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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    Old World―elastic

    What does " Old World―elastic" mean? "elastic" sounds a chemical term.
    32)The success of human beings depends
    crucially on numbers and connections. A few hundred people cannot sustain a sophisticated technology. Recall that Australia was colonized 45,000 years ago by pioneers spreading east from Africa along the shore of Asia. The vanguard of such a migration must have been small in number and must have traveled comparatively light. The chances are they had only a sample of the technology available to their relatives back at the Red Sea crossing. This may explain why Australian aboriginal technology, although it developed and elaborated steadily over the ensuing millennia, was lacking in so many features of the Old World―elastic weapons, for example, such as bows and catapults, were unknown, as were ovens. It was not that they were ‘primitive’ or that they had mentally regressed; it was that they had arrived with only a subset of technologies and did not have a dense enough population and therefore a large enough collective brain to develop them much further.

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    #2

    Re: Old World―elastic

    not a teacher

    "… was lacking in so many features of the Old World―elastic weapons, for example, such as bows and catapults…"

    What does " Old World―elastic" mean?


    You are joining two separate things: "the Old World" and "elastic weapons".
    The "Old World", in this context, is the Africa/Asia world from which the early migrating people came to Australia.
    … "elastic weapons" are weapons like bows and catapults that derive their propulsion from the flexible and stretchable material used to make them.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Old World―elastic

    Note that the punctuation mark between 'World' and 'elastic' is a dash, not a hyphen. That should be apparent from the above response, but I thought I'd make it explicit.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Old World―elastic

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    What does " Old World―elastic" mean? "elastic" sounds a chemical term.
    32)The success of human beings depends crucially on numbers and connections. A few hundred people cannot sustain a sophisticated technology. Recall that Australia was colonized 45,000 years ago by pioneers spreading east from Africa along the shore of Asia. The vanguard of such a migration must have been small in number and must have traveled comparatively light. The chances are they had only a sample of the technology available to their relatives back at the Red Sea crossing. This may explain why Australian aboriginal technology, although it developed and elaborated steadily over the ensuing millennia, was lacking in so many features of the Old World―elastic weapons, for example, such as bows and catapults, were unknown, as were ovens. It was not that they were ‘primitive’ or that they had mentally regressed; it was that they had arrived with only a subset of technologies and did not have a dense enough population and therefore a large enough collective brain to develop them much further.
    From the standpoint of physics, "elastic" refers to any substance that can deformed and has a tendency to return to its original shape.

    If you stretch an elastic band that is 6 inches long to 10 inches and let it go, it returns to its 6 inch length.

    If you bend a branch and attach some sort of cord to either end, it becomes a bow. If you further deform the branch by pulling on the cord (as with an arrow), the branch will return to its former state, thereby propelling the arrow.

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