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Old 05-25-2018, 06:43 PM   #3321
AlexanderHowl
 
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The Commonwealth of Lithuania and Poland once had an opportunity to annex Russia in the 17th century when the Russians nobles begged to join them. If that had occurred, it would have produced one of the most powerful nations on the Earth.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:19 PM   #3322
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The Commonwealth of Lithuania and Poland once had an opportunity to annex Russia in the 17th century when the Russians nobles begged to join them. If that had occurred, it would have produced one of the most powerful nations on the Earth.
More likely they would stagnate. The government the Polish nobles clung to promoted the needs and petty whims of the nobility at the expense of the vast majority of the population. Even Russian autocracy served its people better.

The main result of Russia joining the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth would be a vastly larger and more powerful Sweden or Prussia. The first being more likely and interesting. Maybe Charles XII creates a Swedish superstate that extends to the Black Sea.
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:08 AM   #3323
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Mechanical computers like the Antikythera mechanism were curiosities in their time, but evidently not very useful. Let's say that instead of fading into the mists, the machines become a fancy among the wealthy of the Atlantic in general around 290 BCE.

No two are quite alike in purpose or design; the fad calls for unique inventions, not some practical purpose. However, this kind of forced churning does eventually lead someone to invent a matched pair of mechanisms, capable of encrypting and decrypting a message swiftly and effectively unbreakably. This finally leads to some serious interest in the devices.

The next major leap, 50 years later, is the invention of a simple adding machine. It is far faster than human computers, but is by far the largest such machine built (it is overcomplicated by the lack of hindu-arabic numbers).

Around 200 BCE, the devices are growing smaller, simpler, and cheaper, and there are new techniques using stamping or milling from templates in order to further simplify production. These tools are now capable of doing advanced calculations (but only the specific one they were built for), and subtle improvements in navigation, accountancy, farming, and logistics are spreading throughout the world. China is now importing regular shipments of the calculators, and some say they have already designed new ones with quite sophisticated alchemical uses.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:07 AM   #3324
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Mechanical computers like the Antikythera mechanism were curiosities in their time, but evidently not very useful. Let's say that instead of fading into the mists, the machines become a fancy among the wealthy of the Atlantic in general around 290 BCE.

No two are quite alike in purpose or design; the fad calls for unique inventions, not some practical purpose. However, this kind of forced churning does eventually lead someone to invent a matched pair of mechanisms, capable of encrypting and decrypting a message swiftly and effectively unbreakably. This finally leads to some serious interest in the devices.

The next major leap, 50 years later, is the invention of a simple adding machine. It is far faster than human computers, but is by far the largest such machine built (it is overcomplicated by the lack of hindu-arabic numbers).

Around 200 BCE, the devices are growing smaller, simpler, and cheaper, and there are new techniques using stamping or milling from templates in order to further simplify production. These tools are now capable of doing advanced calculations (but only the specific one they were built for), and subtle improvements in navigation, accountancy, farming, and logistics are spreading throughout the world. China is now importing regular shipments of the calculators, and some say they have already designed new ones with quite sophisticated alchemical uses.
When do the Hindu-Arabic numbers get into the act?
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:01 PM   #3325
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More likely they would stagnate. The government the Polish nobles clung to promoted the needs and petty whims of the nobility at the expense of the vast majority of the population. Even Russian autocracy served its people better.

The main result of Russia joining the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth would be a vastly larger and more powerful Sweden or Prussia. The first being more likely and interesting. Maybe Charles XII creates a Swedish superstate that extends to the Black Sea.
Charles XII's Swedish superstate - happened in Shikaku-Mon. Though not all Swedish superstates become totalitarian mind control Synarchies...
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:43 AM   #3326
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When do the Hindu-Arabic numbers get into the act?
Roughly speaking, 500 CE. Unless you decide that the invention of mechanical math spurs the invention of something similar...
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:54 AM   #3327
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Roughly speaking, 500 CE. Unless you decide that the invention of mechanical math spurs the invention of something similar...
Not unreasonable, in fact I'm pretty sure that positional systems, like Hindu-Arabic, are actually similar then Roman numerals.

I'm also not sure what was used before Roman numerals.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:14 AM   #3328
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I'm also not sure what was used before Roman numerals.
The Greeks used a numbering system where each number corresponded to a letter in the greek alphabet.

alpha = 1, beta = 2, gamma = 3, delta = 4 ... iota = 10, kappa = 20, lambda = 30 ... rho = 100, sigma = 200, tau = 300 ...

So in this system the number 314 would be written tau iota delta. They also had a system like roman numerals but using greek letters. In the Bronze Age, the Mycenaeans/Minoans used a still different system which reminds men of Mayan numerals. For reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_numerals

To stay on topic, I doubt that a Polish-Russian union would be stable enough to last long. The Polish system of government was already unwieldy and adding a large number of Russian nobles would only make it worse.


Edit:
Upon reading the wikipedia article more closely, it seem the Roman numeral-like system in Greece probably predated the system I described. In any event, there were a large number of different systems of numerals depending on the language: Greek numerals, Babylonian numerals, Egyptian numerals, Chinese numerals ...

Last edited by a humble lich; 05-28-2018 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:03 PM   #3329
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Charles XII's Swedish superstate - happened in Shikaku-Mon. Though not all Swedish superstates become totalitarian mind control Synarchies...
True enough, Sweden had a vital legislature and a proto-party system. They could have evolved into something more like a democracy. Still it's a low order possibility. But a stable Swedish Empire from the Baltic to the Black sea might mean a far better life for the peoples of Eastern Europe.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:28 PM   #3330
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True enough, Sweden had a vital legislature and a proto-party system. They could have evolved into something more like a democracy. Still it's a low order possibility. But a stable Swedish Empire from the Baltic to the Black sea might mean a far better life for the peoples of Eastern Europe.
It wasn't great for the Eastern Europeans in Shikaku-Mon.

I think today we have a very positive view of Sweden, because of present-day Sweden - I don't know that they were so nice centuries ago. They did provide Vikings, after all.

A stable Swedish Empire could still oppress non-Swedes, even with a parliamentary system. It could be like how Britain treated the Irish - part of the country, but definitely second-class, with land-owning Swedish aristocracy ruling in places like Poland. Especially as there would be not just religious differences, but also linguistic.

And Sweden couldn't rule all of Eastern Europe (just too big an area) - there would always be Eastern European states beyond its borders, rabble-rousing among the oppressed Slavs in the Swedish Empire. Like Russia and Ukraine do on Shikaku-Mon.

A Swedish Empire could even lean into Nazi-like racism, promoting the Germanic Swedish/Scandinavians as 'superior' to the Slavs.
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