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Old 20th September 2021, 11:40 PM   #81
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Your suggestion of a better model of the solar system also works: if you can start predicting eclipses, or just the motions of the planets, with greater accuracy than anyone at the time, then again people might start to listen.
I believe that's how the Connecticut Yankee did it when he visited King Arthur's Court.
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Old 20th September 2021, 11:42 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
So if we went back and tried to tell people in the year 1000 "The sun is at the center", they would have no reason to believe us, unless we had the mathematical ability to actually develop a proper model.
Thing is, they actually kinda had one. The epicycles used since antiquity were pretty much that model. They rotated one point around the Earth, and the planets around that point. Are you thinking of what I'm thinking, Pinky?

The problem with adopting the Copernican model was just that in its early form it produced the wrong predictions. Like, measurably wrong. Reason being that he insisted on using circular orbits, while the existing epicycles used ellipses already, so (surprisingly enough) they were near perfect at describing the positions of stuff that moves on elliptical orbits. So, yeah, you go to the learned guys of the age and tell them that your model is the right one even though it produces wrong results, and, yeah, the fact that they're priests is not really the biggest problem.

It wouldn't be until Kepler that elliptical orbits started being used. And they produced the right results. And, surprisingly enough, then nobody had an objection to them any more.
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Old 20th September 2021, 11:53 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I believe that's how the Connecticut Yankee did it when he visited King Arthur's Court.
Yep.

It's of some interest that Twain's Connecticut Yankee was an engineer, a fact which worked well in the story and his use of modern (for him) technology was pretty believable in that context.
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Old 21st September 2021, 12:08 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yep.

It's of some interest that Twain's Connecticut Yankee was an engineer, a fact which worked well in the story and his use of modern (for him) technology was pretty believable in that context.
Ironic that one of the most believable time travel stories is 132 years old.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:21 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Well, that's another trope that bugs me. Your presence will necessarily change the future, though not in any predicable direction. Just breathing the air will have immense effects. You can't minimize the risk of your own presence changing something unintentionally. Basically everyone in the world who was conceived a week or more after your trip won't exist in the altered timeline, as a different sperm will end up getting to that egg (or none at all).

I suppose you're right that arriving later would mean that those changes happen further on in the timeline, but that seems like a small issue in comparison to the changes being made.
That depends on the plasticity of time and the level of temporal inertial, linked to the fundamental fuzziness of the quantum nature of reality. There's a certain 'flexibility'.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:25 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by GrandMasterFox View Post
Even worse - Said time traveler will be fully functional in modern era technology by the start of the next episode.

On the TV series "Sleepy Hollow", in which Ichabod Crane did a Rip Van Winkle and woke up in the modern day, at one point his hotel room was shown to be full of Post-It Notes containing reminders of what various modern items did.
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Old 21st September 2021, 03:02 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm pretty sure that's their primary use in a modern steam engine. Sorry to rain on your unfounded delusions of competence.
No it isn't. Saving water is a feature but reducing exhaust pressure and increasing the thermal efficiency of the engine is the primary consideration.

Quote:
Reason being that when you're talking pressures of 200+ PSI, which was actually pretty standard for locomotives (high pressure ones started at 350 PSI and went all the way to 1500 PSI), lowering the pressure on one side by a couple of PSI like Watt did has negligible effect. We're talking pressures of about 7 PSI for the steam in Watt's engine and thereabouts, so yeah, for that one adding one or two PSI difference by cooling the other side makes a difference. But when you have 200+ PSI on one side, doing anything about the pressure on the other side is not even worth the increased metal stresses and friction.
It was not just about adding 'one or two PSI'
A condenser allowed the cylinder to remain hot through the entire cycle, it made a huge difference to efficiency and work done on each stroke.

Without condensing triple expansion engines would lose a lot of their advantages, there is a reason that even compounding was not a huge success on railway locomotives. A condenser reduces the exhaust pressure to vacuum if it is working well allowing a lot more work to be done by the expanding steam.

