What are the most important factors in determining how fast technology progresses? And roughly how fast might that be under optimal circumstances?
Innovations have to be dreamed up, but there must be other more basic restrictions on progress. In the scenario below I’m looking for the most important reasons, why they are so important and an approximate time frame to the nearest century perhaps. Here is the scenario:
A set of technical manuals describing in reasonable detail how to build every important technical innovation and describing every important scientific discovery from the last 2000 years has been written.
This would include such things as steam engines, electricity, batteries, electric motors, gas turbines, vaccines, computers as well as an outline of the works of Newton, Boltzmann, Pascal, Darwin, Einstein and more.
Technologies would be arranged in such a way that it was clear what the pre-requirements were, so electric motors require basic knowledge of electricity etc. Where necessary new words and concepts are defined in the text and diagrams are used.
Now imagine thousands of these sets of books being distributed across the ancient world in appropriate languages (by aliens or some other hand waved out of scope mechanism).
Copies go to all key figures in politics, religion, business and military affairs and further copies are hidden but in such a way that they are relatively easy to find over time.
Roughly how much faster would technology advance? And what are the main hindrances to the rate of that advance?