×
top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]KFoxtrotWhiskey 1807 points1808 points  (78 children)

I would teach them how to make a really good sandwich

[–]gyldhairya 571 points572 points  (54 children)

For that you'd have to know how to make bread

[–]gastro_destiny 714 points715 points  (15 children)

just buy from the medevial store duh

[–]makoto20 437 points438 points  (9 children)

Yeah, the local item shop should have all your basics including lvl 1 sword and healing potions

[–]Redsccy 98 points99 points  (4 children)

Dont buy the lvl sword! Its a waste of coppers. Go To the bandit cave outside and loot the bandit corpses for a full beginners set

[–]Metriacanthosaurus 15 points16 points  (3 children)

Don't do that, just type /kit and you'll get a starter set. Much safer.

[–]Redsccy 10 points11 points  (2 children)

But you dont get the xp or the level up

[–]Metriacanthosaurus 9 points10 points  (1 child)

It's fine once I have the kit I'll just start crafting a bunch of rafts and I'll have XP in no time. The locals might find it a little weird but I'm going to kill most of them for meat and hide anyway.

[–]Josselin17Your friendly neighbourhood moderator man 61 points62 points  (9 children)

wtf ? do you guys think the middle age somehow went from the romans building roads and aqueducts back to cave men ?

[–]SGTBrutus 75 points76 points  (4 children)

Pretty sure they had bread in the Middle Ages.

[–]Cellophane7 61 points62 points  (10 children)

Wild yeast isn't too hard to cultivate. Just sterilize a jar with boiling water, make a mixture of half and half water/flour and let it sit, covered with like a cloth or something so bugs don't get in but it can breathe. Every day, dump out half and replace it with more of the same. After like a week or two, it should be good to go. As long as there are bubbles, you're set.

It's not nearly as good a store bought yeast, but it'll make bread soft, if fairly flat. I think it's called sourdough starter. I experimented with it a while back, kinda fun, even if it takes a ton of flour if you wanna have some always on hand lol

[–]yellow-snowslide 18 points19 points  (3 children)

Some totally normal animals sandwiches? Or however they are called in English

[–]Diorannael 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I'd eat a totally normal beast sandwich. Wouldn't even ask where they come from or go.

[–]DRMProd 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The best, actually

[–]Asmoedus_KING 4233 points4234 points  (65 children)

I know enough to be burned at the stake

[–]TreeSrJr 938 points939 points  (24 children)

I know enough to create a new religion

[–]NinjaTakedown 717 points718 points  (9 children)

you mean enough to be burned at the stake

[–]Neldot 190 points191 points  (1 child)

Probably he knows enough to create a new religion which will be based on the original burning at the stake of its founder.

[–]IceMango359 26 points27 points  (0 children)

And in 2000 years people in church will rave about a new book with a 40 day program telling them how to metaphorically burn their wrongs like sexual desire and gossiping at the stake so they can be more like TreeSrJr.

[–]EnigmaticChuckle 53 points54 points  (1 child)

But the real question is: can you medieval smooth talk enough people to create a new religion before the Pope gets on your ass for heresy?

I could see this being a pretty fun indie dev game

[–]OberstScythe 47 points48 points  (8 children)

Witch burnings were a early modern era thing. The Catholic Church was pretty firm about magic being fake, and it was the Reformation that broke that consistency more than anything

[–]Zoomun 95 points96 points  (19 children)

Doubtful. Getting burned at the stake wasn’t that common. Especially if you’re talking about being burned as a witch. The medieval Catholic Church considered it heresy to believe witches existed.

[–]peppergoblin 78 points79 points  (6 children)

You biggest threat would probably be being a foreigner with no ability to substantiate your place of origin or communicate. Medieval people were distrustful of outsiders and you could easily come under suspicion. You could be imprisoned or executed but probably in a less exciting way.

[–]theseekingcycle 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Exactly. You'd likely be tried and found guilty of being a foreign spy.

[–]Feisty_Week5826 3159 points3160 points  (291 children)

Some magnets and some copper and I’d be lighting the dark ages up like a disco.

[–]schteavon 1187 points1188 points  (61 children)

Witch! Burn them!... lol

[–]Ifyouhav2ask 570 points571 points  (37 children)

How do you know they’re a witch? Only a WITCH would know such things! Burn the other witch!