Quote:
So again, I don't know what gives you the idea that everyone must retrace the exact historical baby steps, but the whole point is that you don't.
OK so how would you produce an accurate cylinder in the 12th century? It took Watt something like 10 years to get a cylinder with enough accuracy to make his engine work any better than the existing atmospheric engines.


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Thinking of all the nonsense you've posted so far on the topic, all I can say AGAIN is: stop projecting
I have worked on a triple expansion engine,. In the 70s the first ship I had experience aboard as a teenager still in the Sea Cadets was the ex HMS Neave, an Isles Class Admiralty Trawler of WW2 vintage. It was fitted with a Richard and Westgarth 2000 HP engine and Admiralty 3 Drum Watertube boiler.
It was being used as a tank cleaning ship servicing bulk tankers out of Hartlepool under the name SS Tulipbank. It was fitted with vacuum pumping equipment and the below deck accommodation forward had been converted oil to storage tanks.
My dad was one of the few chief engineers left with an 'up and downer' steam ticket. He was overseeing the refit of the engine and boiler.
I am a volunteer on the NYMR and have worked on restoring locomotives.

I have also worked on the Ryhope and Tees Cottage beam engines.
I helped a friend restore a Fowler traction engine.

I know steam very well and I would doubt my ability to produce a viable steam engine in the 12th century.
My main effort would be in trying to develop and improve metal working and forging techniques to produce materials capable of improving the engine.

If I was going to try and build an engine in the 12th century it would be a Newcomen style atmospheric engine.
My biggest problems would be trying to produce a boiler that could take more than just a few pounds of pressure, producing an accurate cylinder bore with enough diameter and stroke to be useful.
A Newcomen engine only requires a couple of pounds pressure, it doesn't need to be any more than a big kettle.

On a beam engine the valve gear can be driven directly off the beam, there is no need for eccentrics or bearings in fact, the early engines had a 'plug man' to manually operate the valves and even after a system of rods and rockers was developed to automate them it still needed manual operation until the engine was rocking.

Boiler development would be most important. A simple internal stayed Cornish boiler is still quite a test of materials and fire tube boilers would need the development of quite sophisticated technology to produce strong enough tubes and thick enough boiler plate.
Even by 1825 when Locomotion was produced boiler pressures were only around 50psi and a boilers were still of the single flue type.
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Old 21st September 2021, 06:53 AM   #88
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Umm... you realize, I hope, that you've moved the goalposts from it not being possible to "it made a huge difference to efficiency and work done on each stroke."

I'll even grant that, yes, I probably wouldn't be able to make one as efficient as a late 20'th century naval engine. Hell, even the fact that it would work at less pressure and temperature would limit it enough for that to be true.

But it's a whole different story than it not being possible.
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:10 AM   #89
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Okay this is getting absurd.

It's not like physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics magically worked differently in ancient times, it was just know-how they were lacking.

A steam engine isn't a magical devices that the very possibility of poofed into existence.

Modern Engineers are not magical superhero beings that can bend reality to their will.

If you took a Cessna back to ancient Greece it wouldn't fail to fly because the Wright Brothers hadn't been born yet.
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:18 AM   #90
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Can those invested in the time travel paradoxes/steam issue request a split? It's well into derail territory.
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:20 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I dunno the same way they made on in 1 century AD.

Okay I know the Aeolipile was more of a Sterling Engine than a true steam engine, but the point stands.

But actually there's a lot of things that got invented and the forgotten only to be reinvented later because the original inventor couldn't think of a practical use for it so discarded it as a curiosity.

The Aeolipile, the Antikythera mechanism, the multiple times someone invented calculus but didn't know what to do with it and it got lost to history.

If I were going back really trying to advance history it would be less trying to figure out whether to teach a caveman how to build an Xbox or teach a peasant farmer in the middle ages to make a toaster and more going back to THOSE moments in history where things were invented and proven as possible but got lost to history because there was no immediate practical use for them and trying to convince people that no this is actually going to wind up being super useful and practical, don't give up on it.
Responding before reading entire thread, so maybe already said, but....the aeolopile was not a useful engine despite its ingenuity. It was essentially a steam reaction rocket. A globe filled with water was heated up, and the steam escaped through exhausts to make it rotate. When the water in the globe was used up, the engine stopped. It did not make any useful power, and since its source of steam was internal, it did not allow for long running.

