1191: "The Past"

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dalcde
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1191: "The Past"

Postby dalcde » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:04 am UTC

Image
Title text: If history has taught us anything, we can use that information to destroy it

Not related to 1190? Too bad...

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:05 am UTC

Reminds me of that part from one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books where people have almost depleted the natural resources from their home planets, so they decide to go back in time to steal it from the past.

EDIT: Or the premise of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, for that matter, where they basically pull the same gambit with the energy crystal macguffin things that the series ripped off from Sonic the Hedgehog.
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby joshumax » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:07 am UTC

I have a feeling there's going to be a post about the future some time soon.

Spoiler:
Get it?

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby RogueCynic » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:07 am UTC

Randall seems to forget that history is written by the victors.
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby bouer » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:08 am UTC

I wonder how much damage an individual with a fully stocked F-35 could do in the 1500's?

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Nicad » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:08 am UTC

joshumax wrote:I have a feeling there's going to be a post about the future some time soon.


Yeah, there's a definite 'time' theme here, even if it is only 2 comics.
Last edited by Nicad on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby bugstomper » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:08 am UTC

joshumax wrote:I have a feeling there's going to be a post about the future some time soon.


Wait for it

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:12 am UTC

The past has terrible wireless coverage. I'm staying home.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby inhalvast » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:15 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Reminds me of that part from one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books where people have almost depleted the natural resources from their home planets, so they decide to go back in time to steal it from the past.


I was thinking the exact same thing, actually. Or the basis of Fit the 6th from the Radio Program.
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Goggalor » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:17 am UTC

bouer wrote:I wonder how much damage an individual with a fully stocked F-35 could do in the 1500's?

Not much I'd imagine. There weren't many runways around in the 1500s.
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Quicksilver » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:19 am UTC

Too bad BHG can't go back in time anymore to take on Afghanistan for it's oil.

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plumander
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby plumander » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:22 am UTC

Anyone else feel like this was a bit of a letdown after "Time"?

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Darkfusion » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:38 am UTC

bouer wrote:I wonder how much damage an individual with a fully stocked F-35 could do in the 1500's?


Between the absence of runways and lack of fuel....not much.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby jpk » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:04 am UTC

rhomboidal wrote:The past has terrible wireless coverage. I'm staying home.


Get back a bit more than a hundred years, and it's pretty much entirely wireless.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:05 am UTC

Well it is a bit of a reference to 1190. Because now 1190 is in the past (and apparently the present. And perhaps the future).

Both Titles are a reference to Time. That's good enough for me.


...So that's why they build that castle! To protect their huge oil reserves on that beach!

Aha!

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby ijuin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:12 am UTC

To steal an amount of petroleum that is economically useful on a national scale (e.g. a million barrels a day), you'd need a few time-travel-capable oil tanker ships (or some kind of trans-temporal oil pipeline that you could send it through continuously). You would probably also want to be certain that any paradoxes that arise out of the theft don't come back to bite you.

bouer wrote:I wonder how much damage an individual with a fully stocked F-35 could do in the 1500's?


Against an enemy whose strongest anti-aircraft weapon is smoothbore cannons using black-powder propellant (and thus not able to fire as high as WWII-era flak cannons, to say nothing of the low accuracy against a distant target), the extra speed of a jet fighter is superfluous. You would probably be better off using a B-17, which can carry a much bigger air-to-ground ordnance load, and can land on a dirt field.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Tahoe » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:42 am UTC

I'll take a well-stocked blackhawk helicopter, thank you very much.


In the 16th century, I could probably start a very successful religion after arriving in one of those fukkers.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby chridd » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:02 am UTC

RogueCynic wrote:Randall seems to forget that history is written by the victors.
So everyone else's military is even worse! Even easier to take over!
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby plumander » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:02 am UTC

Or a smartphone. That would seriously amaze people from as recent as ten or fifteen years ago.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby RedBrick » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:35 am UTC

Reminds me of an idea I had when I learned one of the "multiple universes" theories that allowed time travel simply bifurcated at the point of arriving in the past - one path (the one you came from) stays the same, the other (the one you arrived in) can be wildly different. Kill your granddad? Go ahead. No problem. Your original universe (and therefore your personal past) remains consistent. Of course, you can't ever get back to your universe, so as far as anyone else is concerned, you just vanished one day.

