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A factor to consider is that the elements in the crust may be less subject to mining and extraction, and thereby be less accessible. For instance, iron (Fe) is found in a distinct layer of rock which was associated with the oxygenation of the atmosphere, a process that was caused by the development of photosynthesis in living cells. There are hypotheses (...


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You've already touched on the biggest problem to technological development; the colonists will struggle to make carbon monoxide and that means they will be unable to crack any oxides without electricity and they won't be able to crack oxides with poor water solubility in any great volumes at all. That means that large scale use of metals is probably a non-...


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(Note: I don't have relevant expertise, so a lot of this is speculation.) There are a couple problems I see on a planet without life. The first problem to consider is accessing carbon. Most carbon would be in the form of carbonates, which would have to be mined, and the carbon would have to be extracted. If the planet is cold like Mars, there might be frozen ...


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So, I have two ideas… A series of cataclysmic events within that time span could prevent them from advancing significantly. Another possibility is they don’t want to advance their technology very far due to superstition, maybe they regard their technology as somehow sacred or perfected. Many ancient civilizations were superstitious about their weapons.


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There are several ways to discuss CMB detectability. The simplest one is that, as you say, the CMB is constantly being redshifted by the expansion of the universe. The expansion of the universe at some time $t$ from the present day is described by a scale factor $a(t)$, with $a=0$ today. It turns out that the frequency of CMB photons scales as $\nu\propto a^{...


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You can justify many different systems. The per capita GDP means they have a decent "pie" to share out. That means they can afford to have some "inaccuracies" in the rules -- people getting welfare who might possibly find a job. But that's also psychology. Taxpayers resent it if they perceive some to be freeloaders, even if the ...


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First, you realize pens are inherently portable. So the first step is to make the typewriters small enough to be easily portable. With a genius-level foresight (or a dumber than dumb 21th century hindsight) it is clear that mechanical typewriters will not quite fit the bill - electronics is the way to go, especially the newly discovered semiconductor devices....


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Widespread hand damage/deformities Ironically enough, I just read this story on the BBC news about the 1921 census. Everyone filled out their census form in handwritten ink - apart from an ex-soldier who did it on a typewriter. Part of his right hand had been blown off during the war. You can invent your plot-based reasons for this. But if you don't have ...


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Get schools to only teach typing Typewriters may be much more complicated than pens; but handwriting is a much more difficult skill than typing. Donate generously to the top political party/parties to "prepare pupils for the future" by dropping slow, archaic, difficult to read handwriting for modern, efficient typing. Buy millions of typewriters ...


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There is no question in my mind, how best to do it. British Empire, especially its Civil Service The British Empire dominated world politics during the first part of the 20th century. It set social and cultural norms for countries from India and what's now Bangladesh, to the Carribean and much of Africa and Micronesia (Pacific Isles). It's why the Indian ...


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Allow me to introduce the Berwin toy typewriter! Your timing is impeccable! In 1950, pens were not cheap. Typical pens of the time cost several dollars. These, of course, were fountain pens. The biro had been introduced a few years before, but were far more expensive. Seeming to be the natural descendant of the Index Typewriter mentioned in another (...


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Can't happen you have three major problems Cheaper is nothing, they also need to be smaller and lighter than a ball point pen. I can put a pen in my pocket and write on any document I come across. People need to learn typing before they learn handwriting, a large number of people will never learn both, so you need teach typing before hand writing, which ...


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There's only one way to get everyone to quit using pens, which is what will be needed to transfer everyone over to typewriters. Law Draconian law. First, you'll ensure that all typewriter manufacturers are prepared to run three shifts at maximum capacity for a period of years, until the need for writing instruments is filled. Second, you'll place a legal ...


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Typesetters Guild The typewriter will always be more expensive than the pen. Your business model is that, once the guild is established, it can lease a typewriter and typist for cheaper than a pen and scribe. Why are typists so cheap? It is because you recruit your typists from poor families. It is easier and cheaper to train a classroom of typists to type ...


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Index Typewriters Photo source: https://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/american.html Index typewriters tried to solve this very problem: Typing for household and occasional use. The user must use two finger movements to type each character (instead of one), which slows typing...but reduces the number of parts required and the corresponding cost. They were ...


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Put their eyes out. Your handy (patented) Braille ring doodads (which make a typewriter-like clack as the spring tension rams the mold into a substrate such as a softened wooden or bamboo strip) allow trained users to produce Braille glyphs quite rapidly, and they can read them better than a letter in pen. (To save time on the blinding, you might consider ...


