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Old 04-14-2015, 10:30 AM   #1001
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
You're not the first to ask.



You might read David Keys especially his book Catastrophe. Keys makes a case that East africa was absorbing Hindu/Indian cultural influences and was on the way to becoming it's own distinctive high civilisation with a strong South Asian influence when a massive climate disruption changed the local disease climate and forced a switch from agriculture to pastoralism.

But any big change in Africa would require an earlier introduction of high-yield food crops.
Maybe the hypothetical Egyptian Atlantic Crossing was real in this setting? They go over, find some other dudes building pyramids, and they trade spices for potatoes or something. Pharoes doing lines of cocaine.... Or, maybe Vikings bring some potatoes back from the new world a little earlier, the Romans adopt them, then they move down to Africa.

Rome goes through a potato famine but now there's some of them on the continent.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:26 AM   #1002
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Maybe the hypothetical Egyptian Atlantic Crossing was real in this setting? They go over, find some other dudes building pyramids, and they trade spices for potatoes or something. Pharoes doing lines of cocaine.... Or, maybe Vikings bring some potatoes back from the new world a little earlier, the Romans adopt them, then they move down to Africa.

Rome goes through a potato famine but now there's some of them on the continent.
Bringing maize to Africa early would be a vast historical change.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:58 PM   #1003
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
You're not the first to ask.



You might read David Keys especially his book Catastrophe. Keys makes a case that East africa was absorbing Hindu/Indian cultural influences and was on the way to becoming it's own distinctive high civilisation with a strong South Asian influence when a massive climate disruption changed the local disease climate and forced a switch from agriculture to pastoralism.

But any big change in Africa would require an earlier introduction of high-yield food crops.
You'd also need to get rid of sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) and wide-spread domestication of elands would probably help, too.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:00 PM   #1004
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You'd also need to get rid of sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) and wide-spread domestication of elands would probably help, too.
And now we're getting into "Domination of the Draka" territory...
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:18 PM   #1005
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And now we're getting into "Domination of the Draka" territory...
I disliked that series, because Stirling had to warp human economic, cultural, social and political realities so much, just to make the Draka viable.

Weirdly, I found that rather comforting, too.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:16 PM   #1006
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I disliked that series, because Stirling had to warp human economic, cultural, social and political realities so much, just to make the Draka viable.

Weirdly, I found that rather comforting, too.
I read the first book and wasn't too horribly bothered by it as I treated it as a book about a small unit combat situation with a background thrown in. Then I read the follow up books and so many things had be changed in that timeline (can anyone say Stupid Virus) to get the Draka to win that even ASBs would consider it too far fetched. I found myself on more one occasion thinking up ways to beat the Draka and who could do it.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:40 PM   #1007
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I disliked that series, because Stirling had to warp human economic, cultural, social and political realities so much, just to make the Draka viable.

Weirdly, I found that rather comforting, too.
Exactly my point. Any AH that includes "Africa as a sociopolitical powerhouse" has to warp and twist so hard that any result might as well be set on a terraformed Venus.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:47 PM   #1008
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Exactly my point. Any AH that includes "Africa as a sociopolitical powerhouse" has to warp and twist so hard that any result might as well be set on a terraformed Venus.
It is ironic that Africa had the environment that led directly to our species' evolution, yet also made developing large mid tech societies nearly impossible.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:48 PM   #1009
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It is ironic that Africa had the environment that led directly to our species' evolution, yet also made developing large mid tech societies nearly impossible.
"God is an iron." - Spider Robinson
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:54 PM   #1010
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It is ironic that Africa had the environment that led directly to our species' evolution, yet also made developing large mid tech societies nearly impossible.
The disease and animals coevolved with us. They learned the hard way how to deal with us but didn't have to learn it all at once so they didn't get squashed.
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