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Author Topic:   10 Books To Save Humanity!!
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10192
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 1 of 100 (562310)
05-27-2010 7:37 PM


The Earth is a radioactive fireball. You are the cultural and educational officer aboard the ship that contains the last remnants of humanity. Your ship is capable of inter-stallar travel, suspended animation and all the other technological requirements required to seek a new home for humanity. You even have a feasible Earth like planet destination to aim for. On board your ship are a host of craftsmen, technicians, agriculturalists and other very practically minded people who are perfectly capable of dealing with the practicalities of forming a working colony on a suitable planet. What you do not have on board are professional creative, innovative academics or thinkers. No research scientists, no mathematicians, no artists, poets, authors, economists, politicians, historians, philosophers, linguists. No theologians. No musicians or film makers. No nobel prize winners or other acclaimed thinkers.

It is your responsibility to retain and impart the sum totality of human knowledge understanding and achievement for future generations of humanity. More than that it is your task to set in place that which will educate and inspire those generations of humanity that will outlast the initial colonisers to reach and surpass the current achievements of humanity.

My question to you is this:

You can take 10 books with you to form the foundation of the colonial library and education system. What 10 books would you select for such a task?

For the purposes of this exercise please ignore the fact that the entire British library can fit onto an Ipod nano (or whatever). Also let's not get too caught up on the Sci-Fi scenario presented. That is just a backdrop for your book selection.

10 books...........


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 Message 6 by Blue Jay, posted 05-27-2010 10:00 PM Straggler has responded
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 5663
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 2 of 100 (562317)
05-27-2010 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
05-27-2010 7:37 PM


Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition.

(Cheating?)


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 05-27-2010 7:37 PM Straggler has responded

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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10192
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 3 of 100 (562318)
05-27-2010 8:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
05-27-2010 7:37 PM


My Own (Initial) List
Here is an off-the top-of-my-head list. I reserve the right to completely change this based on the persuasiveness of others (if this thread catches the EvC public imagination at all that is)

1) The complete works of Shakespeare - Will Shakespeare
2) The Road To Reality - Roger Penrose
3) A History of Western Philosophy - Bertie Russell
4) The Art Book
5) Watchmen - Alan Moore
6) Ulysses - James Joyce
7) THE definitive genetics text book whatever that may be?
8) Grays Anatomy - Current Edition
9) Feynman Lectures on Physics - RP Feynamn (all 3 vols as one book....? cheating - Yeah probably)
10) The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins

Other near misses - The Holy Bible, Origin Of The Species, The Oxford English Dictionary and Monty Python The Complete Unexpurgated Scripts.

Any takers?


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Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10192
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 4 of 100 (562319)
05-27-2010 8:23 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Coyote
05-27-2010 8:15 PM


Cheating
Yes.

Try again.

10 books.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15793
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 5 of 100 (562334)
05-27-2010 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
05-27-2010 8:22 PM


Re: My Own (Initial) List
I don't think you've thought this through.

Thwy can write their own novels and plays and poetry if they survive. They will have their own William Shakespeare.

The important thing is to make sure that they do in fact survive. So no art, just science.

I'm too lazy to think of a Top Ten right now, but the single most important thing I'd communicate to them would be the Germ Theory Of Disease. A lot of science is fun but useless. Who really needs Newton of Darwin or Einstein? And if they do, they can figure it out for themselves. But the fact that one should wash one's hands before performing surgery or delivering a baby would save untold millions of lives.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Straggler, posted 05-27-2010 8:22 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Coyote, posted 05-27-2010 10:02 PM Dr Adequate has responded
 Message 14 by Straggler, posted 05-28-2010 7:16 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 82 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 6 of 100 (562336)
05-27-2010 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
05-27-2010 7:37 PM


  1. The Watchtower (any old volume will do)
  2. Bad as I Wanna Be by Dennis Rodman
  3. If I Did It by O.J. Simpson
  4. Going Rogue: Am American Life by Sarah Palin
  5. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, with a special introduction by Ray Comfort
  6. Analects of Confucius
  7. Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins by Davis and Kenyon
  8. Dating for Dummies, 2nd edition, by Joy Browne
  9. Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Ann Coulter

    and, finally...

  10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (to give them a hint as to what they should do with the other nine)

Everything else is expendable.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 05-27-2010 7:37 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 5663
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 7 of 100 (562337)
05-27-2010 10:02 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
05-27-2010 9:47 PM


Re: My Own (Initial) List
And don't forget the old Boy Scout's Handbook. Lots of information in those old ones. (The new ones aren't nearly as good.)

Heinlein had a list of books he considered important in one of his novels, but I don't remember which at the moment.

Perhaps Time Enough for Love, in the colonizing novelette?


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-27-2010 9:47 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-27-2010 10:10 PM Coyote has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15793
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 8 of 100 (562338)
05-27-2010 10:10 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Coyote
05-27-2010 10:02 PM


Re: My Own (Initial) List
Perhaps Time Enough for Love, in the colonizing novelette?

A book the redeeming features of which only make it more infuriating.

