Topic: Serious Discussion /
AX: What if there were more land masses and less oceans?
I suppose it is my turn. I think we should start with the technological impacts first.
Nautical technology would become nearly a moot point, meaning that the main focus of technological advancement would be on ground, then later air, transport. This would mean that the automobile, or some variant would have seen development LONG before 1890ish, as there would have been no focus on development of ships, and when you consider JUST the age of Exploration during the 15th century, that’s 400 years. We could go back further, but this is an easier comparison, especially considering the massive advancements made in nautical travel during the age of exploration.
Outcome at current time: Chances are, we see ground vehicles regularly able to travel nearly 500 miles per hour, to cover the vast ground distances on trading routes. Air advancement happens about a hundred years earlier, meaning that space advancement is updated faster, and we are further into galactic exploration. As far as Astronomy, I really don’t see much of a difference, considering that people like Galileo were not sailors anyway. There has always been an interest in the stars, and that interest stemmed long before nautical travel was a logical proposition.
Cultural Impacts: Manifest Destiny is the way of humankind. We expand ever outward. So, if the human race is, logically, scattered round our concept of “Pangea”, then you see many cultures develop much in the same way they did in the real world. On the other hand, for the first couple of millennium, there would be no real danger, allowing those cultures to develop faster, and making them more populous. I see less militaristic advancement in the early ages, save for random cultures that have much inbound rebellion. This means that cultures will advance in agriculture and industry at a faster pace, and make them better at living off the land. Nomadic cultures would see the most advancement in war style technology, and would eventually serve as the first mercenaries.
You would still see large “Empires”, but they would develop in an isolated fashion until borders finally cross during exploration, which we’ll cover in a moment.
Agriculture: Due to the huge limit this change would place on food supplies, agriculture would develop in a MASSIVELY different fashion, except for those few societies that live on lakes/seas/etc. With no large source of sea based food, farming/ranching would become far more important. This means that humanity evolves faster from the hunter/gatherer to the farmer/domestication phase. This also means quicker transition between stone/bronze/Iron Ages, which in turn increases technological advancement. Land Animal Domestication becomes extremely important now, meaning that you will see many cultures living on a “he who controls the animals controls the land” system of “government”. This would probably change as technology advances, and more tradecrafts became available, pushing government towards something that would resemble those in place today.
Military Advancement: Now for the FUN! Military advancement would be slowed initially, due to such vast distance separating societies, and no viable source of long distance travel such as comes with boats+wind. Weaponry would be developed primary for hunting, though any infighting cultures might see some moderate combat advancement. On the OTHER hand: When Borders touch, as inevitably happens with Manifest Destiny, the initial shock alone would add to possibly tense and hostile situations. This is merely hypothetical, as the majority of the world might see more peaceful cultures. Then again, humanity has repeatedly proven a very insistent lean toward violence, so in the end, I think it’s obvious. Borders touch, hostilities ensue, and all scientific advancement in other subjects ceases, and military advancement sees monstrous leaps and bounds in incredibly short order, as this version of the world is already far more technologically advanced by comparison to this one. I will not make random guesses as to whether or not “world domination” is possible, but think of this: Alexander the Great, while still in his YOUTH, conquered nearly every bit of the known world of his time….and he was LOVED for it. So to think that it isn’t POSSIBLE is daft. Whether or not it would HAPPEN? Bleh, who knows.
Final Consensus: Depending on the outcome of military involvement, I think that overall, this world would be about 300-500 years ahead of us, technologically speaking, only because they would be able to remove nearly all nautical advancement. Basically, if you have 6 tasks that each take 2 months to complete, and you have to work on them all together, rather than one at a time, you see a year before any are done. If you remove just ONE of those tasks, development is increased in the other areas by a full 2 months. If you change that time frame to encompass THOUSANDS of years, you can see just how much that would change our technological advancement. On the other hand, I don’t think you would see a world with such vast cultural diversity, which means limits to arts, music, entertainment, religion, and thought. So truly, you must decide which would be better for yourself.
Obviously, there were many smaller things not covered here, as I manage nearly a page over what is basically an OVERVIEW, but if you want more opinion from me, I am happy to continue discussion.