Friday, July 18, 2008

- What if you were suddenly flung back into the past. Specifically 1000 AD, in the middle of Europe. You, sitting right there, right now as you read this, with only what you are wearing and what you have in your pockets. How would you survive? It's tougher than you think.

You cant just walk into any village, town, hamlet, monastery, etc and start telling people about the future. First off, the English language didn't exist 1000 years ago. A stranger walking into a town and speaking an unknown language is a great way to get killed. Your clothes would also be a problem, but not a serious one. They would eventually become torn and soiled like everyone else. You might not even be able to open your mouth. If you have perfect teeth (like my girlfriend) that's another great way of getting killed. So how would you survive? Here is what I would try to do...

First, like all survival situations, I would try to find water and shelter. You can go weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Since I have very few survival skills, there is a good chance I would die in a few days. If I could find water and shelter, I would then try to find a town or village. I would hang on the outskirts of town, stealing stuff and trying to pick up the local language. After a few weeks or months, depending on how well I picked up the language, I would then wander into town and ask someone where I might find the nearest monastery.

If I can find and get accepted into a monastery, my chances of survival dramatically increase. Monasteries contained the very few places of learning during the Dark Ages. Monasteries, like current businesses, just didnt take anyone, so I have no idea if I could get into one, but if I did, I could start putting my future-knowledge and education to good use. Once again though, the key to survival in the monastery is caution. You cant immediately start showing the monks the secrets behind computer science theory, space travel, or radio waves. They will think you are crazy. You have to figure out exactly what they know, and then add little bits to it. For example, if the priests knew basic algebra, I might show them the quadratic equation or binomial factoring. If they knew advanced algebra, I would show them how to find the area underneath a curve or vector theory (both calculus.) Here are some things I would definitely show them, that probably wouldnt get me killed:

1. Double-book keeping. Hard to believe they didn't do this 1000 years ago.
2. Creating electricity by spinning a magnet.
3. A water wheel.
4. A basic steam engine.
5. 3-D perspective drawing. Artists drew everything in 2-dimensions back then. Shadows and perspective in art hadn't been invented yet.

Even though it was the dark ages, knowledge was still a valuable commodity. If you could prove to the monks that you were smart and can improve their lives, then you would have value, and thus survive. A local nobleman might hear about you, and then who knows where you could take this.

The following two websites hypothesize about what a modern human-being should do if they wanted to survive in 1000 AD. Both websites make for a fascinating read:

I am turning the comments section back on, if you want to voice your opinion on how you would survive in the dark ages.

- Two conservative websites devoted to cinema reviews:

- Current technologies that will disappear in five years:

- Three people who are pushing the edge of science:

- My hero, Bill Gates retired a few weeks ago. Dont let anyone tell you otherwise...thirty years ago Bill Gates was the greatest programmer on the planet. Even ten years ago, when Microsoft was booming and Billy-boy was a multi-billionaire, he still helped write code for Windows. Despite his brilliance (Billy got 800 on the math part of the SAT, but only 780 on the verbal, poor kid) Gates really was a lucky SoB. He came along at the right time, in the right place. A few facts about Mr. Gates that you may not have been aware of:

1. Bill never graduated from college. Of course, neither did Karl Rove nor Albert Einstein
2. Bill came from money, and he obviously is going to leave this life with even more of it. His father was loaded. How do you think he could afford that freshman year at Harvard?
Bill Gates loves spray-cheese. This makes perfect sense to me, and explains everything.

Here is a timeline of Bill Gate's life:

- The ten worst TV sports broadcasters. I like this list, although I do give Bill Walton kudos for agreeing with me that Michael Jordan is not the greatest basketball player ever:

-The roundest objects in the world. Archimedes would be proud:

- The next president of the United States will be left-handed. Five of the past eight presidents have been left-handed, although I dispute Ronald Reagan's left-handedness. He wrote with his right hand, which makes you right-handed in my book:

- I guess I better get use to Robert Downey Jr. He is set to play another one of my favorite fictional characters:


Anonymous said...

So what was your opinion on The Dark Knight? I'm interested in your review!

Greymarch said...

Going to write my review of Dark Knight with my next post.