Remember that movie...The Time Machine?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
In the movie, the H.G. Wells character invents the machine and travels into the future and ends up in the midst of a civilization of "beautiful people" (a society where there are no older people, and love and bliss reign supreme). All seems so perfect except when the sirens sound and the beautiful people are led underground to be fed upon by the trolls.
The Wells character finds the library full of books that crumble to dust in his hands, and then expresses first unbelief and then outrage at the insanity of their behaviour in the face of imminent doom.
I found the following excerpt from a Y2K related article in our local paper on consumer electronics. Notice the "mindset" portrayed by the author, and tell me it isn't exactly like the good life induced stupor of the "beautiful people" in the H.G. Wells movie.
When the clock ticks past midnight Dec. 31 and into the year 2000, your automatic coffee maker will still be ready to greet you with a badly needed caffeine fix on New Year's morning. Your microwave will still heat a nice, plain bagel, good for a stomach a tad upset from the previous evening's festivities. Your stereo will still play a little soothing music, preferably something without a lot of bass. Your thermostat should be fine, and your stove, refrigerator, TV and clock radio. Your garage door should open, assuming you eventually work up the energy to go out. Your car should function as usual, too. All of these things probably have computer chips in them, whether you know it or not. But none of them are likely to be bitten by the Y2K bug.
-- TM (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 1999
Another interesting point/question comes out of the story.
The hero returns to his time, gathers a few items, and returns to the future. He takes 3 books.
Which three books?
Which 3 books would you take to found a civilization on?
My choices later.
--Got Reference Material?
-- Greybear (email@example.com), December 21, 1999.
Stewart Brand, *How Buildings Learn*
David Abram, *The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Consciousness in a More-than-Human World*
E.J.W. Barber, *Women's work: The fisrt 20,000 years*
-- silver ion (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 1999.
Did you notice he used words like should and probably? As far as the Trolls...weren't they called Morlocks or Mollocks? I had visions of the SHOMCH's [Screaming Hordes Of Mutant Caniballistic Humanoids]that I'm buying all this ammo to fend off. };-]
Greybear [nice name BTW...mine means 'Whitebear'....I'd definatly take a copy of Reader's Digest "Back To Basics" has a wide gamut of basic living techs from home building to whiskey stilling.
A bible...whether you are religeous or beleive in God or not- has some good points about living decently and such.
3rd...not real sure..have to think on it. Some of the books I have would be useless without the availability of metal casting and electric generating equip.
-- Satanta (EventHoriz@n.com), December 21, 1999.
The book that you really should read, which demonstrates a worst case scenario for y2k is 'The Machine Stops' by EM Forster. The book shows what happens to a society that is completely dependent upon technology for everything, when all that technology ceases to work. A very apt tome ind
-- who knows (email@example.com), December 21, 1999.
H. G. Wells is one of my fav. writers.
Read the book, as usual it is better than the movie.
Also he didn't return with books in the book version. Not that I can see. A selection from the The Time Machine ""Well, mace in one hand and Weena in the other, I went out of that gallery and into another and still larger one, which at the first glance reminded me of a military chapel hung with tattered flags. The brown and charred rags that hung from the sides of it, I presently recognized as the decaying vestiges of books. They had long since dropped to pieces, and every semblance of print had left them. But here and there were warped boards and cracked metallic clasps that told the tale well enough. Had I been a literary man I might, perhaps, have moralized upon the futility of all ambition. But as it was, the thing that struck me with keenest force was the enormous waste of labour to which this sombre wilderness of rotting paper testified. At the time I will confess that I thought chiefly of the PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS and my own seventeen papers upon physical optics.""
-- Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 1999.
My personal choices for the 3 books:
1. the Bible
2. the Federalist Papers / Anti-Federalist Papers
3. An encyclopedia of primitive technologies. (I know of a huge microfiche collection called Applied Technologies, but that probably doesn't count)
The first selection is necessary in order to establish (among other things) a frame work for civil law and justice, and personal moral code. The second is needed to help establish a system of government, and the third is necessary to allow people to live long enough to implement the ideas from the first 2 selections.