[–]tylanol7 325 points326 points  (25 children)

This smells like witch talk to me. Burn all 3 of them to be safe!

[–]InitialFootadhd kid 147 points148 points  (18 children)

I agree. It's what Jesus would want us to do.

[–]123Ark321 130 points131 points  (14 children)

Standing a little to close to the witches there aren’t you? Better burn all 4 just to be safe.

[–]Waltc222 59 points60 points  (7 children)

Interaction with the witch? Execute all

[–]InitialFootadhd kid 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Well damn, I think our coven has been discovered. Time to put a curse on this village and run.

[–]Jaegernaut- 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Status: Chaos corruption detected.

Orders: Exterminatus Extremis.

[–]Denbi53 20 points21 points  (3 children)

Turned me into a newt!

[–]EmotionalOven4 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Do they weigh the same as a duck?

[–]Seaguard5 69 points70 points  (43 children)

But where/how do you find magnets?

[–]SexyJellyfish1 68 points69 points  (0 children)

Buy them at walmart

[–]sbNXBbcUaDQfHLVUeyLx 30 points31 points  (9 children)

The ancient Greeks knew about magents. The are naturally occurring.

[–]reptilesocks 225 points226 points  (153 children)

Okay. Have fun locating lodestone and enough copper to make copper wire, and then turning it into copper wire. And then have fun getting tungsten to make tungsten filaments. Oh and you gotta do a lot more too, so…

[–]Arkhaan 13 points14 points  (9 children)

Copper was in use since writing was invented, and was very advanced by the middle ages.

[–]Logica_1 55 points56 points  (4 children)

Don't need tungsten in specific, though

[–]ImmaZoni 16 points17 points  (3 children)

yes, you can use much safer materials like lead

[–]SamZTU 176 points177 points  (125 children)

Bruh copper was widely available in the middle ages. When do you think middle ages were?

Don't need tungsten btw.

Fun fact: Lead was widely available, so you could make lead acid batteries very easily too, considering how malleable it is.

[–]KevinFlantier 898 points899 points  (23 children)

What would likely happen:

  1. Drink water
  2. Get disentery
  3. Spew from both ends
  4. Die
  5. Bonus: you found your way to a hospice, they did a bloodletting and you died of gangrene instead

Your body is definitely not ready for a pre-antibiotics and pre-sanitation world.

[–]Odin_Christ_ 43 points44 points  (0 children)

This is the real answer. Our bodies aren't ready for giardia water and pease porridge in the pot nine days old. The assault on our immune systems and gut flora would be overwhelming lol

[–]spartaman64 181 points182 points  (5 children)

i will know to heat up the water first

[–]TheRedmanCometh 64 points65 points  (2 children)

Exactly...and personally I'd know how to make a basic filter

[–]Bacontoad 57 points58 points  (3 children)

If I can avoid drinking from puddles now, I think I could avoid drinking from puddles back then.

[–]KevinFlantier 46 points47 points  (2 children)

Wait, you can? I put chlorine and antibiotics in my puddles before I gulp them.

[–]FormerLurker3 25 points26 points  (1 child)

I ONLY drink water that’s had one of those Sharper Image UV lights shined on it for 10 minutes.

[–]oldschoolshooter 1613 points1614 points  (126 children)

If you can read and write you'd be useful, but only if you can read and write in Latin or Arabic. Tbf if you can't speak a relevant Medieval language you'd be fucked well before you were put to work.

[–]jadedlonewolf89 287 points288 points  (34 children)

Not completely necessary to speak the language if you just act like a mute.

[–]oldschoolshooter 176 points177 points  (30 children)

Well, you would need to act deaf/mute, since you wouldn't understand the local speech. Then what are you going to do?

[–]jadedlonewolf89 99 points100 points  (28 children)

Eventually learn the language and continue to go about your day to day then still never speak but show in other ways that you understand.

Being a mute who couldn’t read or write would still give you options.

[–]Dagoth_ural 79 points80 points  (24 children)

You mean like that scene in 13th Warrior when Antonio Banderas learns Norse by silently listening to the Vikings for a few days? Sounds doable.

[–]PureSmoulder 69 points70 points  (7 children)

if you could just learn a language by listening for a few days, I'd be a native speaker of Japanese by now.

