How To Jump Start Society

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Structure of book

  • Things in the order that we need them, like Age of Empires
  • History of science - pre-literate culture
  • Curriculum - Are you smarter than a 5th grader
  • Things we might have done differently. Historical implications of early humanity interacting with environment of 100,000 years ago
  • The lessons we wouldn't have learned given this knowledge
  • Should include how to make each invention, and provide experiments to prove facts
  • 50 greatest inventions since the wheel

General Science


  • The experiment - scientific method, empiricism, data
  • Gravitation - galileo, the moon and the tides
  • The Earth rotates. Proof Foucault's Pendulum
  • The Earth is round
  • The Earth travels around the sun
  • Atoms and molecules
  • The periodic table
  • Light is a wave
  • electricity


  • Wheel
  • Pulley
  • Lever - torque
  • glass
  • Prism
  • The lens
    • The telescope
    • The microscope
  • The mirror

Math and statistics

  • Arabic numerals
  • The concept of zero
  • Pi - the circumference of a circle
  • geometry, for surveying
  • bell curve, normal distribution, standard deviation
  • differential equation

Earth Science and Weather

  • Need to be able to explain natural phenomena
  • Tectonic plates, volcanoes
  • Storms
  • density of air

Commerce, trade, navigation

  • Pottery
  • The compass
  • Bernoulli effect - for sailboats and airplane wings
  • paper money
  • hot air balloon


  • Bronze
  • Trip hammer
  • Bessemer process for steel refining
  • Combustion engine


  • Development of agriculture allows for a surplus of food


  • Soap
  • Evolution - fossils. needed to domesticate animals
  • Germ theory
  • DNA


  • Printing press


  • Gundowder
  • Firearm - for hunting

Philosophy, Culture

Things not included

  • Things that we're still figuring out yet
  • Political institutions like democracy, winston churchill quote about it being the worst except for all the rest