That led me to think - if instead of _going_ into the past, what if you _took_ something from the past?

First of all, you wouldn't have to worry about being in the "wrong" universe - you never leave yours. But that means that the bifurcation happens at the point you take the item. One path has the item (the path you're in - otherwise you changed your past and things go wobbly), and one path does not (the other one, and who cares about a universe you can't get to?). So instead of stealing from the past, you're stealing from the past in an alternate universe. And since the item you took is _still in your past_, you can take it again. And again. And again.

Suddenly, one tank of fuel and a time-theft device can get you _anywhere_. Add in a well stocked fridge, pantry, air tanks, appropriate fuselage and living quarters, and backup time-theft devices (and something to coordinate it all), and suddenly getting to other planets isn't so hard. Plus you can steal yourself from the past for inexpensive labour. (Ha, originally that was c-h-e-a-p labour, but that made it spammy.)

I can just imagine it - humanity spreading out amongst the stars, the only sign of their passing the trail of chip packets, empty water bottles, carbon dioxide and...bodily waste...hurled out the airlock. Oh, and the spiralling universes full of people wondering where that packet of BBQ crinkle cut chips went, I mean it was _right here_ a second ago.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby jackal » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:04 am UTC

plumander wrote:Or a smartphone. That would seriously amaze people from as recent as ten or fifteen years ago.

Not much more than 10. Beyond that, wifi hotspots and GPRS cellular networks were not all that common; which (along with the extremely small collection of Wikipedia articles in that day) severely hampers the utility of a smartphone.

Speaking of Wikipedia: I wonder how different the present would be if someone just took a database dump of Wikipedia back in time 20 years.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Angelastic » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:15 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Reminds me of that part from one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books where people have almost depleted the natural resources from their home planets, so they decide to go back in time to steal it from the past.

Yeah, that's what I came here to mention. Aorist rods from Young Zaphod Plays it Safe.
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby pitareio » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:20 am UTC

Some time ago, I was wondering how far back in time we'd have to go so that the current army of a small country (say, Belgium or Austria) would be able to conquer the world.

I suspect a modern army would be least at as surprising to a medieval country as the spanish conquistadores were to the Inca.

But sure, the lack of runways and oil supply would be an issue.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby keithl » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:24 am UTC

bouer wrote:I wonder how much damage an individual with a fully stocked F-35 could do in the 1500's?


"Hawk Among the Sparrows" by Dean McLaughlin is a science fiction novella describing a SR71-like fighter-bomber ending up in World War I. The logistics of preparing a single combat mission were daunting in the story; although a near-flyby was enough to fold up a wire and canvas biplane like a crumpled tissue, the plane from the future gobbled far more fuel than squadrons of the enemy.

A more successful "attack on the past" is Harry Turtledove's "Guns of the South", when a time machine from apartheid South Africa brings General Lee boxcars of AK-47s and ammunition, with which his army wins the War Between the States. To successfully attack the past, you need contemporary allies. As Turtledove's book suggests, those independently minded allies can change their minds.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Temporarily9 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:26 am UTC

Someone wrote something on something similar to that, I think. A battalion of modern US soldiers dumped into the Roman empire. I forget what it was called.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby ijuin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:50 am UTC

pitareio wrote:Some time ago, I was wondering how far back in time we'd have to go so that the current army of a small country (say, Belgium or Austria) would be able to conquer the world.

I suspect a modern army would be least at as surprising to a medieval country as the spanish conquistadores were to the Inca.

But sure, the lack of runways and oil supply would be an issue.

The chief issue for a "small country" to conquer the world with superior technology is the sheer logistics of it. They would have to possess enough ships, etc. to move their army around the world, and the fuel and ammunition production base to keep it running. Also, sheer manpower is a problem--the only way that a small army can garrison a large conquered populace is by using local auxiliaries who are loyal to the conquerors, since you will need one soldier for every couple hundred subjugated people once they stop being in awe of your weaponry.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby JBridge » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:14 am UTC

Temporarily9 wrote:Someone wrote something on something similar to that, I think. A battalion of modern US soldiers dumped into the Roman empire. I forget what it was called.

