[Excerpt] Imperial Armour vol.1 - The Mechanicus attitudes to Technology.
Context: In this section, it's explained the view of technology by the Mechanicus, something not well explained in some other books, including of why sometimes technology can be trully lost.
The Adeptus Mechanicus and Attitudes to Technology.
In the 41° Millenium, technology is not widely understood and most of those who can understand it have been gathered together under the auspices of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Tech-Priests, servants of the Cult of the Machine God and one of the key organisations within the Imperium of Mankind. Now they are its worshippers and all of Mankind's acnient technology, particularly that wich was been recovered from its long-lost worlds scattered throughout the galaxy, is revered by the Adeptus Mechaincus in a manner more akin to a religious artefact than a simple eletric generator or fuel pump - the Tech-Priests believing all machines have a will or soul of their own.
The Adeptur Mechanicus see anything involving STC designs as reflections of the will and divinity of the Machine God and, ultimately, the Emperor himself. Previous modifications, particularly those made by Mankind's early colonists, are rarely questioned and almost always accepted as being an original part of the STC and duplicated as such. In this way the Tech-magi corrently think of as pure Standard Template Construct designs are not, and it is now impossible for them to separate original from adaptation.
Many consider any change to an STC design heresy, a challenge to the will of the Machine God and the Emperor, and unthinkable for any faithful imperial servant. Innovation is seen as deeply suspicious and strongly discouraged, even for those few who might have the skills to achieve it. Many of the more advanced forms of technology in the galaxy are considered "black" technology and outlawed, and any who dabble in such forbidden tech, in particular that created by other races, risk the strongest sanctions, all offences carrying hash penalties, including death or reassignment as one of the Imperium's billions of servitors.
With such an attitude, new or better technology is not seen as the solution to the myriad of dangers facing Mankind, many sub-cults within the Adeptus Mechanicus actually seeming to fear it as one of the dangers wich could bring about its downfall. Simply developing better, bigger or more accurate weapons does not even occur to the Adeptus Mechanicus, a viewpoint shared by many within the highest levels of the Imperium who consider that most problems can be solved with brute force (i.e, use more men, manpower being one of the Imperium's greatest resources) or through blind faith (the Emperor protects). The obtaining of knowledge through experimentation and scientific method was therefore been replaced within the Imperium by ignorance and faith, which requires neither proof nor evidence, only trust in the truth of the doctrine of the Machine God.
The upper echelons of the Tech-Magi, whilst dogmatic and rigid in their demands fo adherence to the Cult of the Machine God, know that Mankind once commanded technology far in advance of what it possesses now. Rather than striving to emulate past achievements through experimentation and reserarch, science to them is now more akin to achaelogical study. Tech-Priests search the galaxy for hidden or forgotten traces of past machines, and those found are replicated slavishly, but only once its established that STC systems are present and thus the Machine God's blessing has been given to their endeavour. Understanding how or why things function is no longer seen as important, just that (by the will of the Machine God) it does function is enough for the Adeptus Mechanicus.
In this way nearly all the fighting vehicles currently fielded by the Imperium came into being, handled down as the heirs of past STC designs or pieced together from discoveries on backwater planets. Some of the Adeptus Mechanicus' latest re-discoveries include the Lighting Fighter, the designs for wich were found on Karnak II but still took neraly half a century to verify, and the Sisters of Battle Immolator, a variant on the common Rhino hull. These are the great achievements of the Explorator teams who scour the galaxy to find lost STC machinery and slowly rebuild Mankind's technical heritage. For the Adeptus Mechanicus, recovering STCs is their holy grail and is a painstaklingly slow process that has already been underway for over 10.00 years.
Whilst the hunt for new discoveries continues unabated, a steady flow of older technological knowledge is lost to the Imperium forever. When a machine breaks down, particularly one of which few examples remain, there is often no longer the knowledge to repair it. If blessings and praise cannot revive the machine's spirit, them there is nothing the Adeptus Mechanicus can do, such is the will of the Machine God.
This decay and rediscovery makes for a very diverse range of technology, particularly amongst the Imperium's vehicles. Some contain incredibly advanced systems, whilst others are primitive, and many incorporate both extremes, making use of sophisticated targeting systems of mind-impulse links whilst being driven by a steam-powered turbine. The Imperium's starships are another example of this uneven fusion as whilst capable of sophisticated astro-navigation and warp jumps, many other onboard tasks are accomplished by manpower alone, the vessel's massive guns often manhandled into firing position during a battle by hundreds of indentured crewmen.
Imperial Armour Volume 1.
submitted by Marvynwillames