New answers tagged

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Monks, not Priests The Christian church in Europe developed a strong so-called "lay" hierarchy, meaning the ladder of Pope, bishops, and parish priests; parish churches and cathedrals formed the core network; the monastic orders came late, and while rich and powerful, always played the second fiddle. But with Buddhism, the monks and monastic ...


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Fundamentally, the worldviews of Christianity and Buddhism can't be farther apart. Siddharta encountered suffering in the world and sought to reject the world. Reality is illusion; the ultimate goal of existence is extinguishment (nirvana). Jesus encounters suffering in the world and embraces it and the world. Reality is real, though broken; the ultimate ...


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Easy peasy (slightly cheaty). All they need is a cow, a supply of lemons or white vinegar if you're somewhere cold, and a fire. A cool experiment to do with kids is to make plastic from milk; you just need to heat milk with acid until the casein turns into polymers, then dry it. This is a chemistry experiment working with polymers. Polymers are molecules ...


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What happens when you increase the power of gunpowder? Unless they can also make gun barrels equally stronger, the extra power of the Greek sand will turn your gun into a handheld pipe bomb. So you'll immediately use 2.3 times less than we do obviously. However this isn't the end of the story. A mistake while mixing has 2.3 times the unintended consequences ...


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What's "plastic?" Plastic is a word that originally meant “pliable and easily shaped.” It only recently became a name for a category of materials called polymers. The word polymer means “of many parts,” and polymers are made of long chains of molecules. Polymers abound in nature. Cellulose, the material that makes up the cell walls of plants, is a ...


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There is no time period from 5-15th century that this would make since The Armor: If we assume the only armor is what we see, then that armor is mostly ornamental. But's let's be kind and assume that all that flowing clothing we are seeing is actually Surcoats, and that under that cloth is actually some manner of mail or plate armor. Even taking this ...


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4th century Justinian makes Buddhism the state religion, not Christianity. Shintoism is too similar to pagan worship to convince people to switch. If you change the names but not the idea people will stick to what they know. But Buddhism might just be different enough for people to consider worshipping it. It should be about as strange to pagans as ...


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Some time in the 18th century for modern day. Step one Japan puts technology first In the 18 century, Dutch technological texts let a few elites in Japan’s military government foresee what we know now: Japan should not fall behind technologically, and should try to lead if possible. They begin founding large science laboratories, and promote international ...


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Timing It won't happen during Late Antiquity, that's for sure. Europeans first visited Japan in the mid 1500s. You'd have to really mess around with the timeline to make that work. To make the scenario a reality, all you really need is a monarch or military commander with a fantastic sense of visual aesthetics the authority to make that vision a reality and ...


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Somehow, medieval Europe makes contact with medieval Japan. Since it's so hard to get there, and seen as exotic, everyone who's anyone wants to dress like this. Yes, such fads have been a thing, historically speaking. Not quite sure why it would last that long, though.


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Google image. My search term was alternate North America maps. I got loads and loads of them. I tried "alternate Indonesia maps" and got loads of those too. If you want different political boundaries in existing geographic features, you can have plenty. Now, they won't be random. There will not be funky fractal borders. But variety, yes. And ...


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While not a tool, I think an interesting technique is to ponder political division of nations based on watersheds. I think this is becoming more important in the face of water scarcity in the South-West USA. So using the principle of counterfactualism, what if the states were based on watersheds or river basins? What if the surveyors and founders of the ...


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The open source photoshop clone, Gimp can fill this need. Just start with a continental outline map and use the free-select tool to highlight rough border of your alternative country, then choose a fill color and click the flood-fill tool (the bucket) inside of the selection. The selected color will flood in, respecting the black continental borders, any ...


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First mission failed It was a smaller mission, and it failed due to a mixture of exhaustion and failure to be able to handle emergencies locally. On the trip there where multiple close calls before complete mission failure. We built it in space Before humans get to mars, we have built automated orbital factories. We have robots tearing apart metal rich ...


