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Old 08-04-2020, 04:21 PM   #4931
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Well, at this point it looks less Babbage and more de Prony.

On the other hand, without a revolution in Mathematics the need is still a big question mark.
Still, having Rome with a full flown bureaucracy and an efficient system of accounting is a radical change.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:12 PM   #4932
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Still, having Rome with a full flown bureaucracy and an efficient system of accounting is a radical change.
But less and less connected to the mechanical innovation. Really despite cyberpunk derived fiction wanting them to be really pivotal early computers are almost useless - indeed 1970s computers aren't good for very much. They're niche products with a few specialized, and frankly not all that revolutionary applications until they're cheap enough to start putting them everywhere in the 1980s (or alternately for an old school future setting, until the expensive giant electronic brains achieve a level of AI that's still cutting edge or better here in 2020).

And if you are looking for improvements in bureaucracy and government, well, even the computers we have now don't seem to have improved the effectiveness of government bureaucracies to vastly higher levels than the late 19th century achieved without them. Maybe they're a little smaller for the amount of work, but that's about it. And Roman bureaucracy wasn't that bad to begin with, or any more chronically short staffed than it was forced to be by limited budgets, which expensive computers are not going to help with.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:16 PM   #4933
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But less and less connected to the mechanical innovation. Really despite cyberpunk derived fiction wanting them to be really pivotal early computers are almost useless - indeed 1970s computers aren't good for very much. They're niche products with a few specialized, and frankly not all that revolutionary applications until they're cheap enough to start putting them everywhere in the 1980s (or alternately for an old school future setting, until the expensive giant electronic brains achieve a level of AI that's still cutting edge or better here in 2020).

And if you are looking for improvements in bureaucracy and government, well, even the computers we have now don't seem to have improved the effectiveness of government bureaucracies to vastly higher levels than the late 19th century achieved without them. Maybe they're a little smaller for the amount of work, but that's about it. And Roman bureaucracy wasn't that bad to begin with, or any more chronically short-staffed than it was forced to be by limited budgets, which expensive computers are not going to help with.
Ken Hite delt with a similar issue in Weird War 2. The computer does bring advantages, especially over doing mathematics in Roman or Greek numerals by hand, but the real advantage is psychological. In our modern world, "the computer says so." has replaced Deus Vault as an irrefutable argument. It's more that resoures are getting spent in areas the historical Rome ignored. The Difference engine is the excuse/justification.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:02 PM   #4934
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Try this one...

Zeerust (to get the reference, click the word.)

It's similar to some I've done before, but it goes to different places.

On this Q6 Low Manna world an American antarctic expedition, in 1937, discovered a building. Subsequint examinations by Homeline agents have established the building is a pragmaclasp, a shattered remnant of an otherwise erased time line. Inside this mysterious building was discovered gates. Each is approximately sixteen feet in radius. They are 15 inch thick rings made of a metal that looks like silver although it isn't chemically reactive in any way and can't be scratched by diamonds or in any way be mared, scratched, melted, heated, cooled. or noticeably effected by any known force. These rings are only about one tenth the weight they should be given their size and seeming composition.

Anyone looking through the rings sees the lunar south pole. Anyone stepping through the rings is transported to the lunar south pole. Note; only things moving under their own power or moved by someone or something under its own power. All sixty gates were brought to the USA.

With relatively few serious accidents a team of scientists built an observatory on the moon by 1942 and turned their telescopes on the Earth. They had little effect on WWII. Their main effect on the early Cold War was to make Stalin wildly paranoid (even for him) about being seen from the moon.

Over the 1950s through the 2010s the sixty gates were shipped across the USA and America built a lunar infrastructure and poured money into moonbases.

The local year is 2020, the world is on the edge of TL9 (picture what you think of a realistic level of technology for 2040 and go with that). All across the moon robot factories are making Sun Shades to cool the Earth. Solar power satelites orbit the Earth, with America charging less and less as time goes on. There is agitation in America to make the power free to the developing world now. Russia fights this as an imperialist plot, China demands to be seen as a developing nation and be given first call on the power supply.

Because of the risk of being cut off from the moon by loss of the silver gates, William Proxmire was overruled and America spent the extra money to have a fully reusable spaceplane. Asteriod mining started in the first decade of the 21st century.

The democracies are riding high in this world, Africa had a manufacturing boom in the 1990s. The Indian Ocean was the center of the richest trade network on Earth. The lands between the Nile and the Indus are poor and unimportant, generally ruled by bitter theocracies. The peoples of these lands and other impoverished areas like Russia, are desperately trying to emmigrate to any land that will have them. Given the reputations of the lands these ecconiomic refugees few want them. This has led to violence, human trafficking, and paranoia, the last on both sides.

