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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday October 21 2018, @09:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the documenting-our-tech-tree dept.

Imagine that in the future you can rent time machines just as easily as you can rent a car. Paradoxes are nicely sidestepped, and you even get the handy pamphlet "1001 Fun Ways to kill Hitler". Sounds great, right? Suppose that time machine breaks down. Turns out it's easier to re-invent civilization than it is to fix said machine, and that's what this book purports to do.

This book is chock full of tidbits, like this on buttons. People wore buttons for thousands of years as ornaments. It was only fairly recently someone realized they could hold clothes closed. This is disgraceful and embarrassing. You can do better.

Scalzi's page describes this book much better than I can. Need to know which animals to domesticate? Covered. Foods to cultivate? Covered. Crop rotation? Compass? Non-sucky numbers? Forge? Birth Control? Logic? Chemistry? Steel? check, check, check, check, ...., check.

This is not a textbook, there is no math, and minimal theory on why things work. It's focused on why and how, not "how does it work?".

I got my copy from the library and, after an hour or two, ordered my own copy from Amazon. I'm sure my fellow Soylenters will also love this book.


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22 2018, @07:00AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22 2018, @07:00AM (#751890)

    If you wanted to get rid of a bunch of human suffering and death, start with Mohammed. Nobody else comes close.

    After that, it's probably Karl Marx, assuming he exists without Mohammed. That'd stop Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim, and a whole bunch of others. Most likely it would stop Hitler too, since his initial popularity was based on opposing the violent communists with his own violence.

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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22 2018, @01:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22 2018, @01:14PM (#751954)

    Start with the founder of Judaism. This would eliminate jews, which would stop jews taking advantage of non-jews. This would stop Khazars from Khazaria from converting to Judaism when they were threatened with death if they didn't stop their evil ways. This would stop Khazars from invading pure native cultures and mixing them up to produce mongrels and moral decay. This would stop Karl Marx from being an evil satanic jew, and hence jewish-communist filth would not exist. Israeli Khazars would not exist. Regional conflict would not be upgraded to World Wars. And we could all live in peace and prosperity.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by HiThere on Monday October 22 2018, @05:56PM

    by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 22 2018, @05:56PM (#752060) Journal

    There are lots of good choices, but there's no particular reason that any one choice is better than any other. E.g. without Tamerlane the Muslims would have been a lot less violent, but there might well have been some other group being violent instead. The thing that does most to make people peaceful is having a lot to lose and little to gain. Being likely to lose and unlikely to gain doesn't count as much, as people are quite bad at figuring the odds. Las Vegas is proof of this, and so is every lottery.

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.