How long until this new world gets connected to the internet?

So I was walking through the woods one day and I noticed a shimmering light coming from a cave. I won’t bore you with the details but it turned out to be a portal to an alternate time line of earth. I know: so random!
The portal leads to a version of earth where humans have not evolved. The most complex society on this new earth is no more complex than that of chimpanzees. But there are plenty of ape like mammals so I gather the timeline must have split in the last few million years.
The portal is about 10 metres wide and you can just walk through.
There’s a catch though. Only 2 things can go through the portal.

  1. naked humans. No clothes, no tools. The portal is very specific. You can’t even bring viable seeds with you. Even the contents of your stomach somehow disappear when you go through the portal. Tattoos are erased. I have tested this extensively, so don’t try to find a way around it!

  2. any kind of electromagnetic radiation.

I have also determined a way to move the location of the portal but I can only do it once, for reasons that are too complex for you to understand. I also have to move it in the next few weeks otherwise I lose the opportunity forever. The location moves on both earths to the same spot on their respective surfaces.

I have 2 questions

  1. Where is the best location for me to move this to? Think about ease of access to resources, expansion opportunities etc. Also consider whatever government we would have to deal with on this earth, by virtue of the portal being under their control.

2)How long until we can get it connected to the internet via WiFi or something similar? What would the progression of technologies look like? Can we skip any historical technologies, such as vacuum tubes or steam engines?

I would like to get this new world up and running as fast as possible, but I also don’t want to wreck the environment too much. Obviously significant environmental change is inevitable but I don’t want to see mounds of toxic waste lying around!
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Move it close to a population center, for convenience. Then send thru some observers to look around and report back. Based on that, we send in some people who know how to make a fire and make some kind of an axe to cut trees and build a camp. I assume people can go in for a few hours, work, and then come back with regular updates. Or just set up a messenger service.

Getting online would be kind of a PitA - you need machining tools first. Focus on that first. Depends on the availability of ores and fuel, too.


So, there are no humans on this planet, and you can’t bring anything with you (or presumably back) except a person with no clothes or tools? Aside from, perhaps it’s use academically, I’m not seeing any benefit to doing much with this place. I’m not sure how the humans you propose to send through would fare…I suppose they could build rudimentary weapons out of stone, but even a survivalist is going to have major issues with zero tools in a totally untouched world. It would be a major struggle just to survive, let alone try and do any advanced technology. Hell, even something like gathering copper and tin to make bronze would be an epic task.

So, the answer to the 2nd quest is probably ‘never’…or at least not for a very, very long time. You’d need to send colonists through, and those colonists would basically have to focus mainly on survival. That means hunting and gathering, since you won’t let them even bring seeds through. But modern humans aren’t really adapted to hunting and gathering, and even our remote ancestors who actually did this didn’t start off with literally nothing. You have to go back to way before humans before you had no tools or tech at all. Sure, some survivalist types could nap flint or make a fire and, perhaps eventually build enough to survive well enough and have enough time to expand that.

You don’t need to worry about wrecking the environment, however. I’m not sure what your expectations are, but if you are thinking you could even build a small steam engine or something along those lines you are way too ambitious. You’ll be luck if the folks you send through are still alive this time next year.

The good news is that if your colonists are starving and hungry, they can just go back home for quick meal. And then, you know, let it digest. OK, so come back for a week, fatten yourself up, get that scurvy attended to, then head back.

Although really, if there are no humans on Earth II, it’s very likely that it won’t be that hard to collect food. Pick up a stick, and bonk some animals on the head.

The hard part isn’t food, and like I said, you can just go back if you’re literally starving. The hard part is exposure. Building shelter and making clothing is going to be the first priority. The way to do this is in shifts. People can go in, build grass huts or whatever, and come back to sleep, or if there’s a bad storm.

It’s going to be a very long time before you’re building steam engines though. Everything has to be built from scratch. But if you know where to look finding iron ore and smelting it with charcoal is possible. Still, expect paleolithic living conditions for years and years. You’d be like this guy:

You can go home to rest, refuel, and recover, then head back for more exploration. But for the first couple decades it’s all going to be primitive technology hobbyists and weird loners, because there’s no economic value to the other planet. You can’t bring anything there, and you can’t bring anything back, so the only economic value to Earth II is as a way to get rid of anti-social types.

