Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Ancient Town

For understanding human reaction to artefacts left by time travellers.
  [vote for,

This idea is an idea of a scientific experiment: ever wanted to know how scientists of the beginning of the 18th century would have behaved, if the travellers from the future were to leave behind a modern laptop computer?

Here is how to know: by making an experimental town, where people are grown up using only 18th century education material, and historical context, education is provided by actors, immitating the teachers of those times.

Of course, this experiment would require agreement and cooperation of parents, whose children were to be brought up in that kind of town (though many parents might consider it to be a disadvantage for a kid to be brought up unbeknownst of modern civilization, there could be positive aspects, such as the level of surprise, once the modern civilization is seen, inducing the tendency to imagine what we to whom this technology is ordinary thing, could not).

//Note that the kids brought up in that way, could be intellectually equal, as the only difference in the mathematical curriculum would be the kind of topics taught, not the degree of difficulty.//

Inyuki, May 22 2012

Cargo Cults http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult
Interesting and funny. The mimicry is very thorough and detailed. Also make sure to read the part about John Frum. [EdwinBakery, May 22 2012]

Again http://goo.gl/7v91Y
It's so cute and funny! [mod edit - racist link removed] [EdwinBakery, May 22 2012]

The Gods Must Be Crazy http://en.wikipedia..._Gods_Must_Be_Crazy
"I'd like to buy the world a Coke..." [RayfordSteele, May 23 2012]


       People in the late '40s got a box that showed moving pictures, people in the early 1900's got a machine that flies, people in the early '80s got personal computers. People in Hiroshima in 1945 received a hella surprise about bomb yield. People all over the world for the last couple decades are changing their statices on Facebook to "going out to hunt wild boar with a spear" before doing same.   

       What's your point ?   

       // intellectually equal // probably superior considering they'd have a better diet and physical regimen, longer attention span, and a firmer grounding in the educational basics.
FlyingToaster, May 22 2012

       M. Night Shamalamymalamallan's "The Village" takes care of most of this idea.
DIYMatt, May 22 2012

       [FlyingToaster], I agree thye might be superior, due to longer attention span and other things you mentioned.   

       [DIYMatt], well, I didn't watch this one, but if nothing, this one is supposed to be a real experiment rather than artistic imagining.
Inyuki, May 22 2012

       This is easy. Somebody go and fetch the latest greatest technogizmo from Tokyo and bring it to Brownville Junction, Maine, home to about 700 mouth-breathing luddites and their 300 or so soon-to-be-leaving- for- greener-pastures offspring. Keep it away from the kids and you'll get your desired results. They'll probably use it as a doorstop.
Alterother, May 22 2012

       Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage were both citizens of the 19th Century who were exposed to computers of the day - luckily there's a fair amount of material generated by them on the subject, that you ought to be able to tap into.   

       If you want to look at people of the 18th Century, it might be trickier, but a quick Google suggests that the Jacquard Loom was invented in 1801, but was based on earlier inventions - wikipedia suggests "...based on earlier inventions by the Frenchmen Basile Bouchon (1725), Jean Baptiste Falcon (1728) and Jacques Vaucanson (1740)" both of which used perforated paper cards and tapes to program and automate industrial processes.   

       Ok, so there is a fair stretch from a water/steam driven loom and a laptop computer - but it didn't stop Ada Lovelace predicting the creation of electronic music, and other very modern-day applications for computers.
zen_tom, May 22 2012

       //Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage were both citizens of the 19th Century who were exposed to computers of the day//   

       The idea is not to expose 18th century people to 18th century technology, but to expose 18th century people to 21st cenury technology, by shouting "SUPRISE!", giving them a dual core tablet with a camera and some music and videos, then telling them that their whole life is a lie that their parents agreed to.
erenjay, May 22 2012

       perhaps we could study the ex-amish? Ask them their opinions on adjusting to the tech world.   

       Also, there are tribes that still haven't made contact with the rest of the world. A few years ago (or was it just last year?) a helicopter spotted a tribe in the Peruvian (or Ecuadorian?) Jungle (in the lowlands of the country, below the highlands, obvs) that had never been contacted by the outside world. They were threatening to throw a spear at the helicopter... so I guess NOW they HAVE at least seen a helicopter.   