The actual steam engine relies on the expansion of steam after it's made, rather than the pressure of its generation, and that was not quite so easy an idea to come by. One of the other key elements in the design of the steam engine when it did come about was the development of a feedback system to allow it to run without constant supervision.

I'm not saying you couldn't manage to make some sort of steam engine in the 12th century, but you'd need to do some other things first, such as designing some steam-tight plumbing, and likely a lathe capable of making a cylinder. With the tools of the time, your operation would be very slow and difficult at best.
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:20 AM   #92
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Did none of you watch Gilligan's Island? Look at all the amazing things you can make with only coconuts and bamboo!
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:41 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay this is getting absurd.

It's not like physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics magically worked differently in ancient times, it was just know-how they were lacking.

A steam engine isn't a magical devices that the very possibility of poofed into existence.

Modern Engineers are not magical superhero beings that can bend reality to their will.

If you took a Cessna back to ancient Greece it wouldn't fail to fly because the Wright Brothers hadn't been born yet.
What would be missing are the materials and processes to turn them in to steam engines.
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Old 21st September 2021, 08:04 AM   #94
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None of which was impossible just because some exalted class called "Modern Engineers" hadn't descended from the heavens yet.
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Old 21st September 2021, 08:14 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yep.

It's of some interest that Twain's Connecticut Yankee was an engineer, a fact which worked well in the story and his use of modern (for him) technology was pretty believable in that context.
Yep, memorizing the date, time and track of every total solar eclipse for the past 2000 years in all known historical calendars is pretty much engineering 101.
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Old 21st September 2021, 08:22 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
What would be missing are the materials and processes to turn them in to steam engines.
All of which would eventually be developed, and potentially could have been developed a lot sooner if it was known in advance that it was not only possible but insanely profitable. There's probably also a virtuous cycle in there, too. Once you start accelerating the evolution of the steam engine, it allows you to start accelerating other stuff.
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Old 21st September 2021, 08:46 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Yep, memorizing the date, time and track of every total solar eclipse for the past 2000 years in all known historical calendars is pretty much engineering 101.

Time travelers always carry almanacs. There was an episode of "Darkwing Duck" in which he and Launchpad traveled back to the Middle Ages pursuing a villain who had used his own time machine. The heroes were condemned as witches and tied to a stake to be burned. Launchpad pulled out an almanac that he just happened to be carrying.
"Gee DW, according to this, if we had lived another two minutes, we would have gotten to see a total eclipse of the Sun."
Darkwing did the whole "Release me or I will blot out the Sun trick", but nothing happened. He grabbed the almanac from Launchpad and started reading the page.
"The eclipse is tomorrow!!"
He then spent the next 24 hours chanting random phrases nonstop until the eclipse actually happened.

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Old 21st September 2021, 08:47 AM   #98
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I love that Ash, a character who was pretty much defined as an idiot, had a chemistry textbook in the trunk of his car when he got sent back for literally no reason.
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Old 21st September 2021, 08:58 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
All of which would eventually be developed, and potentially could have been developed a lot sooner if it was known in advance that it was not only possible but insanely profitable. There's probably also a virtuous cycle in there, too. Once you start accelerating the evolution of the steam engine, it allows you to start accelerating other stuff.
Would you be able to do it if you were transported to the 12th century now?
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Old 21st September 2021, 08:59 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
None of which was impossible just because some exalted class called "Modern Engineers" hadn't descended from the heavens yet.
In the context of the thread it would be you transported back who had to try and do it, not an engineer
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:00 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Would you be able to do it if you were transported to the 12th century now?
Well your "Goalpost Moving" and "Missing the Point" machines are operating at peak efficiency, so they are engineered well it seems.

Fine nobody but modern day engineers are capable of anything. We believe you. Let's move on.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:02 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Yep, memorizing the date, time and track of every total solar eclipse for the past 2000 years in all known historical calendars is pretty much engineering 101.
In one of the versions of Connecticut Knight, they actually put the main part to be a young girl who learned about it in class just a short time before being zapped into the past.

