Forest_Dump wrote:CanadysPeak wrote:What are your thoughts about stabilizing at a steam-driven technology? Or a water-powered one?
Well, I think it all could and eventually probably would be recoverable. The appropriate knowledge would be out there in books (of course anything stored on electronic media only would more likely be lost). Sooner or later someone would mine all the old Popular Mechanics magazines, etc.
I think the realquestion Paul might be posing is how far things would get without the trappings of a state-level society. I don't see how, frankly, as that has never really been done even though people do like to point to small-scale "utopian" societies that managed for a while on the outskirts of larger states. I would bet that once populations stabilized (there would definitely be a very severe demographic "adjustment"), the closest you would really get to a stabile form of political structure would be something along the lines of feudalism.
Yeah, I guess a lot of the knowledge-base is out there somewhere. That brings us back to Ursa's point. In an era of no treated water, won't anyone who knows how to make beer or wine have a higher social status than, say, a marketing consultant? Of course, I suspect most ex-cons have some knowledge in this area? Interesting.
One of the problems in doing a reset in technology is that some of the things which were common knowledge two hundred years ago aren't now. If you look in an old text book and you see to grease ramps with "red ram's oil" or such, what the hell does that mean? Even something as simple as trying to make steel out of "red-short ore" is likely to puzzle people.
And, suppose we go back, for example, to wind-powered ships. Where do we find those tall cedars for masts? What did we cut them all down for? I have great doubts.