2594 A Little Dangerous.

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Well, here we are again. I hope you’ve had a pleasant weekend.

I come to you today with some advice for an unlikely scenario. Every one of you who don’t already know how to make one modern technological thing should learn how at least one useful thing is made. Why? Because if you ever find yourself in a time travel scenario you’re going to need some useful knowledge to help you succeed. I’ve chosen velcro. My intention is to learn all the steps from nothing to velcro until I know exactly how to get from point a to b. Then, if I’m thrown back in time, I’ll be able to introduce velcro way before it should be. Also, if you’re looking up velcro and my name is the same as the original inventor you’ll know I succeeded. It would probably be a good idea to learn middle English too, but one project at a time. Feel free to list your choice of skill in the comments. If we meet in the mists of time maybe we can work together.

As always, links to support my work are above the post. I hope you have a pleasant couple of days and I’ll see you on Wednesday.


My technology of choice is actually plumbing. Even if I can’t make it, I know enough of the basics that I could get it started up so long as the reality I visit has gravity and fluid dynamics, both of which I would need to survive anyway.

I know the 4 laws of plumbing:

1. Water runs downhill.
2. Hot is on the left; cold is on the right.
3. Friday is payday.
4. Don’t put your fingers in your mouth.

That doesn’t make me a plumber, though. :D

Does knowing how to cook count as modern tech? I’ll take some pots and pans, maybe a bit of herbal knowledge. I get into a time travel kerfluffle and I can still make tasty, tasty wins more people than slop.

No, cooking is ancient. Just a month or two ago, some team announced they found a site where people cooked fish ~800,000 years ago.

Ah, but “cooked” and “cooking” aren’t just a state and a verb. There’s an art in there that transcends just killing bad stuff and aiding digestion.

I wonder if there’s any isekai where the MC tries cooking medium rare sirloin steaks over applewood chips, perfectly cajun spiced and Maillard ‘d, yada yada, but everyone just prefers their half-rotted corpses, instead of instantly becoming his new best friend.

If I cannot choose basic cooking skills, I’d like to be the one who introduces milk chocolate to the world. Jackie wants velcro, I want modern chocolate, seems fair.

Compound bows. They’re simple enough that you can recreate them, and they would be the dominate power any time before gunpowder

I like bows, too. :)

For melee weapons, I also like: javelins, spears, 3 foot sticks/batons, + knife fighting skills.
I’m Pretty muchthinking of: pick up any hand – tool in the garage, and learn how to fight with it, as a philosophy. :)

Your basic knowledge is already a massive change for medieval settings. Things as simple as boiling water, disposing of corpses, and not shitting in rivers will stop insane disease outbreaks that frequently plagued(pun intended) the average peasant. Cholera and dysentery, both easily dealt with via simple sanitation, were major killers.

But if I were to pick a technology I already know how to make: Gunpowder. Really easy to make, impactful, and world changing. From there I can make muskets, cannons, ballistics, and later rifles.

My usual go to is agriculture. I’ve got a pretty green thumb and I know a few subsistence methods in theory, but I’ve not had the space to do anything large scale. I’d have to get thrown pretty far back for agriculture to be a big one. Soap making is probably my back up, but again, that somewhat depends on where I end up. I definitely could earn my keep in a post apocalyptic setting if the threat doesn’t immediately grass me.

Panel 3: “survive” is spelled wrong. On the plus side, I didn’t notice this until my second reading :)

I have to agree with Anonymous; just having the basic, high-school level of science gives a person a HUGE advantage over Medieval Man… although things as simple as optics could have you shunned as a witch, if not actively hunted

First off, dang Nina! I’d be blushing too if I were flirted with so blatantly!

Second, thanks to my prepper friends and my old-school method of being raised, I know a bit about doing a lot of things! I really wanna learn machine making tho. Just get me a lathe and I wanna get going.

To invent velcro, you need only go back a century or so. Middle English not required. Might be useful if you wanted to beat Tolkien to the punch on translation of old mnuscripts, though.

Blacksmithing would be my go to. If you include working copper and bronze, you get thousands of years where you could make a living. Leonardo DaVinci could have made a viable hang glider with the materials on hand in his time but no one was going to invent the airplane until a suitable power plant came along. A lot of inventions depend on other inventions that were the eventual result of the industrial revolution. If I could jump back to the 1890’s though, I would totally leapfrog over the Wright Bros.

Basic electrical, for me. I’ve already got it down, though, so time for a new one I quess :P Making wire is fairly easy, and once you have that making renewable power generators is surprisingly easy (they wont be very good, especially at first, but they WILL work), and the rest is pretty much cake from there.

I hope I am excused from learning a new skill in case I am thrown back in time.

Because if I were, I would die rather quickly (like within a month or so) due to lack of modern drugs.

Well, I guess then I *should* learn how to brew a fast-acting, relatively painless poison. Because dying from organ rejection is really, REALLY uncomfortable.

I’m not sure middle english would be my choice of language personally. Unlike modern english, there was no expansive british empire during the usage of middle english, so it would only be useful if you stumbled into middle ages england

I’d personally elect to learn languages based off potential time travel outputs. Gaelic if it runs off my lineage, a local aboriginal language if it runs off my location, and feudal japanese if it runs off the culture I’m most immersed in

Windmills, waterwheels, ploughs, and proper irrigation/aqueducts. Basic farming 101 now But hoo boy world changing early on.

Short and medium-term, yes. But unless it’s drip irrigation, which provides just as much water each plant consumes, irrigation contributes to soil salinity, which can destroy agriculture over hundreds of years.

Not a terrible idea. I’m reminded of the 1632 series and how a bunch of kids and somebody’s grandma ended up mass producing sewing machines and making a fortune at it.

Lathes: Screw-cutting, for wood and metal. Lathes were the original ‘Rep-Rap’. A lathe could be used to make other lathes and other basic machine tools given a supply of metal.
So the skill I would need would be a good grounding in basic Metallurgy.. How to make ‘Tool’ steel.

In the movie version of H.G.Wells ‘The Time Machine’ there was scene at the end where the housekeeper and a visitor discover that he’s taken three books with him into the future, and the question is asked: “Which three books would you take?”

After listening to my teacher-friends:
A good way to survive better, in [schools for kids 19 + under], + in high schools, + [in filling out various job applications], is to get excellent skills in: learning how to use capital letters, learning how to do above-average grammar in writing, and (how to write well with pens + pencils).

Thus endeth the soap-box speech. :)

That’s a really practical skill, especially useful if you do not a time machine. Going more than a few hundred years away, though, you are likely to find that the language and spelling rules have changed — the familiar versus plural versus indefinite forms of thou/you/one, for example.

One thing I’ve noticed going through all these answers is that each technology has a limited era of usefulness. After a certain date it’s obsolete. Before an earlier date the technological and cultural prerequisites don’t exist to make it possible or useful.

True. Once you start digging a little more deeply a lot of complications come up. Another complication is that pretty soon after any technology came into use, a guild would spring up to protect that knowledge. If you didn’t have the connections, you couldn’t play.

There was a line from a movie (I believe Stargate, the series) where a space-traveling team had crash-landed on a planet with medieval-era technology. They asked the engineer how long it would take to repair the ship. His answer:

“They don’t even have the tools I need to make the tools I need to repair the ship!”

The BBC series “Connections” is a good way to learn about how technology progresses; how fleeting and dependent advances can be.

I make holsters. Usually for single action colt style .22 and larger. Much as I like sales, I hope its never THAT much in demand. Also make some wallets. That’d probably be okay. Also a pancake style holster for a Crescent wrench, once.

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