Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I don't have any immediate thoughts

on Kottke's post about survival tips for if (when..?) one is unexpectedly transported to a random location in Europe during the Middle Ages (other than I agree with the one guy about Michelle Pfeiffer in Ladyhawke = helped me understand my burgeoning sexual feelings) (toward hawks), but the whole sort of stupid thought experiment reminded me that about six months ago, we were walking down the street, and Meg asked what I was thinking about, and I said, "Nothing," and she said, "What? Tell me," and I didn't want to say anything, but she finally got me to admit that I was daydreaming that Benjamin Franklin had traveled forward in time to 2007 and it was up to me to explain modern technology to him.

Franklin'd be all, "Have you seen this thing? It's called a Roomba."


mr_subjunctive said...

I imagine that all. The time. Though not with Franklin. That's sick.

But seriously -- you've got like twenty reasonably intelligent guys from the year 1900 in your living room, and you get to tell them what's going to happen in the 20th century: communism, atomic bomb, world war, the other world war, the flu epidemic of 1917-18, AIDS, moon landing, television, recorded music, women's sufferage, Grand Theft Auto, desegregation, gay rights, Monica Lewinsky, cartoons, airplane travel, penicillin, jazz, rap, rock, plastic, Viagra, "Saturday Night Live," "Saturday Night Fever," Saturday night specials, Darfur, anorexia, "baby bumps," refrigeration, pop art, assault weapons, Hummers, x-rays, traffic lights, efficiency experts, antibacterial soap, digital cameras, LSD, magnetic bumper stickers, Christmas light displays, Heaven's Gate, internet pornography, the new planet Pluto, the ex-planet Pluto, sociobiology, smog, PCBs, Fermat's Last Theorem, Michael Jackson -- not only would they look at you like you were insane, but I bet every single one of them would go back to 1900 and blow their brains out. Fortunately we're in the 21st century now, which I'm sure will be much nicer.

Patrick M~ said...

Right; I think I’m jousting at a paranoia/feeling of fraudulence that’s sort of the same in both cases – that whether I’m going there or they’re coming here, either way: I’m not going to be able to accurately explain how anything works (although in the case where Franklin shows up here, I’m at least able to point to empirical evidence and show him Wikipedia). (How long before Franklin gets banned from Wikipedia? Like not even an hour.) I hope if this happens to one of us, it’s you: at least you have your botany and whatnot.