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Old 12-27-2015, 04:56 PM   #61
Culture20
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: Technological development without fire.

The cook spell takes care of food prep and replaces smoking for food preservation. Essential wood can harden javelin and arrow tips. Various earth/metal spells can replace the need for fire in a forge. Light spells cover fire's second biggest benefit. A simple warming spell would help with fire's biggest benefit. The only thing you lose is the chaotic destruction of an uncontrolled fire (and fatigue points).
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:28 PM   #62
starslayer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Default Re: Technological development without fire.

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Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Regarding the speed of development. In modern selective breeding the speed of change is quite high. Admittedly there are lots of techniques that rely on modern equipment. Magic may replace them or not, personal world building decision there. Personally I would say not.

Anyway back to the speed of change. Chickens being the most extreme example have 800% more meat in their breastfeeding fillet than 40 years ago. The rate of change for their growth rate is 1 day faster for every year of breeding.

The genetics of the last Rams I bought for my farm are measured against the 1987 standard and cover some 50 or so characteristics and are financially weighted. In 28 years the improvement is 187% and thus is in an 800 dollar ram not an 8000 dollar one.
And that's the sort of change that just a TL8ish UNDERSTANDING of genetics and inheritance could allow (which in my mind would mark them as a TL 0+8), which is pretty impressive.

What I was saying could not be done is some of the more freakish modifications relying on bombaring seeds with gold nanoparticles laced in genetic cutoffs or crispr-cas9 stuff, getting goats to have spider silk in their milk, golden rice, winter wheat, and other really cool 'full on genetic engineering' stuff.

In theory our ancestors could have brought about our current level of selective breeding pretty much anywhere along the line if they just had the understanding of genetics, inheritance, statistics, and measurement we have today (Oh, and if being able to wipe out a whole strain of goats because they are developing features you don't like would not cripple the farm/country- which comes with relative prosperity).
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:37 AM   #63
Flyndaran
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Default Re: Technological development without fire.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
But that takes us back do "You have to give them things that wouldn't really work". It wouldn't really work to give people who know nothing but selective breeding a degree of capability with it that matches TL 8 biology. You have to fudge.
Why? They just learn how to magically force Lamarckian rather than Darwinian evolution / natural selection.
It's not the concepts of taking this and that from life forms to make this life form do what you want it to that's high tech. It's actually doing it using physical objects and understanding what's changing when you alter them.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:22 AM   #64
Verjigorm
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Charlotte, North Caroline, United States of America, Earth?
Default Re: Technological development without fire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
And that's the sort of change that just a TL8ish UNDERSTANDING of genetics and inheritance could allow (which in my mind would mark them as a TL 0+8), which is pretty impressive.

What I was saying could not be done is some of the more freakish modifications relying on bombaring seeds with gold nanoparticles laced in genetic cutoffs or crispr-cas9 stuff, getting goats to have spider silk in their milk, golden rice, winter wheat, and other really cool 'full on genetic engineering' stuff.

In theory our ancestors could have brought about our current level of selective breeding pretty much anywhere along the line if they just had the understanding of genetics, inheritance, statistics, and measurement we have today (Oh, and if being able to wipe out a whole strain of goats because they are developing features you don't like would not cripple the farm/country- which comes with relative prosperity).
Uh, I don't think it's necessary to have TL8 biology to have extensive and successful selecting breeding over a period of time. Several of our current plant and animal species have been invented in the past hundred or two hundred years. And the Persians apparently had a substantial breeding program for their Nisean breed, keeping a massive herd of brood mares under royal control to provide the greatest war horses of the ancient age. In fact, these horses were prized by all the equestrian neighbors of the Persians and acquiring them for breeding stock was valued highly.


I think, however, that at TL7 and TL8 biology you can start theorizing with a much greater certainty about traits and their inheritance, while having much more precise records and knowledge of how the process works. But it's a technology as old as mankind. I know old ladies with greenhouses who have been doing this since before I was born(actually, that's exactly what my great grand mother and her sisters did).
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:38 AM   #65
Ashtagon
 
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Location: UK
Default Re: Technological development without fire.

Part of the problem is a failure of imagination. This discussion is thinking of TL0+8 as having some kind of bioengineered roundup ready crop. That's not what alternate tech progression even means., It means having something that has the productivity of TL8.

TL8 biotech crops might flavour themselves according to colour-sensitive enzymes, removing the need for long-distance trade patterns and multiple crop types, thus increasing effective productivity. They might have active antibodies that recognise more types of bugs and bacteria, removing the need for insecticides because they are their own insecticide without needing to be naturally toxic. They might grow in places that conventional crops don't, allowing greater farming density without necessarily having more "fruit" per plant. And so on.

Roundup ready is just one interpretation of TL8 biological science.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:39 PM   #66
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: Technological development without fire.

Following the train of thought that the elves will probably breed for a more diverse range of characteristics than we do (productivity, fashion, reduced chemical use, appearance etc)

I can see a longer productive time for fruits and vegetables being a early target i.e. year long food production.

Health in all its forms and resistances

Altered palatabilty, tastier for elves less so for bug.

Labour reduction. Fruits that dry on the tree maybe

Magical interaction. Best berries for a X potion.

Material production. This could be a big thing with minimal fire use. Complicated grafting procedures and breeding could be used in various material proctor techniques. E.g. take a branch from an elven Lancewood graft it on to an althoith for a year for malliability, cut and shape it, graft it on to a bronzewood for hardening, cut and place in a Kauri bleed to give it a protective coat.

Maybe even use biology for more "mining" like procedures lyderian crystals grow on these trees when they are planted over X rich soil.

Improved symbiotic relationships with beneficial animals. The sugar aphid thrives on the bark of this beech tree.

Pseudo alchemical botany. Mix x with y with a and c etc.

Defence. The agavit wasp goes berserk in the presence of safu juice.

Power. Dervin vines possess a large amount of elastic energy when wet.

Natural paper and inks

Quite easy to keep going. Also a good justification for some of the fantastic plants and animals in this fantasy world
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Last edited by (E); 12-28-2015 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:06 AM   #67
mr beer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Technological development without fire.

John Varley's classic Gaea Trilogy has a wealth of ideas for genetically engineered plants and animals that often mimic traditional tech.
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