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The mission is twofold: do science stuff on Mars 'practice' living on mars The mission setup will be to send robots ahead to build a base - as far as robots are able to do so! - then the human crew will follow. Quite a few will work on making the base self sufficient. However the basic assumption is that a lot of unknown unkowns will make a self supporting ...


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Get rid of the rich. A lot of rich and influent, to the point of being cumbersome, people offer to finance the mission provided they can join the crew. Some young engineer making a review of the mission plan find a lot of issues which might add unforeseen risks and the planners decide to accept all the contributions on offer.


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We're Not Alone With additional probes and surveys, it becomes clear that there's life on Mars. Life sophisticated enough that it's possible that there is or were intelligent beings that have retreated below the surface. The possibilities for study are endless and so is the potential payoff. You need at least that many people just to represent the obvious ...


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Contributing nations want representation. A dozen or so of nations contributed to remotely building the Mars base and the Lunar launch station. It was a large, multinational collaboration to make the Mars mission possible, and each nation that contributed was willing to cover costs for their astronauts in order to gain the recognition for putting the first ...


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The initial supply and colony building missions where more successful then expected. People had planned for a very high failure rate, so had launched many robotic missions ahead of time to build the initial colony. But surprisingly everything worked fine. So now there is this well stocked, well provisioned base with plenty of space available. So people ...


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The point of the mission is to take as many people away from the Eatth as possible. You are not simply building a base - Mars is intended to be the next Alcatraz. Most of the crew are inmates who will help build their cells. The very first expedition is a proof of concept, and if successful the criminals will either be pardoned or have their jail time ...


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Seven months is a long time That's the approximate time to travel to Mars — seven months. That's a long time! A lot of things can happen in seven months and any one of them could rationalize a larger crew. Maintenance: One of my favorite movie moments comes from K-19: The Widowmaker when, during a missile launch simulation, a burn-out occurs. When some ...


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OP here: this is my own, not-quite-complete answer, which I'm posting just because no one else got to it. Obviously I won't accept this one, don't worry. Project Orion The first idea I had while writing this question was that the mission architecture made sending a large crew no more problematic than sending a small one. What immediately jumped out at me was ...


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Standing watches without exhaustion One of the principles of standing watch in an infantry context is that wherever possible there is at least a double-staggered piquet. Let's say 8 soldiers need to stand watch on the gun for 8 hours overnight (from 2000 until 0400), their shifts look something like this: Soldier 1 (split shift) 2000-2100 Soldier 2 - 2000-...


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Because they're not all coming back At the same time they're travelling there to form a colony too - because it's a waste to lug all this stuff to Mars and only use it once. There will be rockets travelling back and forth over the following few decades carrying cargo and people, and it's going to be easier if there's manned bases at both ends. Humanity is ...


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It is not the first approach of this sort. This one just succeeded. After North Korean leadership gave up on their nuclear program, they turned to the space race as a source of national pride. Their unorthodox approach was surprisingly effective, if wasteful. The 70 Korean cosmonauts who succeeded in reaching Mars were actually in the third ship sent up, ...


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Cost Like everything it comes down to cost. Now if you have a job to do and ten people cost X to send but twenty people cost X + 10%, sending 20 is worth it. Thirty people might be X + 15%. Seventy could just be the sweet spot for the best return on investment. What a seventy man team would be is the majority of the team remains in space in a self sustaining ...


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Mirrors are surprisingly high tech. Up until rather recently (historically speaking), the best mirrors were flattened and polished sheets of metal or pools of liquid (water, mercury). Constructing a concentrated-light solar power plant would require an enormous amount of reflectors and this would represent a huge investment in metal, polishing time, etc. ...


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Electricity has it own league rules. You can invent a steam motor by just observing you kettle boiling the water for a cup of tea. But you never will build an usable electric motor by just handle a pair of magnets in your hand. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of ...


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After thinking about for some time It is hard to tell really. If you remove motivation, funds out of list of actual problems and leave human resources and knowledge then it hard to tell. Reason why it is hard to tell is mainly the knowledge of that time. Until last century humans really didn't had the proper knowledge for all that - thus they didn't and ...


