Summary of The Knowledge

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell of the UK Space Agency presents an imaginative, engrossing and useful “thought experiment” exploring how people could rebuild society after its destruction. Assuming you’ll never have to use it, Dartnell’s fascinating compendium may still provoke your sense of wonder as you see how every item you wear, use or eat in daily life involves so much history and genius. If preparing for the worst is your avocation, this compendium offers an outline of everything you need to worry about and prepare for long-range. Given that Dartnell can cover only the iceberg tips, he zips through lots of material very fast. He explains so quickly what reviving some technologies will demand that unless you’re already familiar with them, you’ll hope that a supplemental manual might also survive this imaginary cataclysm. getAbstract recommends this work to those interested in history, technology, science fiction or survivalism.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the world could be like post-apocalypse,
  • What you would need to do to survive after society collapses and
  • How to rebuild the mechanisms necessary to have a civilized society.  

About the Author

Lewis Dartnell, PhD, is a science writer and an astrobiologist. He is a professor of science communication at the University of Westminster. He has written many articles and the book Life in the Universe.



The End of the World

Civilization has ended – whether through war, human accident or natural disaster, perhaps an asteroid strike. The specifics don’t matter for this “thought experiment”; just imagine that modern civilization is gone. Most people are dead and 99% of those who remain aren’t survivalists, so they never stockpiled food and supplies, or learned survival skills. They may inhabit a violent world and – since civilization filled the atmosphere with CO2 – they could face chaotic weather.

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