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Old 2017-12-11, 13:56   #14
GP2's Avatar
Sep 2003

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Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
I think you and retina underestimate what the most knowledgeable humans are capable of doing even if you ignore the average person (and I think you guys underestimate the average person too).


And I highly doubt the majority of people would die. Many would be highly stressed and unable to immediately contribute any sort of scientific knowledge, but most would be able to fend for themselves... I think. Maybe I'm overestimating the average person. Hard to say.
You badly underestimate the role of modern technology in keeping our current very large population alive.

Our distant ancestors had some rather sophisticated technology. But their population was maybe one-thousandth of what it is today. Even with all their knowledge and all their tools, that's all the land could support.

And remember, the terms of this thought experiment are that all man-made object disappear, every single one, even the most primitive. That is pre- Stone Age. Even with perfect knowledge of how to proceed, there simply wouldn't be enough time to bootstrap everything. You'd have to start making stone tools from scratch, and meanwhile everyone is starving.

The only possible choice is axn's option 3. Perhaps some place like North Korea would implement forced random guessing and save the world.

Otherwise we're back in the world of half a million years ago with a tiny remnant population, dividing into many different tribes whose languages will soon diverge. Knowledge will be reduced to a useless, badly garbled oral tradition by a multi-generational game of "telephone".

Assuming our very distant descendants a few hundred thousand years in the future somehow manage to create a modern industrial civilization, which will be problematic because all the easily accessible ores and petroleum and coal have already been used up by us, then the sudden appearance of billions of strange artifacts will take them completely by surprise.
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