Friday, August 11, 2006

The Very First Homebrewers -- Hominid HB!

I'm reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. In his description of early toolmaking, I came across some passages that I think will resonate with modern electronic homebrewers:

"Sometime about a million and a half years ago, some forgotten genius of the hominid world did an unexpected thing. He (or very possibly she) took one stone and carefully used it to shape another. The result was a simple teardrop-shaped hand axe, but it was the worlds first piece of advanced technology.

It was so superior to existing tools that soon others were following the inventor's lead and making hand axes of their own. Eventually whole societies existed that seemed to do nothing else. 'They made them in their thousands,' says Ian Tattersal... It's strange because they are quite intensive objects to make. It was as if they made them for the sheer pleasure of it.'

...The axes became known as Acheulean tools.... These early Homo sapiens loved their Acheulean tools... They carried them vast distances. Sometimes they even took unshaped rocks with them to make into tools later on. They were, in a word, devoted to the technology."

Sound familiar?