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Comment Re:How is this not totally pointless? (Score 5, Insightful) 235

How is this not totally pointless?

Dude, let me count the ways:

1. Da Vinci is, like, one of the foremost intellectual figures of the Italian Renaissance, which is a pretty important period in history, especially as regards culture and technology and stuff.

2. One of the most interesting things about the invention of the computer is not the various engineering challenges such as how to build the logic gates and stuff, but the initial idea that computation itself can be usefully reduced to a physical, deterministic process. If, back in the 15th century or whenever, there was some guy thinking along the lines of encoding machine-readable data in the for of little bits of carefully-crafted wood, then, even if the idea didn't work, the fact that he had the idea at all is pretty amazing and has all sorts of implications for the Renaissance concept of the mind, of logic, etc, etc.

3. One of the reasons that Da Vinci's inventions are so famous is that, while they are obviously shockingly ahead of their time, no-one knows in many cases whether they were ever built, whether they worked, or even what they were for. Any progress in unravelling these mysteries is a significant step towards understanding Da Vinci himself (For the point of this, see point 1 above).

4. It's a mediaeval-style robot. Not only is this self-evidently cool in itself, it also has major implications for Dungeons-and-Dragons-playing Slashdotters, who can now, with an arguable degree of verisimilitude, introduce clockwork robot buggies into their campaigns.

I mean, how can you ask what is the point? What's not the point? This is Slashdot, a website for geeks. Da Vinci is the proto-geek, if not The Uber-Geek Of All Time. This is an article about how he built a clockwork robot. This should be rocking your world. If it were not for your low UID I would assume that you'd found your way on here by accident.
Hope this answers your question

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