Saturday, October 28, 2017

technology: Covered Bridges

"Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born." - Alan Kay 

Now it is "effective AI" (Andrew Ng: "Why AI Is the New Electricity")
100+ years ago it was electricity (and cars, airplanes, telephone...)
200+ years ago it was "Covered Bridges"

On a beautiful autumn day we visited some nearby "covered bridges",
a standing testament of continuous usefulness of technology from many years ago.
But why they are built that way? Is it just to protect from snow and ice?

It is engineering craftsman solving technical challenges:
  • make a strong structure longer than available materials (wood beams) : Truss
  • protect the wood structure from degrading after 10-15 years
  • protect horses from being scared of large water below :)

Covered bridge - Wikipedia
Larrys Creek Covered Bridge.JPG

 Truss bridge - Wikipedia
Covered Bridge Map

Many "wood frame" houses are still build by using those simple techniques, despite all more advanced technology available today. It works and is reasonable affordable, but it does look like covered bridge compared with Golden Gate Bridge.

What should the technology of houses be now, at the age of effective AI?

Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Fort Point.jpg  The Valverde Wood Interior Framing
List of highest bridges - Wikipedia

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