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Thread: How Early Could It Have Happened?

  1. #51
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: How Early Could It Have Happened?

    Yeah it is a fun read. Did a lot of thinking while reading it.

    Much of the stuff he dropped into 11th-21th century England was beyond the existing technology base; A Colt revolver, telegraph and so on.

    But he could have brought in a matchlock. The metallurgy and machining just not there for the Colt. Same goes for the iron or copper wire for the telegraph.

    I think he brought in soap though.

    Twain/Clemens was writing in the late 19th century and so had no ideas about hang gliders . . .which is the sort of thing that got me thinking about this stuff. Writing at about the same time, Jules Vern didn't come up with it either, though he did shoot men to the Moon with a giant black powder canon. A bit later on, HG Wells imagined "land ironclads" but missed linked tracks. Early Tom Swift novels imagined extensive use of lighter-than-air ships.

    Science fiction writers from the 30s missed nuclear power, but then the real scientists didn't ge into it either until 1940.

    It is easy to innovate backwards of course. The trick is to come up with something new.

    So then: What would the technology of today allow is to do that we simply haven't done yet?



    Drew Bedo
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    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #52

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    Re: How Early Could It Have Happened?

    Not ready to answer that last question, but here's a book I read decades ago and still remember; "Lest Darkness Fall" by L. Sprague deCamp (a name too good to forget).

  3. #53
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How Early Could It Have Happened?

    I am eager for Laser Disintegrator that reduces large objects, such as bridges, skyscrapers to recyclables we reuse to 'print' better infrastructure on the spot

    It's already possible

    Then let robots run the whole damn thing

    While we drink beer and brag about how humans could do it better...

    I live in the future already, as here and now is kaput

    Next time we get it right

    maybe
    wear mask or NOT

    is ???

  4. #54
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: How Early Could It Have Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Bedo View Post
    ...So then: What would the technology of today allow is to do that we simply haven't done yet?
    Blow ourselves up?
    Clean up our messes? Somethings we could do if there were the resources (money, material, time, desire)
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #55

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    Re: How Early Could It Have Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Bedo View Post
    Yeah it is a fun read. Did a lot of thinking while reading it.

    Much of the stuff he dropped into 11th-21th century England was beyond the existing technology base; A Colt revolver, telegraph and so on.

    But he could have brought in a matchlock. The metallurgy and machining just not there for the Colt. Same goes for the iron or copper wire for the telegraph.

    I think he brought in soap though.

    Twain/Clemens was writing in the late 19th century and so had no ideas about hang gliders . . .which is the sort of thing that got me thinking about this stuff. Writing at about the same time, Jules Vern didn't come up with it either, though he did shoot men to the Moon with a giant black powder canon. A bit later on, HG Wells imagined "land ironclads" but missed linked tracks. Early Tom Swift novels imagined extensive use of lighter-than-air ships.

    Science fiction writers from the 30s missed nuclear power, but then the real scientists didn't ge into it either until 1940.

    It is easy to innovate backwards of course. The trick is to come up with something new.

    So then: What would the technology of today allow is to do that we simply haven't done yet?



    Watched an interesting show about the technology of the Roman Colosseum on Nova on PBS last night. They found that the Romans built several elevators to transport animals and gladiators from the basement to the main floor. These elevators had cages to hold the animals and, as the cage reached the top, the door would automatically open and a trap door on the Colosseum floor automatically tilted down to make a ramp for the animal to reach the main floor. The trap door then closed automatically and was strong enough to support animals, gladiators, carriages, etc..
    They decided to recreate the elevator, took three different types of engineers, a computer expert, master carpenters and a 200 crane to install it. Also took a couple of rebuilds before it would work.

    Where did all that technology go to?

  6. #56
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How Early Could It Have Happened?

    Rock tossers most likely

    Archimedes did a lot

    I will watch that PBS show soon


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Watched an interesting show about the technology of the Roman Colosseum on Nova on PBS last night. They found that the Romans built several elevators to transport animals and gladiators from the basement to the main floor. These elevators had cages to hold the animals and, as the cage reached the top, the door would automatically open and a trap door on the Colosseum floor automatically tilted down to make a ramp for the animal to reach the main floor. The trap door then closed automatically and was strong enough to support animals, gladiators, carriages, etc..
    They decided to recreate the elevator, took three different types of engineers, a computer expert, master carpenters and a 200 crane to install it. Also took a couple of rebuilds before it would work.

    Where did all that technology go to?
    wear mask or NOT

    is ???

  7. #57
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: How Early Could It Have Happened?

    Archimedes basically plagiarized what the engineers under Sennacherib had already done on large scale before, based on smaller irrigation screw devices long in use in Mesopotamia, and still in common use when Archimedes saw them. When it comes to building large structures, the Romans had the advantage of easy availability to a lot of volcanic ash which made their concrete mixtures for aqueducts, the Coliseum, etc, exceptionally strong, even better than typical concrete today.
    But extraordinary lifts and gear devices were necessary for the great Byzantine building projects and Medieval and Renaissance cathedrals. And remarkable vast waterworks projects happened before the Roman Empire, not only under Sennacherib and in desert outposts like Petra, but some the largest of all were done under Alexander the Great. In fact, when my Uncle was sent by the US in the 1940's to upgrade the water system of the whole Kabul area of Afghanistan, it was basically a repair of vast tunnels and canals built by Alexander's engineers long, long ago - that's quite a track record of reliability, when you don't even need to call the plumber until 2300 years later! People imagine Alexander was just a wild bandit suddenly running around Asia. Instead, he was probably the greatest military logistical organizer in all of history, second only to Tamerlane. Entire great cities like Alexandria were either built or rebuilt by his army corps of engineers and architects. He had a massive naval and overland supply infrastructure too.

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