Da Vinci’s Clockwork Car

Researchers have finally unlocked the secrets to a drawing of the first self propelled vehicle created by Leonardo Da Vinci 426 years ago. The vehicle was clockwork powered and may have been created for some very avant garde special effects.

  • Guardian Clockwork car with pic
  • CNN Clockwork car with picThere were some interesting comments about this article at Slashdot.org as people debated why Da Vinci “encrypted” his drawings and documents.

    “Even a simplten with a mere IQ of 210 will be able to understand these drawings, no need to document”I saw somewhere that DaVinci purposely put flaws into his drawings as a type of copy protection. Only another genius would be able to see the flaw and build the device correctly. This would come in handy if his plans were stolen or captured since many of his designs were commissioned for siege craft. — Radial Rad

    In fact, my experience is that only another genius would recognize that the work of a genius could have flaws that require correcting.
    Most people are sheep and blindly follow “the directions,” even when those directions result in nonfunctioning items. They blame the nonfunctionality on themselves, rather than on the design.

    Hence the notations you’ll find on many processed food products these days, “You’ll find that this might taste good with a little cheese on it. Or maybe some salt.” They have to be told to “think outside the box,” as it were. Many people get all weird about the idea of even modifying a published recipe. The published version is the “correct” version in their minds. Perhaps this phemonenon is a good part of why some people get all weird about the idea of open source software. They need to feel that out there, somewhere, is a definatively “correct” version, handed down from the mountain engraved on stone tablets by some programing god or other.

    Most people who play classical music play it as if they were some sort of flawed mechanism in a player piano whose function is to reproduce the markings on the paper as closely, and mechanically, as possible.

    The musical genius recognizes that the markings on the paper are one genius talking to another genius, saying, “Hey, look at this idea,” and interprets the music. — kfg