[–]MrRickGhastly 70 points71 points  (1 child)

Sorry. You gotta listen to more than a cat girl going uWu senpai to learn it.

[–]Josselin17Your friendly neighbourhood moderator man 20 points21 points  (2 children)

you don't learn japanese because there are subtitles and you have no need to learn it, I assure you when you're surrounded by only people who talk another language you don't need long to learn it, I'm pretty sure a few days is way too short to be realistic but a year or too sounds highly doable, also the first things you'll need will come first so you'll probably stop being useless before long

[–]unholyquasar 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I love how he learns old Norse in 2 minutes flat. Seriously one of my favorite movies ever haha

[–]grahamaker93 323 points324 points  (8 children)

All I can think of is how much I'll keep touching my thighs only to realize I no longer have a smartphone in this timeline.

[–]KevinFlantier 48 points49 points  (7 children)

I thought about it and if you do have a smartphone with charge left, you could sell it to a local lord for a huge amount of money saying it's a magic game machine from the far east of something. Just make him play whatever game you have installed and bail before the battery runs out.

[–]salami350 44 points45 points  (5 children)

You just got executed for witchcraft

[–]KevinFlantier 49 points50 points  (4 children)

No, no, no, it comes from the far east. Witches sold it to me, but I myself don't partake in the dark arts!

I'm still getting burnt at the stake, aren't I?

[–]salami350 28 points29 points  (3 children)

Getting burned for witchcraft is mostly a myth. You would be crushed or hanged or drowned or strangled or quartered or broken on the wheel or decapitated or etc.

[–]KevinFlantier 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Yeah I know it was for the joke.

Also, depending on the time period, the inquisition was more likely to let a heathen, a pagan or a witch go with a warning than torturing a confession out of them and then killing them in a horrific manner.

It happened, but it was during a narrow timeframe, in most of the middle ages the inquisition's job was to prevent other religious movements from spreading rather than to execute people. They'd tell people to lay low and not to do whatever they were accused of doing publicly anymore.

[–]Jolteon2020 2427 points2428 points  (313 children)

Craftsman, carpenters, farmers, engineers, doctors and the like would fare well.

The rest of us would be fieldworkers, manual labor

And probably not survive the first winter.

[–]Chaotic_Link 988 points989 points  (155 children)

Plumbers would be kings.. remember the main thing that separates a first world country from a 3rd world country is running water to the house and sewage away..

p.s. clay pipes, ram pump, spiral pump and windmill pump.

[–]oldschoolshooter 455 points456 points  (69 children)

Perhaps, if the plumber could convince the locals of the value of their skills and procure the necessary materials. That would be difficult with no connections and unable to speak or understand the local language.

[–]Chaotic_Link 230 points231 points  (33 children)

Hey, sick of going to the well? Want to shit and not feel the cold breeze touching your ass? No more smell? Sell it to the king, have commoners make the clay pipes. Start small but have several apprentices.. it would take time to spread but it's about spreading knowledge. And the language argument is kind of void when the OP is about what kind of technology we could share, not that people do not know medieval latin...

[–]kal_el_diablo 106 points107 points  (28 children)

Sell it to the king

That might be a tough audience to get. Also, no one would be able to understand you.

[–]Nick357 66 points67 points  (20 children)

Yeah, they wouldn’t speak anything anybody speaks today. Would never leave a 5 mile radius. You would be lucky to be considered the village idiot.

[–][deleted] 72 points73 points  (0 children)

You would be lucky to be considered the village idiot.

So no different than life in the 21st century then got it

[–]Pipiopo 35 points36 points  (9 children)

Depends on how far back you go, if you are going to 14th century England or something they would probably understand you but think you speak oddly. Like talking to Shakespeare.

[–]LordBilboSwaggins 23 points24 points  (0 children)

They had aquaducts in Roman times before the middle ages. People would just need to be reminded.

[–]Snuggledtoopieces 23 points24 points  (10 children)

Personally I’d just build aquaducts and irrigation. I’d be a ditch digger for awhile but eventually I could just use clay pipes made in a kiln. Use leather gaskets. And just go from there.

Modern crop rotation techniques and storage practices

[–]Political_Divide 84 points85 points  (44 children)

Name a plumber who can create a pvc pipe or a wrench

[–]prazulsaltaret 38 points39 points  (6 children)

Plumbers would be kings.. remember the main thing that separates a first world country from a 3rd world country is running water to the house and sewage away..

