96

You can't get anywhere close to that technology level. The best you could do is work to increase their life expectancy. Teach them farming. Teach them how to get water from a river into their fields. Teach them about cleanliness and basic first aid medical care. If your group of people can boost the life expectancy long enough to actually have ...


91

No. But I'm answering this from a different perspective: world population. 10,000 years ago, the world population was around 10-20 million. And this population was spread across the globe. Your experts would only find small villages, consisting on average of several hundred people at most. Even if your experts could convince everyone to do exactly as ...


86

There's practically no correlation between the complexity of a given language and the complexity of the writing system used to represent it. Japanese and Korean are both very complex languages, able to convey a wide range of meaning and context. Yet, Japanese uses thousands of characters to represent it in writing, and Korean uses 24. Also, when talking ...


74

Surely we could make anything that the aliens described even if we didn't understand how it worked. Or can we imagine something that we can't possibly make, given modern technology and manufacturing knowledge? Yes, we can. Some things that come to mind: it requires some really exotic material (say, heavy transuranics or dark matter). The aliens also have ...


73

Hmm. Let's try to understand what we actually see. "Deep space telescopes notice as an object appears out near the orbit of Jupiter": That's either one biggg object, or at least a veeery luminous object. The chances of any reasonably sized spacecraft being detected near the orbit of Jupiter are between zero and infinitesimally small. Anyway, and wherever ...


70

It was weaponized. The military now have the ability to teleport sufficiently large numbers of items to an enemy city (or key military facility, spaceship etc.) to trigger a demon invasion. No need for tricky-to-handle plutonium to destroy the enemy, just teleport them a few thousand packs of, say, Stay-Puft marshmallows.


67

The printing press is not what Gutenberg invented. The printing press itself was known in Europe since the High Middle Ages at least, and in China even earlier. He did not invent movable type, which was also known. As for the "mechanization skills" needed -- printing was the last of the basic industries to be mechanized. Printing remained extremely labor-...


66

Youngsters. The first computers read and wrote punched cards or punched paper tape; they did not have any kind of user interface where being blind or sighted mattered. It was perceived as major revolution when some smart technician adapted a typewriter to be able to print computer output; electric teletypewriters were then adapted so that operators could ...


66

The teleport "conversion" was solved for military ships by the simple expedient of putting the teleport receiver inside an armored compartment with a large, fast-opening door -- to vacuum. Any received transmission is interrogated in a manner that has been developed to provoke "demons" -- but is reasonably harmless to humans or other legitimate payload -- ...


62

Artificial satellites orbiting around Earth are pretty easy to spot, since they appear as bright fast moving objects across the night sky. This even in a light polluted environment like a modern city. I remember I spotted satellites moving in the sky as a kid looking up at the sky with no knowledge of astronomy. Spotting them was even more exciting than ...


61

Let's manage our expectations a little, and consider a fairly discrete (but certainly iconic) 21st century technology: firearms. But let's manage expectations further and try to create a modern firearm's 14th-century ancestor: the cannon. A cannon is, crudely, a lump of metal with a big hole at one end and a tiny hole at the other, into which you pour ...


55

I have no real alien technology schematics at hand. The closest thing I can think of is the schematics of something it is not manufactured in the factory of my employer. Let's say it is the latest smartphone of a top notch brand. On those schematics I would see which parts I need and how to assemble them. Good so far. However, if I don't have access to ...


51

can a number of letters in alphabet suggest how advance the civilization is? There is no correlation between the technological advancement of a civilization and the number of symbols in its alphabet. Do you want some counterexamples? The Roman Empire (and the shepherd founding it) used the same alphabet we use today, yet we are way more advanced then them ...


46

Not a full 21st century world, but we can get close to it in some ways. 10,000 members tribe in post-glaciation Germany would be HUGE, but let's take it for a fact. One of the problems is that 10,000, even 20,000 people is not even close to enough to accomplish our task. And German lands are not fertile enough to support big preindustrial population. Here ...


44

I've got what I think is a nice easy answer - you NEED the rails. Yes, you need the fire, you need the water to create the steam, but unless you are running on the enchanted rails, you aren't going anywhere! Perhaps the rails provide the magical "oomph" to turn a normal fire into something that can provide a high enough steam pressure, perhaps managing ...


