Time travel thought experiment game

  • Thread starter Moriarty
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  • #91
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Kirk vs Gorn

ps. You forgot the diamonds, sulfur, and charcoal.

pps. What the hell is saltpeter anyways? google google google. hmmmm....

"The earliest known complete purification process for potassium nitrate was outlined in 1270 by the chemist and engineer Hasan al-Rammah of Syria in his book ..."

1270? Good grief! Sounds old school.

And where do you get it?

"A major natural source of potassium nitrate was the deposits crystallizing from cave walls and the accumulations of bat guano in caves. Extraction is accomplished by immersing the guano in water for a day, filtering, and harvesting the crystals in the filtered water. Traditionally, guano was the source used in Laos for the manufacture of gunpowder for Bang Fai rockets."

Bat poop!

I can't speak for why anyone else hangs out at PF, but I know why I do. :)

Yup Bat Poop was a huge business. want to be rich in the 19th century go to south America and harvest some of the largest deposits of bat guano before they were discovered in our past. make a deal with the natives to process it into nitrate and then ship it to Europe or north to the Colonies
 
  • #92
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Has anyone dealt with arriving there naked and alone yet. That may take some quick thinking, I would start by convincing a well dressed gentleman that I was from a wealthy family and had just been robbed of my clothing and money. I would convince him that he will be well rewarded if he could loan me several hundred dollars.(think of it as like getting a research grant.)

Now I can proceed. At that time the food supply was of great importance. I think I could buy some ingredients with my (grant money) and show them how to make simple pesticides from the future. I think that any agricultural improvement would be most impressive at that time. I would crank out a few machines related to agriculture that had not yet been invented.
 
  • #93
85
166
Kirk vs Gorn

ps. You forgot the diamonds, sulfur, and charcoal.

pps. What the hell is saltpeter anyways? google google google. hmmmm....

"The earliest known complete purification process for potassium nitrate was outlined in 1270 by the chemist and engineer Hasan al-Rammah of Syria in his book ..."

1270? Good grief! Sounds old school.

And where do you get it?

"A major natural source of potassium nitrate was the deposits crystallizing from cave walls and the accumulations of bat guano in caves. Extraction is accomplished by immersing the guano in water for a day, filtering, and harvesting the crystals in the filtered water. Traditionally, guano was the source used in Laos for the manufacture of gunpowder for Bang Fai rockets."

Bat poop!

I can't speak for why anyone else hangs out at PF, but I know why I do. :)



Now for a brief off topic bit of history. Many of us had an encounter with saltpeter while in the military and didn't even know it. We definitely weren't making gunpowder.:D

The switch to saltpeter-free food is scheduled for March 1.

Saltpeter, or potassium nitrate, is an ionic salt added to rocket propellants, fireworks, and fertilizer. In the military, it has been used for centuries as a food additive that suppresses libido.

“Saltpeter’s job is to keep erections down, but we determined that any benefits were outweighed by its potential to cause cancer, glandular issues, and disorders of the reproductive system,” said COL Germaine Thompson, a public health researcher at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

http://www.duffelblog.com/2013/02/military-to-stop-adding-saltpeter-to-chow/

As you were men smokem if you gottem. :eek:
 
  • #95
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3
Can we say , inventing a machine that enables someone to travel to the past times is quite impossible because even if it would be invented in the following eras , we must have someone who travels from that time to our time or even earlier , and that has never happened yet.!!

deserve thinking..,
:)
 
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  • #96
OmCheeto
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Now for a brief off topic bit of history. Many of us had an encounter with saltpeter while in the military and didn't even know it. We definitely weren't making gunpowder.:D



http://www.duffelblog.com/2013/02/military-to-stop-adding-saltpeter-to-chow/

As you were men smokem if you gottem. :eek:

I wasn't going to mention that rumored aspect of the "chemical", but that is quite humorous.

“That’s about the time when the Continental Army decided it needed to do something,” Blackstone added. :oldlaugh:

We'll have to co-post this in the "Things we learned today" thread.
 
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  • #97
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Actually this question and situation recalls me back to a story I have read . It is "King Solomon Mines " and the case is When zolos thought that the foreigners had come from the stars..
Interesting ..,
 
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  • #98
nomadreid
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It is obvious from a quick scan of the answers that this is a physics forum, as most posts (except a few with musical bents) concerned inventions of a physical nature. It would be easier to transport some ideas around from pure mathematics: just think of someone showing up with the solution to the Riemann hypothesis today. But in any case, whatever you do, there is nothing that could not be interpreted otherwise: if you invent something or foretell its invention, you are likely to be labeled a clever person, and if you predict events that would not be easily predictable (as opposed to, for example, the classic of predicting an eclipse, which would be ho-hum, given that this has been done for most of recorded history), for example an assassination, you would likely either be labeled an accomplice or a mystic. I haven't seen an answer here that would definitively prove.... but wait a minute, we are not talking about proof, but about convincing. Ha, you probably don't need to actually be from the future to be able to do that. Just look around at what people can be brought to believe .....
 
