New answers tagged

1

Yes Agriculture is still able to be developed with the existance of megafauna. It's a matter of keeping the megafauna away from the farms that dictates the agriculture. If your people are able to set up some sort of barrier and herd the animals away, then your farms are able to grow and thrive. If this is in the agricultural revolution-era, than it will ...


0

That certain substances might have an antibiotic effect, though it was not called under that name, was known and could have been known in ancient time. For example honey has some antibiotic properties, and it was used in the past to hygienize wounds. Another example is birds using laurel leaves to keep their nests clean, and back in the time my grandmather ...


0

Depending to what extent these ancients cultures develop the ideas of moulds as medicine you would need to clarify their understanding of microbiology. Whilst we’ve been brewing alcohol for a long time it’s only in the last 200 years or so that we’ve come to appreciate that these tiny ingredients are actually alive. Without that comprehensive knowledge ...


2

It can't be done. To understand why you have to know the actual history. Fleming accidentally discovered a contaminating mould killed off his bacterial cultures in Petri dishes. Did this give the world Penicillin? No, not at all. No-one knew how to produce or culture on any scale. Come the Second World war and it became imperative to keep wounded soldiers ...


3

Yes they could, in fact some ancient civilizations are believed to have experimented with the use of moulds to help cure wounds. The problem being they were not aware of what was going on so their methods might be best described as haphazard. Someone who knew (by some means) of the existence of and presumably the effect of penicillin might well be able to ...


4

Yes Fences can keep out megafauna but the key to doing it successfully is plenty of space and not many humans. If you look at Africa, farmers use beehives and thorn bushes to protect crops from elephants See Comparing the effectiveness of beehive fences to thorn barriers in farm invasions and exits by elephants The real problem is too many people ...


4

The most obvious alternative history difference with these two types of lignin-reduced woods would be: It would replace fiberglass. Especially the "nanowood" as insulation, and as a resin-filled shock resistant building material. Since wood can not be poured, extruded, moulded, drawn, blown, welded, or cast, it would have a disadvantage to materials that ...


0

No Major Differences Would Occur Here's the important thing - both nanowood and superwood are not inherently better than other materials for building things. They don't posses any qualities that aren't present in other materials, they just happen to be cheaper to make. And then we have the fact that deforesting is a problem we're currently facing (and ...


3

The most obvious difference between OTL and the "woodpunk" world would be the importance of forestry and the handling of forests. In the 19th and early 20th century, forestry was more akin to strip mining, with enormous lots clearcut and then left to regrow on their own, often with little or no attention paid to the process by the loggers. This was somewhat ...


1

Two changes could have drastically increased the development of software: 1. The prevention of Alan Turing's death If Alan Turing was not ostracized for his sexuality, he not only would have continued to have be extremely successful after the 40s, but his suicide likely would have been prevented. If he had still been around and active for another few ...


0

Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare catches his Billion dollar mistake before it causes too much damage. Sir Hoare invented the null reference. Useful, however very prone to causing errors when a computer program is running. It has by some estimates caused Billions of dollars in lost time, productivity, and broken computer systems. If this cost did not occur, ...


0

We can discover batteries before the industrial revolution. But we can't build electric infrastructure before the industrial revolution. Lead-acid rechargeable batteries are probably the only type of batteries which could be designed before the industrial revolution. For more advanced types (Nickel, Lithium) there is no way to shortcut their development and ...


1

The best form of modern battery tech that could feasibly have been discovered before the Industrial Revolution is primitive lead battery. Without all modern fetures they would require a lot of maintaince, would be dangerous (a lot of early subs were destroyed due to hydrogen expolsion) and rare (there is no enough leed in the world to keep energy even for ...


0

I'd say mechanical batteries, such as dams (i say 'such as', but i don't know of other examples as of now that are used as much as hydro, but i will add other hypothetical examples later). Pumped-storage hydropower is one real-world example of currently used low-tech solutions. "all you need" is a huge dam, a few of them, dispersed. they are often used ...


4

Conceptually, batteries have been around for a very long time, some of the earliest forms that we would recognise coming into existence around 1749 but that would certainly not be a battery in the kilowatt storage range, and that is unlikely to be developed because electrical storage was not the limiting factor; it was electrical generation. In 1861, the ...


2

Uplift. The universe that can now travel between dimensions was very much like our own. The difference is that in the distant future, persons in that universe develop time travel, multiverse travel and a lot of other amazing tech. The future people used their time travel tech to go back and uplift their ancestors / our contemporaries, giving them ...


