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Person From 1815 Wakes Up In 2015/2016

futureshock 1815 2015 2016

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#1
Yuli Ban

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Yeah, we're close enough to 2016 for me to add it into the title. So it's exactly what it says on the tin: imagine a person from 1815, doesn't matter where, were to just wake up in the present day. What would be their reaction?

 

Let me remind people of a few things...

 

  • The first working telegraph was created in 1816, a year after this person's time. 
  • Railroads had only been around for 10 years, and were still exclusive to England.
  • The first photograph was taken in 1826, or maybe 1827, one of those years. 
  • Steamships were a new invention and had only just entered commercial use
  • We wouldn't discover the planet Neptune for another 31 years
  • Queen Victoria wouldn't be born for another four years
  • Karl Marx wouldn't be born for another three years
  • Italy was only just beginning the unification process this very year
  • The Napoleonic Wars had ended this year
  • Some middle-aged people were older than the United States of America
  • Most Americans were Native Americans
  • Most of America had been undiscovered by White Americans
  • Mary Shelley was 3 years away from publishing Frankenstein, in 1818
  • King Tut's tomb wouldn't be discovered for over a century, in the early 1920s
  • Atoms were a decade-old concept, and subatomic particles wouldn't be discovered until the 1890s
  • The Periodic Table would not exist for another half-century, and there were only 42 known elements
  • In fact, we had only just discovered Iodine. We wouldn't discover silicon, aluminum, or titanium until several years or even decades later. We also didn't discover some basic gases like Helium or Neon until the 1890s
  • In 1815, the total human population was 1 billion—  and some 90% of them lived in extreme poverty
  • Humans wouldn't set foot on Antarctica until half a decade later
  • Australia had been claimed for a only few decades
  • The Luddite rebellion occurred in the past 5 years
  • DNA wouldn't be discovered until 1869
  • Cell theory wouldn't be created for a few more decades too
  • The first "washing machine", if you could even call it that, was a neat little toy made in the 1790s. Other than that? Good luck cleaning your stuff.
  • No plastic for another century
  • Pasteurization wouldn't be a thing until 1869
  • Penicillin wouldn't be a thing until 1929
  • Animation and cartoons wouldn't exist until 1908. Even the thaumatrope wouldn't be around for another decade.
  • The first programmable computer wouldn't be invented until the 1830s, and even then it's nothing like computers we're familiar with
  • The wristwatch would not be created until 1868. Before then, pocket watches were common
  • Carbonated soft drinks were mainly used in medicine, but were a few years away from becoming popular in Europe. They were, however, nothing like modern soft drinks, and the first modern soft drink company wouldn't form until the 1880s.
  • Anesthesia wouldn't be used in medical procedures for another 30 years
  • Spontaneous generation was still the dominate scientific theory for life, and the theory of evolution was a fringe theory that wouldn't even enter popular discourse for another 30 years and wouldn't become the dominant theory until the 1870s
  • Whale oil was the most popular fuel source
  • The vast majority of humans were slaves
  • There were only a tiny handful of non-royal millionaires on Earth, far fewer than the number of billionaires today
  • Almost all humans lived in rural communities and never interacted with more than a few dozen other humans
  • The concept of humans flying was virtually unthinkable; hot air balloons were the only method, and this was extremely new and futuristic to them
  • The average life expectancy on Earth was around 37 to 41 years old
  • Almost all modern popular music (blues, jazz, rock, rap, soul, electronic, etc.) was born from slave songs in Congo Square, New Orleans around this time but wouldn't escape out into the rest of the world for several more decades. The most you heard in your life were folk songs or maybe, maybe classical music
  • China held an unbelievable 300 million people, more than twice that of the second most populous nation, India.
  • There were only a tiny handful of cities with populations larger than 1 million on Earth
  • England held roughly 9 million people, and 1 million lived in London. London was the second largest city on Earth, behind Beijing, China. Beijing's population was roughly 1.2 million.
  • Most information of the world was brought to you via newspapers and pamphlets
  • Most of the major nations were wealthier than the entire Roman Empire

I could go on and on, but you get the general idea, right? The world of 1815 sucked gooch. Now take a person from 1815, preferably a 30-something "educated man of the world", and put them in 2015/2016. I could also go on and on about the world of January 1st, 2016.