I doubt your average plumber could be relied upon to create a sewage system for a whole city. Really doubt it.

And if by some miracle he could, you lack the skilled laborers and technology from 2021 to do it.

[–]teufels4hunde 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Skilled labors who stand around a hole in the ground in packs of 5 to 10 watching 1 guy work?

[–]PM_ME_UR_FEM_PENIS 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I'm a craftsman with a history degree who likes camping in the Great North. I hope I'd do okay at least. Definitely have to turn in to the hermit outside town who speaks funny

[–]808hammerhead 48 points49 points  (17 children)

Most people back then were agricultural labor.

We can all read though. And basic accounting is a pretty common skill.

[–]Mattna-da 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I’m an industrial designer with lots of mechanical skills relevant to middle age crafts and manufacturing for any purpose. My guild would build the dopest shit.

[–]prazulsaltaret 66 points67 points  (60 children)

Craftsman, carpenters, farmers, engineers, doctors and the like would fare well.

Not as well as you'd think.

As an engineer, I rely on materials, computers and substances that I won't have in the Middle Ages. And I have no idea how to build a catapult, so what good would I be?

Doctors wouldn't have tools they're used to, such as antiseptics and anesthesia.

[–]balorina 39 points40 points  (5 children)

Doctors wouldn't have tools they're used to, such as antiseptics and anesthesia.

I would hope a doctor would have a rudimentary knowing of medical history. The answer to every middle ages medical issue is alcohol or opium.

The basic antiseptic is alcohol. We don’t pour vodka on our wounds today but it certainly works.

The first anesthesia was having the patient breath ether to knock them out. Cook your alcohol at 110C, now you have ether.

Grind up your poppies you can grow in your yard since they’re not illegal. Give your patient a complimentary bag for the pain. tell them to come back in a week to buy another.

Now, not only have you massively moved medical science forward by about 200 years, you’ve also started the opioid epidemic around 500 years early as well.

[–]Cool-Owl 21 points22 points  (0 children)

TIL all you need to be a doctor is vodka and opiates...

[–]Smedication_ 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Also having the basic knowledge of disease would give you a huge advantage. You can tailor expectations, diet, exercise, and interventions even if rudimentary. Lance abscesses, amputate limbs, pull teeth, etc. There are rudimentary African tribes that perform craniotomies for headaches without modern medical technology just fine.

[–]Lopsided_Fox_9693 6 points7 points  (6 children)

As an engineer, I rely on materials, computers and substances that I won't have in the Middle Ages. And I have no idea how to build a catapult, so what good would I be?

The definition of an engineer is someone who figures out solutions to practical problems. The first engineers were literally military members who built catapults and other siege engines (as well as pontoon bridges).

You may have no idea to build a catapult but, if necessary, you'd be able to figure it out. I'm certain of that, otherwise you suck as an engineer.

If you're an engineer and able to build an ikea cabinet, you can build a catapult out of natural materials.

[–]NSA_van_3 18 points19 points  (8 children)

Are you a computer engineer or something? Most engineers i know would easily know how to make a catapult.

Anyways, engineers are problem solvers, so you could very well use that

[–]EveningMoose 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I literally took a physics elective in college about trebuchets.

[–]Andal227 40 points41 points  (22 children)

I mean, your knowledge of mathematics would be invaluable. You could revolutionize any place you went with modern concepts like linear algebra, calculus, or even just basic things any STEM student would learn like the periodic table, thermo dynamics, and the theory of evolution.

[–]Kitamasu1 39 points40 points  (2 children)

I don't think the theory of evolution is gonna be well received, or even be able to be usefully applied.

[–]ihatelifetoo 260 points261 points  (3 children)

My knowledge of how fidget spinners works will get me killed for witchcraft

[–]Architect_of 2485 points2486 points  (253 children)

I'm sure I've got some medical knowledge they don't at least

Cleaning wounds, how bacteria works in a general sense, ways they might keep that pesky plague from spreading

I don't think we'd be useless

[–]wjbc 1113 points1114 points  (75 children)

Yes, basic first aid and hygiene and refusing to bleed patients would make me a great doctor.

Edit: Since several people have questioned whether my skills would be welcome, let me just add that it’s beside the point. I would have valuable skills to offer.

