Humankind has created a massive, incalculable store of knowledge. IMO, some of this knowledge will not be important to our survival, our life styles, nor to our safety. Again, IMO, some things we need to forget until such a time that Humankind has gained the wisdom to handle them properly without unforeseen or ignored consequences of failure. Nuclear energy first comes to mind. Next is gene manipulation of any life form. Again, these are two of my personal “taboos” for lack of a better word. The “Oops" factor is just too high.
That said, there IS a lot of knowledge that would be invaluable in a downsized post-industrial society. Those who hold on to that knowledge will be the ones to do best in adapting to changes, the people who will be looked to by others as leaders of their communities.
With that in mind I want to share with you information that is still accessible on line, but may not be in the future. I have printed out a lot of this for myself and have created a file box (actually I am up to three now) that has become an important part of my own survival preparations.
Cornell University has two sites that have a lot to offer. The first of these is The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA)
The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science, forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science. Scholars have selected the titles in this collection for their historical importance. Their evaluations and 4,500 core titles are detailed in the seven volume series The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, Wallace C. Olsen, series editor.
Current online holdings: Pages: 850,264 Books: 1,849 (1,910 Volumes) Journals: 6 (288 Volumes)
The sister to the Agriculture site is HEARTH
HEARTH is a core electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines. Titles published between 1850 and 1950 were selected and ranked by teams of scholars for their great historical importance. The first phase of this project focused on books published between 1850 and 1925 and a small number of journals. Future phases of the project will include books published between 1926 and 1950, as well as additional journals. The full text of these materials, as well as bibliographies and essays on the wide array of subjects relating to Home Economics, are all freely accessible on this site. This is the first time a collection of this scale and scope has been made available. Currently online: Pages: 771,493 Books: 1180 (1243 Volumes) Journals: 16 (430 Volumes)
"Those of my readers who grew up on stories about Merlin, Gandalf et al. take note: those characters, legendary or fictional as they are, were modeled on an actual profession that flourished in the early Middle Ages, and remained relatively active until the bottom fell out of the market at the end of the Renaissance.
By "wizard" here I don’t mean your common or garden variety fortune teller or ritual practitioner; we have those in abundance today. The wizard of the early Middle Ages in Europe and the Muslim world, rather, was a freelance intellectual whose main stock in trade was good advice, though admittedly that came well frosted with incantation and prophecy as needed. He had a good working knowledge of astrology, which filled roughly the same role in medieval thought that theoretical physics does today, and an equally solid knowledge of ritual magic, but his training did not begin or end there. According to Picatrix, the complete wizard in training needed to get a thorough education in agriculture; navigation; political science; military science; grammar, languages, and rhetoric; commerce, all the mathematics known at the time, including arithmetic, geometry, music theory, and astronomy; logic; medicine, including a good knowledge of herbal pharmaceuticals; the natural sciences, including meteorology, mineralogy, botany, and zoology; and Aristotle’s metaphysics: in effect, the sum total of the scientific learning that had survived from the classical world."
That’s a lot of material to digest for now. I will add more to this series over time. And please, feel free to add any links or book suggestions that you might have…the more knowledge we share now and save for the future…the better off Humankind will be…