Re: Paths to Uploading

Michael S. Lorrey (
Sat, 09 Jan 1999 14:18:04 -0500

Scott Badger wrote:

> >> If you dropped back a hundred thousand years, how long would it take you
> >> to out-invent hunters who had been using spears all their life? Skill
> >> is a poor substitute for smartness.
> >I wonder how well I could build all those waterwheels, metal melting,
> >steam engines and Volta cells. Have you tried to recreate technology?
> >And the interesting thing in this example is that in the end it hinges
> >not on me being a super-genius, but on me knowing things already (and
> >then needing to somehow implement them, which is the hard part!).
> >It would be interesting to drop you off on an isolated island together
> >with a randomly selected but stupid survivalist. Would your superior
> >intellect bring you more food?

Thats not necessarily the test. A survivalist, by definition, is trained to SURVIVE, not to PROGRESS. Anyone's first concern in a crisis situation like that is obviously "how am I going to make it through the day", then how am I going to make it though this month or year". Once these survival concerns are addressed and fulfilled, the question then becomes "how am I going to acheive as close to a 20th century lifestyle as I can?" which is where the engineering comes in and survivalism is far less usefull.

Combine survivialist training with engineering knowledge, and that person could go extremely far back in time and have a decent 18th century community going within 10-15 years. Teach some primitives written language, the scientific method, some ethics/philosophy, and record as much as you can of what technologies are possible and how to acheive them, and you'd have a 20th century civilization going within a few generations

> >I would rather say smartness is a poor substitute for skill, which is
> >why we tend to rely on learned skills rather than problem solving for
> >most tasks we do.
> Yes. I remember thinking about this after watching "A Connecticut
> Yankee in King Arthur's Court" with the Bing-meister. I would want to
> take along my four volume set of "How Things Work".

I've been looking for a CD-ROM set of that. Does anyone know if it's digitized yet and where to get it?

Mike Lorrey