Back in time with fellow dopers and modern gear, who and what goes with you? (restart tech question)

Well I guess it’s time to come clean. I know, I know I should have come clean sooner.

I’ve been busy.

It’s not my fault.

See, the truth is I’m a powerful wizard* that’s discovered a way to send 25 people (and all they can carry) back in time. I wish it was 26, I wish they could bring more back with them, but the limits are the limits and that’s what I can do.

Also, it can only be other dopers**.

It can only be one of you with 24 of your fellow dopers.

And all you can carry is just that, all you can carry. It’s not what you can drag, push or pull sadly; it’s just what you can carry. Experiments with two people manhandling the same items, be it one item or a platform designed to carry many items, have failed. It’s only what you can carry, individually.

If it’s a backpack filled with gear its good, if it’s a shopping cart filled with gear it won’t make it past the portal. If two or four or 20 design a litter to carry more, it won’t make the trip.

Where are we going and when are we going you’re asking? You’re going back to the year 3,000 BC and you’re going to the island of Nantucket because I hate that dick S. M. Stirling (thanks Johanna, I really liked those books, can you tell?) and he’s doing the same thing with a group of 25 people of his own, only they’re going to the big island on Hawaii.

Also Stirling, because him and I are vicious rivals, is creating a team that’s dead set on wiping you all out.

Told you he was a dick.

He and I were able to agree to some terms for this little contest though. First the islands (he chose the big island of Kauai) will be uninhabited when you arrive, no other people will live there.

The area you arrive in will be 600 meters by 600 meters of cleared ground, free of trees and shrubs, grassland if you will. The surrounding area is natural to the time and place.

Stirling added this, and at first I thought, what an idiot! But then thought it might add to the fun. At the six and 12th month marks, supporters of each message board get to send back in time, to support their team, a tractor trailer’s worth of goods. One each time, two total. Anything that can fit into a semi’s trailer can go back.

Okay what fun, but who would you pick and what would you bring? What would be the follow on shipments? I know there are holes in my ‘plan’ and you’ll all point them out but really what would you bring and who would you bring. Most importantly, WHY that person and why that item?

  • As a super Ninja wizard (yeah I’m also a ninja) sadly I cannot participate in this thread as to who and what I would bring, only read your suggestions, clarify if I can and well magic.
    ** dopers defined as established posters, people that are known I guess, a one post person that posted circa 1990 on AOL doesn’t count. Pick someone known today or easily referenced.

I think this is more suited to the Game Room than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Thanks Colibri, my apologies.

I’m not going to pick right now, but I might be interested. A couple of questions. You said Stirling’s group is going to “big island on Hawaii”, but then you said Kaui which is not the big island. I don’t think this matters too much.

But Nantucket to Hawaii is an immense trip particularly without the Panama Canal. It’s shorter around South America, but my understanding is that passage south of South America is quite treacherous. It would be safer but longer to go south of Africa. In either case, I’d think it would be years if not decades before either group felt they’d built a sea-worthy enough ship that could be manned by 25 persons to make that trip and then attack the other group. It might even be a second generation before they’d try.

I’d think early on you’d be much better advised to build your base and protect it. Or simply move off the first island to a secret base so your opponents wouldn’t know where to attack.

The best plan might be to take some kind of lethal toxin of disease agent if you could safely store it and then stealthily introduce it, but that seems like it might be beyond the “rules.”

Well, if Vinyl Turnip is occupied, I nominate myself for my witty quips and stunning good looks.

If you had sailors/boatbuilders you could do it in less than a year, provided the weather and ocean cooperates (not at all assured). I say bring back lots of guns, and a few artifacts that really wouldn’t be able to be produced for generations (complex electronics [on which would be many libraries], medical devices, valuable synthetics, modern GM seeds, ect).

The first goal is to get to the continent to access resources. The continent is still rich, and should support a small group of people for several months easily. We wouldn’t have the problem of feeding 5000 densely packed people like Stirling did, where agriculture is the only option. Begin working on ships immediately, and do everything possible to keep the locals as far away as possible (shouldn’t be too hard) and hope we get lucky in not wiping out more than 9 in 10 of them with our diseases.

The second goal is, once we have ships, we bridge the Atlantic to get to the Old World. We NEED to get our resupply in the Old World where it will be most useful. Unlike Stirlings crew, we have more resources and a shorter distance to travel and so should reach the Old World agricultural societies first. From there, we spread throughout the continents, especially Babylon, Hattusha, and Memphis. With our modern guns we’re mostly untouchable, and with our magic smartphones (solar/crank powered of course) we can record events and use other ‘magics’.

Third. Once there, we begin to take over empires under the guise of gods. Behind the scenes of course. We show our ‘magics’ to officials, keeping quiet, getting to the head ASAP, and once there use our future knowledge to vastly improve their quality of life, and that of their people. Our tech (even basic ancient Roman stuff) will be a major improvement, so will our food, and our healthcare abilities. We subvert the resources of those empires in order to access and process raw material we cannot bring in backpacks and such. We also set almost all their scribes to copying the hundreds, thousands, more, textbooks, manuals, and other irreplaceable knowledge, given our electronics will be lucky to last a decade and we NEED that knowledge to build civilization.

By now it’s almost certainly past 6 months.Our first resupply? Experts from the original timeline future, and more irreplaceable future tech, preferably military or some other highly durable grade. All raw materials can be got locally, we need knowledge. The one exception would be three old school airplane engine (the rest of the airplane and fuel able to be produced locally). Building up our empire bases, we begin using the planes to ferry fuel eastwords, building supply depots and making contact with local rulers. We should reach east Asia within 12 months if we’re lucky, and that’s where we’ll pick up our second supply. By this time who knows where or what Stirlings group is up to. If they’re in Asia, we spread up and down the coast setting small bases with maybe four or five ‘moderns’ a piece, to keep a lookout. By now there’s around 100 ‘moderns’, ranging from Britain to Japan. If Stirlings people headed to the New World it’d be hard to stop them. But the shorter, and more obvious beginning target, is the Old World, and we beat them to it, and have the major local empires on the lookout. We’ve spread so far we’re pretty much unable to be wiped out, and, if we’re lucky, we’ll reach the moon in a few centuries, modernize the Old World, prevent the Bronze Age Collapse, and preserve the New World until we’re able to deal with it. We can’t wipe out all of Stirlings group unless they make themselves obvious (unlikely), but neither can they wipe us out. Realizing this, it’d be in our best interest for an alliance, but the OPs rules say no. So we wouldn’t win, but we wouldn’t lose. We would save thousand of years of strife, millions of lives, and who knows how many extinct species though, as well as having a timeline for when and where natural disasters will be, and astronomical interests, and so many other things. We can build a society that uses fossil fuels only in one small part of one small empire, using them exclusively to produce more efficient and better (electric) forms of energy, and of course air travel (where there’s pretty much no other option even today).

That is, of course, a wildly optimistic view, and assumes no William Walker types, or super mobs outnumbering our ammo, or unpredicted weather (imagine all sinking on first voyage! oh well). But whatever, I still think we’d do far, far more good than harm, and if we all die I doubt it’d be because of the other group.