caveman dopers

after reading this thread asking the question - ‘is technology getting out of hand?’, i was wondering how much each of us would be able to contribute/survive/whatever if we were to be dropped naked in the middle of some caveman tribe in a world similar to ours in the prehistoric stage.

i’m not talking about making a fire, hunting and such, presumably said tribe would already be able to do that, but what would you be able to contribute as a person from a modern era? would you know enough of the makings of a computer to fast-track technology?

a few things come to mind, (if said tribe don’t kill me in the first place), [ul][li]i’ll probably start taming wolves, cows, horses etc if they haven’t done it yet[/li][li]farming, i’ll have to try that too[/li][li]ropes, i hope it’s easy to make one[/li][li]wheels, how would i go making wheels?! [/li][li]metals, i don’t think i know how to make a furnace[/li][li]songs, i could probably come up with many new (hehe) songs for them to sing[/li][li]language, not sure if they’ll be interested in learning one[/li][li]writing, cooking, money etc. [/ul] in fact, most of what i have are concepts and general knowledge. i can’t make a computer, a car, a television or a radio. [/li]
so what can you contribute to the tribe?

I’d teach them how to sing “Happy Birthday” and get the copyrights to it. :rolleyes:

I love this debate. It’s been done so many times in so many places in so many ways…
I’ll just be the chief. shijinn is so far my right-hand man, in charge of contracting czars of domestication, farming, roping, wheeling, metallurgy, singing, talking, and writing.

I’m still looking for encforcers, if you think you’re tough, apply here.
Position of jester: filled by kniz

I could probably figure out pottery, irrigation and basic machines, not to mention helping shijinn out with agriculture and writing. I might be able to put together a furnace for basic metallurgy.

See, this is why I spend so much time reading

I’ll teach them how to make weapons. Gunpowder, crossbows, landmines, staves, chariots, h bombs etc. And then me can start killing each other alot earlier in history, and a lot more proficiently. Maybe an aircraft carrier?

Or the agriculture thing. Oats and wheat etc

So thenwe can make, wait for it…BEER!!!

Could you imagine trying to teach a caveman how to milk a cow!!??

“honestly, just go up to that big hairy beast we caught yesterday, yeah, the one that moo’s and has horns, I know you’d normally put a spear through it’s heart and eat it’s near raw flesh after waving it over a fire but trust me, just go squeeze it’s teets…yeah you can drink it!!”

I reckon I’d get voted out of the tribe in the first week

Most likely, you’d have to kill the dominent male and take his harem, mate with them, and establish your dominent role. Otherwise outsiders were most likely killed. Unless you were dropped off as an infant.

Might I recommend S.M. Stirling’s Island In The Sea Of Time series? Nantucket island gets transported back about 3000 years.

They reach late 19th century technology very quickly, but they have about 10,000 people with a variety of skills to draw from.

Me, I’d start trying to figure out the steam engine.

In order:

Agriculture (Corn, rice, wheat, barley and cotton)
Simple structures (log cabins)
Candle and soap making (where does one find lye in nature?)

I’ll be busy working on the toothbrush. I hope somebody else is busy finding ingredients for toothpaste.

The wheel to start with, followed by the lever, the pulley and the inclined plane.

Bows, arrows, shovels, axes, hammer, nails, knives and forks would all be rudimentary tools I’d be able to create rather easily.

Pottery, agriculture, masonry, lumber, and some metallurgy would be fairly simple to work as well.

I could probably see a very comfortable advancement into the late medeivel times prior to my death, if the natives aren’t too mentally limitted to be taught. If I work hard, and seriously focus on the metallurgy, I might even make it to steam power.

I would do what is proven to work- develop a few supernatural-seeming tricks with low technology, then claim that I am sent from God to lead the righteous! Then I could structure the society as I see fit, encouraging development by dispensing information to help the followers in their efforts to win approval.

One of the first things that should be built is a still. Distilling alcohol allows an easy way to get a combustible fuel (try searching for oil with no tech!) to use for cooking, heating, drinking, and so on.

Most of the nuts and bolts ideas presented here are good ideas, but taking over by force is a poor option- even a primitive man is a man, and man is the most dangerous predator. You can’t build a society that will last on murder and violence. Gaining the confidence of a natural tribal leader, and offering something as great as civilization to him, would be more effective in getting the people to listen in the first place. Once they get the message, they will cooperate in their own way.

At least, that’s how it looks on paper…

I’d bring what I do best…

Organization. Management methods.

I’d get that tribe humming along so efficiently they wouldn’t know what hit them.

I can fell a tree, hew timber, and cut all manner of joints in it.
I can build boats and sail them too. I can build structures of wood and stone. I can make a mill or a water wheel.
I’d have a heck of a time doing that with stone tools, but I could manage.
I know how to hunt for birds.
I can make crossbows or other weapons.

I work in the construction trade.

I would set up a relational database with front-end and back-end referential integrity in order to track seed stocks for agricultural development as well as herbs and other medicinals, not to mention long-term genealogy for my nefarious eugenics scheme which will allow me to take over the world!

My wife and I have had this discussion. Our professions would be utterly useless to a society of cavemen. She is an economist and I am a financial advisor. My in-laws on the other hand would be a caveman’s (or the Peace Corps) dream. A nurse and a master electrician and all around handyman. Definitely humbling.

Once I have sorted out the forges, I could get a decent chemical plant up and running. Reckon we could be producing DDT within 30 years.

Bruce_Daddy You can extract KOH from wood ash.

We have coconuts and bamboo? Who can make Gilligans island radios and golf carts?

I’ll beat other people’s heads in with this real cool animal bone I found over by that monolith.

I’ll contribute mathematics and metallurgy. Or more specifically refining. Might be useful for the still and the steam engine. Not to mention wheels pulleys levers and such that have alredy been mentioned.

Anyone want to domesticate a horse?

Anyone want to domesticate a hamster?

you rang?