       In fact as recently as the 70's, a tribe of aborigines wandered out of the Australian desert and into some modern Australian town. Yup, they had been living in the desert the entire time of Australia's history, neither us nor them being aware of the other. Perhaps we could get their thoughts?   

       **** One interesting phenomenon is cargo cults. When the Americans during World War 2 were going into the Pacific... you know what I'll just post the link
EdwinBakery, May 22 2012

       go back to the other idea post, like I said, they always way penis sheaths and grass skirts. They consider not doing so nudity, and they make a point of pointing it out. Only the children walk around naked.
EdwinBakery, May 22 2012

       [Ubie] I think there's a breach in the watertight doors between the ideas.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 22 2012

       [EdwinBakery] you do realise you just liked up a video posted by Goyfire, the anti-semites - their classy strapline: "Hammering out the jew one broadcast at a time." - You can tell by watching the video to the end and reading the racism yourself: "No Jews. Just Right."   

       I'm not sure whether you did that by mistake or not - but it's not cool.   

       Cargo Cultism might be fascinating, it might be tragic, it might be just one of those things - but I don't think I'd describe it as either cute, or funny. When it's part of a white supremacist propaganda film criticising Jews, it's *less* funny. Let's do a deal - you delete the racist link and find some alternative way of making your point. And I'll not delete/ban your account.
zen_tom, May 22 2012

       Some research questions:   

       * Would the scientists of 18th century break the computer in order to understand how it's made, or would they first try to figure out what it does?   

       * How would they go about figuring out how to run the computer, once the battery is depleted? (thought laptop could be solar-powered, if that does seem to give too short a window of opportunity to explore all the behaviors)   

       * How to represent knowledge in a computer in such a way that ancients could use to 'rebuild' civilisation?   

       * What if the information was written in an unknown language, such as Lithuanian ;)?   

       * Would computer full of information shorten the attention span of even the people brought up in 18th century environment?   

       [zen_tom], I just saw it. Whoever made that advertisement at the end of video, I don't agree with the message. [EdwinBakery], you can change it to http://goo.gl/7v91Y , I guess.
Inyuki, May 22 2012

       who cares who posted the video? It's a video relevant to the idea post. STFU   

       blah blah blah virility thing. It's also clothing, you douche. Like i said, I specifically remember watching the show where the guys live in the tribe for a few weeks, and the guest there couldn't put on his sheath right or something, and they laughed and called him naked. I remember another show about a similar melanesian tribe, and again they said the word "naked", i think when they were dicussing an accusation of rape.   

       Just because you don't consider them clothed doesn't mean they don't also. That shit's clothing to them. they may be in the jungle where it's too hot to wear a lot of stuff, but what they do wear they consider clothing, and they do socially enforce wearing it.
EdwinBakery, May 22 2012

       the wikipedia article posted in my idea post specifically says that the virility/sexual display thing is a claim by foreigners, not the natives themselves, who describe their use of the koteka as for the purpose of covering themselves up,   

EdwinBakery, May 22 2012

       I edited the link from the fascist website to the one suggested by Inyuki (thanks for that Inyuki)   

       EdwinBakery, please be more careful in future what you post.
zen_tom, May 22 2012

       Tiptoeing back to the idea, perhaps it's really 2455 already, and we're just a sociological experiment to figure out how people coped with gravity, slower- than-light travel and [Ubie] back in the 2000s.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 22 2012

       //latest greatest technogizmo from Tokyo   

       If you want one slightly recursive example, Japan itself.   

       Went from bugger-all machines to the sewing machine in one go, due to some fat guy called Commodore Perry circa 1840'ish.   

       Did their society change, well, not a lot really. Modern guns did bring down the shogunate, the samurai had to go find some other way to bother people...they just went into business.   

       Japan is quite often referred to when people talk about ""What would happen to our society if more technologically advanced aliens came to tea?".
not_morrison_rm, May 23 2012

       [MaxwellBuchanan], indeed... and did they cope with the emergence of the internet.
Inyuki, May 23 2012


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