Urban planning community

Poll results: 500 years forward or 500 years back?

Voters
27. You may not vote on this poll
  • 2510: take-me-to-the-fut-ure!

    17 62.96%
  • 1510: Forsooth! Give me ye olde medievale Renaissance Faire SCAe LARPe geeke life!

    10 37.04%
+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29

Thread: 500 years forward or 500 years back?

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,524
    Blog entries
    3

    500 years forward or 500 years back?

    An evil mastermind has forced you into a time machine. You're given a choice of two destinations: 2510 or 1510. You'll also be given the equivalent of $100,000 in 2010 US dollars; skills to practice a trade that would let you lead a middle-class lifestyle for the era; language skills so you can read, write and converse fluently in the English used at the time; and a briefing upon arrival so you can be somewhat familiar with the customs, values and mores of society at the time. You also get to choose where to arrive; for example, if you currently live in North America, you can choose to be arrive in the UK, and not the middle of a battle between Indian tribes. Where do you go?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Jamestown, New York
    Posts
    1,660
    That's easy. Since I have no interest in being husband's chattel and broodmare, I'll take 2510.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,587
    I heard in the future you might be able to have sex with robots. just saying
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  4. #4
    2510. If life on earth hasn't been reduced to rodents and bacteria due to nuclear warfare or irreparable damage to the Earth and/or its atmosphere, then I will have a renewed faith in humanity that I currently lack. I need to know if we'll even be around.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    chaos
    Posts
    873
    I think 2510 is around the time of the great garbage avalanche. Idiocracy, anyone?

  6. #6
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Posts
    9,632
    I would much rather go back... this future you speak of is scary, and at least in the past I know that I could be a noble / adventurer / explorer and have a lady with.... Huge.... tracks of land.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,258
    Not sure how much good English of the day will do me in the U.S. of A. in 2510 but better the unknown future than the predictable past.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  8. #8
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    5,542
    Since I already have some basic knowledge of what was going on in 1510, I'll gladly go backwards.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,680
    Going back 500 years I'd be some kind of prophetic genius - people would probably bow down before me (that is, if they didn't burn me at the stake). Going forward 500 years the best I could hope for is an 'Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer' type gig (your immortality and matter transferance devices frighten me....but even I can see that the plaintiff is entitled to $22,000,000,000 in compensatory damages for pain and suffering...)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,919
    There would be huge opportunity in going back. In 1510, Europe was still discovering America. As Hink said, there would be the opportunity to be an explorer. The natives of Mexico and South America were eager to hand over their riches to visitors. As a planner, I would be laying down the framework for development of an entire continent.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    Hmm, 1510 or 2510?

    1510: Beginning of the 16th century. Spanish inquisition is rolling along, Portugese is coming. Lots of plagues (sweating sickness? Ugh). Henry VIII and head-chopping. Europe would be out. As for the Americas, I would be arriving just as the Europeans started conquering, killing, and enslaving everyone. Same for Africa. So those would be out. But India or China might be good. No, not China. Mongol invasions and the Ming dynasty closing off foreign trade. No fun. So India. Well, India before the Mughal Empire was still pretty chaotic. Persia was just coming into its own. So there's only one place left: Constantinople and the Ottoman Empire. At the height of its power in 1510, I'd be dead before the defeat of the Ottoman navy in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

    So, in 1510 it seems the best place to be would be Constantinople (not Istanbul). Maybe I could "invent" penicillin.

    2510: Harder to parse. Will it be a H.G. Well's Time Machine world of Eloi and Morlocks? No thanks. But Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Erin Gray? I'm there. But like Maister said, I'd probably be looked upon as a caveman. And bathrooms would probably have three shells instead of toilet paper. Though, maybe someone would adopt me as their pet out of pity, and/or future women would find me "rugged" because I actually lived in a time before implanted cyber-communication-bio-computers. That is, if future women weren't just having relations with their sex robots and leaving behind the vagaries of human-human intimacy. Though you probably wouldn't die of dysintery or cholera in 2510. Plus, the dentists would be better.

    I think I'd choose 1510, but learn dentistry before I went.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    I'd be tempted to go back in time because of the romanticism of it all. But I'm pretty lazy so being a female, unless I miraculously ended up a Lady or Duchess I'd end up with a sh!t hand, taking care of my 6 kids, good-for-nothing husband, and the house and all related chores. Plus the idea of wearing a corset everyday is unsettling.

    Guess I'll go forward.

  13. #13
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,680
    Giving this more thought than it probably deserves….but that’s par for the course in the FAC.

    I just asked a coworker what he’d do if he could travel back in time 500 years and he said “invent penicillin”. “Oh?,you know where to find the right kind of mold and how to manufacture it into a usable form with the correct quantities/dosages…all while using 16th century tools,?” I countered. We then ran through a laundry list of useful inventions we probably could not produce……locomotives, anything electronic (could discover electricity, but not much else), internal combustion engine, telescopes/microscopes (do you know how to produce precision polished glass?). It quickly became evident that materials technology and lack of knowledge of how to use forges or manufacture stuff would be a huge impediment to creating just about any great invention, be it a phonograph or gatling gun.

    My coworker then decided he’d advance humanity by accelerating social change, “get them to abolish slavery”. The light of reason quickly showed that actually implementing social changes was a difficult and slow process even in the enlightened 21st century, much less in the 16th century.

