What three books would you use to rebuild society?

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What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby DoglovingJim » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:33 am



Name says it all, imagine yourself to be a time traveler just like in H.G.Wells "The Time Machine" .

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Far far into the future civilization has collapsed and knowledge of the past has essentially ceased to exist, so what three books would you take to rebuild society and why?

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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby jbobsully11 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:17 am

Do books with multiple volumes count as one thing? If so, I'd have Euclid's Elements, because the math and logic outlined in it are eminently useful across multiple fields. I'd also want some kind of medical textbook, so I guess Gray's Anatomy, given that it's the only medical textbook whose name I know and it seems general enough (some knowledge of human biology seems kind of important). Something about agriculture also seems like it would be useful, but I really don't know what's best for that.

How much of society has collapsed? Are there still experts in different fields, or are the three books the only external knowledge I have access to?
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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby KleinerKiller » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:00 am

Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.

To show them that a society that produced such work should stay dead.

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I can't name specifics offhand, but one book that teaches basic scientific theory, one that teaches lateral thinking and complex problem solving, and one that illustrates the potential of human creativity and inspiration. It is very important to me that in the rush to rebuild the necessities, humanity doesn't lose its artistic spirit.
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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby DoglovingJim » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:43 am

jbobsully11 wrote:How much of society has collapsed? Are there still experts in different fields, or are the three books the only external knowledge I have access to?


Well, in the time machine humanity (in the form of the Eloi) have essentially become through many generations cattle. There are no experts at anything, all knowledge is gone, only few Eloi begin to learn the concept of self-sacrifice as you live among them. They live a life of ease having everything provided from them (such as clothes, food and everything else) by the Morlocks at the cost of being killed for food when they reach maturity, mentally they are like children.
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Now you are a proper time traveler, and in an attempt to rescue some of the Eloi you completely destroyed the Morlock's home and presumably killed all of the Morlock's in the ongoing fire.
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And now society has to restart from scratch, and only you can lead them.
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Cracked.com wrote:Initially, his interest in animals was "primarily a sexual attraction," but as he grew older, he also "developed the emotional attraction." We guess we could call what Jim does ... dog-lovin'
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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby Grimstone » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:59 am

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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:26 pm

I might conceivably go with the first three instalments of The Science of Discworld. There is a lot of interesting and useful ideas in there. And a story.
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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby Marcuse » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:20 pm

Unsurprisingly, I think philosophy books would be the way to go. Science is valuable, and it's ideal to preserve it, but if you can reliably teach people how to go about the process of science, then over time you can recover most of what you have lost. To that end, I'd choose:

Plato - The Republic

One of the books that kicked off the Renaissance is probably a must. A treatise on the ideal state and how to arrange the particulars of human life, interlaced with conjectures about the human condition, the nature of good and the ability of humans to organise themselves. Simple enough that people with no prior knowledge of philosophy can work through it, but complicated enough to be useful.

John Locke - Second Treatise of Government

There's no point rebuilding society only for it to be a tyranny. What better way to rebuild society than a book on the nature of society and its construction? Locke also takes a liberal approach to rights and freedoms, which I think would suit a newly reconstructing society well.

Soren Kierkegaard - Fear and Trembling

This might be a controversial one, but I'm including this because of its definition of faith and how it portrays it in a universe that it fears is devoid of deity. The existence of faith in the human condition is nigh ubiquitous, and having a text ready to show people how faith is a powerful thing, but it shouldn't be yoked to the purpose of something that's not worth the devotion is probably both prudent and useful.
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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby cmsellers » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:39 pm

Steal This Book, The Anarchist Cookbook, and the unabomber's manifesto.
Rebuilding society seems like too much work, it's much easier to just keep tearing shit down.
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Re: What three books would you use to rebuild society?

Postby Krashlia » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:30 pm

cmsellers wrote:Steal This Book, The Anarchist Cookbook, and the unabomber's manifesto.
Rebuilding society seems like too much work, it's much easier to just keep tearing shit down.


Until you reach a "tear s*** down" equilibrium and reach homeostasis?
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