Centrum believes it can use this fear of immigrants as a means to promote authoriterian government in the West. Homeline wants to stop this dirty tricks campaign. Homeline also wants to use this world's space program to figure out how to build sun shades for Homeline Earth.

The Cabal wants Homeline and Centrum to keep each other busy while they study Africa's occult lore which is much more easily availible in this wealthy, stable, and peaceful, Africa.

Basically, Espionage and dirty tricks in a very 1970s version of the 2020s.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:12 PM   #4935
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Well, at this point it looks less Babbage and more de Prony.
Fascinating. Wasn't aware of this bloke or this project. Ta muchly.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:26 PM   #4936
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Try this one...

Two different ways of making steel were developed in 18th century England. Several different authors have suggested that neither method was beyond the reach of the Romans. In fact there is evidence that the Romans would have had less trouble industrializing the 18th century England in many ways.

In this Q7 low manna world a Cabalist has introduced both types of steel manufacture and the box bellows (which, because it fans the fire constantly, gives the iron and steel workers access to greater heat with less effort) in the local year 670AUC(52BCE). In a mere twenty years iron and steel tools are already both much more common and of better quality throughout the Western empire. Clearly this is a long term project to transform a parallel for profit. Already the same Cabalist has introduced mulberry bushes from China into the Mediterranian basin in many areas.

This Rome is beginning to change, but what does the Cabal want to turn this Rome innto? Centrum wants to first find out the Cabal's plans, then kick them out and take over. Homeline has similar plans with less interest in taking over.

Basically, espionage and a secret wars in a Roman Empire being transformed.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:22 PM   #4937
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Does anyone here think the Cabalist, manipulating Rome, should introduce paper manufacture to Rome. There are lots of knock on effects from paper.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:29 AM   #4938
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Does anyone here think the Cabalist, manipulating Rome, should introduce paper manufacture to Rome. There are lots of knock on effects from paper.
I would say yes, but I'm too tired to justify it beyond 'I think it would be interesting.'
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:21 AM   #4939
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Does anyone here think the Cabalist, manipulating Rome, should introduce paper manufacture to Rome. There are lots of knock on effects from paper.
Why would the Romans adopt paper? Consider: all the elements of printing were around quite a bit before Gutenberg, but it didn't take off until there was a need for it - a population that had an unfilled appetite for written material that couldn't be filled by the old method of scribes. As it is, the Romans already have parchment and papyrus, which probably serve their needs admirably.

So, perhaps the Cabalist wants to introduce all the things that require paper as well. In the Hellenistic period, novels existed; we have surviving examples on papyrus from Egypt. Maybe they've got a project to introduce widespread literacy, so they need to introduce printmaking, and for that they need paper. (And also better metalworking for the type, so that ties into the metal thing you've already introduced.) The screw press is probably next on the menu, only a century or so ahead of time. Concurrent with that, we could expect to see, say, a couple of mystery cults that rely on the widespread written word for their rites - maybe prayer books that are inconvenient to write out by hand, so there's a need for easy reproduction; maybe get the Romans to start promulgating more laws and the like by posters and broadsheets.

As to why, well that's obvious. Widespread literacy is a direct magical attack on the gods of memory and oral tradition, and the Cabalist intends to use that attack to weaken a foe who draws power from the ancient, unwritten rituals. By making the attack on this particular timeline, he is able to target a particular subset of eikones who favor it, while at the same time making an ally of the local manifestation of Thoth - always handy to have a god in your debt.

At least, that's the plan. Cabalists are noted for hubris, and this will probably go sideways in an entertaining fashion sooner or later.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:53 AM   #4940
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Why would the Romans adopt paper?
They wrote letters, kept records, liked legal matters documented, and reading was seen as a desirerable skill even for slaves to have.

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In the Hellenistic period, novels existed; we have surviving examples on papyrus from Egypt.
We have annecdotal evidence for novels being popular in Rome. Including a letter from a Christian priest that he'd scraped all 300 novels his grandmother had collected and had scibes writte on parchment off the parchment and hymns written in their place. Given that the number of novels may have been exagerated and matterials other than novels called novels, that's still an impressive collection destroyed.

Quote:
Maybe they've got a project to introduce widespread literacy,...
Although Rome had a far lower literacy rate than Early Modern England, for the Ancient world, they weren't bad. Paper would be and stay popular once introduced.
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