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There are three gateway technology points here: First, you need to be able to make reasonably high reflection mirrors (flat, if used in groups for a large area, or concave if single) to focus the light. This was possible in the Bronze Age. Second, you need a way to turn heat into work. Newcomen had a steam powered water pump in the mid-17th century, which ...


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Either the Mongol Invasion is stopped before it gets off the ground, or it's taken a much more serious toll by the time it reaches Baghdad. Without this major disruptive event, the Islamic Golden Age could continue and the unification of knowledge into a single lingua franca (though you'd no longer call it that), could spark it as early as the 11th century. ...


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TL, DR 1: Reefs require photosynthesis. 2: Giant clams have got photosynthetic symbionts. 3: In a world where corals are extinct, freshwater (and saltwater) reefs will be built of giant clams. Photosymbiosis: The Driving Force for Reef Success and Failure Photosymbiosis has been an important process in the evolution of ancient reef systems and in reef ...


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Each one may adapt in a different way Let´s start with sponges: They may not have any problem at all. In fact, there are sponges that live happily on freshwater rivers: the family Spongillidae: https://www.nps.gov/articles/freshwater-sponges.htm So these creatures are already adapted. Bivalves: There are many families of them. And (surprise) there are also ...


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Fresh water, meaning runoff from the land, is different in many ways besides the drastically lower salt content. Rivers are often full of a huge variety of suspended materials. Rock dust, dissolved minerals, organic materials, chunks of organic substances, decayed versions of all the organic material, etc. and etc. The result is, rivers are frequently turbid....


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Exactly the same when it comes to manufacturing and goods There's a popular misconception shared by all other answers that the Industrial Revolution hinged on steam engines. In fact the Industrial Revolution only needed steam engines for draining mines to extract more ore, and it only needed that because Europe had spent 2000 years using the easily-...


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GO SOLAR. Hot air engines like stirling engines or ericsson accept any form of temperature gradient to work and there is historical precedent of them being used from the sun alone. It is clean, easy to manufacture and cheap. The biggest problem, as a lot of people already said here, is moving stuff. Factories would work fine from this type of engine to ...


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You need a portable fuel source. Water and to a lesser extent wind power can and did power a lot of industry, specifically factories and mills. Solar boilers can even bee developed. But without anyone to sell the goods to, there is little reason to build such industry. You need cheap fast travel and industrialized agriculture both of which require portable ...


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Any "industrial revolution" will require a large energy source, to replace human and animal power. The problem with the simplest alternative energy sources to fossil fuels - wind or water power - is that they are not mobile. Industrial-scale production is useless without mass transportation of the end products, and mass transportation of food in ...


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A world going through an industrial revolution without using fossil fuels would be a deforested wasteland. I cannot remember the exact reference, but as I was reading Macaulay's History of England the author talked about how growing energy requirements (including heating, but also industrial applications) in the late 1600s were leading to massive ...


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Water wheels. Water wheels have been used for power since Roman times. When it was realized that electricity could be generated by turning a magnet next to a conductive coil, a natural next step was to reverse these generators, making the first electric motors. Hydroelectric power. The energy available from water wheels is limited only by the amount of ...


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No fuels, no steam engines, no steel, no weapons industry, no cars, no aircraft For large scale industrial production, the steam engine was needed, and that thing needed fuel.. Wood at first.. but wood already counts as fossil, wouldn't it ? Another problematic topic is steel. Very difficult to make steel without massive fuel use. In turn, many industrial ...


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Keep Rome Alive Speculate that Rome never fell, and you still have that caste of people who are both obscenely rich and obsessed with some field of science, be it chemistry, physics, mathematics, or just writing an encyclopedia. More importantly, that caste could draw the wealth of a much larger area than what was possible in medieval times, financing much ...


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You want genets! https://petpress.net/10-legal-exotic-pets-that-are-not-dangerous/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_genet It was brought to the Mediterranean region from Maghreb as a semi-domestic animal about 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. It spread from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balearic Islands and southern France.[9] In Italy, individuals were ...


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