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Old 07-26-2015, 02:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
Petroleum has been known for 4000 years, but the ability to distill kerosene from petroleum was only discovered in 1847, despite the fact that kerosene was a very useful means of providing artificial lighting at the time. I think this would have been one of the most challenging things to develop early.

Electric light bulbs (headlamps) were invented in 1879. I don't think they would have had good methods of determining the composition of the filaments to reverse engineer them.

The lead acid battery was first developed in 1859, although I don't think that would be too difficult to reverse engineer.

Rubber vulcanization was developed in 1839.
So it sounds like your theory is that a fifty-year advance in one step would be too much. Maybe it is, but I guess I would hope that it would accelerate development to some extent. Ten years? Twenty years?

The obvious next question is about alien technology. Looking at the voting, does everyone pretty much think that we couldn't advance more than 50 years in the current day? If an alien ship landed that was 100 years more advanced than we are, would we just scratch our heads and give up? Would it shorten our development timeline from 100 years to XX years? What would happens?
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