  • #99
CheedoOne
It is obvious from a quick scan of the answers that this is a physics forum, as most posts (except a few with musical bents) concerned inventions of a physical nature. It would be easier to transport some ideas around from pure mathematics: just think of someone showing up with the solution to the Riemann hypothesis today. But in any case, whatever you do, there is nothing that could not be interpreted otherwise: if you invent something or foretell its invention, you are likely to be labeled a clever person, and if you predict events that would not be easily predictable (as opposed to, for example, the classic of predicting an eclipse, which would be ho-hum, given that this has been done for most of recorded history), for example an assassination, you would likely either be labeled an accomplice or a mystic. I haven't seen an answer here that would definitively prove.... but wait a minute, we are not talking about proof, but about convincing. Ha, you probably don't need to actually be from the future to be able to do that. Just look around at what people can be brought to believe .....

I think you are correct. How can someone convince you TODAY that he or she is from the future? Proving something we haven't thought about just makes the person look smart. Predicting near future events will make them look either lucky or involved in the matter. In the past, people would think you are either an accomplice or a demon. If 200 years ago someone just appeared naked and talking in a language people could hardly understand, it would mean hanging almost immediately. Superstition is hard to avoid.

I think the question should be: How would you survive?
 
  • #100
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Ha, you probably don't need to actually be from the future to be able to do that. Just look around at what people can be brought to believe .....

I posted the same sentiment referring to Galileo Galilei, who despite proof, observations, models ect could not convince "authority" of the solar system.

People can believe what they want to, regardless of facts...Grrrrrr.
 
  • #101
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for one thing you DO NOT try and convince the Church that you are from the future it would = a really bad end.

that leaves industrialists/scientists but not the established school system which is at the time run in most part by the church.

solving the Naked and alone part is as easy as lying or stealing to get at least the minimum needed to avoid trouble.not exactly a huge problem unless you pop up in the middle of the stage at the opera during a sold out show that has no nudity in the script.

food in the countryside is an easy thing as long as you have the slightest knowledge of edible plants (don't kill any animals you'd probably be hanged for poaching.) you could always get a few squirts of milk from cows or goats without having a farmer pitchfork you for it. in a city you'd better come up with something to sell and this is where knowledge can become money very easily. Masons are well respected in pretty much any country and they travel a lot so break out your geometry and math skills and you could quickly be among the masons designing buildings/castles ...etc...especially if you can work out load values that wont fail.ability to cut stone is not as necessary if you can design better than the local guild does. create a simple bubble level or even show them how to create a water level many of today's tools would be easy to pre invent.

any good at geography? then shipping is an area you could take advantage of the knowledge.
history buffs can use political changes to quickly make a buck selling info of where Napoleon will attack from to Moscow or many other conflicts...
there are so many ways to make what we know now pay our way in the past without looking like your nuts and as far as convincing someone that your from the future you'd need to chose who you convince before even trying to.
 
  • #102
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How can someone convince you TODAY that he or she is from the future? Proving something we haven't thought about just makes the person look smart. Predicting near future events will make them look either lucky or involved in the matter.
You can be too lucky beyond reasonable doubt.

If you can predict the precise results of multiple national votes, various sport events and whatever, you soon reach a level that makes time travel at least an interesting explanation.

Many astronomical objects are easy to find if you know where to look - but you cannot look everywhere with the best telescopes. Predict the positions of various objects that are just visible with the best telescopes today, and you either have built a secret supertelescope in your backyard or you have knowledge that did not exist on earth before.
Even better objects are supernovae, gamma ray bursts and all other phenomena where something (relatively) bright appears without any warning. Impossible to predict with current technology, but trivial if you have records of them. Shooting stars would also be possible, but I am not aware of good systematic records of them.

If you can present a theory that unifies quantum field theory and general relativity, this is not a proof that you are from the future - but you will get enough funding to do whatever you need to demonstrate more knowledge.

The more different topics you can combine the less likely it gets that you are extremely clever and lucky everywhere at the same time.
 
  • #103
Curious3141
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This is an excellent point, hilariously made. We're all technical people here with knowledge and skills far beyond that of 200 years ago, but our expertise is entirely contextual. That context being the modern world. Personally I have no idea how I would do any of the work I do day-to-day without the machines, computers and supplies ordered from sigma-Aldrich. I have no idea how to make the vast majority of those from scratch with modern technology, let alone that of 200 years ago. Unless your training is in some fundamental mechanics or you have a personal interest with the history of your field you'll be of negligible to no use.

To put it succinctly, that's why we live in a society. :D
 
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