 

  • As of 2015, there are 35 megacities in existence, and the largest is Beijing, which contains over 100 million people. Note, Beijing today could fit a tenth of the world's total population in 1815 within its borders, and you could snugly put the rest in the other 35 megacities, leaving an entirely empty world outside of them.
  • There are over 12 million millionaires on Earth, most in the United States and China. There are over 1,000 billionaires.
  • Less than 10% of the human population lives in extreme poverty, and this number is expected to reach zero by 2030.
  • We've discovered well over a thousand planets, almost all outside our solar system. Within our solar system, we've discovered eight planets and dozens of dwarf planets. If a recent discovery is to be believed, there may be a super-Earth lurking at the very distant edge of the solar system, bringing the total number of planets back up to 9.
  • We've directly photographed all of our planets and many of our dwarf planets
  • We discovered we live in a galaxy, and there are trillions of galaxies
  • We have the Internet
  • We have created synthetic intelligences
  • We have created quantum theory
  • We have fabricated dozens of entirely unnatural elements
  • We play with atoms regularly and even go so far as to split and fuse them for the sake of energy
  • Our homes are climate controlled; even homes in poverty
  • Our streets are clean. People don't seem to realize that, when we used horses for travel, we had to deal with the wastes of horses quite a bit, so it's quite a luxury to walk down a city street and not step in raw shit
  • We bathe every day on average
  • We have warm water
  • We have electronics
  • We put ourselves in outer space regularly
  • We regularly travel hundreds of miles at hundreds of miles an hour
  • Automobile ownership is common throughout the planet, even amongst those in poverty
  • We have bottled electric light and use it for illumination, entertainment, etc.
  • We have access to an overwhelming amount of information
  • We have access to abundance, generally
  • Plastic
  • Silicon
  • Graphene
  • Singular neighborhoods can be wealthier than the entire Roman Empire

I got more and more basic towards the end of it because I realized just how fundamental some of these changes are. You don't need to say "we carry pocket-book sized computers that contain all the world's information" to acknowledge how futuristic we are. The fact we have hot water on demand, climate controlled houses, and clean streets would amaze the person from 1815.

 

Continue the amazement!

 

Closely related: Person from 2016 BC wakes up in 2016 AD


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#2
Infinite

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Makes me wonder what the world in another 200 years wil be like.

I also think life today would be incomprehensible to someone from 1815, without extensive time spent living here and a thorough education about today's life. It would just appear so bizzare to them.

I think they would also be concerned at how much we take these incredible things for granted (after a proper education about today's time). We manipulate and study forces of nature people from two hundred years ago didn't even know about! They could drop down in amazement and we merely think - 'meh'.
.

#3
Outlook

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I wonder what roman would think if they woke up in 0AD instead of 200BC.
Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/YjUhBVkJoMk
Dino Synth is my new favourite genre

#4
Yuli Ban

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Makes me wonder what the world in another 200 years wil be like.
I also think life today would be incomprehensible to someone from 1815, without extensive time spent living here and a thorough education about today's life. It would just appear so bizzare to them.
I think they would also be concerned at how much we take these incredible things for granted (after a proper education about today's time). We manipulate and study forces of nature people from two hundred years ago didn't even know about! They could drop down in amazement and we merely think - 'meh'.

Indeed. In fact, we just got done taking individual subatomic particles and smashing them together at 99.9% light speed and discovered an entirely new fundamental particle of nature in the past few days, ain't no biggie. Whoops, just heated hydrogen until it was a thousand times hotter than the sun and fused atoms together, better bend down to see how much energy created. Then you get a fun look up our skirt as we create living math equations that understand and recognize words and images better than humans can, tee hee.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#5
Futurist

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Well, politically speaking, if a Prussian from 1815 would have woken up right now, then this Prussian would have probably been surprised both by Germany's unification (in a pleasant way) in 1871 and by Germany's utter decimation in the 20th century (in an extremely unpleasant way).



#6
Jakob

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It would be extraordinarily strange for that person, they'd probably be going 'WTF?!?!' every few seconds when they first got here. However, since this is an educated person we're talking about, and not an illiterate peasant, they'd learn quickly. I think that educated people knew what electricity was back then, so they could probably understand if we told them that we can control and use it. But undoubtedly, a lot of our tech would be very strange. What I think it would take a really long time to adapt to would be our society and culture. I mean, even today's conservatives express views that would be insanely progressive in those days.

 

But anyway, it would be really, really confusing. And that's why I never wrote a sequel to this -- it's just too far into the future.



#7
SG-1

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"I must be having a psychotic mental break down."

"Please let me go home."

 

"The Internet is cool I don't ever want to get off"


Hey.  Stop reading.  The post is over.


#8
Infinite

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"I must be having a psychotic mental break down."
"Please let me go home."
 
"The Internet is cool I don't ever want to get off"

True dat! They will become <chant> one of us, one of us, one of us! </chant>
.

#9
Yuli Ban

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But anyway, it would be really, really confusing. And that's why I never wrote a sequel to this -- it's just too far into the future.

