Who doesn’t sometimes want a time machine to escape into the supposedly good old days? What if you actually had it, but your historical excursion destination turns out to be not so great due to the lack of civilization and, to make matters worse, the time machine goes on strike – for example because of the failure of the causality compensator matrix or the initiator of the chronotonous field of confusion?
The on-board manual dryly recommends: “If you want to put up with the idea of never going back to your friends and family, please do so now. Since you can no longer return to the future, we invite you to bring the future back to you. ”
Step one: First find out where you are at all – or when. For example, is there already a breathable atmosphere? If not, the whole thing was settled quickly. The manufacturer of the time machine accepts no liability and apologizes for any inconvenience. If so, stranded time travelers can build a new civilization with the help of the logbook.
That sounds like a lot of work, but if you know exactly what to look out for, you can avoid many dead ends and take shortcuts. Often it took mankind an incredibly long time to come up with obvious solutions.
For example with the wheelbarrow: “It could have been invented at any time after the invention of the wheel around 4500 BCE, which in turn could have been invented at almost any point in human history, but it dived [sie] no earlier than 150 C.E. in China. In other words, it took people hundreds of thousands of years to come up with the idea of a bucket on a wheel. ”
The Canadian author Ryan North (who claims to have found the book in a kind of time capsule) guides us through human history in this flippant tone: from language and numbers to agriculture, cattle breeding, mining, metallurgy and medicine to music – combined with practical instructions to recreate in the correct order as well as “professional tips” to avoid mistakes.
The title is reminiscent of the equally entertaining “Travel Guide for Time Travelers” by Kathrin Passig and Aleks Scholz, but the focus is different: Passig and Scholz explain key moments in history, North conveys the basics of civilization. This makes his work more like Lewis Dartnell’s “Handbook for Restarting the World”, but it is far funnier and less apocalyptic.