorted things like pottery
slopes well enough on their own, and toys, but wheels would just slow them down in such an environment.
* Likewise, many Native American cultures did
not for carts or other forms of transport, and possess a written language, in some cases did live in areas where wheels would have been used.
well after European contact (the Navajo written language wasn't standardized until the ''1920's''.) Some, however, had recorded languages based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu strings]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum beads]].
* One of the reason that a disproportionate number of scientific and engineering advances took place in Europe instead of Asia is that Asiatic cultures never invented clear glass (focusing instead on ceramic and metalwork). Thus Asia never invented lenses, eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, and the like.
**
like.Which must be quite a surprise to the astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age during the middle ages, with such an extensive collective body of work that it still has not been fully reviewed. There are many stars and many terms in astronomy with names that originated in Asia.
* A minor example in is the medieval Japanese army never really using shields. They did use pavise-like shields for sieges, but they were considered to be "portable cover" rather than shields. In the Yamato period [[note]]c.period[[note]]c.250-710 AD[[/note]] AD[[/note]], however, the Japanese DID use shields, as this was before samurai existed as such and thus the Japanese generally took more after their mainland Chinese neighbors in general manner of military equipment (which is also why [[EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana not every Japanese sword is a katana]]).
* Many Native American cultures did not possess a written language, in some cases well after European contact (the Navajo written language wasn't standardized until the ''1920's''.) Some however had recorded languages based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu strings]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum beads]]
katana]]).
9th May '17 8:24:07 AM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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This trope can be used to pull [[{{Aesop}} Aesops]] in demonstrating how humanity wouldn't be human without love, music, sports etc. or, on the other hand, how humanity could do well without war, money, soap operas or what have you. In keeping with that, there are two ways of playing this trope: either the aliens are stumped by an Earth invention or the humans are surprised to find out that the the aliens don't have it. Sometimes the author might just be complaining about [[AuthorTract stuff he doesn't like or finds frivolous]] by showing HumansThroughAlienEyes. Other times, it's just a throw-away gag. And finally, just to be clear, this trope ''doesn't'' automatically make the aliens [[InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien weak]].

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This trope can be used to pull [[{{Aesop}} Aesops]] {{Aesop}}s in demonstrating how humanity wouldn't be human without love, music, sports etc. or, on the other hand, how humanity could do well without war, money, soap operas or what have you. In keeping with that, there are two ways of playing this trope: either the aliens are stumped by an Earth invention or the humans are surprised to find out that the the aliens don't have it. Sometimes the author might just be complaining about [[AuthorTract stuff he doesn't like or finds frivolous]] by showing HumansThroughAlienEyes. Other times, it's just a throw-away gag. And finally, just to be clear, this trope ''doesn't'' automatically make the aliens [[InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien weak]].



** The [[PuppeteerParasite Yeerks]] stole and modified {{Ray Gun}}s from more advanced species, and thus skipped over projectile weapons. When [[BigBad Visser Three]] scoffs at human guns, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy Visser One]] reminds him that a single bullet can still kill a [[BigDumbBody Hork-Bajir]] quite effectively.

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** The [[PuppeteerParasite Yeerks]] stole and modified {{Ray Gun}}s from more advanced species, and thus skipped over projectile weapons. When [[BigBad Visser Three]] scoffs at human guns, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy Visser One]] One reminds him that a single bullet can still kill a [[BigDumbBody Hork-Bajir]] quite effectively.
8th May '17 11:12:29 PM JoeMerl
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** The [[PuppeteerParasite Yeerks]] have also apparently never used projectile weapons, possibly because they stole most of their technology from species that were already far more advanced. Visser One has to remind the others that they can, in fact, be quite effective. ''The Hork-Bajir Chronicles'' show that this is indeed the case. The first Yeerks to leave their planet attack the Andalites with stone age weapons, plus one stolen Andalite [[RayGun shredder]]. They escaped with assorted Andalite technology and developed their own weapons and spacecraft from there.

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** The [[PuppeteerParasite Yeerks]] have also apparently never used stole and modified {{Ray Gun}}s from more advanced species, and thus skipped over projectile weapons, possibly because they stole most of their technology from species that were already far more advanced. weapons. When [[BigBad Visser One has to remind the others Three]] scoffs at human guns, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy Visser One]] reminds him that they can, in fact, be a single bullet can still kill a [[BigDumbBody Hork-Bajir]] quite effective. ''The Hork-Bajir Chronicles'' show that this is indeed the case. The first Yeerks to leave their planet attack the Andalites with stone age weapons, plus one stolen Andalite [[RayGun shredder]]. They escaped with assorted Andalite technology and developed their own weapons and spacecraft from there.effectively.
29th Apr '17 10:57:28 AM nombretomado
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* Has an interesting twist in ''Literature/TheConquerorsTrilogy'' by TimothyZahn. The aliens have [[spoiler:nearly]] indestructible ceramic hulls and instant FTL communication. The humans have radio communications and can track FTL ships. So, it's more like "each race has unique strengths and weaknesses."

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* Has an interesting twist in ''Literature/TheConquerorsTrilogy'' by TimothyZahn.Creator/TimothyZahn. The aliens have [[spoiler:nearly]] indestructible ceramic hulls and instant FTL communication. The humans have radio communications and can track FTL ships. So, it's more like "each race has unique strengths and weaknesses."
26th Apr '17 5:30:17 PM BrendanRizzo
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* The humans in the ''Anime/CodeGeass'' universe, despite their immense technical accomplishments, do not have nukes of any kind. [[spoiler: Or at least, not until a character whose surname was Eistein made one with AppliedPhlebotinum.]] Much like the TechTree example above, this example is due to the fact that Sakuradite-assisted electrical propulsion systems were much more efficient than internal combustion engines. Thus, the effectiveness of electric-based systems extends to chemically propelled firearms as well; being replaced instead with MagneticWeapons.

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* The humans in the ''Anime/CodeGeass'' universe, despite their immense technical accomplishments, do not have nukes of any kind. [[spoiler: Or at least, not until a character whose surname was Eistein Einstein made one with AppliedPhlebotinum.]] Much like the TechTree example above, this example is due to the fact that Sakuradite-assisted electrical propulsion systems were much more efficient than internal combustion engines. Thus, the effectiveness of electric-based systems extends to chemically propelled firearms as well; being replaced instead with MagneticWeapons.
14th Apr '17 8:16:44 AM Chabal2
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Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'': Scientific and cultural advances affect only the type of unit they're attached to: Building upgrades increase the building's range, HP or resource gathering rates, while units types are upgraded individually when a new epoch is researched. It's entirely possible (if stupid) to explore the stars with a culture that has yet to discover a standard-issue handgun more powerful than an arquebus, aircraft that don't use propellers, or ''sandals'', and the ability to manufacture entirely automated battle robots despite never looking into this "scientific method" business. Averted in scenarios that don't start at the very first epoch, which start with all previous upgrades automatically researched.
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