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  1. - Top - End - #301
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    The hard part of that formula is the screen. That's not something that would be readily available in ancient Sumer.
    The screen was nice, but not necessary. You could do the same with two planks, or flat rocks, letting the water run out the side. Might even work better, since it would make the paper flatter.
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  2. - Top - End - #302
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    One weird downside of early paper production is that archeologists would lose huge amounts of knowledge about ancient societies. We have, for instance, huge amounts of Hittite diplomatic correspondence because it was written or copied onto clay tablets for the state archive, and the tablets survive. Our knowlege of Egypt is heavily biased towards what made it onto monuments, or was carved into limestone as a rough draft of a papyrus final version, simply because the stone survives. An ancient world that ran on paper would be much more opaque to us.
    More durable forms of data storage would probably still be used even with cheap paper. Cheaper alternatives to parchment and stone existed at the time the records you're talking about were made, after all.

  3. - Top - End - #303
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Accelerator View Post
    I'm afraid not. You see, with the total lack of anything resembling mechanization, everything has to be powered by muscles. And you know what happens when you're too poor to get an animal? You get human muscles. That's right. From dragging water to digging a hole to harvesting crops, all of them have to be done by muscle power.

    Peasants didn't have many children because they were just boinking like rabbits (ok fine, maybe they were. Not like they had cable tv). It was because each child was the equivalent of taking a loan for a combine harvester. Farming was hard work, and with all the labour requirements and child death rate, you needed more. What's more, with the lack of social safety nets, your social safety net was your family.

    More children = more safety.
    Isn't that a pyramid scheme?

    I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but assuming that the same will apply to each of those children once they themselves grow up I'm pretty sure that that's either a ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-07-25 at 10:23 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #304
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Isn't that a pyramid scheme?

    I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but assuming that the same will apply to each of those children once they themselves grow up I'm pretty sure that that's either a ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme.
    That's what leads to equilibrium traps, where agricultural production increases are matched almost exactly by increases in population. If you can't get cheap land you start bottlenecking pretty hard, and then famines break out.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  5. - Top - End - #305
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Isn't that a pyramid scheme?
    Only if people have a choice about buying into it.
    "None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned. A natural result of these conditions is, that we consciously or unconsciously pay more attention to tuning our opinions to our neighbor’s pitch and preserving his approval than we do to examining the opinions searchingly and seeing to it that they are right and sound." - Mark Twain

  6. - Top - End - #306
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    That's what leads to equilibrium traps, where agricultural production increases are matched almost exactly by increases in population. If you can't get cheap land you start bottlenecking pretty hard, and then famines break out.
    Yup.

    For the vast majority of human existence, your population grew as long as you had enough food and enough land to cultivate that food. When you didn't get that land? Your population reacted the same way as any other animal that outgrew its ecological niche. It collapsed. Famines, plagues, wars, until the population stabilizes or you get more food.

    This is called the Malthusian trap.

    This has been going on for millenia until sometime in the industrial revolution we managed to increase our food supply faster than our populations. This is one of the few times by which we actually can look at stuff and *not* be worried about food. By the way, it's also one of the reasons why stuff was so **** back then. Not enough stuff to go around, so it was based around making sure a large population had no stuff.

  7. - Top - End - #307
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    I'll assume half a dozen people have said the spinning wheel? My plan would be to get a job as a shepherd and use the copious amount of time to work out how to construct a spinning wheel. (maybe even a portable version at first).

    Regarding sewage systems. People tend to underestimate the importance of flushable toilet paper.

    Without it you have two options: Dry storage and removal of wiping implement (modern system), which partially defeats the purpose of plumbing since you still have to the smell and going around and manually collecting/ disposing of waste.

    Reusable wiping implements, (which the Romans had) which couldn't always be personal or perfectly sterilized (they used vinegar, which is a disinfectant, but not one I would trust to stop cholera).

    Finally the waste was valuable (before the invention of modern fertilizers), which meant that you could cheaply (or freely) get people to collect it. The ideal sewage system doesn't flush waster into the ocean (even if there isn't enough to contaminate the nearby waters), it captures it in a way that can be used for fertilizer (and I think it was undesirable for it to be composed first).
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

  8. - Top - End - #308
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    I'll assume half a dozen people have said the spinning wheel? My plan would be to get a job as a shepherd and use the copious amount of time to work out how to construct a spinning wheel. (maybe even a portable version at first).
    That's a good idea if you know the basic principle, but only matters for societies before AD 1000, and quite possibly earlier.

  9. - Top - End - #309
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    I'll assume half a dozen people have said the spinning wheel? My plan would be to get a job as a shepherd and use the copious amount of time to work out how to construct a spinning wheel. (maybe even a portable version at first).

    Regarding sewage systems. People tend to underestimate the importance of flushable toilet paper.

    Without it you have two options: Dry storage and removal of wiping implement (modern system), which partially defeats the purpose of plumbing since you still have to the smell and going around and manually collecting/ disposing of waste.

    Reusable wiping implements, (which the Romans had) which couldn't always be personal or perfectly sterilized (they used vinegar, which is a disinfectant, but not one I would trust to stop cholera).

    Finally the waste was valuable (before the invention of modern fertilizers), which meant that you could cheaply (or freely) get people to collect it. The ideal sewage system doesn't flush waster into the ocean (even if there isn't enough to contaminate the nearby waters), it captures it in a way that can be used for fertilizer (and I think it was undesirable for it to be composed first).
    Personal thought is that the waste would be directed to reed beds and wetlands to be composted and rendered somewhat safer.

  10. - Top - End - #310
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    That's a good idea if you know the basic principle, but only matters for societies before AD 1000, and quite possibly earlier.
    To be fair, the majority of human existence time wise is before then.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  11. - Top - End - #311
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are technologies that a time traveler could easily introduce to ancient time

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    That's a good idea if you know the basic principle, but only matters for societies before AD 1000, and quite possibly earlier.
    It wasn't really spread until a few centuries latter. And I would be using my research time to be learning the principles of the most advanced pre industrial models (which are also the only kind I've seen in person, given the periods things in American museums come from).
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

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