1

Apollo 13, Space Shuttles and the Cold War The Cold War fueled the space race and the first man on the moon. Arguably the race ended with Apollo 11 and the first men on the moon. There were many factors that led to an incredible slowdown in manned space exploration over the coming decades, including: The near loss of Apollo 13 (Yes, we did keep going ...


3

Since the universe branching only began at the moment of the Trinity explosion, something must have been keeping it from branching up to that moment and that something must have been disabled during the blast. By the most bizarre coincidence, the location of the trinity test just happened to also be the location where the trans-dimensional police installed ...


4

As you mention the space race is a very important part of the technological advancement. During the time of NASA's moon projects an absolutely ridiculous amount of money was thrown into technological developments that then were used for technological advancement on the planet itself. If this had been kept up there would have been a much faster technological ...


3

Chairman Mao took a page out of Ataturk's book and moved to change to writing in China to use Latin script, but with phonetic spelling of words. Ataturk changed Turkey's writing to use mostly Latin script (they have 2 different I's and some letters come with bonus accents) instead of Arabic characters This could make it easier to teach reading and writing ...


7

The Republic of China defeats the Communist Party of China The PRC, and specifically Chairman Mao, are responsible for the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. These two events inflicted grave damage to China culturally, scientifically, and economically. Neither would have happened had the Chinese Civil War ended differently. So change the ...


1

Too much of a general question but anyway. Short answer. Yes. If they followed the correct methods of making an empire. Initial resources and abundance of materials is vital for the short term. But at a certain stage in every large states life comes a point where it is simply cheaper to import resource X that is cheap and available half way through the ...


4

A reincarnation of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1940's would have an abysmal military strength. Defensively, the armor employed by by the Holy Roman Empire would in no way stand up to automated machine gun fire or artillery or any kind. The Holy Roman Empire would have no way of protecting its troops from a moderately well equipped army. Offensively, ...


5

What made Rome what it was? Luck and Momentum Take a bunch of farmer and herder villages. One bunch of barely-organized militia conquers another. Then another. Perhaps it could have been the other way around. What was it why Rome came up on top and not Capua or Tarentum? A tiny initial advantage or pure luck? Wise Laws Was Rome better organized than their ...


2

Boundary conditions: 1) You need centuries for the mutation to spread. Assuming that population is stable (actually not so problematic assumption, because the calculation would remain the same, if both populations were growing with identical speed) 20 years per generation, 2 surviving sons => 2^5 per century. So just from mutation to producing a million of ...


-1

In short, you would not get trench warfare. You see, black powder is an explosive, while Poudre B just produces a LOT of translucent smoke when it burns. As a result, you cannot use as much black powder in a smokeless-powder design; if you do, your gun literally explodes in your face. Because of this, black powder rifles usually had lower chamber pressures*....


0

Well it's an illusion. The sunlight could be hiding all sorts of triggers: ropes hanging down, blowing wind (yeah this one's a stretch), other hidden objects, etc. Remember in the Last Crusade that the bridge was invisible until you shifted your perspective. Maybe the sunlight adds to the illusion?


10

As the top answer in the linked question indicates, this sort of mutation is a very serious problem for humanity which fortunately can be quite easily mitigated with modern national- and international-level identification and amelioration programs. So it is essential that your story begins prior to the discovery of modern genetics at the beginning of the ...


2

Specific Person: Genghis Khan. It's late enough in humanity development to have continents not affected by it but his impact on child bearing is noticeable. Not to mention that people think that after wars there should be increase in boys being born (they also think increased boys being born means war but whatever). A place in time could be right after ...


1

A civilization? No. A lone mathematical genius within that civilization? Yes--but with the proviso that he would not call it "quantum mechanics", and it would have no obvious physical application. As L.Dutch pointed out, mathematics has been strongly tied to practicality until fairly recent times. To set this up, you need two branches of mathematics to have ...


2

No L. Dutch's answer has a good point about practical origins of mathematics, but I think it should be expanded. Even if stone age civilization would somehow develop a mathematical apparatus suitable for describing quantum mechanics, they would completely lack any experimental base to develop this theory. Stone age civilization, by definition, can not ...


7

Mathematics development has been strongly bond to practical necessities until very recent times. You need to count your sheep or carrots? Here you are your integers. You need to measure your fields after each flood? Here is your trigonometry. You need to count your money deposit? Here you are your relative numbers. And so on and so forth, until modular ...


0

Military information is too specific to influence the whole war. WW2 was not lost in any single battle, and by interfering you change the timeline, so your information quickly becomes outdated. Advanced technology will be of limited use, unless you get plenty of time before the war to update the whole technology base. During the war material shortages ...