We should RP a story about a guy from 1815 waking up in the present day. Like...

 

So I'm this lower-middle class, mentally ill black guy who lives in rural Louisiana. Hail fellow! You're clad rather strangely for these parts. (And I don't wish to be rude, but goodness, you smell!) I live in this unassuming trailer, don't mind me, where I spend my days pissing about with dank memes and ultra-high philosophy. All the classics! Here's a teaser for you: if there were an urchin that spontaneously appeared in the middle of the room, and only one person out of 500 sees it, is it real or a hallucination? Answer that on your own time, welcome! You speak oddly. Might I ask where you hail from?

 

London?! It's not often we get Brits around here. Though I'm friends with many Britons online.

Online? Whaddyamean you don't know what that means? Online, like on the Internet. 

 

The Internet! When's the last time you've used a computer or phone? Don't tell me you don't know... what year are you from?

 

1815?! Tsshehehehahaha! Good one. Seriously, are you Amish? Or...

It's 2015, man. 1815 ended two hundred years ago. Look, up in the sky. See that thing up there? That's a jet airplane. Whaddyamean "What is that queer spectre?!" It's a plane, man. Seriously, are you actually from 1815 or something? We've had planes for over a hundred years. 

 

Wait, what if you actually are... What are planes, you ask? They're like buses in the sky. People use them to fly. Yeah, fly, like a bird. But faster than birds, by an order of about 500 miles per hour.

 

Here, check my phone. 

 

And you stare at it with a contorted face, baffled by what it is I just handed you. 

"You do know how to use a phone, right? Here, let me bring up Google."

I take it from you, and the confusion drips from your face like drool.

"See?"

"Why did the surface change so suddenly? How did you paint so quickly?"

"It's a different page. Dude, stop this. Come back to 2015. Please."


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#10
Jakob

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But anyway, it would be really, really confusing. And that's why I never wrote a sequel to this -- it's just too far into the future.

We should RP a story about a guy from 1815 waking up in the present day.

 

Lets.



#11
tygrus

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I think they would wake up and say "thats all you got done in 200 yrs?"

 

And then shortly after "You are still fighting a war there?  f.. me"



#12
Yuli Ban

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I think they would wake up and say "thats all you got done in 200 yrs?"

 

And then shortly after "You are still fighting a war there?  f.. me"

Don't forget, if they were sent back to 200 years before then, they wouldn't have noticed any differences in everyday life besides the geopolitical situation. At that point, there was little reason to believe much would change in 200 more years.

And yet when they get here as a 30-something, they're being told there's a good chance they could live to become post-biological and immortal.

 

That said, of course there are gonna be things that follow the rule of "The more things change, the more things stay the same." Hell, we can relate to problems that were happening to ancient Sumerians. We're not transhuman yet. Well, besides those experiments that allowed people to communicate directly brain-to-brain.

 

Great example.

"So yeah, uh, China's a major economic power."

Face collapses in shock, and he says, "Were they ever not?"

 

In 1815, China's one of the wealthiest nations on Earth. Same deal in 2015. Problem being, there was a roughly 130 year period where they suffered complete societal breakdown, between 1839 and 1976. It started with the Opium Wars in the 1840's and ended with the Gang of Four in the 1970's. That triggered a century of humiliation, death, misery, poverty, overpopulation, and a mixture between anarchy and totalitarianism. Somewhere around 250 million people died during this dystopian century, and their wealth collapsed to pre-Rome era levels. Pre-Rome era wealth in the 19th and 20th century


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#13
hiraeth

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This really makes me think about a time when we're able to revive cryogenically frozen humans. Last in, first out, of course... but when you consider how far off this technology might be, and the rate of technological progress in that time period, well. A person who is frozen in 2100 and awakened in 2125 may be experiencing an almost entirely different world. I feel like the further we get into the future, the wider the scope for change and revolution becomes. Smaller and smaller circles make bigger and bigger differences on the world stage. It's happening already, with social media. A teenager gets arrested for making a clock for a school project and soon the entire world knows his name, his story, and the fact that he met with leaders from NASA and talked to the President. The discourse is altered. Our collective focus shifts. I mean, imagine in a hundred years. There will be lives completely lived out on other planets or celestial bodies. The population will have skyrocketed. The average kid has had his intelligence augmented and has unlimited access to the world's information, spread across multiple internets, all of which are immediately and effortlessly searchable from within his own brain. What could this person accomplish? What could GROUPS of these people accomplish? How quickly will trends rise and fall?

