Things to do in 1300 A.D

<off-topic. if you’re looking for intelligent commentary on technological issues of the day, you’re at the wrong place. please move on.>

From time to time something catches my eye that sets me off down a complete waste of time. Like this.

“Here’s a hypothetical situation; you’re sucked into a worm hole and transported back to the year 1300 A.D. in Medieval Europe. You didn’t bring back your cell phone, or laptop, or any “more recent” invention. What advantages would you have over society at that time? Would you be able to survive, and would you be able to influence the course of history?”

Well, one obstacle to overcome would be language. Even if I landed in medieval Britain I’d have some considerable communication challenges. Middle English being the Lingua franca of the day in Ye Olde Blightey. Try this for size:  

Plus accents.

Another consideration would be headwear. I’m 6 foot tall, about 182.8 centimeters. The average height of Europeans in the middle ages was around 5.6 feet (173 centimeters). So in fact, bonking my head against timber every time as I walked from room to room may not have been as bad as I thought. I could always invent the helmet with chinstrap I suppose.

I’d need to find something to eat. A famine kicked off around 1315 for seven years. Not good timing. It gets worse. If starvation didn’t get me, the Black Death (1348-50) would have had a fair chance. Maybe an opportunity there? Like starting up the ‘Panic, Everyone’s Going to Die – At Least Half!’ Company. First product? The 3-year excursion holiday special to a remote Scottish Island. Food not included. Money back if proven wrong guarantee!…

I could invent the alarm clock while on the remote island, a 2 whole years ahead of its time (electricity anyone? a wind up of course…). Or playing cards (c.1350) and start the first blackjack casino and Bridge school.

Intellectual property would be a foreign concept in those days. In fact, not a concept at all. The first patent was awarded in 1421. I know, I could invent the patent system and patent it!

Or I could try my hand out at some astronomical philosophical feats. How about try to convince everyone that the earth actually went around the sun. Duh! Copernicus didn’t head down this heretical road until the early 16th century so I’d have a bit of time to try and achieve that claim that fame. Now, Heliocentric System wasn’t an entirely original time idea at the time, but it was…contentious. Maybe my best bet would be to help propagate the meme of Occam’s Razor or (KISS) and push the Barnettonian view of the Universe from there.

Comments (6)

  1. Jimbo says:

    Unless you were very careful, you would soon be put to death by the church for voicing many currently accepted views.

  2. Joe says:

    Speaking of Black Death, how about inventing Penicillin, or rat poison?

    Do you get to study on Wikipedia before you get transported?

  3. Yuvi says:

    Say, how about inventing, uhm, Biological Warfare ? But then, you’ll get into a time paradox: Somebody would’ve used that Biological warfare agent to kill your ancestor, which would mean that you won’t be born, which means that you won’t introduce Biological Warfare, which means you will be born, which means you’ll introduce Biological Warfare, which means somebody would’ve used that Biological warfare agent to kill………….

    Oh, forget it… I’m just a lame old kid…. If I was there, i’dve just give them scrolls of future popes….Now, that would make you rich:D