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Benjamin Olshin

Dr Benjamin B. Olshin is a former Professor of Philosophy, the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and Design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He is a Fulbright scholar with over a decade experience in international consulting, research, education/training, and design work in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Areas of expertise include sociology of science and technology, design, Eastern / Western philosophy, as well as 

cross-cultural management. He has an extensive global background and is multi-lingual, with facility in French, Italian, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. Dr. Olshin has published and presented work in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Taiwan, Japan, and Indonesia. Over the course of his career, hisresearch and other work has taken on many subjects, including maps and exploration, the history of technology, the philosophy of physics, and communication across cultures. He has written in a broad range of areas, including the history of cartography, the philosophy of science, and sociology of technology, and design. His latest book is:  Lost Knowledge: The Concept of Vanished Technologies and Other Human Histories . His other books are  Deciphering Reality  and The Mysteries of the Marco Polo Maps

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Posts

Mirror magic, fortune telling and fulfillment of desires. Fantasy with a mirror, dark room, magical power, night view. (MiaStendal /Adobe Stock)

The Measure Of Ancient Mirrors: Planispheres, Phenakistoscopes And Telescopes

In some early texts concerning long-distance viewing, the term ‘mirror’ is used, but not as a device for simple reflection. Instead, the mirror takes on other powers, and the term seems to serve as...
The Curious Case Of Frederick Soddy And The Forgotten Race Of Men

The Curious Case Of Frederick Soddy And The Forgotten Race Of Men

In 1921, Frederick Soddy won the Noble Prize in chemistry for his research into radioactive substances and his studies of isotopes, yet curiously this Oxford scientist mused about a “ forgotten race...
Epistemology of Ancient Lost Technology

Epistemology of Ancient Lost Technology

What is “lost knowledge”? As human civilizations arise and develop, they accumulate knowledge. That knowledge has many forms, from the pragmatic to the theoretical. In most cultures, there is a...
The Roots Of Catoptromancy in Ancient Persian and Central American Sources

The Roots Of Catoptromancy in Ancient Persian and Central American Sources

“ Thus television... has a prehistory in the domain of oriental folk-lore ,” wrote Berthold Laufer in 1928 in an article with the delightful title, The Prehistory of Television . Television was quite...

Ainu And Hopi Take To The Sky

The ancient Chinese and South Asian cultures reflected an early interest in the idea that one could build a machine to take to the air, even if the technology to be able to do so was not yet...
Ancient Chinese And South Asian Flights Of Fancy

Ancient Chinese And South Asian Flights Of Fancy

It may not be surprising that early cultures pondered the wonder of flight: people in most parts of the world could see birds, bats, and insects flying about, and this likely inspired a great sense...
Ancient Asian Technology: Chinese Mirrors And Forerunners Of The X-Ray

Ancient Asian Technology: Chinese Mirrors And Forerunners Of The X-Ray

Mirrors appear in a wide range of human cultures throughout history. The idea of an image somehow floating, disembodied and separate from the person looking — shining on a piece of polished stone or...