From the department of abandoned ideas
For a long time I’ve had an entirely irrational fear of being sucked into a freak time warp and being deposited back in, say, the 12th century. It’s the kind of worry that, as a child, makes you carry around things like a swiss army knife, a magnifying glass, and a small quantity of string at all times.
Over time the fear has mellowed into a moderate worry. Now, when I think about falling into a temporal manhole, I worry that I don’t know enough sports scores off by heart to make a killing with (in case I get deposited in the mid-20th century), or that I have forgotten too many basic mechanical inventions to patent (in case I find myself in pre-industruial-revolution Britain), or that I don’t know how to locate a safe, natural source of caffeine. That’s a biggie.
Last year I had been thinking about setting up a web site specifically for the accidental time traveller: a kind of knowledge base full of things you could usefully memorize to make your stay in a far-flung age more bearable. Lists of sports scores, election results, how to manufacture simple chemicals, simple yet profitable inventions, self-defence techniques, techniques for figuring out exactly when and where you are (in the absence of nearby settlements), etc. In the end, though, it seemed more effort than it was worth. So the domain name accidentaltimetraveller.com is still available, if anyone wants to adopt the idea.
- Knowing how to make explosives is probably a good start.