Past, Present, Future Worlds

Mankind dies off, except for a few who manage to survive that are spread across the planet. That population exists, through struggles that boarders to close extinction, for 100,000 yrs. All history is lost. Miraculously over the next 10,000 yrs mankind rebounds due to improving conditions.

How much different would it be from today?

Totally. Provide more information, and we can get down to details.

The how and when of the initial demise can be debated but doubtful it’d make very much difference. The 100,000 yr span would most likely follow a bathtub curve with the vertical axis representing technology, knowledge and spirituality.

Say what?

edited to add: One axis to represent all three of those? Really?

Not identical curves but all bathtubs

So, bathtubs all the way down…

It depends what, if anything, those few survivors can remember enough to pass down to future generations. If they pass down writing or printing, plus some basic facts of survival, that’s a huge head start.

Have you ever heard the phrase “GIGO-Garbage In, Garbage Out”? So far, you haven’t even given us garbage to work with.

How could all history be lost? The survivors will dig and find some archaeological evidence of our civilisation, our technology etc.

And if all knowledge is lost in some sort of “universal amnesia” and nothing of our past is retained, then this conversation is essentially over. You have given us no variables to plug in other than the passage of time.

Well, here’s one thing we can work from: the people 100,000 years from now will be very short on metal and fossil fuels, because all of these resources that are easily mined have already been mined.

Some people argue that this could prevent a second industrial revolution altogether. I’m not convinced it would be impossible, but a second industrialization, would look much different and resources would be far more expensive.

For example, cars without fossil fuel need to either be electric or steam. Electric means having metal for wires - oops, no metal. Steam means having having metal for the combustion chamber - oops, no metal. (And even if you had a combustion chamber made out of stone, without coal, you’re left with some pretty expensive/inefficient fuels to burn.) So you’re stuck with horses and sailboats? If they want to run a factory, they need wind mills or water wheels to power it. You can see why industrialization is so hard a second time.

I imagine they’d be very spiritual, though. Nothing like having to haul everything around on your back to give you time to ponder the after life. :slight_smile:

No size restrictions and screw the limit!

Did they shoot all the iron into space before the collapse? No, almost all the resources will still be here, probably even easier to get to in the form of landfills and decayed cities than it was for us the first time around.

Fossil fuels won’t be here, you’re right about that, but we got to circa 1900 on wood and whale oil so I imagine the lack of petroleum won’t be the limiting factor for awhile. (There’s coal, but we still have tons of it. And can’t you replace coal with wood, assuming you have enough of it, for most purposes anyway?)

The problem with recovering iron, at least, is that it rusts. As it rusts, it flakes apart and then can get transported by the the environment (water runoff especially). So all that wonderful iron in San Francisco will shortly end up as rust at the bottom of the ocean. If we were talking a few hundred years, you might have a decent chance of recovering it, but by 100,000 years, very little is going to be accessible to get your industry going.

And while wood/charcoal can replace coal and fossil fuels to some extent, you can’t grow enough wood to meet modern demand for those fuels, and cutting wood has its own drawbacks via deforestation.

Still… I agree with you to some extent. There are some options available to future people That’s why I wouldn’t rule out a second industrial revolution entirely.

In other words, it turns into iron ore. If we got it out of the ore once, we can do it again.


I intentionally got this going forward… to set up a discussion going backward

Didn’t anticipate all the details, questions, etc

My apologies

I find it fascinating to contemplate

No steady growth, just struggling, for the first 100,000 years? That’s a hell of a long time for us to just be living on the edge without any real progression in population or civilization. Assuming that this event starts somewhere around now and they have current levels of raw materials to work with, could you give us a rough estimate of the population for those 100,000 years? That would give us an idea as to what those that flourished in the next 10,000 years had to work with.

I’m positive religion would be one of the first things to crop up over and over again. And wars will be waged over competing faiths.

If there’s one things humankind is better at than making shit up, it’s fighting and killing each other over it.

Cynical? Perhaps. But looking at the history of civilization, science seemed a tough thing to suss out and ultimately tame into a successful method.

Wars are fought over resources - land, water, oil, whatever - or power. The opposing teams may tog out according to religion, language, skin colour or any other tribal identifier, but the thing they are fighting over is always resources or power.

Or holy land. Or something like the crusades. Or eradicating Jews.

But generally I agree. My point is religion would crop up again among the ignorant, and there would be bloodshed. Lots of it.