I'm rambling. But I'm just... I'm scared for us in the best possible way.,
I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God. Sufi Proverb

#14
TheComrade

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Well, politically speaking, if a Prussian from 1815 would have woken up right now, then this Prussian would have probably been surprised both by Germany's unification (in a pleasant way) in 1871 and by Germany's utter decimation in the 20th century (in an extremely unpleasant way).

 

And now imagine the respectable and open-minded white gentleman from USA of 1815 wakes up and sees the face of new Mr.President:

 

Barack-Obama-EU-January-2012.jpg

 

...and then also finds out that this same president recently legalised the homosexual marriages countrywide  :biggrin:

 

I wonder what roman would think if they woke up in 0AD instead of 200BC.

 

Actually, he'd experience both pride for expanded Pax Romana and disappointment/anger/shame for moral decline and fall of the old good Roman virtues. I'm not even sure which feeling would be stronger.



#15
Yuli Ban

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Well, politically speaking, if a Prussian from 1815 would have woken up right now, then this Prussian would have probably been surprised both by Germany's unification (in a pleasant way) in 1871 and by Germany's utter decimation in the 20th century (in an extremely unpleasant way).

 

And now imagine the respectable and open-minded white gentleman from USA of 1815 wakes up and sees the face of new Mr.President:

 

Barack-Obama-EU-January-2012.jpg

 

...and then also finds out that this same president recently legalised the homosexual marriages countrywide  :biggrin:

Not to mention that it's not even considered taboo for PoC and women to run for president. 

 

Good lord, man. Imagine such a man looking at what we wear casually and even formally these days. I remember this video of some Arabian men covering their eyes when Western women in tight jeans were walking in front of them.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#16
TheComrade

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Arabian men covering their eyes when Western women in tight jeans were walking in front of them.

 

Hmm... on our city quay i often saw the Central Asian men hungrily staring at our local girls in mini-bikinis or following them at a small distanse... unintentionally, just by accident, of course  :biggrin:  

 

back to topic:

 

This really makes me think about a time when we're able to revive cryogenically frozen humans. Last in, first out, of course... but when you consider how far off this technology might be, and the rate of technological progress in that time period, well. A person who is frozen in 2100 and awakened in 2125 may be experiencing an almost entirely different world.

 

Well, i suspect any normal person will sooner or later adapt to this new technology, if not "how the hell it works" then at least "how to use". What is much more difficult to adapt to - is new social relations, new unwritten laws and "game rules". Alas, most of sci-fi writers can not propely describe this & thus their "worlds of future" are nothing but copies of our own society, only with some new hi-tech gadgets.

 

There are, hovewer, some exceptions & i currently reading one of them. The novel about some Dutch guy dying of lymphosarcoma in 2012, who was frozen and resurrected in 2084. He was the bohemian slacker and playboy, who believed that "life is fun" and didn't worked a single day in his whole life. In general, he wasn't such a bad person, his life was full of travels and music, booze and weed, friendship and short love affairs (not only with girls)...

 

Spoiler

 

...so, he tries to continue the same way of life in 2084 (his family is still very rich, so he can easily afford this) and doesn't feel that surrounding society has dramatically changed. As result, the dude is rejected by his family and falls to the very social bottom, and ONLY THEN begins to realize... Really interesting and plausible story, the author is clearly marxist & plays with ideas like "social being determines consciousness". Though, i think, this is self-evident, you don't have to be a marxist to understand it.



#17
Yuli Ban

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Just link that person to this thread

 

http://www.futuretim...in-the-future™/


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#18
Alric

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I wonder what a person from this forum would think if they woke up 200 years from now(maybe because they got really hurt but ended up using cryonics and was revived). Would they still be shocked, or would they be better able to adjust since we are people already trying to look and predict the future. Probably would get a lot of things wrong.



#19
Infinite

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I wonder what a person from this forum would think if they woke up 200 years from now(maybe because they got really hurt but ended up using cryonics and was revived). Would they still be shocked, or would they be better able to adjust since we are people already trying to look and predict the future. Probably would get a lot of things wrong.

Well I think we would have a better idea of this future than the normal person. I mean, look at all the time we spend discussing and researching the future.
.

#20
TheComrade

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I wonder what a person from this forum would think if they woke up 200 years from now(maybe because they got really hurt but ended up using cryonics and was revived). Would they still be shocked, or would they be better able to adjust since we are people already trying to look and predict the future. Probably would get a lot of things wrong.

Well I think we would have a better idea of this future than the normal person. I mean, look at all the time we spend discussing and researching the future.

 

Other hand, typical futuretimeliner would be even more shocked or angered if this real future will not be even close to what he/she imagined and expected (and this will happen almost for sure). :)







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