There’s a novel called Conquistador by S.M. Stirling with a very similar premise (Earth2, portal is in Berkeley, there are humans, but at a level of pre-Columbian N.American Indigenous civilization, you can bring stuff through).

You can’t see any benefit to a totally untouched virgin Earth 2 with totally unclaimed land and resources for the taking? I can think of some.

Strong disagree. Humans need resources and space to live, and we now have twice as many of them. The fact that we can’t trade physical goods across the portal reduces the value, but there’s still tons of economic value here.

I found this paper (warning: pdf) that says that 90 people per minute per meter of exit can travel through an emergency exit, so a 10-meter passage gives you 450 people per minute traveling in either direction.

If we assume someone can work a 4-hour shift without eating or drinking, then you can have a labor force of around 100,000 people on Earth2 without developing things like agriculture or drinking water. It’s probably going to be hard to coordinate 100,000 people in walking-distance without technology, but you can potentially have a lot of people to bootstrap things even before you have permanent residents.

I’m not sure what level you bootstrap things to before sending in colonists, but I’m pretty sure that the first colonists aren’t going to be napping knives out of flint or huddling around fires. The first waves of bootstrap labor are going to do those things because you need to for a little while.

It’s silly to spend time hunting and gathering when you can work on setting up modern industry and just go home for lunch.

As for where it should be: probably somewhere temperate, shaded, and near a fresh water source.

The real interesting question is what happens when Earth2 gets self-sufficient enough to declare their independence?

You can’t bring those resources presumably back anymore than taking anything here, so the only thing I can think of is perhaps as a repository for a human population. But you can’t send technology there either, so going to be a bit laborious memorizing stuff and sending it through, such as our history, so I’m not seeing a lot of utility. I didn’t get that the humans can come back and forth at will, so I guess raw survival isn’t going to be the issue I was talking about, but trying to boot strap something viable up even with that magic is going to be a long, though road. But it probably would be possible to eventually build something there if you can just magic the folks there for a few hours then back to eat and recharge. You could go in teams to do fairly simply stuff then bring them home for biscuits and gravy while another team does their shift. If someone gets hurt you just send them back to get fixed.

Yes, you could have a workplace set up around the portal. You send a constant stream of workers in, who build longhouses and whatever, then clock out and go home for some takeout Chinese food, then Netflix and Chill.

Now the question is, who exactly is paying these guys to do that? And why?

The only possible value of this place is as way to send your surplus population, because there’s no way for the work they do on Earth II to be economically beneficial on Earth I.

There is plenty of land here on Earth I and plenty of resources here on Earth I. So why don’t more people move to Kansas, buy some cheap land, and set themselves up as neolithic subsistence farmers? Hey, you can even bring tools and food and seeds with you! But there aren’t that many people who want to be neolithic subsistence farmers.

But there’s no economic justification for funding a colony on Earth II. So it would have to be done by motivated hobbyists, or as an Antarctica-style research station. That means it’s going to take decades before there’s enough of a colony that the people who go through won’t have to start by building themselves a grass hut and trying to tan some leather to make clothing.

Oh, the people on the other side will equip them? Why? Is there a labor shortage on Earth II? Maybe someday, but not any time soon. During the age of exploration people set up colonies because they wanted to strike it rich, then head back home and retire. Or, they wanted to start over in a place where they could have their own farm with no feudal aristocracy.

Except you can’t start your own farm with no seeds and no tools and no clothing and no shelter. Yeah, go back to Earth I to eat a hot dinner and sleep in a warm bed every night while you carve out your farm on Earth II, using native wild plants or whatever. How are you paying for your this, exactly?

Yes, eventually enough people would be living full time on Earth II that there would be something there to move to. And in the Age of Exploration here on Earth I there was enough of a labor shortage in the Americas that it was economically feasible to kidnap people and ship them naked over to the Americas and put them to work. The only problem is that those slaves were put to work on colonial plantations that produced agricultural goods that were sold back in the metropole. There’s no return market for goods produced on Earth II, no trade. The only thing that can go through are naked people.

So for the first hundred years it’s going to be a mix of survivalists, academics, anti-social maniacs, crazy religious pilgrims, and very silly people. The only ones who get funding from Earth I are the academics and the religious/ideological pilgrims.