She also asked how the heck would this be useful for me in the future?

That at least made it a bit more plausible.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:48 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
None of which was impossible just because some exalted class called "Modern Engineers" hadn't descended from the heavens yet.
True enough, but in order to make many of those machines you first have to invent and make the tools with which to make them, and those tools themselves may require tools to make them. You can't just jump into the 12th century and make a steam-tight cylinder, valves, boiler and governor with the tools of the time. You could start the process by convincing some people of the viability of the idea using ideas and drawings and explanations, but the process would take time and require a lot of convincing.

I mean, I know how an engine lathe works, and how the teeth of a bastard file are oriented, and I could explain many things, but I can't actually build a lathe or even produce a decent file without a large body of prior engineering - other machines, metallurgical processes, and so forth.

I imagine that if a well-informed time traveler landed in the right place in the 12th century, they could have a disproportionate influence on the speed of technological progress. But I'm betting they would not live to see most of it.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:03 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well your "Goalpost Moving" and "Missing the Point" machines are operating at peak efficiency, so they are engineered well it seems.

Fine nobody but modern day engineers are capable of anything. We believe you. Let's move on.
The subject of the diversion was people being transported back in time and showing how to make 'modern stuff'.
If you were sent back, how much 'modern stuff' would you be able to show them how to make?
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:18 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
True enough, but in order to make many of those machines you first have to invent and make the tools with which to make them, and those tools themselves may require tools to make them.

I haven't been able to find a transcript, but there was an episode of "Pinky & the Brain" in which animal rights activists mistook them for monkeys, liberated them from their lab, and dumped them on an abandoned tropical island. The Brain had a monologue that was something like "I could build (something) to get us off the island, if I had some high grade aluminum. I can build an aluminum extruder; I just need some steel. I can make steel from the iron ore in these rocks, if I had a high temperature forge and a smelter."
I also remember a superhero RPG setting in which particularly dangerous supervillains are dumped on an alternate Earth where intelligent life never evolved. Even a supergenius wouldn't live long enough to create the technology to escape, if they had to start from zero.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:22 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
In the context of the thread it would be you transported back who had to try and do it, not an engineer
Of course! Just point me at the nearest abbey, and I'll get right to work assembling a team.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:36 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
I haven't been able to find a transcript, but there was an episode of "Pinky & the Brain" in which animal rights activists mistook them for monkeys, liberated them from their lab, and dumped them on an abandoned tropical island. The Brain had a monologue that was something like "I could build (something) to get us off the island, if I had some high grade aluminum. I can build an aluminum extruder; I just need some steel. I can make steel from the iron ore in these rocks, if I had a high temperature forge and a smelter."
I also remember a superhero RPG setting in which particularly dangerous supervillains are dumped on an alternate Earth where intelligent life never evolved. Even a supergenius wouldn't live long enough to create the technology to escape, if they had to start from zero.
In A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge toys with galactic civilization high tech playing a game with what set of instructions you could send to a feral world and raise their tech level up to modern the fastest.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:38 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
The subject of the diversion was people being transported back in time and showing how to make 'modern stuff'.
If you were sent back, how much 'modern stuff' would you be able to show them how to make?
I could continue the discussion about boilers, but I already gave you an even better example that, forget 12't century CE, it's doable even with 3rd millennium BCE tech: the movable-type printing press. As long as you can cast lead, which is doable even with a campfire, you're good to go.

And yes, they knew metal casting even before they had writing. The first cast bronze for example is from around 3000 BCE. The first known cast item, period, is 3200 BCE and cast copper.

Other trivial examples include stuff like the extra fan on windmills that allows them to turn into the wind. It doesn't need any extra technology, it just needs another fan at 90 degrees to the main one, geared to turn the windmill if the wind applies any torque to it. Which it will unless its axis is perpendicular to the wind, which means the main fan's axis is aligned with the wind.

