TLDR: What if people think of really complex technology before we did it in our timeline? How does that impact society?
How much freedom can you imagine there being in the civilization stage in terms of discovering techniques and tools? I remember in the Animorphs books that the alien species invented the computer before the phone or something similar to that. And I wonder how much that can apply to thrive. It’s hard to determine how much variability there can be in advancement in technology. I mean fundamentally we get ideas from what we already have and what we already know. It’s hard to imagine coming up with a jet plane before you’ve invented a steam engine, but there are certain things that I feel could be invented much earlier, given the right conditions of culture, ideas etc.
I was watching a video about making fully mechanical logic gates when I realized that although they were slow and clunky they fundamentally worked. If somehow the knowledge needed to get to the idea of stringing together logic gates to solve problems (extremely likely math) was invented, I can’t think of why you’d need electricity for it. Obviously, you’d be majorly inhibited by the limitations of doing things mechanically but it would kind of work. And imagine what that could lead to culturally and technologically. I’d imagine that they wouldn’t come up with screens as we have, but surely there’d be some way to visualize things. And if they moved more down that technological path it’d be more into the realm of ideas we haven’t discovered. And this is a major issue with a type of simulator like this, we can only really come up with things that we well can think of. We don’t have their cultural lens or different perspective to come up with new technologies and theorize everything.
This post wasn’t meant to be all about the idea of pre-electricity computers but the idea of major advancements before they were invented in our timeline is kind of weird and troublesome. But if you disturb the order of societies scientific/technological/mathematical progression it’s going to have big ripples. And it’s hard to imagine how you can invent something much earlier. I remember from I think a sauce video, the mention of some old greek concept that could have been an early steam engine that was never built for some reason. So we know that these kinds of ideas don’t require the same path we took. I’m not very sure what you’re going to take away from this post, it’s been too long since I last looked at this game to know what ideas you have for a tech tree or whatever you decide, but I think it could be very interesting to keep in mind the idea of massive variation in technology development and what it would mean culturally and scientifically and whatnot.