Eventually somebody is going to set up a kingdom over there, and anyone who comes through the portal gets enslaved. And there’s no way to fight those guys, because even if you send in professional soldiers, they’re going through naked. The king over on Earth II just builds a stone wall around the portal, with some archers and spearmen manning the walls, and anyone who comes through gets sent to work in the mines.

So everything but naked humans and electromagnetic radiation magically disappears when it goes through this portal, huh? Move it near Yucca mountain and toss all the nuclear waste through. Then bring in trucks from landfills and dump that through. Build a carbon extraction plant and pump that through too.

Oh, wait, you wanted to populate the other side? Er, sorry about dropping you into a desert then.

It sounds to me like going through this portal could be a major health risk.

If the contents of your stomach disappear when you go through the portal, does that mean you lose your normal flora? Do you lose your reservoir of stomach acid, too? How about your saliva, or the mucous layer on many of your internal membranes?

If you lose your normal flora, does it disappear from just your stomach, or from your whole body?

AFAICT, you’d end up with raging infections very quickly, once you crossed into this new world. And you’d have quite a bit of dry mouth and gastric distress.

The premise is about rebuilding technology from scratch but if you’d like to explore the holes in a hypothetical for some reason, go right ahead.
This particular portal somehow knows all that stuff is necessary for your well being and leaves it untouched.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This is an interesting point. At some point there will be no effective way of controlling the other side. You wouldn’t even know for sure that the reports you get about the situation are real. Only once (if it ever happens) high bandwidth electronic communications are established will you be able to get decent intel. I suppose at that point crypto currencies could be traded, and intellectual services could be bought and sold. But before then, as has been noted, there is not a huge incentive to build the required technology.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That right there is enough. I think there would be no shortage of people willing to put in the work, free of charge, as long as they get to eventually relocate to a planet unscarred by millennia of human habitation. Assuming tech gets fast-tracked to the best of what is currently available (25-50 years?), I can’t see any reason at all to NOT move there.

But the proto humans will have to go. No way are they gonna get rights in The New World after we Old Worlders put in all the work to spiff the place up. If we can’t exterminate them, maybe we can just forbid them entering our enclaves, maybe set them up with some ‘better than nothing’ habitation & services in exchange for their troubles, but never citizenship. Damned savages.

I can see some large conglomerate/cabal/illuminati hiring a series of civilization-builders, housing them just outside the portal, and sending them in for eight-hour shifts building first tools, then mines, then forges, and so on, all with the goal of creating a retirement community for wealthy people while the rest of the world burns, along with the lucky few peons allowed to move there to be their servants.

In fact that’s about the only sort of group I can see with the resources and dedication to pull this off, because it’s going to take a very long time to scrape together enough fundamentals of civilization -crops, livestock, metals, minerals- to be able to supply and sustain the modern engineers and experts necessary to pull the society the rest of the way to the present.

Any hobbyists/survivalists that went in there with the intent of actually living off the virgin land would probably die. Nature is pretty rough when you don’t have food, clothes, or guns.

Anyone who wants to move there (for whatever their reasons) has to abandon all their earth-I-ly property, so if you think people will want to go there, then you can set your price. I bet it’s worth plenty.

Off the top of my head: Energy production (EM radiation can get through), intellectual work, and tourism. I bet there are others if we think about it.

Not all land is created equal. How much beachfront Hawaiian property is there? How many Mt. Everests to climb? I’m pretty sure having a copy of Earth you can visit is worth a lot.

No one’s moving there to be neolithic farmers. People are going to move there to do the same kinds of things they do here, after there’s been a bootstrapping effort to get civilization up and running. And that effort is going to be paid for by someone who can see the obvious economic value in getting it to that point.

This is definitely the interesting part.

There’s plenty of economic value in Earth II. The trick is how you keep control of it.

In a lot of ways, this is a lot like interplanetary colonization. Sure, you can technically ship some things between planets, but the cost is so high that there’s unlikely to be meaningful trade in things. Still potentially worth it with a long enough time horizon.

People will move to other planets expecting to toil and work hard as farmers and masons and stuff if they think it will be a better life for them and their kids.

