Imagine waking up one morning suddenly in the middle of nowhere. Confused you look at your phone and notice something is off….
How would I deal with being teleported 1000 years into the past? How would I not only survive, but thrive and accelerate man-kind’s achievements? Think– what is the largest most valuable discovery in the last 1000 years? Einstein’s theory of relativity? The discovery of the atom? Gravity? Nope.
I’ll give you a hint, it’s not a science related one, but one of geography.
By simply following my five step plan, I will show you how I will survive, thrive, and be the richest man alive.
- Integrate myself into society.
- Gain an audience with someone of Royalty
- Convince Royal that I’m not crazy.
- Advance Society
This first step is the one most likely to kill me. Although I was in Air Cadets for 4 years, the wilderness is tame nowadays compared to what it was a 1000 years ago. I know basic trapping and shelter-building skills, but with little to no supplies, they won’t be of much help.
Integrate into Society
Provided that I survive, or find a village before I get mauled by a bear, my next step is to Integrate. Before I can propose my promise of riches to a Royal, I need to be able to pass as someone from the era. I need knowledge of any major events and begins to plan how I will get an audience with someone of Royalty. The first thing I would need to do is change my clothes. The clothes Cotton-Polyester blend and bright colours are sure to stand out among middle age peasants.
The phone in my pocket could be useful. However, cell towers and satellites don’t exist at this time for me to look up anything on the internet. I will have to rely on my memory. I’m not a history buff, and what I have learned in three years of online social studies won’t help me convince anyone I’m from the future by predicting certain events such as wars or assassinations. Best to avoid telling people I’m from the future; they tend to be less trusting if they think you’re insane. And I’m going to need all the help I can get if I want to survive. Power won’t be a problem for my phone as I normally carry a battery pack that has a solar panel on it.
Gain an audience with someone of Royalty
As I stated, the most valuable discovery in the last 1000 years is the discovery and subsequent colonization of the New World, or as we like to call it, North and South America. The most reliable way that I can think of would be to have a map of the New World. The Maps App on my phone won’t load without a signal, and my memory is limited to the west coast, which won’t be helpful for navigation when Europe is closest to the East Coast, but….. aha!
Last September when the east coast was being ripped apart by hurricanes, I took a screenshot of the paths of some of the major storms. It provides a rough outline of what North America looks like. This is my ticket to riches.
Convince Royal I’m not Crazy
I know many of you are saying, “Well, didn’t the Vikings discover North America, way before Columbus did?” Yes, you would be correct. The Vikings first came to Newfoundland around 1000AD (1). However this would work to my advantage. Assuming I am transported to around the same time, plus a few years to get myself settled, I would be able to go to someone of Royalty saying I was with the Vikings when they discovered it. In addition, the Vikings never permanently colonized the New World. Only evidence of temporary settlements have been found (1).
I think my best bet would be to go to the English, my French isn’t that good, however if the English reject me, the French would be my second option. This would delay my plan as I would need to go back to step one and re-integrate into the French society.
In exchange for all the information I can provide to the Royal, I would want a number of ships. They can keep the land, but I want to be in charge of the voyage and the soon-to-be trading routes. Then I would provide a copied map of North America, (I assume by this point the ability for solar panel to recharge my phone will have deteriorated), and we would be on our merry way.
I don’t know much about sailing. However one thing I do know is the dangers of Scurvy. Scurvy is a deadly disease caused by a Vitamin C deficiency. I would ensure all the ships would be stocked with citrus fruits, as a common treatment during the period was drinking Sulphuric Acid mixed with spices (2). Yikes!
Finally, I have one last step.
In addition to talking with many of the major scientific scholars of the time, I would invent the scientific method. This would significantly accelerate technology and ensure that conclusions are based on tested hypotheses and not guesswork. The reason bizarre treatments, such as treating scurvy with Sulphuric Acid, were common is that making conclusions based on unbiased testing were unheard of. Most knowledge was distributed to populations through Churches or educated scholars. It wasn’t until the 12th century when a number of scholars began commending blind acceptance of facts. It wasn’t until the 16th century before a successful lawyer name Francis Bacon proposed what has become what we know as the scientific method (3)
However, there is another issue that I would also deal with.
Much of the most recent decades in Canada have been geared towards reconciliation with the First Nations and Natives of Canada. And in the United States, the protesting of the Systematic racism. While I am not qualified to speak on those issues, I know the systematic mistreatment started at the beginning with slavery and forceful relocation. I would ensure that these deplorable realities would never occur.
And that is how I would survive a teleportation into the past. Of course if I got teleported into the ocean, than my five step program is pointless. I’m a good swimmer, but not that good.