Or you want to give them better materials first? Fine, I'll play by your rules. Because that's trivial too. If you ever end up in the dark ages, just tell a good smith that steel is iron with carbon, not a more purified form of iron. He can take it from there. And that's literally a misconception they had until very late in the middle ages.

You want to do even better by them? Teach them how to make a Japanese furnace. (Well, I say Japanese because they still use them, but it seems to be actually from India.) You literally only need clay for that one, and you can get like ten tons of high carbon steel in one go, with far less effort than a European bloomery. Seriously, if you know how to pile clay in the shape of a rectangular box, that's ALL the advanced tech you need there.

You could literally be plonked into 3000 BCE Mesopotamia or Egypt and show them how to skip the bronze age entirely.

Etc.

I'm not sure why some people are so completely married to the "you couldn't teach them ANYTHING" idiocy, to be honest, when trivial examples exist of stuff that, yes, you could teach anyone from any age. I mean, it makes for a good comedy routine when Dara O'Briain does it for a gag, but that's about it.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:51 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
The subject of the diversion was people being transported back in time and showing how to make 'modern stuff'.
If you were sent back, how much 'modern stuff' would you be able to show them how to make?
I said you could prove to people in the past the things were possible which would to a large degree rapidly increase how fast they would actually get invented.

The problem with the process of invention, any process of invention, is that you only know if something is fully going to work at the end.

Like I'm sure you've seen those old B&W newsreel footage montages of the wacky early airplane designs with the flapping wings and the rotating parts and the dozen wings and all that.

Go back to... 1700s and show Tito Livio Burattini and Emanuel Swedenborg and Diego Marín Aguilera and whoever just like a picture of the Wright Flyer and go "This flew. This right here. This device here that I am showing you will at some point in the future fly." You don't give specs, you don't give them a prototype, you don't give a timeframe, you don't give them perquisites. You just go "This will fly. I'm doing the work of post-flight proving of the design for you. You'll still have to figure out the hows and whys and whats and whiches, but this flies."

If you did that a plane would have flown before 1903. Because there wouldn't have been so much sunk cost spent building this:



You're acting like if someone came from the future and shoed us all a fully functional replicator or warp drive that the time it would take to build the required matter transfer matrix or dilithium interlock chamber would stay the same, that we wouldn't work harder to make the things needed to make the things. Like we would just sit and wait for the perquisites to get built on the original timeline before inventing the life changing tech.

You act as if this is a upgrade path in an RTS and you can't do anything to make the progress bar go faster.

We would work harder to make things we knew were possible and get there faster. Why you have spent two pages now acting like that idea has insulted the very honor of "modern engineers" is beyond me.
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Old 21st September 2021, 11:29 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Monza View Post
Did none of you watch Gilligan's Island? Look at all the amazing things you can make with only coconuts and bamboo!
Except, of course, a boat.

Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
I haven't been able to find a transcript, but there was an episode of "Pinky & the Brain" in which animal rights activists mistook them for monkeys, liberated them from their lab, and dumped them on an abandoned tropical island. The Brain had a monologue that was something like "I could build (something) to get us off the island, if I had some high grade aluminum. I can build an aluminum extruder; I just need some steel. I can make steel from the iron ore in these rocks, if I had a high temperature forge and a smelter."
I also remember a superhero RPG setting in which particularly dangerous supervillains are dumped on an alternate Earth where intelligent life never evolved. Even a supergenius wouldn't live long enough to create the technology to escape, if they had to start from zero.
That's almost very much what they did in the Jules Verne's Mysterious Island. (Notably the novel, not the movie. No giant bees or chickens here.) In fact, a lot (a lot!) of the narrative is about just that.
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Old 21st September 2021, 11:33 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I said you could prove to people in the past the things were possible which would to a large degree rapidly increase how fast they would actually get invented.

The problem with the process of invention, any process of invention, is that you only know if something is fully going to work at the end.

Like I'm sure you've seen those old B&W newsreel footage montages of the wacky early airplane designs with the flapping wings and the rotating parts and the dozen wings and all that.