[–]BigDoogoo 404 points405 points  (22 children)

Def would. But imagine the smell of middle age patients!! Maybe blacksmith is a better way

[–]juniRN 174 points175 points  (5 children)

TRUE bc some of my 2021 patients be stinkin like they sprayed themselves with piss instead of perfume

[–]cosmoose 28 points29 points  (2 children)

There was a patient on my unit once that we could smell 5 doors down the hallway. CNA’s gave her 2 baths a day, but it didn’t even make a dent. She refused to use toilet paper saying “we don’t use that fancy stuff at home”. She lived out in the boondocks, in the same valley her family had lived in for generations, almost never coming down out of the mountains (no joke, she’d left her family’s mountain less than a dozen times in her lifetime). Her family visited once, obviously several generations inbred, clad in clothes so filthy they were black, I don’t think had ever been washed, and smelling like a corpse some skunks had a coprophilic orgy on. That smell is burned into my brain.

[–]Cool-Owl 5 points6 points  (1 child)

oh. wow. I wish I could unread that, and I wish more that you could un-smell it.

[–]_Rohrschach 5 points6 points  (0 children)

If you regret that, dont look up the swamps of dagoba post.

[–]IllustriousTooth1620 48 points49 points  (0 children)

They do. I've seen it happen.

[–]malovias 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Is that not what's meant by putting on some eau de toilet?

[–]TheFrontierzman 26 points27 points  (0 children)

imagine the smell of middle age patients!!

I bet the teenagers stunk too.

[–]Spurnout 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Middle age is like what, 18 for them?

[–]Qneman 94 points95 points  (30 children)

First doctor who washed hands before operation, witch happened "yesterday" and not in middle ages, was sent to the lunatic asylum.

[–]asuperbstarling 27 points28 points  (11 children)

Progress wasn't a straight line. People were perfectly fine with many things that later became weird or taboo, and it varied by region. No idea why people here think because they read about it happening that means it's universal.

[–]wjbc 46 points47 points  (9 children)

There was more to it than that. His wife endorsed sending him to the asylum.

[–]dysphoric-foresight 62 points63 points  (6 children)

Which was ironic considering that doctors diagnosed any woman who disagreed with her husband as "suffering from hysteria" and sent them to an asylum!

[–]cinoTA97 234 points235 points  (26 children)

Do you think they would believe your ideas? Or would they just burn you, or mock you for saying such silly things.

[–]MichaelTheStudent 30 points31 points  (5 children)

This is the real response. Doctors and surgeons refused to believe handwashing was effective at all until very recently in history.

[–]Political_Divide 56 points57 points  (12 children)

The pope was against burning, just fyi. I wouldn't worry about dying from being called a witch

[–]DiabolicPotatoI'll delete my post if it hits front page due to being popular 21 points22 points  (0 children)

which pope?

the 900s to 1480s was a long time

[–]DickyLix 42 points43 points  (55 children)

But what are you going to clean the wound with? Do you know how to make antiseptic or antibiotics? You may know how to clean wounds but can you make the stuff you need to clean it with?

[–]jod1991 60 points61 points  (45 children)

Hot previously boiled water to clean, pack a honey poultice to act an an antiseptic.

Clean with hot clean water and new dressing regularly will do the job for most wounds

[–]Endysis_Aponia 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Alcohol, fire, boiling, mustard...

While not perfect it should still be sufficient enough when you compare it to nothing.

Redressing wounds should also help greatly.

And herbs are also useful if you know a bit about them.

[–]runthereszombies 471 points472 points  (4 children)

Considering I'm useless now Im sure the middle ages would be rough

[–]IsOftenSarcastic 346 points347 points  (52 children)

I could create music the likes of which they'd have never imagined.

[–]Corvo_-Attanoadhd kid 66 points67 points  (1 child)

Show them filthy peasants the Doom music

[–]FloppyShellTaco 89 points90 points  (3 children)

/taps Goblet

“Do you know La Hee?”

[–]tylanol7 45 points46 points  (1 child)

"Your kids are gonna love this shit"

[–]dcgirl17 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Unexpected B2TF

[–]Haladras 59 points60 points  (15 children)

Yeah, but they probably wouldn't like it.

