Another Bit on Tech Levels

Some news that I enjoy hearing: water treated by radio waves increase plant growth by 30%, and increases disease resistance, without pesticides or genetic modification. The original Irish article is here, and the company website, Vi-aqua, is here. A quote from the article:

The compact biscuit-tin-sized technology, which is called Vi-Aqua – meaning ‘life water’ – converts 24 volts of electricity into a radio signal, which charges up the water via an antennae. Once the device is attached to a hose, thousands of gallons of water can be charged up in less than 10 minutes at a cost of pennies.

Speaking about the new technology, Professor Austin Darragh says:

“Vi-Aqua makes water wetter and introduces atmospheric nitrogen into the water in the form of nitrates – so it is free fertiliser. It also produces the miracle of rejuvenating the soil by invigorating soil-based micro-organisms.

“We can also make water savings of at least 30 per cent. When the water is treated it becomes a better solvent, which means it can carry more nutrients to the leaves and stem and percolate better down into the soil to nourish the roots, which in turn produces a better root system. Hence the reason you need less water and why you end up with larger and hardier crops,” explains Professor Austin Darragh.

I like… I like!

Now, the thing I want to point out here is that this development needed an advanced understanding of the core science… but the actual technology used to put it to work doesn’t look all that hi-tech, to my untrained eye.

But Traveller Tech Levels – while very useful for both determining local lifestyles, and as a proxy for wealth – always had these hidden flaws. After all, there was no technical reason why the Romans couldn’t have had bicycles, horse collars, or steam-powered machine guns; there was no real bar holding back the Ming Empire from hot-air balloons, cheap printed books, and mining or war explosives; and the Abbasid Empire had the background necessary to push ahead into germ theory and proper anatomy.

Just a quick plug here for Guns, Germs and Steel for world designers. I insist that it is invisible capital (trust, patience, law, peace, property rights, etc) that makes the difference, but a world without domesticated animals – or where all the animals are thick-skinned amoebas, say – is going to be a LOT different than our world.


About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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