Go back to... 1700s and show Tito Livio Burattini and Emanuel Swedenborg and Diego Marín Aguilera and whoever just like a picture of the Wright Flyer and go "This flew. This right here. This device here that I am showing you will at some point in the future fly." You don't give specs, you don't give them a prototype, you don't give a timeframe, you don't give them perquisites. You just go "This will fly. I'm doing the work of post-flight proving of the design for you. You'll still have to figure out the hows and whys and whats and whiches, but this flies."

If you did that a plane would have flown before 1903. Because there wouldn't have been so much sunk cost spent building this:

https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/Pf...0-80.jpeg.webp

You're acting like if someone came from the future and shoed us all a fully functional replicator or warp drive that the time it would take to build the required matter transfer matrix or dilithium interlock chamber would stay the same, that we wouldn't work harder to make the things needed to make the things. Like we would just sit and wait for the perquisites to get built on the original timeline before inventing the life changing tech.

You act as if this is a upgrade path in an RTS and you can't do anything to make the progress bar go faster.

We would work harder to make things we knew were possible and get there faster. Why you have spent two pages now acting like that idea has insulted the very honor of "modern engineers" is beyond me.
The key to heavier-than-air flight was advances in materials science leading to engines that could overcome the paradox of being strong enough to contain the combustion process and light enough to lift their own weight with the power they generated. And I confess that I would be more or less usless in educating the ancients in that aspect. Beyond, of course, telling them it was doable and would eventually get done.
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Old 21st September 2021, 06:00 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Yep, memorizing the date, time and track of every total solar eclipse for the past 2000 years in all known historical calendars is pretty much engineering 101.
Sorry, those two paragraphs weren't meant to be logically connected. There's a lot of our Connecticut Yankee building modern (for him) technology in the book, and that seemed to be of interest to the thread. I didn't intend to imply that his knowledge of eclipses was related to his engineering expertise.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:44 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The show I plug every chance I get covers this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-WHAISI02w

Michael's answer is the best.

Michael: "I'd go to back to medieval times or the Wild West. Sell cures for diseases."
Katie: "What makes you think you could cure a disease."
Michael: "I didn't say cure a disease. I said sell cures for diseases. You know mix a bunch of random (crap) in a bottle and hock it?"
Soren: "Oh you'd be a snake oil salesman?"
Michael: "Oh well sure, if they had had snakes back then."
(Reactions from the group)
Michael: "My point is I'm privy to 200 years of scams. All these rubes are green to it."
Dan: "So what happens when none of your cures work? They would kill you."
Michael: "Would they though? Did you know there was a doctor in the early 1900s who claimed he could cure impotency by surgically implanting goat testicles into your body? Not connecting them to veins, not even putting them where testicles should go..."
(Offside to Katie) "The scrotum" to which Katie mouths "I KNOW!"
".. but just like... shove them in there, wherever they would fit. I mean this dude got rich because everyone was either too embarrassed or dead to complain."
Ah, Serge Abrahamovitch Voronoff, the Monkey Gland Man. The term 'testicles' wasn't used in public. If I may quote myself:
Quote:
Officially his first transplant involving implanting monkey testicle tissue into a human happened on 12JUN1920. Soon it became a cause célčbre and Voronoff was internationally applauded. Within ten years over five hundred men has been recipients of Voronoff's technique in France alone, with hundreds more operated on in Britain, Germany, the United States and elsewhere. There were also experiments on women, using ovarian transplants to 'cure' menopause and retard aging as well as attempts at creating human/chimpanzee hybrids, an idea distressingly popular in the period.

In an era obsessed with 'modernity' as well as youth, Voronoff claims became immensely popular and he became very wealthy from his work. His fall from favour was rapid however, especially after the isolation of testosterone in 1935 (which involved the 'processing' of hundreds of kilogrammes of bovine testicles from the stockyards of Chicago by college students). By his death in 1951 he was a figure of ridicule.
Would this be a good time to bring up Wolverhampton Wanderers football club and their infamous manager, 'the Major', Frank Buckley? Who in addition to dosing players (some of them minors) with amphetamines (though he certainly wasn't the only manager to do this) had players 'treated' with either implanted slices of monkey testicle or the injection of extracts from said testicles.