0

Not Much. Germany didn't lose because there were important things about how the war was going to go that they didn't know. They lost because the political leadership (Hitler, Goebbels, etc) refused to accept the facts that their rational military experts were telling them. The German general staff knew fighting on two fronts was a bad idea, Hitler made ...


1

If you get to him early enough, have him plan an intelligence operation to assassinate Chamberlain between September 1, 1939 and October 1, 1939. Although Churchill's later conduct of the war as Prime Minister was admirable, in the winter of 1939-1940 his suggestions as a member of the war cabinet were, in retrospect, insane. Churchill states in his memoir ...


1

This question probably requires you to compile multiple answers, as Germany really had a lot of problems it had to defeat to win the war. From resources to production to tactics and treatment of populations. You could tell them how the UK will beat Enigma, and then change a lot of codes and how it works. Additionally you could tell them how compromised ...


0

Additional to other questions that have made good points: The Stug III is going to be your most successful armoured vehicle, with the Pz IV coming a close second. Don't bother going after big heavy tanks, it's a waste of resources, and they won't be influential enough to make a difference.


0

I'm going to challenge the premise. The best way to win the war is to not start it. Loss was inevitable when they went to tickle the French, the Brits, the Soviets and the Americans, all at the same time. If German authorities churned German Jews and German Communists into German death camps, that's a German problem. What did the Nazis in wasn't the ...


1

It might have been too late in 1939 when a lot of scientists had already left, but it might be very useful to focus on nuclear weapons if you go back a little further. Germany had the relevant knowledge at the time, and the Manhattan project took just 4 years, so it seems conceivable that Germany could've nuked other countries into surrendering before those ...


13

Your Enigma isn't as secure as you think. (Followed by: let me explain public key cryptography to you). The allied forces had a significant advantage through code-breaking while the Germans considered it unbreakable. Whether you know or are unaware of the coming ATTACK AT DAWN, this may eventually turn things around. It's your story that makes this work :-)...


0

With a time machine it would be relatively easy to give the German side a big advantage. Use the time machine to go back a few years and arrange to have an agent assassinate Churchill. Without the strong leadership provided by Churchill it is likely that a weak and divided British Government would have come to some understanding with Hitler after the fall of ...


3

Just hand them the history book They don't need technical information, access to the 20/20 hindsight that we have available would be enough to change everything, and if they don't take that hint there's no helping them. There were many mistakes made by all sides in the run up to, and during the war. Given access to that information, advance knowledge of D-...


10

No information would help Nazi Germans to win the war - only to avoid it, like fascist Spain did. My first argument - Nazis are Nazi, you can't make them "softer", and they did the best they could Long term war was not a German choice. They planned to end the war with Russia at the end of summer of 1941 (and they almost did it!) and to conquer all "living ...


2

You would have to assume a rational German leadership that was willing to act on the advice. If there had been such a leadership, wouldn't they have listened to the German advisors who would have argued against two-front wars, declaring war on the United States, and so on? I don't think there are simple one-paragraph pieces of advice that could make Germany ...


1

Considering that Hitler was overconfident in his own military expertise the best advice would be: Let your generals do their job, and stay on the balcony to do the crowd preaching. A country like Germany, dependent on import for supplies, cannot sustain a long term war. It is forced to proceed with small and temporally short jumps. Cutting off all import ...


13

Don't fight a war on two fronts. The obvious answer is that the German resources were stretched by attacking Russia while it was pushing into France. On top of it all, they attacked at a point when all the Russians had to do was keep them outdoors during a Russian winter and let many of the enemy soldiers die. Is it possible Russia would have attacked ...


3

Not really "before WW2 begins" but during the war could reveal things like opponents movements and supplies. If he knew which battles to avoid/write-off, which supply routes were vulnerable, and the advice not to invade Russia could have done a lot to avoid wasting resources and being more effective in dominating. Also, location of various manufacturing ...


25

Put Guderian in charge of the invasion of France and let him handle things. Don't interfere or tell him to halt the advance under any circumstances. If the UK offers a negotiated surrender, take it. Also, don't attack Russia. If you absolutely cannot resist attacking Russia, then be patient; don't do it until after France and the UK are defeated. Again, don'...


18

If Ray survives and prospers, it won't be because he's an architect. Ray is a world-renowned 21st century architect. He is used to designing buildings using concrete rebar, steel, glass. He's used to buildings that are straight when they're supposed to be and curved when they're not, because the available raw materials are manufactured to tight tolerances ...


6

150 years ago, Earth telescopes gave such blurry images of Mars that people thought they saw green canals on Mars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_canal. The illusion had its doubted and was finally disproven with better telescopes 100 years ago. So basically at Early 20th century technology, Martians will be able to see seasonal changes in color of ...


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