Hopefully, each survivor will have saved 3 books of their own. Not every person will save the same three, therefore a diverse mix of thought and philosophy is guaranteed.
-- TM (email@example.com), December 21, 1999.
Not sure exactly which three titles I'd take, but since the point is to "rebuild a civiliztion" the three would fall into these categories:
A medical book containing the most practical techniques for maintaining and restoring health under uncivilized conditions. No civilization without health.
A book that teaches ethics. Something on the order of Kung-Fu-Tse (Confucius). Society could be rebuilt from this.
A math book, such as Euclid, that teaches rigorous logic and how to construct a proof. Science could be rebuilt from this.
IMHO, religion is innate. No books required. It will arise on its own.
-- Brian McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 1999.
The Bible "How Things Work" (simple, but shows exploded views and can be used as a starting place for improvision) Carla Emery's "Encyclopedia of Country Living"
-- Liz (email@example.com), December 21, 1999.
Oh, good. Let's take into the brand new future the Book which caused more homicides in human history than any other single cause. Maybe after we re-invent some modest weaponry, we can have the Crusades and the Inquisition again. THEY were fun.
-- StanTheMan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 1999.
>>>Oh, good. Let's take into the brand new future the Book which caused more homicides in human history than any other single cause
Hmm, what could that Book be? The Quotations of Chairman Mao, with 30+ million slaughtered in China, and another couple mil in Cambodia? The Communist Manifesto, with 20+ million slaughtered in Russia, another 10+ million in the Ukraine, untold others throughout Europe? Mein Kampf, with 8 to 12,000,000 Jews, Eastern Europeans and dissidents slaughtered in death camps? Armenians? Irish?
I guess non Leftist Anglo-Saxon White Boys don't count.
-- Scarecrow (Somewhere@Over.Rainbow), December 21, 1999.
4. Beethoven (i know, only three ....)
Fundamentals of the U.S. Constitution can be derived from a sensible reading of scripture, so don't need Constitution as an independent document.
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), December 21, 1999.
I would bring:
The SAS Survival Handbook (enough information to set up the start of the infrastructure one would need to stay alive),
Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein (not for the story, which is entertaining pap, but for the politics. I would gladly found a society along those lines),
and.. actually, the third book is an interesting choice. Something about politics? Not needed. More on technology? Perhaps. Something about history- maybe.
Actually, I might include "A Brief History of the World", by HG Wells. Or, perhaps a copy of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War".
-- Leo (email@example.com), December 21, 1999.
When I was younger, I devoured Anne McCaffrey's "Pern" series. In short the inhabitants of Pern were actually descendants of a high tech culture.The technology was lost due to a deadly natural occurrence that took everyone's resources to survive. A culture somewhat like that of 13th/14th Century evolved. I loved those books.
If they existed...
-- ageenotree(Hno3) (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 1999.
3 books huh???...like in Farenhet 451????
The Gods of Eden by William Bramley...how those "angels" who created/ mutated us have been controlling us for millenia...with facts & figures (so maybe we won't get fooled again).
Vinidcator Scrolls by Stan Deyo (more Atlantis theory plus technology which has been kept secret from people to benefit the very few).
1984 by George Orwell. (fragile love is the best (only) defense against tyranny).
-- INever (email@example.com), December 21, 1999.
Well, since I said I'd add my choices later, here goes.
Trying as hard as I can, I just CAN'T cut it down to THREE.
OK, if I just HAVE to, it would be Bible, Carla Emery, Complete works of Shakespear and Mark Twain. (I'd glue the two together - does that count?)
But I would have a copy of the Declaration of Independance and Constitution tucked in between the books.
But what about math, science, engineering, poetry, philosophy, history, etc.?
And, of course, some pix of mud wrestling for KOS.
-- Got Log Tables?
-- Greybear (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 1999.
NO CHEATING...just THREE books guy!!! F451 they could only choose one...& no VAGUE anthology B*llsh*t...gimme 3 TITLES!!! that you'd take on the White Bus...or to the bunker!
-- I Never cheat ((usually)) (email@example.com), December 21, 1999.