In fact the 1939 FA Cup final, between Wandererss and Portsmouth, was dubbed the "Monkey Gland Final" by the media. Then the war came and put an end to a bizarre few years in English football, when animal gland extracts became the supplement of choice for the players.......

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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:45 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, maybe it's because I didn't sleep in class, but I'm pretty sure I could make a steam engine with 12'th century tech. Probably wouldn't be very powerful, without needing some more precise work than available at the time, but it would work.

Or I'm pretty damn sure I could make a more powerful crossbow with 12'th century tech, than any that has existed at any point during middle ages and renaissance, seein' as it literally only takes 2 small pulleys to overcome the inherent inefficiency in those designs. Namely both the limit on draw length, AND the fact that effectively they used more of the stored energy to move the lathe than the bolt.

Hell, even the counterweight trebuchet, it only got invented by the end of the 13'th century, and it doesn't require any special materials or technology. Literally the only revelation it required compared to the pull trebuchet was the very long sling, as just keeping making the arm bigger was hitting an efficiency limit.

Or a few other things.

Frankly, I don't get the meme that everyone is so <bleep>ing stupid that they couldn't possibly remember ANYTHING useful. I mean, obviously some people are, but I wish they'd stop projecting it on everyone else.
Gunpowder. And distilled alcohol.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:46 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We put a man on the moon before we thought to put wheels on luggage.

By your argument why wasn't everything invented and perfected right after the opening scene to 2001?

History can miss an obvious solution for a LLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNN NNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG time.
I don't recall the moon-landing of before WW1.....
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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:48 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's a pretty common habit in both science fiction and fantasy to employ a real-world origin for a protagonist simply to provide opportunity for the other characters to explain the worldbuilding to them. Someone born in that world would already know about all the stuff that the audience needs explained, which would make the infodumps even dumber.
Ah, you've read David Weber.....
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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:50 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I remember that Dark Shadows remake from the 1990s. It was fairly stupid but fun, and at one point the heroine time-travelled to the past. The past people took as proof of her witchcraft the mysterious hex sigils on tags in her clothes--it was the Do Not Iron symbol and other washing instruction icons.
I'm stealing that for out Who gaming.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:55 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
In Alan Dean Foster's "Spellsinger" novels, a man from modern day Earth gets transported to a fantasy world, but he's a law student and wannabe rock musician, so he doesn't have the technical knowledge to make anything. He does discover the ability to cast spells by playing songs from our world on a special instrument and occasionally conjures things from our world, but the magic is unreliable. He summons a fully-equipped yacht with "Sloop John B", for example, but incapacitates himself by appointing another party member with more sailing experience to be Captain, making himself First Mate. "The First Mate he got drunk". A huge storm also comes up to make it "the worst trip I've ever been on".
Rather than technology, he mainly tries to apply modern US morals to situations he encounters in the fantasy world, which usually goes horribly wrong. He comes across as "I'm from a civilized world, so I know what's best for you", and can't understand that the people like the way their society works.
Flores the cheerleader, the one who hooked up with the rabbit-guy, was actually better suited to the fantasy world.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:56 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's a pretty common habit in both science fiction and fantasy to employ a real-world origin for a protagonist simply to provide opportunity for the other characters to explain the worldbuilding to them. Someone born in that world would already know about all the stuff that the audience needs explained, which would make the infodumps even dumber.
I much prefer the "negative space" approach, but it's hard to pull off. William Gibson does a pretty good job, most of the time. But he also does tell the reader how a character feels about some salient aspect of their world. This also explains to the reader what it is, how it works, why it's salient, and what it implies about the world the character lives in. Being a live action reality star isn't a mysterious thing to any of the characters in the world. But telling us about the inner life of such a star, and how she lives it, tells us much of what we need to know about the world, without giving us worldbuilding as a "you must be new here" powerpoint presentation.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 08:56 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
I don't recall the moon-landing of before WW1.....
Yes. And the first wheeled luggage was in 1970.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/10/04...ary/index.html
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