Watching "Arrival" finally, read the story a long time ago (and Chiang uses a lot of bullshit rhetorical tricks/fake reveals in his stories, so not my favorite).
The very 1990s looking setting and use of TV & tape recorders instead of phones is weird. I can't tell what's anachronism and what's incompetence.
@Wintermute Secondary development. Trade in grain eventually created measurement which created math & science (literally "cutting apart", like division of profits).
...But fermentation and distillation is basic chemistry. I'm not necessarily disagreeing, just saying one followed the other is short succession.
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