Your objective is to go back in time into the 1700’s and blow the minds of everyone there. What do you bring with yourself?
Some giant blow-dryer, I suppose, so that I could be able to blow as many minds at once as possible as quickly as possible, lol. But seriously, I think it wouldn’t be a difficult task at all to blow the 1700’s people’s minds, except for the actually getting there bit. My first thought was to show them some audio recording equipment, as well as something that music can be stored and played on, be it a CD or an iPod or a computer with either audio files or a streaming service or whatever really. So I’d definitely have to get myself some pretty powerful power bank, or if even that fails back then perhaps I’ll actually have to borrow my grandad’s machine that produces electricity (I can’t figure out what its actual name is in English, but the huge, noisy thing that you use when there’s a power outage and whatever you make your living off doesn’t really allow for power outages) and drag it back in time with myself, plus something to keep it in that would muffle the sound so people wouldn’t think it’s the devil roaring. And then I’d also definitely pack my iPhone – but I wouldn’t actually be showing all its features to them, like what a phone actually is and stuff like that ‘cause they would either end up having some pretty bad shock, which can’t be good for your mental health, or wouldn’t be able to take it in anyway – I’d just use it to show them that there are such things that can record your voice, or anything really, for that matter, and then you can play it back and do sound editing and what not, and I’d show them some music, probably from just normal audio files because the only other way I listen to music and I guess most people do is streaming services, and I don’t think these peeps would be ready for the idea of the Internet quite yet and how you can stream something out of nowhere, plus I don’t know how I could take the Internet with me. It wouldn’t be anything too modern like, dunno, dubstep, lol, just some classical music and very traditional-sounding acoustic folk tunes or something like that, I don’t want the population to extinct in one mass heart attack. Perhaps this way, it would get them to think and develop ways of recording music earlier than people actually started doing it, and we would be able to have an even clearer idea of what people listened to back then, as well as they could simply make any other random recordings that could work as sort of family heirlooms for future generations, that they’d have recordings of their family members voices, and maybe as a result they’d learn to record video sooner as well. It would also be cool because for those who were still illiterate, or just weren’t very experienced at writing, they could just keep an audio diary, which would be sooo interesting for linguists because spoken language is so different from how it’s written, just in case you’ve never heard of this phenomenon before.
And then I’d also want to show them ebooks somehow, at least to the more educated folks out there. So I guess I’d need to take my Mac with me, explain what the screen and keyboard is all about and how you can display text, and read stuff, and I would show them how to read a text file and how to edit text files and generally type on a keyboard. I would probably also need to borrow a Kindle or something similar from someone and show them how books can be read on something like that. This would be for very selfish reasons – so that, once they’d hopefully wrap their minds around it, they’d also be able to write their books in other ways than just physical, which would make them accessible to Bibielz, which would mean that more deliciously old books in a deliciously rusty language would be available to all the Bibielz and non-Bibielz out there. As it is, a lot of old books are digitalised by libraries, but they’re typically just image scans that haven’t been converted to text, and a lot of classics to which copyright has expired can be downloaded for free very easily in accessible formats, but these are usually very obvious, very well-known books. It’s difficult to get something deliciously old and deliciously obscure, or simply not classic, in an accessible text format.
Problem is, I’m not sure I’d be the most fortunate person to blow their minds with this, because obviously I use screen readers, and screen readers are even later an invention than the Internet, and also fairly abstract to explain how it works (even to IT people sometimes *sighs*) and I’m pretty sure that even a computer alone could be quite a creepy thing for someone from 1700’s, let alone a talking one, and I actually wonder what would be worse, very robotic-sounding synths or the neural ones that even many people these days can’t tell apart from a human. Not to mention that the idea of blind people being able to basically read screens is still pretty difficult for many people to take in, so I would expect it to be even more spectacularly mind-blowing back then, and they’d probably think it’s some sort of prank or something supernatural or don’t know what else. 😀
What would your choice be? 🙂