What time period would you like to visit?

RaspberrySwirl

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You do. You're the same age as me. The main difference was, I had cash and there were phone boxes.

Yes but I mean imagine going back to that.

Having a smart phone means I can be on Wikipedia whenever I want to find out what happened in 1789 and why the Sassanid Empire fell.
 

Ag

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My Polish ancestors were apparently nobility having beaten the Ottoman Empire in a battle. I'd like to see THAT.
 

Soldi

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Talking of ANCESTORS I wanna check and see if Guy Fawkes is a RELATIVE of mine considering the surname and the fact my family are from his birthplace.
 

RaspberrySwirl

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I could claim so many ancestors Assyrians, Babylonians... and my birthplace basically being the New York of the world for hundreds of years until those Mongol savages slayed us (literally).
 

RaspberrySwirl

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I’m so fascinated by our origin as a species

I find some of that almost as mind blowing and surreal as astronomy.

I mean how did they discover things like planting, or even more astonishing: MINING. I mean if I was a out in the wilderness not knowing anything better than trying to find food and shelter the last thing I’d thing of is that I could find metals and use them for things.

I know how stupid this makes me sound but really.
 

Dark Carnival

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I find some of that almost as mind blowing and surreal as astronomy.

I mean how did they discover things like planting, or even more astonishing: MINING. I mean if I was a out in the wilderness not knowing anything better than trying to find food and shelter the last thing I’d thing of is that I could find metals and use them for things.

I know how stupid this makes me sound but really.
Language! LANGUAGE!
 

Ag

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I find some of that almost as mind blowing and surreal as astronomy.

I mean how did they discover things like planting, or even more astonishing: MINING. I mean if I was a out in the wilderness not knowing anything better than trying to find food and shelter the last thing I’d thing of is that I could find metals and use them for things.

I know how stupid this makes me sound but really.
OK this is fascinating.

I know we assume our ancestors were dumb, but we'd die within days of living certain historic lifestyles.

I suspect some knowledge is instinctive. After all we evolved and the non humans of this planet we evolved from have been surviving for a lot longer than us.
 

big ron

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I find some of that almost as mind blowing and surreal as astronomy.

I mean how did they discover things like planting, or even more astonishing: MINING. I mean if I was a out in the wilderness not knowing anything better than trying to find food and shelter the last thing I’d thing of is that I could find metals and use them for things.

I know how stupid this makes me sound but really.

OK this is fascinating.

I know we assume our ancestors were dumb, but we'd die within days of living certain historic lifestyles.

I suspect some knowledge is instinctive. After all we evolved and the non humans of this planet we evolved from have been surviving for a lot longer than us.

I have a very good answer for this and it's from research into why we get depressed and how psychedelics are able to treat depression and the short answer is patterns and models. Our evolution depends on the ability to subconsciously recognise patterns and build models from the inputs of our senses. But I'm drunk and tired so I'll answer it properly next week.
 

Indie

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I always assumed that knowledge of stuff just came from SHEER BOREDOM.

Like, once you've mastered crops and livestock, you've got no need to devote all your people to food production. So you just start looking for things to build, ways to live, methods to communicate.
 

RaspberrySwirl

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I always assumed that knowledge of stuff just came from SHEER BOREDOM.

Like, once you've mastered crops and livestock, you've got no need to devote all your people to food production. So you just start looking for things to build, ways to live, methods to communicate.

Well yes both that and the fact that these things didn’t happen over a fortnight but seems to have taken thousands of years which is part of what makes it so hard to grasp. We tend to think that history just started a couple of thousands of years ago when it fact that’s just a fraction of it.

Speaking of ”time” and to give an example of how confusing it can be; the timespan between when the Great pyramid of Giza was built and the reign of Cleopatra is longer than the the time from Cleopatra’s reign until now.
 

Suomi

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My greatest interest is in extinct animals and so going back to different geological eras of history to see some of these amazing creatures is something I daydream about. I would probably choose the Carboniferous period because this was the age of giant insects and our planet was just unimaginable. I wrote an entry about this period in my extinct animal blog:

The Carboniferous period (358-298 million years ago) is one of my favourite periods of geological history, simply because my imagination runs wild with what it would be like to get to spend 24 hours in a world with giant amphibians as the dominant land animal and king-sized versions of insects we know today buzzing around -


Presuming somebody found a way to fulfill my dream send me back 300 million years for a day jolly, I'd actually only have to last 22.4 hours in a Carboniferous forest, as the Earth's rotation was faster back then. There'd also be the added problem of ensuring that I didn't immediately die from change in atmosphere as the oxygen level was much higher. The high oxygen level in the carboniferous forests (35% compared to 21% today) meant that insects such as dragonflies, cockroaches and millipedes grew much larger than their ancestral equivalents we know today. For example:

The Meganeura is one of the largest insects of all time, with a wingspan of nearly 26 inches (remind me to insert a picture of myself holding two 12-inch rules side by side here later for dramatic scientific effect)

Of course, should I manage to bat away the Meganeura and not wet myself in bug horror, I'd need to keep an eye on the forest floor too, in case I trip over an Arthropleura, the largest arthropod of all time. Scientists estimate that these arthropods could reach sizes of 6 foot 6 inches:



Here's a great clip from David Attenborough's "First Life" which shows an Arthopleura in action:


....A dramatic change in climate marked the end of the Carboniferous period and the reign of these TERROR INSECTS (as I'm now nicknaming them) came to an end. The following Permian period started with an ice age, and the continents all locked together to form PANGEA, one giant mass of landlocked land.And it's in the Permian period that we meet the ancestors of the very first dinosaurs, but more on those bad boys later...
 

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