If an asteroid hit earth or a mass pandemic caused the collapse of society, would you have the necessary skills to start rebuilding the world? Or without the ever-present guide of the internet, would you even be able to keep yourself alive?
With the incredible array of labour-saving devices and pre-made products at our disposal, few of us are likely to feel adequately equipped to rebuild humanity, even if we have completed The Last of Us on Survivor mode.
Sure, many of us have given some thought about what our initial response would be. A quick poll of the Factor team found strategies ranging from joining together as a team or securing a space as a safe living area to accepting defeat and going out in a haze of naked craziness. But if we’re honest, none of us is that well equipped for the nitty gritty of day-to-day survival.
But all is not lost. A new book entitled The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch aims to address these issues by providing a guide to rebuilding society. Written by astrobiologist Dr Lewis Dartnell and available from tomorrow, the book tackles the disconnect between our everyday lives and the basic principles of our civilisation.
“I think that very few of us have any real idea where our food comes from, or the clothes we wear, or how the materials making up the objects in our pocket right now were dug out of the ground and processed and refined,” said Dartnell.
“I wanted to dig down to the foundations of all of this and try to understand how our world actually works on a fundamental level, and so how you could rebuild it all from scratch if you ever needed to.”
The book and its accompanying website provide guides on the basic skills that will enable us to grow food, generate power, prepare medicines or even extract metal from rocks.
But, perhaps more importantly, the book aims to provide the knowledge to avert another dark ages. Instead of the surviving members of humanity facing lost knowledge and skills, Dartnell believes that understanding the fundamentals of science would enable us to relearn forgotten techniques and accelerate redevelopment.
Instead of having to discover complicated engineering processes entirely from scratch – a process that could take hundreds of years – we’d be able to redevelop techniques far more quickly using fundamental scientific knowledge.
“It’s science that has built our world and it’s science that would be needed to rebuild it again,” explained Dartnell.
Find out what our apocalypse survival strategies are by scrolling down or clicking here.
Image courtesy of The Knowledge.