Personal writings of Arjun Rao

Evergreen skills

Category: Personal Growth

I have been reading the book Sapiens by Yuval Noah Hariri and a thought crossed my mind. What if I were transported back into pre-historic times or a post-zombie apocalypse? Knowing what I do right now, what skillsets could I use in that setting?

The question is not one of survival, it is one of utilizing skills I have now, in a world eons past. It is less about disseminating knowledge and more about applications of the knowledge that I have already.

Imagine this world. It is 30000 years in the past. The homo sapiens are beginning to establish their dominance but its still very much a nomadic tribe culture without ideas of agriculture, advanced weaponry or technology. Fire is already present and some basic tools are available for usage. In this setting how does my knowledge of the contemporary world translate into skills that are evergreen.

Having grown up primarily as a computer geek, I do not think I have too many skills that are easily transferrable across timelines. I mean I read a lot of books about politics, medieval warfare, strategy and the ilk, but for me to survive in a prehistoric times, it needs to be much more basic constructs. It is the foundational level of getting things setup and if I wanted to alter the timeline and introduce modern implements into ancient times, I would need to have strong fundamentals.

As a simple example, state-of-the-art computers definitely don't translate well, as it needs to have many things available outside my domain like silicon, circuit boards and other hardware. Neither would I be able to reconstruct any kind of present-time weaponry as I do not have those skills.

What I will be able to do, is introduce concepts of farming such as the wheelbarrow and plough. I know concepts of how the steam engine works and perhaps that could result in setting up some transportation links. Constructing simple weaponry like a bow/arrow is on the table as is magnetism and electricity concepts which can be pretty useful to a people who have never seen applications of that.

This is a thought experiment to see what skills I have that maintain temporal permanence, with the mindset of consciously making the effort to acquire some new ones.