The Rationale for Doomsday Chests

After the fall of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, much of what we consider "civilization" ceased to be. Literacy, medicine, science, agriculture, engineering, astronomy, governance, all went into decline or regression for the hundreds of years which we now call "The Dark Ages".

During this period monasteries were practically the only repositories of scholarship and learning. One historian notes that monks were not only the best educated members of society, by far, but were often the only educated members of society.

This scant progress was nearly wiped out, however, when the Black Death ravaged Europe. Entire cities disappeared. Monasteries were decimated. Whole families died, with no heirs, their houses standing empty. Trade virtually ceased. Courts were closed. Construction projects stopped and were never resumed. Guilds lost their craftsmen and could not replace them. Machines broke down and could not be repaired because those with the necessary skill and know how had died in the plague.

In the space of two years, one out of every three people were dead. Between 30 and 60% of Europe's population were killed... in just two years.

What would happen if such an event were to occur again? Would we face a new Dark Age? What of our emails? Our servers? All of our PhD's, scholarly journals, and encyclopaedias? What would happen if no one was around to tend them? What will we leave our children's children's children? Darkness, ignorance, and struggle? Or the seeds of a new civilisation?


During the Dark Ages, the Human race came precipitously close to losing all knowledge permanently when the black plague almost wiped out the scholarly religious classes.

Folksonomies: religion knowledge civilization

/travel/tourist destinations/europe (0.620950)
/technology and computing/internet technology/email (0.416739)
/religion and spirituality/buddhism (0.368116)

scholarly religious classes (0.995270 (negative:-0.792632)), Dark Ages (0.988090 (negative:-0.740552)), best educated members (0.969297 (positive:0.222936)), new Dark Age (0.864603 (negative:-0.692498)), Doomsday Chests (0.771849 (negative:-0.789331)), black plague (0.754550 (negative:-0.792632)), period monasteries (0.728571 (neutral:0.000000)), scant progress (0.723564 (negative:-0.741186)), Human race (0.722742 (negative:-0.792632)), Roman Empire (0.718528 (neutral:0.000000)), Western Europe (0.710520 (neutral:0.000000)), Entire cities (0.695871 (neutral:0.000000)), historian notes (0.691893 (positive:0.222936)), Construction projects (0.685449 (negative:-0.288568)), new civilisation (0.684093 (negative:-0.219479)), Black Death (0.679213 (negative:-0.517718)), necessary skill (0.675063 (negative:-0.817495)), children (0.511402 (neutral:0.000000)), encyclopaedias (0.485865 (neutral:0.000000)), society (0.485402 (positive:0.222936)), Rationale (0.471203 (negative:-0.789331)), heirs (0.468756 (negative:-0.490830)), ignorance (0.467807 (negative:-0.487384)), repositories (0.463885 (neutral:0.000000)), craftsmen (0.463664 (negative:-0.395989)), decline (0.462701 (negative:-0.521988)), regression (0.461588 (negative:-0.521988)), Literacy (0.460834 (neutral:0.000000)), governance (0.457912 (neutral:0.000000)), civilization (0.456490 (neutral:0.000000))

Western Europe:Region (0.792500 (negative:-0.410162)), two years:Quantity (0.792500 (neutral:0.000000)), 60%:Quantity (0.792500 (neutral:0.000000))

Middle Ages (0.965367): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Medieval demography (0.720698): dbpedia | freebase
Black Death (0.669424): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Renaissance (0.512187): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
World population (0.502892): website | dbpedia | freebase
Roman Empire (0.499644): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Late Middle Ages (0.481573): dbpedia | freebase
Bubonic plague (0.459264): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Doomsday Chests
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:   (22/07/09)Doomsday Chests, Retrieved on 2011-03-29
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: knowledge civilization


    29 MAR 2011

     Rebooting Civilization

    Memes that attempt to outline the most basic and important rules for rebuilding civilization after a collapse.