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Old 06-17-2019, 06:54 AM   #101
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Default Re: Approaching TL9?

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
The Popular Science ad was likely a high end calculator.

"By 1977, a liquid crystal display calculator known as the Teal LC811 sold regularly for $24.95, with a sale price of $19.95. By 1985, the solar-powered Sharp EL-345 sold for $5.95. Both of these calculators were made in Japan. The Sharp not only carried out arithmetic and found percentages, but had a square root key. Both calculators had limited memory for results of computations." ( Electronic Calculators—Handheld )

So there were really cheap calculators in the late 1970s and "dirt" cheap ones by the 1980s.
I was born in 1960. If you do the math you'll see that I was looking at very early pocket calculators.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:39 AM   #102
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I was born in 1960. If you do the math you'll see that I was looking at very early pocket calculators.
Which would put the $600 Popular Science Magazine calculator ad at 1971 or 1972.

"Hewlett-Packard Corporation joined the market in early 1972 with the HP-35 scientific calculator. It could not only add, subtract, multiply, and divide but compute trigonometric functions, logarithms, and exponents. In other words, it did the work of a slide rule and more. The calculator sold for $395. Not to be outdone, Texas Instruments introduced its first calculator, the Datamath (or TI-2500), later that year. The device carried out basic arithmetic and sold for $149.95." ( Electronic Calculators—Handheld )

So within a year of seeing the ad there were calculators at about half and one-fourth the $600 price tag. 1973 saw the SR-10 for $150 came out.

What followed was a race to put in as many features possible while at the same time reducing the price.

Being born in 1966 I saw first hand the insane progression of digital devices of the 1970s and 1980s.

In fact, early on the school I was in forbid the use of digital calculators but my parents had old text books from the early 1960s which included how to use a slide rule and so I brought my father's.

The funny thing is that many of my math teachers didn't know what to do as the rule referred to a digital calculator which a slide rule was most definitely wasn't. More over the other kids didn't even know how to use one.

Around the 8th grade the school gave up and allowed digital calculators. My high school not only allowed calculators but had a computer room (filled with Apple IIs). The middle school is long gone replaced by the A Plus Arts Academy and my high school now calls itself Eastmoor Academy High School.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:43 AM   #103
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Velcro was originally inspired by the way a bur gets caught in hair. Bionics is the field of engineering based on biological systems.

The idea that it is primarily about prosthetics is incorrect, but bionic prosthetics are a thing: duplicating the function of the body parts they replace as closely as possible.
That really really really stretches what bionics means to the person on the street which is what I believe matters for this thread.

Same goes for all the other examples in the list.

If you asked such a person to name the method of artificial embryo twinning, they would not call it cloning regardless of how it technically is. They would only count cloning of adult organisms like Dolly as real cloning.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:53 AM   #104
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That really really really stretches what bionics means to the person on the street which is what I believe matters for this thread.

Same goes for all the other examples in the list.

If you asked such a person to name the method of artificial embryo twinning, they would not call it cloning regardless of how it technically is. They would only count cloning of adult organisms like Dolly as real cloning.
Considering what the average Joe think theory means (when applied to science) this is a really poor argument. Velcro is listed as a method of Bionics in the wikipedia article on it.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:01 AM   #105
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That really really really stretches what bionics means.
The origin of the word "bionics" comes from a fusion of "biology" and "electronics" and it was about the creation of complex systems that functioned like living orgainsms. Not necessarily limited to prosthetics either.

Applying it to a simple (and isolated) example of inspiration derived from a living organism is erroneous.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:39 AM   #106
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Considering what the average Joe think theory means (when applied to science) this is a really poor argument. Velcro is listed as a method of Bionics in the wikipedia article on it.
I don't think it's a poor argument to care about how most people use words for a game meant to appeal to non-scientists.

I must say though that for most of the time I've been on these forums, I would have argued strongly against my present self.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:41 AM   #107
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Maybe not erroneous in terms of the definitions used in that Wikipedia page on bionics, but definitely so with respect to what GURPS and general sci-fi understands by it. That's akin to suggesting that cybernetics involves studying the economy. It does, but it's mixing up definitions in different fields.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:44 AM   #108
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Maybe not erroneous in terms of the definitions used in that Wikipedia page on bionics, but definitely so with respect to what GURPS and general sci-fi understands by it. That's akin to suggesting that cybernetics involves studying the economy. It does, but it's mixing up definitions in different fields.
I double checked GURPS Bio-tech and Ultra-Tech and both are silence on just what "bionics" means.

The closest thing is "Neural interfaces (pp. 48-49) and cybernetics (pp. 207- 221), except for bionics intended to replace missing body parts" which doesn't really tell you anything.

This is kind of at odds with what Webster gives you: "a science concerned with the application of data about the functioning of biological systems to the solution of engineering problems"

And Oxford has this: "The study of mechanical systems that function like living organisms or parts of living organisms."

Both of these might as well be where the wikipedia article is getting its definition.

This IMHO is a classic case of mistaking the results for the function. It is akin to when a new technological gizmo come out and everyone saying 'isn't science wonderful'. But technology in of itself isn't science but rather a product of science.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:03 PM   #109
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From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bionic:

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The science of bionics uses knowledge about how biological systems work to help solve engineering problems. The material Velcro, for example, was inspired by the way burrs behave when they stick to your clothes, and some computer chips are now wired in ways that imitate the "wiring" of the brain and nervous system. But in popular use, the adjective bionic almost always describes artificial limbs or other bodily parts that work as much like real ones as possible. A perfect bionic arm would move and function as easily as a real arm—a goal we're rapidly getting closer to.
Any use of the word bionic in GURPS agrees with the popular definition.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:08 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
Which would put the $600 Popular Science Magazine calculator ad at 1971 or 1972.

"Hewlett-Packard Corporation joined the market in early 1972 with the HP-35 scientific calculator. It could not only add, subtract, multiply, and divide but compute trigonometric functions, logarithms, and exponents. In other words, it did the work of a slide rule and more. The calculator sold for $395. Not to be outdone, Texas Instruments introduced its first calculator, the Datamath (or TI-2500), later that year. The device carried out basic arithmetic and sold for $149.95." ( Electronic Calculators—Handheld )

So within a year of seeing the ad there were calculators at about half and one-fourth the $600 price tag. 1973 saw the SR-10 for $150 came out.

What followed was a race to put in as many features possible while at the same time reducing the price.

Being born in 1966 I saw first hand the insane progression of digital devices of the 1970s and 1980s.

In fact, early on the school I was in forbid the use of digital calculators but my parents had old text books from the early 1960s which included how to use a slide rule and so I brought my father's.

The funny thing is that many of my math teachers didn't know what to do as the rule referred to a digital calculator which a slide rule was most definitely wasn't. More over the other kids didn't even know how to use one.

Around the 8th grade the school gave up and allowed digital calculators. My high school not only allowed calculators but had a computer room (filled with Apple IIs). The middle school is long gone replaced by the A Plus Arts Academy and my high school now calls itself Eastmoor Academy High School.
Oh well, maybe I was looking at an old issue. It also had the gold pen calculator. I never could see how anyone made that thing work properly.
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