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The manufacturing cost of the cheapest pen is never going to be more than the manufacturing cost of the cheapest typewriter. In fact, the manufacturing cost of an average pen is never going to be more than the manufacturing cost of the cheapest typewriter. Typewriters are complicated. However, the disparity in cost between pens and typewriters need not be ...


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The main thing you need is to have an extensive understanding of their genome and how to modify them. In Jurassic Park they were always clear the dinosaurs had mosaic genomes with lots of different things spliced in. Presumably the scientists recognized the potential of dinosaurs and so worked extremely hard to understand how to modify them for human use and ...


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Let the dinosaur recreators sort that out! I love this premise! The scientist comes up and declares "We have got you Army guys a whole bunch of dinosaurs!" Army guy: "What the f are we going to do with a whole bunch of dinosaurs?" Scientist: "Well, you could put them in cryogenic storage for later." Army guy: "What the ...


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Ships have a tremendous advantage over aircraft: They are so cheap transporting things (airplanes, ordnance, missiles) to the deployment area that it is not just possible but even realistically done that you keep entire battle fleets permanently deployed, without driving your national economy into bankruptcy. So for naval vessels to become useless, you have ...


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Simple Just wait for Man-Made Global Warming (TM) to do its work! They've been saying the oceans will dry up in the next five years for at least the last thirty years. One of these days, all that stock in Northop Grummond will make you a mint! It's not due to global warming, but there is one sea on Earth that isn't really a sea anymore. :(


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Wars Are Not Fought On Battlefields The glory-laden visual that a war is won by individual soldiers, armies, or dogfights is nothing more than a "sugar-high" designed to keep the support infrastructure motivated. If the Navy ceases to exist then how do you properly protect your cargo ships transporting the necessities to keep your fighter planes in ...


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Traditional naval combat was basically replaced by arial combat during WW2. In those days (and maybe even today, I'm no expert) the limited flight range of planes made it necessary to have aircraft carriers for delivering air power, but the various naval guns, smaller ships like destroyers, and submarines were all ultimately there to either protect carriers ...


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Portable fusion reactors The main disadvantage of trying to replace surface craft with aircraft is the much lower loiter time. What if that wasn't a problem? There were brief attempts at designing and building fission-powered planes. If you could build a unit with the equivalent power to weight output of a jet engine that ran for weeks without refuelling, ...


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War as we know it must change dramatically Every hour you spend fighting requires, depending on your platform, 2-10 times more time to be spent repairing or maintaining the vehicles. While fighting is important, every fighting force requires logistics, and needs to be resupplied in the field. Fighter jets are terrible at moving ordinance, it is more ...


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I figure you'd need a few things: Fast aircraft. Very fast. Say contingency-response time down to eyes-on-target in less than an hour. That's about MACH 27 (compare Sprint missile). Globally, so including faff and round-trips say 30,000 miles (~50,000 Km) trip-length. Which would require: Huge amounts of energy to propel an object through the atmosphere, ...


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Killing everything in the sea Have a nanite experiment designed to fix global warming fill the sea with repliacting robots that consume metal and anything within them. Anything that floats in the water will be consumed, and efforts to insert counter agents haven't succeeded. As such, all travel needs to be by air.


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All airplanes need to become seaplanes without losing their tactical abilities; At least cargo airplanes need to increase their payload capacity tenfold (so it can go beyond 1000 tons), without significant increase in operating costs. Navy vessels have advantage of staying deployed for long period of time at a relatively low cost. All existing aircraft ...


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Well.. with "next century", let's say in a 100 years, a lot can happen. For aircraft, I'm more optimistic than Keith's answer. It will develop further. Combination is the key (now) Of course, the combination works best: ships have a huge range and provide a base to operate from. Aircraft carriers protected by ships provide the aircraft with a ...


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A miracle. Let's suppose you want to make a show of force against some rival, or in support of an ally. What's more impressive, a carrier task force showing up, or some radar contacts? Who can sit there longer due to greater endurance? Say there's a natural disaster and you want to provide assistance that could end up being several months in duration. Who do ...


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An ever stronger need for processing power and efficiency I don't know if these robots are under threat from other bots in the scrap/material/part/lubricant harvesting sense but whether or not they are shouldn't affect my answer too much. The way I see it, mechanical life would try to increase their processing power as much as possible while trying to ...


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No life ⇒ no longer chain hydrocarbons ⇒ no lubricants for your robots no rubber for any elastic/flexible membranes those robots would benefit


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