Because bootstrapping anything given the OPs limitation are going to take decades, if not centuries. Even if they can ignore food, let’s consider what it would take. You’d come into the world naked without even the contents of your stomach. You’d need to scout the world to find resources. Assuming this portal doesn’t leave you in something like the Gobi or Antarctica or something equally nasty like that (say, a swamp or on top of some Everest like mountain), the first order of business would be some sort of protected shelter. But you will literally have no tools, so you’d need to make them. No worries…we could make stone tools and use them to harvest wood. But…can we? Is there workable stone near by? How do you build even a rudimentary shelter in such a world from which you could then venture out to start scouting around for resources? How long would it take to just build a wooden long house (as someone used that above) given such a starting point? A couple of months, even working in shifts? A year? It would depend on access to something you could use initially with zero tools and with the skills of practical archaeologists who play around with those techniques to better understand how our ancestors did what they did. From there to even smelting the first metals (hell, FINDING the first extract able metals that we could use with the tech we’d be able to build from scratch) would be years, IMHO…and all of this assumes someone is willing to pony up some pretty big bucks to build the logistics and support system back on this planet (I think this would be the easiest part, as I agree…scientist types would be going ape at the opportunity, and even governments and perhaps corporations would want to get involved, assuming there weren’t some serious limitations put on by something like the UN. I’m thinking this would be treated a lot like Antarctica from a treaty perspective and access would be highly regulated and monitored).

I think it would take decades to build out even a late stone age or early copper age level of infrastructure wrt farming, larger scale settlements and tools. This could vary greatly depending on the resources available by this portal and what the environment it’s in. If it’s in an environment with lots of natural resources, wood, water, food, trees and minerals easy to access (large amounts of flint or obsidian, surface copper easy to access, etc) then maybe you could push that a bit, but it’s going to be a very long haul to build a sustainable civilization on such a world in such conditions. And it’s going to take boatloads of money. I also have serious doubts it would be allowed to be some sort of free for all with crazies and mountain men types just being allowed through to do as they like, or even just a play thing for the rich and powerful…every powerful nation on earth is going to want to control it and ensure that all the other ones don’t get something over on them, and they are all going to be wanting to clamp down hard on the sorts of free wheeling folks in this thread are mentioning. Then you will have the environmental groups, scientists and the like putting their oars in and wanting to protect everything (as it should be).

ETA: One question I guess I’d have is, if someone gets sick or injured on the Earth II side, does bringing them back through magically cure them of any diseases and parasites they would have? Seems like it would (of course, if you get your arm bitten off then that’s probably going to be permanent). That would make the checkpoint a bit less laborious if you didn’t have to screen folks coming back for any diseases or bacteria when they end their shift.

Am I missing something here? WiFi is electromagnetic radiation so it would never be connected to the internet.

No, you aren’t missing anything. I assumed the OP misspoke and was talking about an independent internet and wireless system on this new planet that would be wholly independent and unconnected to our own. You are correct…given the OPs parameters you will never have direct communications between worlds save shanks mare and verbal.

You misread the OP. Electromagnetic radiation, like naked human beings, CAN go through the portal. The question is how long would it take our society to - for whatever reason you want to conjure up - go through the portal and create a computer from absolute scratch (i.e. raw materials).

But like all SDMB hypotheticals, it immediately devolved into trying to nitpick the hypothetical to death instead of addressing it head on.

You don’t need shelter either - it goes part and parcel with ignoring food: you’ll just head back to Earth I after your shift is up. As long as you plant your portal someplace temperate you should be able to get several months of nice outdoor work shifts before the weather goes bad.

I figure the order of operations is:

  1. Stone tools - specifically, axes and crude shovels.
  2. Lumber. (Might as well make a crude shelter at this point.)
  3. Mining. This will be a hard one, but you can pick an area know to have had useful mineral deposits when you place your portal. In fact you don’t have to do mineral exploration on Earth II at all - you just look at what used to be on Earth I.
  4. Blackmithing. Make better tools, and nails to improve structures.
  5. Bicycles and Wagons. Now we can go exploring! Start looking for cultivatable crops and huntable animals.

From this point you can start bootstrapping your society with specialists who aren’t entirely devoted to premedieval tech.

This will all take a while, but I think it’s in the dozens of years to having, say, electricity, not the hundreds.

ETA: I forgot that you’d need rope. Better find some weeds to weave it from as step 2.5 or so, and include a search for cultivatable fiber sources for rope and cloth to the things you’ll look for in your explorations in step 5.

What’s the best source of electricity, if we were starting from scratch like this? Hydro? Somewhere with a solid river system could provide a great deal of work via mills and dams.