Cake
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    • I am from the past. In the 1970's I lived life as a child who was taught to read newspaper titles first, before school, sitting on the knees of his grandfather. Later every summer vacation going back to the tiny village not far from Danube river, I would sit at night, using light from the petrol lamp and read from dusty books found in my grandparents attic, until my eyes would be tired.

      Everything in those books felt so vivid in mind's eye, no facebook or social media phone of today could possibly have the amazing effect they had on a child. The dreams and imagination, had no limits. On the contrary, today allot has been lost, with the blunt, crude expressionism of raw unfiltered media, and will never return, imho.

      Yet, here I am responding to your electronic text!

    • Wonderful thought experiment. I’d like to tackle the second hypothetical, a person from a hundred years ago.

      I think that we as human beings have a supreme capacity to be underwhelmed. If aliens landed on planet earth 🌍 tomorrow, by next week we would accept that as the new reality. I think of all of the science fiction type gadgets that have come into reality in my lifetime: Star Trek communicators and Dick Tracy TV communicator wrist watches (smartphones), inter-galaxy travel (Voyager), exploration of Mars (Rovers), computers from around the world talking to each other (the Internet), genetic cloning of animals, TASER, lasers, electric cars.

      If our time traveler could accept that what she saw was the natural progression of technology, then acceptance of it shouldn’t be a long-term issue. And if they can access the information technology, they could literally Google everything that confused them.

      (By contrast, someone from Ancient Greece or the Middle Ages would see it all as magic of the gods or witchcraft, and their brains would probably explode.)

      Where I see the greatest challenge for our time traveler from 1900 is that she will have limited employable skills. In 1900, most people lived in rural areas and half the population worked on farms. Not being computer literate would limit her options in 2020. Conceivably, she might have had a higher quality of life if she had stayed back in 1900.

    • I think it would be harder to go back in time. It would be really uncomfortable and having to live without the comforts of modern medicine and technology would wear thin. At least on me. Conversely, if someone from 100 years back came into our present era, it would all be new and unknown to them, but at least things in a lot of ways would be easier and more comfortable. At least I think so. Both would be challening, but I do think going back in time would be harder.

    • I’d now like to attempt the first hypothetical, going back in time 100 years into the past.

      So 1919.

      The world is still dealing with the aftermath of World War 1. Over 16 million people died from that conflict and 50 to 100 million died from the 1918 influenza pandemic.

      Question: Would a 2019 Flu shot, before I stepped into the time machine, protect me against the 1918 Influenza? Or would a hundred years of mutation make it worthless?

      Assuming that I was protected from the virus, the best job to get for someone without any 1919 era skills would be as a grave digger. The deaths from influenza were so overwhelming back then that mass graves were common. Working in a hospital might be another viable job since it would be hard to fill.

      Staying out of the cities would be a good idea. The “urban penalty” due too poor sanitation and water systems was still a challenge and wouldn’t be fully corrected for another twenty years:

      In 1900, waterborne diseases accounted for nearly one quarter of reported infectious disease deaths in major cities. In the next few decades, waterborne disease mortality fell dramatically. (Harvard University)

      I would have ten years until the Great Depression of 1929, which means I could use my knowledge to invest in the stock market and get out before the crash.

      Reading would be more of a habit as would be going to public performances and interacting more face to face with neighbors and the community.

      It wouldn’t be an easy life, but I think most people could adapt if they had to.