41

No As it is you will be lucky to have any impact at all. You have a lot of dead weight and you are missing the most important fields. Things your forgot The first thing you need is better food production, for that you need biologists, agricultural scientists and soil scientists. without them, most of your effort is wasted and you may do more harm than ...


40

Our sun produces something like $3.8 \times 10^{26}$ Watts. That requires something in the neighborhood of 600 million tonnes of Hydrogen per second. Getting a similar power from fusion would require a similar consumption of Hydrogen. Even for a culture that could build a Dyson sphere, that's a lot of Hydrogen to get if you are not using a star to do it. ...


39

As many other comments have suggested, orbit altitude is a key parameter in determining how visible the recon satellite would be. However, orbital altitude also determines how long the object will stay in orbit—specifically the perigee (lowest-point) altitude. Let's say the recon satellite was in a roughly-circular¹ orbit of 400km, which is approximately ...


38

Here's a few possibilities you could adapt for your setting: Scientific knowledge reduces the efficiency of wishes. Consider this: a child wishes for a pig to fly, but has no real knowledge of what that would mechanically entail - he simply has faith that their God will handle it. With the innocence and imagination of a child, his connection to this god ...


37

It could be one of many things: A combination of sufficiently advanced precision and size. While we have the capability to manipulate individual atoms, arranging a football field worth of atoms is vastly beyond our capabilities. Or make it 3D and try to build a device with the volume of a family house with a precision of a single atom. Just letting the air ...


37

No. An inverse relation is more likely. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs: around 1000 symbols. Modern English: 26 symbols + 10 digits + punctuation. Communication between artificial intelligences: not yet known, but probably will be 2. According to the science of semiotics, signs used in the language are arbitrary. They are only loosely related to their ...


37

A year isn't going to cut it, you're looking at about a generation at least for any noticeable progress. The problem is the lack of industrial base. Medieval society is a hair's breadth above subsistence farming. Technology is largely driven and supported by population pressures, without that they don't have the need to progress nor to maintain anything you ...


37

Obviously exciting things: FTL is possible without the need for chunks of exotic matter than weigh more than the visible universe. Interstellar travel appears to be possible and practical. There exist intelligent beings capable of building such a device. Possibly interesting things: It probably isn't made of antimatter, or we'd see lots of gamma rays ...


34

The effort to make a magic-engine doesn't have to scale linearly, so to make a small magic-engine still takes a long time to do. You could justify this in many ways. For instance that every engine require certain base enchantments to support the main power generating "burner" and these base enchants aren't affected by size because they're simply the magical ...


32

The situation you describe is almost exactly (part of) the plot from the book "A Fire Upon the Deep". Which in my opinion presents a very plausible level of success. In fact the specifications you offer (1 year-ish time period, lack of homeworld contact for the high tech people) match the conditions in the book very closely. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


32

I've read a book series before which had a technologically advanced feudal society in a very believable way. While the reasons for feudalism's developement were complicated, one very large reason was the difficulty of direct control. After the breakdown of the Roman Empire, and with it both its military might and its intricate postal system, it became ...


31

In a real emergency, maybe you can convince somebody to hop in, but it should be noted that for all we know getting dumped into the hell dimension is a fate much worse than death. Instead, I suggest we just keep using regular 'ole chemical rockets. But, the teleporter is still really useful here. Assuming the energy cost is paid at the sending end (you ...


30

Your question is like asking "why build an oil power plant with all the related hassle, when we can chop wood and light a fire?". The answer is: the order of magnitude of the produced energy. A star emits Petawatts of energy, while a fusion power plant can produce Megawatts, several order of magnitude less. And a star saves the hassle of harvesting all the ...


30

Your question includes the answer: they have prehensile feet. As long as their body plan allows for balancing on one foot and manipulating objects with the other, or sitting and using both feet as we'd use hands, there are few barriers to their ascent to a technological civilization. Carrying objects in their mouths will have to suffice until bags and ...


30

Seems like infinity energy, just teleport some stuff and there are chances you get something that would never die and doesn't need much to survive. Stick that demon into a large hamster wheel facing some people and BAM, unstopping energy generator. Just hope the demons doesn't break out.


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