Don't get me started, I just read Glory Road. Any book in which Heinlein mentions either sex or politics is crap. With the possible exception of Stranger In A Strange Land, the virtues of which just about manage to outweigh its deficits.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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 Message 7 by Coyote, posted 05-27-2010 10:02 PM Coyote has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by subbie, posted 05-27-2010 10:17 PM Dr Adequate has responded
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subbie
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 9 of 100 (562339)
05-27-2010 10:17 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Dr Adequate
05-27-2010 10:10 PM


Re: My Own (Initial) List
Any book in which Heinlein mentions either sex or politics is crap.

Surely you can't include Starship Troopers in that blanket condemnation!


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-27-2010 10:10 PM Dr Adequate has responded

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 Message 11 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-27-2010 10:35 PM subbie has not yet responded

  
Coyote
Member
Posts: 5663
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 10 of 100 (562340)
05-27-2010 10:18 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Dr Adequate
05-27-2010 10:10 PM


Re: My Own (Initial) List
Good troll!

Start a new thread on this subject. This could be fun.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-27-2010 10:10 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15793
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 11 of 100 (562342)
05-27-2010 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by subbie
05-27-2010 10:17 PM


Heinlein Diversion
Surely you can't include Starship Troopers in that blanket condemnation!

No, that's a good one.

Letme restate my position. Every book he wrote where some character bangs on for paragraph after paragraph about what Heinlein thinks about sex or politics or for that matter religion as an Author Avatar is crap.

Books like Starship Troopers or Stranger In A Strange Land or Job are OK-ish because although they may be expressions of Heinlein's philosophy they don't have the same old perennial infuriating Author Avatar in there constantly preaching at us as to what we should think. Time Enough For Love is the very worst thing that he ever wrote, or if he ever wrote anything worse I am grateful not to have read it ... oh, wait ... he did write a novel that was even worse than that, but I've forgotten the title. Oh ... two novels worse than that. One of them was called Friday. I can't remember what the absolute worst one was called.

It is infuriating to me that someone with his gifts as a storyteller should so have squandered his talent. If I could do what he could do, I'd have done something else.

My very favorite of his books is Double Star, that's just wonderful escapist science fiction. He should have written more like that and rammed his worldview up his ass where it belongs.

Anyway, back to the topic.


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Coyote
Member
Posts: 5663
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 12 of 100 (562344)
05-27-2010 10:46 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dr Adequate
05-27-2010 10:35 PM


Re: Heinlein Diversion
Start a new thread. It has a lot of promise!

Books like Starship Troopers or Stranger In A Strange Land or Job are OK-ish because although they may be expressions of Heinlein's philosophy they don't have the same old perennial infuriating Author Avatar in there constantly preaching at us as to what we should think.

He expresses his viewpoint in most all of his books. In some books it is disguised better than others. This is what every novelist does.

Time Enough For Love is the very worst thing that he ever wrote, or if he ever wrote anything worse I am grateful not to have read it ... oh, wait ... he did write a novel that was even worse than that, but I've forgotten the title.

I Will Fear No Evil? No argument there if that's what you are thinking of.

Oh ... two novels worse than that. One of them was called Friday. I can't remember what the absolute worst one was called.

Friday was not among his best, agreed.

It is infuriating to me that someone with his gifts as a storyteller should so have squandered his talent. If I could do what he could do, I'd have done something else.

His juveniles, from the late 1940s though about 1960, inspired a whole generation of scientists, many of whom were instrumental in our space program. In that, he was more influential that any other writer of the time.

My very favorite of his books is Double Star, that's just wonderful escapist science fiction. He should have written more like that and rammed his worldview up his ass where it belongs.

Double Star was not up to his normal standards of the time (my opinion).

Again, start a new thread. This topic should have legs!


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-27-2010 10:35 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 13 of 100 (562347)
05-27-2010 11:02 PM


Take it to All Heinlein all the time.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate


  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10192
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 14 of 100 (562363)
05-28-2010 7:16 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
05-27-2010 9:47 PM


Re: My Own (Initial) List
Thwy can write their own novels and plays and poetry if they survive. They will have their own William Shakespeare.

Of course. But are you saying we haven't created anything worth saving?

The important thing is to make sure that they do in fact survive. So no art, just science.

I think you are missing the point (as much as there is one to this thread). They have engineers, medics, builders, electricians, nutritionists, agriculturalists etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. The colonizers are not neanderthals. They are all practically skilled and educated in their colonizing speciality to modern standards.

But the fact that one should wash one's hands before performing surgery or delivering a baby would save untold millions of lives.

For the reasons given above I don't think this is the issue that should be being addressed.

A lot of science is fun but useless. Who really needs Newton of Darwin or Einstein? And if they do, they can figure it out for themselves.

Maybe. One day. But if we want to give them a headstart or even just pass on the accumulated wisdom of our species as it currently stands what texts would we pass on?

I don't think you've thought this through.

Oh definitely I have not. Apart from anything else I had had a few too many glasses of wine last night when I thought it would be a good idea to start this thread.

What was I thinking.......


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10192
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 15 of 100 (562364)
05-28-2010 7:21 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Blue Jay
05-27-2010 10:00 PM


Nothing Worth Saving
Everything else is expendable.

That is kinda depressing.

Have we achieved nothing as a species? Nothing worth saving and passing on to future generations?

I would have thought the problem would be the tiny limit of 10 books. Instead it appears that those who have replied consider even that too much to bother with.

That is kinda sad.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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