The best technologies are *physics hacks*.

Refrigeration works by compressing air to temporarily make it hot and reverse a temperature gradient. Airplanes trick the air below a wing into pushing the wing up by shaping airflow to reduce the pressure on top.

So much of what we call "tech" these days is just "follow a list of instructions, millions of times per second". I'm not impressed, Silicon Valley. ;)

What are some of your all's favorite physics-hack techs?

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@brion

- a candle works by continuously melting its own structure into a fuel source that's then pulled up the wick by capillary action, vaporized by the heat of the flame, and combusted. the amount of exposed wick is regulated by the parts that aren't offgassing vaporized wax burning away. the balance of all this is kind of astonishing.

- i don't really understand anything about sailing, but having read a patrick o'brian novel i think the age of sail was based on quite a few of these.

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