Navigation Menu+

Restarting Civilisation Episode 8


Richard Feynman once said: ‘If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis that all things are made of atoms-little particles that that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.’

So, we asked the people featured in this app what scientific idea they would like in their back pocket in the event we had to restart civilisation.

 How the hell am I in a position to give this knowledge?

So if civilisation collapsed and then started again, what advice would I give to them about starting civilisation again, that’s your question?  My answer is simple, my tip to them would be how the hell am I in a position to give this knowledge?  Write everything down, don’t rely on me.   In the future, everything has to be written down because if you rely on me to pass on any information that relies on civilisation starting again, somebody has given the tea boy the important letter and he’s lost it.  Write it down, that’s the advice for the new civilisation.  Put it in an envelope and post it to someone more important than me.