Passing down your history.

After the nitty gritty is done, you may want to put a thought to passing down history to your descendants. You may want to tell them a few things, including (but not limited to) what happened, how you survived, the way you set up your society, who you are, how to stop it happening again… but there’s a problem with this.

How are you going to make sure it gets down the line unchanged?

Think about the history we know. The further back we go the spottier the evidence and the more specialised knowledge required to understand it. When you’re dealing with oral cultures, it’s even worse. History gets interwoven with myth until the awareness of what actually happened is a foggy mess.

Not only that, but when you take into account human nature – the fact that people will reinterpret or outright make up history in order to suit their own agenda – it starts to seem more trouble than it’s worth.

Still, you have to try. Why? Because every thing human beings do is based on the things that went before. And at the very least, you might want to pass down information about things like electricity, water purification and refined sugar so that these necessities don’t take quite so long to turn up next time.

The best thing to do is to record everything. Keep hold of old fiction and non-fiction books you find, and copy them when they start to fall apart. Carve them into stone if you have to. Write them on parchment made of animal skin and store them CAREFULLY, not just in some musty old cellar somewhere. There’s not much you can do about how much language will change over the decades and centuries. (Seriously, you may think you speak English, but if you were dropped into medieval England you would NOT understand what they were saying) But you can, at least, ensure your documents are safe and intact so that future people translating them don’t have to work so hard.

My mother is a historian, and she says one of the worst things for documents is damp. So a dry place is the most important thing you can do. Perhaps make it law that everyone has to be able to read and write, and that everyone has to copy out an essnetial document once a year so that not only does everyone have access to the information, everyone knows how to read it. If that law sticks, you could have your great grandchildren still understanding how to build a solar power generator – and should the ability to do so ever come around, they’ll be ready.

Survival isn’t just about your survival, it’s about giving all your descendants a fighting chance.

anninyn

Anninyn lives and works in the UK, though she writes in a world of her own. Raised on a steady diet of sci-fi, intellectualism and political thinking by hippies, she looks at modern life through a somewhat-...unique... lens. She is obsessed with the apocalypse, and can be reached at anninyn@incaseofsurvival.com for all apocalypse-based inquiries. She is working on her first novel. You can find out about her and her other work through her website http://cbblanchard.com/

2 Replies to “Passing down your history.

  1. You could make it a group thing. Like everyone in the village or group gathers and tells the same story from the beginning. And then you have like 10 to 100 accounts of the same thing according to whoever lived it and then whoever reads it after can discern truth from what happened consistent throughout. And that way you’re not saying one story is the Truth.

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