    Travelling back in time 500 years would be no picnic no matter how you cut it. One could have all sorts of ‘great ideas’ but the problem is WHY would anyone in the 16th century listen/heed you, stranger?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  14. #14
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,524
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    We then ran through a laundry list of useful inventions we probably could not produce……locomotives, anything electronic (could discover electricity, but not much else), internal combustion engine, telescopes/microscopes (do you know how to produce precision polished glass?). It quickly became evident that materials technology and lack of knowledge of how to use forges or manufacture stuff would be a huge impediment to creating just about any great invention, be it a phonograph or gatling gun.
    You could memorize this, just in case, and get a head start.

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    9,632
    Blog entries
    5
    Take it back to 1510 and plunk me down in the middle of the Mughal Empire in India.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,680
    Dan, thanks for the info, I've already got that tacked up in my time machine, but it's still not a great deal of help for 1510 (it's quite useful, however, whenever I travel to 1810).

    Invent an electromagnet?,,,,,Just get one's hands on some Tungsten and no problem....think about that a minute....
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  17. #17
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Dan, thanks for the info, I've already got that tacked up in my time machine, but it's still not a great deal of help for 1510 (it's quite useful, however, whenever I travel to 1810).

    Invent an electromagnet?,,,,,Just get one's hands on some Tungsten and no problem....think about that a minute....
    Just check out these websites:

    16th Century Timeline 1500 - 1599 and Timeline of historic inventions.

    You could invent the pencil, etching, the pocket watch, or even the microscope. Eyeglasses were invented in the 13th century, so the technology for grinding lenses existed then. Invent the stocking frame and become rich weaving textiles. The possibilities are endless. Just steal someone else's idea a few years before they have it, and the proper technology will be there for you to exploit. Not a nice thing to do to the truly creative, but who's to say that William Lee wasn't a time traveler himself and just stole the stocking frame idea from someone else?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,166
    Not only that, but in 1510, religious discontent was brewing up big-time in central Europe with an ongoing series of scandals of corrupt excess in the Vatican, ultimately driving Martin Luther to do his bit of vandalism in 1517, followed by all sorts of upheavals in Christianity culminating in the Protestant Reformation, counter-reformation and so on.

    As in the old Chinese curse - 'Interesting times'!



    OTOH, I would suspect that 2510 would see a World of governmental intrusiveness and micromanagement that would make today's China, North Korea and the USA's Internal Revenue Service look like redneck orthodox Libertarians.



    I'd probably be most comfortable in an early 16th century Benedictine monastery.



    Mike

  19. #19
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,587
    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post

    OTOH, I would suspect that 2510 would see a World of governmental intrusiveness and micromanagement that would make today's China, North Korea and the USA's Internal Revenue Service look like redneck orthodox Libertarians.
    With 60 trillion people on the planet it might be a necessity eh.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,653
    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post
    Just steal someone else's idea a few years before they have it, and the proper technology will be there for you to exploit. Not a nice thing to do to the truly creative, but who's to say that William Lee wasn't a time traveler himself and just stole the stocking frame idea from someone else?
    I've always imagined this with music. The time travelling musician could come out with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" or other popular songs a year or two earlier and become the most successful musician in history at the expense of the real songwriters.

    As far as the question at hand, I would take my chances with the future hoping that enough progress would be made so that the world is largely a better place.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    5,769
    I was going to say 2510-but unless we are in space and getting our resources there, everything here will be gone. So, that leaves 1510-I'm thinking get the how to books, plenty of gold, live on a farm amd become a mad scientist.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,689
    I like taking hot showers, pretty much every day.

    2510.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    I like taking hot showers, pretty much every day.

    2510.



    Best answer yet.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,587
    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    I like taking hot showers, pretty much every day.

    2510.
    Due to limited resources your shower allowance for this month a been exceeded. You may begin showering again next month.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,784
    Hmmm $100,000 adjusted for 2510 inflation might be several million US dollars. If the exchange rate for US currency is somewhere in the deep negatives in the next 100-200 years that means I can burn the paper money for fuel by 2510. But doing that might deplete the last endangered hectare of atmosphere through global warming.

    On the other hand, paper currency didn't really exist in 1510 either. Even if it WAS accepted, this paper is supposedly backed by full faith and credit of the US government, which doesn't exist yet (not to mention we didn't have Nixon shock or the abolishment of the Breton Woods system yet) so the money is utterly worthless because it is not backed by a gold supply. So I have to choose between severely underappreciated currency or illegal tender? Decisions. Decisions.

    I guess barter is the next alternative since I just shot down your currency, Dan. Am I to be paid in US dollars or through some other type of payment? Slaves? Midgets? Midget slaves for 400? There is growing evidence that people are returning to bartering systems although it's up in the air if that will still work in 500 years. If I knew how to read and write in English I probably wouldn't be a day laborer in 1510. I think it would be better to know Latin in 1510 and Mandarin in 2510.

    I think I'm happy where I am, I'll just let the evil mastermind kill me off before I set foot in that time machine. Sorry, but 1510 and 2510 don't sound that appealing.
    Last edited by nrschmid; 07 Apr 2010 at 6:42 PM.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 3
    Last post: 29 Oct 2013, 3:31 PM
  2. Back after a few years
    Introduce Yourself
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 29 Jan 2011, 11:16 PM
  3. New Years
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 18
    Last post: 03 Jan 2011, 10:21 PM
  4. Will anyone be here at New Years?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 01 Jan 2004, 12:51 PM
  5. 40 Years LAter
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 24
    Last post: 21 Nov 2003, 4:51 PM