That'd be Rome Sweet Rome. It has its own subreddit, as well as a movie deal. Dunno when it's coming out, though.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Tannin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:17 am UTC

Reminds me of the book "The Last Day of Creation"
USA send construction crews 5 million years into the past to build oil pipelines that would reroute oil reserves from Saudia Arabia to areas that would - in the present - be allied with the US.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Zamfir » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:30 am UTC

Tannin wrote:Reminds me of the book "The Last Day of Creation"
USA send construction crews 5 million years into the past to build oil pipelines that would reroute oil reserves from Saudia Arabia to areas that would - in the present - be allied with the US.

Like Saudi Arabia?

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby J L » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:33 am UTC

Ninja'd :) Actually, there are many excellent SF stories about that kind of temporal imperialism. One that comes to mind would be Mozart in Mirrorshades by Bruce Sterling and Lewis Shiner, in which time travelers ruthlessly plunder our past. There's also a great novel called Der letzte Tag der Schöpfung (The Last Day of Creation) by Wolfgang Jeschke in which the Western powers send their military several million years back in time to build pipelines to rid the Near East of its oil supplies. In both stories, of course, they totally mess up the timeline, but never mind: "There's plenty of eigteenth centuries" (Sterling/Shiner)

Edit: It's a Cold War novel, but even if it wasn't, I'm pretty sure the Western world would prefer just having all that oil without having to pay anybody for it :)

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby orthogon » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:04 am UTC

ijuin wrote:To steal an amount of petroleum that is economically useful on a national scale (e.g. a million barrels a day), you'd need a few time-travel-capable oil tanker ships (or some kind of trans-temporal oil pipeline that you could send it through continuously).

Don't all oil pipelines transport oil continuously from the past to the future?
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Kit. » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:06 am UTC

bouer wrote:I wonder how much damage an individual with a fully stocked F-35 could do in the 1500's?

[black hat on]
Are there bacteriological weapon loads for F-35?

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby casanunda » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:08 am UTC

I would like to see black hat guy take on The Langoliers!

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Zamfir » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:26 am UTC

Kit. wrote:
bouer wrote:I wonder how much damage an individual with a fully stocked F-35 could do in the 1500's?

[black hat on]
Are there bacteriological weapon loads for F-35?

Is called a "pilot". The f35 is only needed to get to 88 mph.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:12 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Reminds me of that part from one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books where people have almost depleted the natural resources from their home planets, so they decide to go back in time to steal it from the past.

EDIT: Or the premise of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, for that matter, where they basically pull the same gambit with the energy crystal macguffin things that the series ripped off from Sonic the Hedgehog.

Ah. I was just about to post that I'd find this panel funny if it was not the plot for some serious stories. I'll let comedies and sarcastic examples fly, but any book/film/show that does this kind of thing, and fails to see the brain dead logical implications, get's on my goat. :P
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby Zamfir » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:44 am UTC

Nah, time travel has more potential "brain dead logical implications" than you could ever implement in a story, or even in an encycopledic treatise. There's no point in trying to work them all out. A good writer uses it as plot device, and makes it work such that helps the story.

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby tomandlu » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:48 am UTC

Early 2000AD (a British SF comic, mostly famous for Judge Dredd) had a series called "Flesh" where time-travellers from a barren future harvest dinosaurs for meat, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs iirc.
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby peewee_RotA » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:50 am UTC

RogueCynic wrote:Randall seems to forget that history is written by the victors.

Like Les Misérables
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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby alexsee75 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:20 am UTC

Bruce Sterling wrote a short story in the 80ies about people travelling to other timelines to obtain resources (among other things - oil). I think he may have been first.
It is called "Mozart in Mirrorshades".

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Re: 1191: "The Past"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:22 pm UTC

1632 by Eric Flint has an entire West Virginian small town magically transported from 2000 to what's currently Central Germany back in 1631, and changing the course of history - partly through their existing supply of 20th century technology, but more through their modern cultural ideas, and their history books (oh, and their scientific/technological knowhow :) )


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