Scarecrow. Touche. I'll grant you the Communist Manifesto. Not the others because they were not the CAUSE of the massacres. I have VERY GREAT RESPECT for the Bible. It's just that I really don't want to see our future (what there is of it) fraught with bloody wars over whether baptism requires total immersion, nor children beaten with rods (or stoned to death at the city gates for being recalcitrant), etc. However, if you will limit the choice to the New Testament, I'll gladly put it on my own list. Okay?
-- StanTheMan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1999.
MAD MAGAZINE (sorry, couldn't resist)
-- Debi (LongTimeLurker@shy.com), December 22, 1999.
You know, i'm tempted to say *%$@ your bible. What about the koran, the torah, the sayings of buddha, confucious, b'hai....I believe in Jesus as my savior but you bible thumpers are BORING!!! All this talk about escaping from the city...you all sound like you live in the plain vanilla suburbs anyway!!!!
-- INever (flame) (email@example.com), December 22, 1999.
INever heard of that bible translation (*%$@) before. Maybe my problem is that INever check my brain before I speak.
Come on man...you can do better than that! A real Christian would never defame God's Word.
-- TM (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1999.
God's Word ...hah!!! The Bible is a collection of stories, mostly true, written by men ABOUT G-d & his angels, people, mischiefs & triumphs. It's as much G-d's word as anything else in this world is G-d's, cause without G-d, there'd be nothing! G-d inspires everything. Regardless of who wrote it, it's true, but it's just one translation!!! And you want to take which translation into the Shiny New Future???
Hopi Story At the end of the 4th World, all the evil Pow-Wa-Kay were destroyed, and one wnated to enter, promising to be good. The Elder's were kind & let him in. At the End of This WOrld, they are not going to make the same mistake again. You can take ANY book you want into the Next World, but it is the atitude with which you take which will determine the feasibility of your entrance. Good Luck!!
-- INever (change handles) (email@example.com), December 22, 1999.
Hey Leo...the SAS Survival Guide...had forgotten all about it...one of those books I'd wanted in my library for years but due to circumstances never got it...well, i just snagged a copy from Amazon. So thanks for the reminder!
-- Satanta (EventHoriz@n.com), December 22, 1999.
OK, you thumpers got me inspired to actually READ the "good book". I started at the beginning, being a somewhat anal retentive type of person, after all. So here I am, in Genesis. It says that God created Adam, then pluched a rib out of the poor dude to use as a start for manufacturing Eve (so Adam wouldn't get bored, or something).
OK, so far so good. My "eve" certainly is useful in preventing boredom. Oh, my, is she ever.
But then the trouble starts. It says Adam "knew" Eve (does that mean they fucked, or what?) And she "bare" Cain. And again she "bare" his brother Abel. (Guess he knew her again, even better this time). Hey, that's cool, I know my honey really well, too.
Then God started asking Cain about where Abel was, seeing as how "the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground". Now that's a little weird.
But wait, it gets weirder:
Next thing you know, it's talking about "and Cain knew his wife, and she conceived, and bare Enoch". Now I'm pretty darn sure that by "knew" the author meant "fucked" (sorry, for you virgin-eared ones, I should have said "copulated with" or "took a roll in the hay with" or "did it with".
Whatever. They played hide the weeny.
So now I'm getting just a LITTLE bit suspicious, if not down right alarmed. Who is this "wife" that Cain "KNEW"? Seeing as how God only created Adam and Eve, and there were not as yet any internet "get yerself a wife" sites, it would appear that there was still only one woman on the planet. So if Cain "knew" his wife, the little mother fucker must have been "knowing" EVE!!!
Therefore, Eve must have had a polyandrous bent.
Whatever. I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out, when, lo and behold, here comes Noah, and all this flooding stuff.
I just can't read any more. It's looking more and more like Noah and his gang are about to carry on with more of this incest business, just like Adam and Eve did.
I'll read more if someone will please tell me that Noah and his honey don't "know" any of their kids. OK?
Well, do they?
-- Al K. Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1999.
ALK, thanks for the back-up...
-- INever (email@example.com), December 22, 1999.