[LMB] What guest-gift would you bring if transported to the 5GW?

Aruvqan aruvqan at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 17:25:11 GMT 2016

I have issues [complete with tshirts and a fancy lip shaped desk phone] 
with most writer's interpretations of gearing down to gear up again.

Let me use the Belisarius series as an example, I just finished 
rereading it a month or so ago. As a short upshot, General Belisarius 
and the Malwa Empire in India both end up getting 'visitors' from the 
serious distant future, both are trying to manipulate the past to create 
a future in line with what they each want. They can each explain and 
show parts of the future, sort of like an interactive AI encyclopedia. 
So far, so good.

My absolute main problem [and this is using the viewpoint of Belisarius 
and the Byzantine Roman Empire as the good guys, so it is going to be 
portraying the tech available to the Holy Roman Empire of the time]

Belisarius' main 'engineer' complains about the trouble of boring out a 
barrel which is why they are welding rods together to make rifle and 
pistol barrels. Um, scuse me? They had lathes, and if you give me a foot 
treadle or springing sapling powered lathe, I can bootstrap my way up 
through softer metals into harder metals - how the frell do you think 
they did it the first time through history? I can use stone on bronze 
[basalt chisel, anybody? Even jadeite.] Then I can cast steel gearing 
and use it to manipulate cast iron, and work my way up to steel, then I 
can muck around with steel and the 'oligochemistry' [to give ceramic 
engineering the original name] to get better alloys. Yes you can't jump 
from wood to tungston and stainless, and inconel and monel, but you can 
jump from wood to bronze [for nonsparking tools] and to iron, steel and 
finally to stainless steel Just knowing that you can generate 
electricity and generate oxygen to get the Bessemer process and make an 
electronic furnace to extract aluminum from bauxite [just as a wild 
example] is a *major* boost to not having to reinvent the wheel. The 
Romans were using water powered triphammers, fer Ghu's sake ....

GAAAAAAH <limps around screaming in frustration]

Hells bells, since I am all limpy and such, maybe I could glue on a 
beard and call myself Vulcan ... if I can imagine the process of 
bootstraping my way up and my quals as a machinist are 30 years out of 
date I can imagine someone who is more currently educated in machine 
tech and engineering would be able to do better than I can. At least I 
can still draft by hand and am not stuck using a program to generate 
drawings =)

[my roomie the farrier/blacksmith started reading and got so frustrated 
she threw my hardcopy of the book across the room, and pointed out in 
excruciating detail stuff out of De Re Metallica by Agricola that was 
imparting accumulated goodies that had been circulating around Europe 
for much of the past few hundred years [published originally in the 
early 1600s I think] and ranted that she could think of a few ways to do 
whatever it was they were having trouble with.]
On 12/30/2016 8:42 AM, Baur wrote:
> Am 30.12.2016 um 14:06 schrieb Walter Bushell:
>> Those of you who have dipped in the Ring of Fire series may be 
>> familiarized with the problems of working
>> with gearing down.
> played with the 163x-verse and several others that have same basic 
> problem (dies the fire, island in the sea of time, lord calvin from 
> otherwhen, martin padway, conrad stargard)
> and it is a huge problem ..

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