The world I am building focuses on one particular nation. From some point in its recent history (10-20 years ago) many beneficial changes have improved society overall. Although it may not necessarily be known by most people all of these changes, in one way or another, originated from a single person from a more advanced world.
My question is about the exact nature of these changes. What could these improvements have been?
The world has a technological level of at best advanced cultures such as the ancient Romans and Greeks, China or perhaps Egypt.
Despite saying so, this does not apply to any single nation in my world all at once. There may be those who have a better understanding of architecture, of metal working or any other areas. There is no single nation close to the peak of the past empires I mentioned in more than a few aspects.
Magic does exist, but is irrelevant for this question at large - just assume that they basically have a free pass from truly bad injuries or illnesses given swift treatment.
The person who instigated these changes/improvements comes from a different world with modern technology like ours.
I will explain what that person had available at a minimum and by what criteria an answer would be measured, lastly I'll provide a few simple examples of what they could have done.
- the person instigating changes comes from a modern society with modern technology, however, they have brought only handheld tools with them to the current world
- they are studied in informatics and therefore excel at solving and approaching problems in a structured manner; basically, they're very smart and capable of applying those smarts to any context
- in return they do not have any significant experience with natural scienes; given proper explanation they are capable of understanding all of it eventually but they still wouldn't become capable of metal working or mixing chemicals safely just like that, even if they understand how it works
- they do have a big digital library of any information with lots of instructions (+ pictures for some things) they can access, and take notes with which is, however, largely superficial knowledge and many gaps in more advanced topics; in other words: though they may not be capable of implementing anything on their own they could still explain stuff to professionals (e.g. explain the requirements of a watering can to a proper metalworker even if the concept of a watering can was previously unknown) based on the more or less superficial knowledge they get from their library (only they can read/access it), but they couldn't really learn to distinguish between different kinds of sands on a level precise enough to guarantee the success of chemical reactions
- they can have direct contact with anyone who would most reasonably be capable of implementing their information; if they realize that some domain has large woods full of cork oaks they don't use they can make a case for producing cork towards whoever is in charge of that domain; or if they came up with a gimbal (in theory) to improve compassess at sea they could directly request this of skilled craftsmen that are the closest to being able to make it happen
- they are still limited by current, local technology levels; or in other words, asking the most qualified people to make something happen won't guarantee success
- the world works just the same as the modern one and also ours in terms of stuff like human anatomy, chemical reactions, eadible and non edible plants and all that, so don't be concerned with science suddenly working differently there then here
This is rather broad perhaps, but the positive changes I need don't have to be world changing or super generally applyable (although they could).
Answers will be evaluated not based on the societal significance of the proposed improvements but rather on the following:
- Is it an actual improvement/novelty over something? E.g. developing a composite bow would be an improvement over a society that only has single-material bows, whereas introducing glas manufacture would be an improvement over a society that did not know of a neutral material like that before.
- Is it possible to break the simplest application of
that improvement down into steps that can be executed even by an
amateur? For example, if the society did not know about magentic
compasses any modern person could brush a small piece of metal over
some hair place it atop a leaf floating on some still water and make
a demonstration of how that piece of metal always points in the same
direction. A sophisticated compass could later be produced by
craftsman based on the same principles, but our modern person needs a
smallest demonstrable case to incite positive change.
- In case of improvements of related areas to already existing technologies (i.e. introducing glas to a society that knows of forging) the simplest application should reasonably be doable for a good craftsman within the related, already existing profession.
- Could the effects reasonably be felt within a span of right away up to 10 or 20 years? For example, introducing cork could give you proper positive results with the second harvest (which would be 8-12 years after the initial harvest) so within 15 years it would certainly be possible that people in certain crafts would have come to consider this a good change overall even if the large majority may not yet be aware of this new material. Explaining fore and aft sails could arguably give positive results even within a few months, if previously boats/ships had to rely solely on tailwinds or rudders, for they could almost instantly make use of wind from more directions than previously even if learning how to properly control it may take longer.
Also, it is not important that the modern person is remembered as the one who inspired the improvement, but it is not harmful either.
I did kind of include several examples so far, so I will give two more to further show that the scope doesn't have to be epic:
1. First, imagine a society that makes good use of water wheels for its agriculture and other sectors after the technology was naturally introduced by some more developed nation over the years. The society now wonders why their wheels break a lot faster on average than in the country of origin, despite perhaps both being made of generally the same materials. The modern person could notice that this society doesn't attach any importance to the number of teeth on the wheels and just go with whatever, thus they propose to have any two gears that link into each other to have a coprime number of teeth. This way, on average, their wheels will now have a longer life span due to spreading the tear and wear as evenly as possible.
2. Secondly, imagine a society that has glass working but mostly just presses them into forms. They also really appreciate spherical marbles as jewellery but can't quite produce any true spherical forms. The modern person could propose building a spiral like slide, and letting the molten glas mixture flow down this slide. That way, it will naturally form into balls on its way down, and it would be easier to adjust this technique to gain marbles closer to true spheres.
Lastly, I want to mention that the society of this nation itself is not yet fixed in place. Make any assumptions necessary for your answer to make sense, e.g. assume it has enough rivers to be dependent on waterwheels if you wanted to improve waterwheels, assume it doesn't have any kiln capable of continously withstanding 2000°C if you want to explain how to build one for the ultimate BBQ.
Know that I would prefer any improvement not involving electricity as its main component or some other tech that would probably spark an industrial revolution of a rapidly world changing magnitude. So if you have figured out how to do proper atomic fusion in simple steps that's awesome (do tell me about it =) ), but a bit too drastic for the purpose of this question.
A modern person with minimal equipment but vast amounts of superficial knowledge improved ancient roman level society in the past few decades. What did they do and how did they instigate it?