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Thread: So if 1000 of the brightest engineers were sent back to 1000BC

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    So if 1000 of the brightest engineers were sent back to 1000BC

    How long would it take mankind to become what it is in 2017 - smartphones, cars, gender-fluid individuals and all

    The 1000 people know everything they know right now, only they wouldn't have smartphones, computers etc.

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    Hopefully they could engineer a way to stop religion becoming the cancerous growth it is on our society. And stop Pauline Hanson being born.
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    Quite an interesting question / idea.

    Barring the obvious difficulties around many (most/all?) modern languages having almost no resemblance to those of 1,000BC, both written and spoken, I think the focus would have to be on teaching, as it would likely take most of a generation to be able to come up with the basics required to begin any kind of technological advancement.

    1,000 engineers would still have to mine / gather and re-create the alloys, tools, batteries, etc to do pretty much.. everything. Even the humble ball-point pen involves the development and production of plastics, synthetic ink, etc. Paper and the written word as we know it wasn't even a thing back then.

    So again I think the engineers would have to focus on teaching all that we've learned over the last couple of thousand years about agriculture, metallurgy, the laws of physics, thermodynamics, human biology, etc.

    To answer your question, barring them all being killed as witches or demons by the local populace before being able to teach anything, I reckon we'd reach 2017 levels of technology within four generations of the engineers arriving, roughly 200 years.

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    With no copy and paste?

    They'd be fucked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJ View Post
    How long would it take mankind to become what it is in 2017 - smartphones, cars, gender-fluid individuals and all

    The 1000 people know everything they know right now, only they wouldn't have smartphones, computers etc.
    Considering they built the pyramids with absolute precision that only PC controlled manufacturing can do, Running Water/Sewage System in Rome we havenít come that far.

    https://www.livescience.com/57690-am...scoveries.html

    I reckon we have gone back as society the greats in their time Einstein, Newton, Tesla etc would be given some condition chucked on meds today which limits their thinking as described by Nash and back in time would have been burned as witches/sorcerers.

    Their timing was perfect as it was a science revolution going on.
    Last edited by Halo_2; 12-11-2017 at 02:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benzo View Post
    Quite an interesting question / idea.

    Barring the obvious difficulties around many (most/all?) modern languages having almost no resemblance to those of 1,000BC, both written and spoken, I think the focus would have to be on teaching, as it would likely take most of a generation to be able to come up with the basics required to begin any kind of technological advancement.

    1,000 engineers would still have to mine / gather and re-create the alloys, tools, batteries, etc to do pretty much.. everything. Even the humble ball-point pen involves the development and production of plastics, synthetic ink, etc. Paper and the written word as we know it wasn't even a thing back then.

    So again I think the engineers would have to focus on teaching all that we've learned over the last couple of thousand years about agriculture, metallurgy, the laws of physics, thermodynamics, human biology, etc.

    To answer your question, barring them all being killed as witches or demons by the local populace before being able to teach anything, I reckon we'd reach 2017 levels of technology within four generations of the engineers arriving, roughly 200 years.
    Exactly... They'll know how to program, construct, measure, but won't have any tools at all to help them. They're starting with literally nothing but knowledge.

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    The trick would be to avoid things like the pause points humans have had during the last 3-10'000 years as empires collapse (think the old Persian empires with their advanced mathematics or the Roman Empire with their universities, military and plumbing and roads). Also pushing on with standardisation across countries/regions. Don't deny the massive changes that industrial revolutions and globalisation have had on the ability for our modern world to exist.

    As said above, if they can avoid being stoned to death cause the existing power structures (existing alchemists, religious leaders, etc) view them as an existential threat, surely we should be at today's current tech where we are sending probes to the outer regions of our solar system and landing on Mars within ~500 years. Getting to the first industrial revolution step would be the big one. Steam power, coal, electricity, industry. From there we start extracting and refining fossil fuels, kick start green technology early without needing to worry about 7 billion people wanting cars.

    My 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halo_2 View Post
    I reckon we have gone back as society the greats Einstein, Newton, Tesla etc would be given some disease/condition chucked on meds today which limits their thinking as described by Nash.
    I think we have the wonderful role models of today to thank for that too, instead of praising the works of people out there achieving amazing things that benefit society, people have been conditioned to give a shit about what Kim K is doing.
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    They would all be killed as witches and heretics etc.
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    I saw an article a while back, some scientists calling out evidence that as a species our intellectual levels peaked like a thousand years ago. Sure our collective knowledge continues to expand at a rapid rate (as a species we seem to be unique in being so easy to pass on and acquire new information generation to generation) however our mental capability, to crack the great problems peaked and has disappeared. With less pressure on natural selection and survival of the fittest, pollutants and chemicals, we are technically getting incrementally dumber year on year collectively. A really interesting concept, I Will have to dig it out.
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    Have you seriously ever worked with an engineer? Most of them are too self absorbed and lazy to do anything but complain that they aren't being paid enough for the crap that they spend their time avoiding doing. Send back 100 visionaries that can inspire the masses
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    Pretty much as Benzo & Mr DJ said IF they could manage to keep themselves alive and didn't starve to death in the process, they'd need to get manufacturing going to support their knowledge base before anything else could really get moving along
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water pig View Post
    Have you seriously ever worked with an engineer? Most of them are too self absorbed and lazy to do anything but complain that they aren't being paid enough for the crap that they spend their time avoiding doing. Send back 100 visionaries that can inspire the masses
    Working as a Structural Engineer, I 100% agree. Don't get paid enough avoiding shit I should be doing.

    I should have picked Environmental Engineering, get paid more for doing SFA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr DJ View Post
    I saw an article a while back, some scientists calling out evidence that as a species our intellectual levels peaked like a thousand years ago. Sure our collective knowledge continues to expand at a rapid rate (as a species we seem to be unique in being so easy to pass on and acquire new information generation to generation) however our mental capability, to crack the great problems peaked and has disappeared. With less pressure on natural selection and survival of the fittest, pollutants and chemicals, we are technically getting incrementally dumber year on year collectively. A really interesting concept, I Will have to dig it out.
    Jarad diamond of guns germs and steel suggests that we evolved as excellent hunter gatherers and were pretty happy doing it.

    However we are not evolving as succesful hive creatures.

    The engineers would be eaten by the first wave of bezerkers that bumped into them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shifted View Post
    Working as a Structural Engineer, I 100% agree. Don't get paid enough avoiding shit I should be doing.

    I should have picked Environmental Engineering, get paid more for doing SFA.
    Hit the nail on the head. My oldest son is studying environmental engineering (2nd year) he has no interest in anything even related to work that I've ever seen. He's very committed to sport but

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    If you put that many engineers together at any time in history.... they would regress to a stone age in their own lifetimes.

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    I'm going with 1000 monkeys and 1000 typewriters...😈
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    Send a 1000 engineers back, there still isn't any guarantee they would achieve anything... We aren't known for our social skills...

    Probably won't even talk to each other!
    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

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    Engineers wouldnt need the social skills. Just get the saltpetre sulfur and charcoal happenning and we'll be nuking each other 1000 years before hiroshima

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanoceros View Post
    Hopefully they could engineer a way to stop religion becoming the cancerous growth it is on our society. And stop Pauline Hanson being born.

    I suspect our 1000 engineers would be burned at the stake by those religious zealots withing a day of arriving
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