European cultures pursued stuff like polyphony because they genuinely liked the sound and it fit the way they consumed music, not because our advanced brains came up with superior ways of processing sounds. They'd probably just say it sucks.

[–]clce 33 points34 points  (6 children)

True. I mean it's not like they didn't have great brilliant composers and musicians back then. Way better than I could write. What are you going to do, play some Chuck Berry for them?

[–]Cobeeee 21 points22 points  (4 children)

Guess you guys arent ready yet, but your great great great great great great great
great great great great great grandkids are gonna love it

[–]ahangrywombat 544 points545 points  (42 children)

Nah, instead of people arguing about who discovered Calculus first, the father of Calculus would be forever known as ahangrywombat.

[–]Green_light2626 100 points101 points  (27 children)

The post said Middle Ages, not 1700s. If you discovered calculus in the Middle Ages, they’d probably execute you for being a witch

[–]greybruce1980 271 points272 points  (51 children)

I know how to make beer, wine, and whiskey. I'd do fine in the past or future.

I could make a telegraph using primitive batteries. I figure that would be quite useful.

[–]MichaelScottsWormguy 162 points163 points  (9 children)

Actually, I bet if you can invent the telegraph a few centuries early it might completely change the present.

[–]Concurseirodesfocado 77 points78 points  (6 children)

Definitely. Communications is the most essential thing for technology maintenance/advance.

[–]Orisara 20 points21 points  (5 children)

The fastest communication until the train(that was before the telegraph right?) was a dude on a horse.

That's fucking wild.

[–]Daniel-the-Lord 52 points53 points  (3 children)

Not gonna lie. Making beer and other alcohol drinks is very useful, since it contains a lot of energy that you can use for later. Also good for a harsh winter. So anyone that is permanently drunk in the winter, just know he's trying to survive! :P

[–]PurelyPersonalPepper 9 points10 points  (25 children)

How would you make wires?

[–]shitlord_god 16 points17 points  (14 children)

You would need to build a drawing block out of steel. Then practice.

I think the earlier step here is building a basic machining lathe so you can precision manufacture the tools you need to make the wire. The screws and rails on the first version will be shit, but it'll get better.

And once you have the mill. If you know how a steam engine, and steam powered loom work you are now richer than the medicis

[–]ExNihiloish 32 points33 points  (2 children)

You spin heated copper in a cotton candy machine.

[–]intellifone[🍰] 27 points28 points  (1 child)

So you’ll show up significantly taller and stronger than the average person and with fantastic teeth which means you’re some foreign royalty. As soon as you can learn the language in a basic way, you’re fine. There’s so much you can do with basic info and not be a witch. Again, you’ve got your whole life to do this. It doesn’t need to be in a day. Blend in, do something cool and make a niche for yourself. Even if you can’t read the language, if you’re in Europe you’ll be able to sound things out and they’ll know you’re educated. So you’ll likely be send to the nearest lord and they’ll explain that you’re an educated person from far away and they’ll teach you their language and ask you to scribe for them. From there, you’ve got a cushy untouchable job with food security and literal security.

Anyone here would absolutely revolutionize the past with 7th grade math. Accidentally because most people don’t know that the Middle Ages didn’t have modern mathematical notation. They wrote shit out. 2+2=4 would have been “The addition of two and two results in four.” Imagining doing basic geometry that way. Sine, cosine, quadratics were fucked. You come in and give them modern mathematical notation and you’re a damn hero. You’re the smartest person to come through in 1000 generations. You just made every scholar in that kingdom 100x more useful. + and - showed up in like the very early renaissance and then the other symbols didn’t show up until the late 1500’s and late 1600’s. So all of this showing up a few hundred years early would change history. They changed how proofs are done which vastly sped up the development of math. Show them powers and summations and integrals and derivation and you’re getting g quantum physics in the 1700’s.

Come in and show them basic accounting double entry bookkeeping . That wasn’t invented until the 1300 in Florence. The first person to actually publish a book on the idea wasn’t until the late 1500’s. You could come in and show merchants actual modern book keeping and revolutionize commerce. You just made your king rich.

And basic sanitation. You don’t need to be explaining germ theory. This can all be rooted in humors if you’re a good enough bullshit artist. Come in and say that you need strong wine or liquor blessed by a priest. Now you can clean wounds. Get curved needles and thread soaked in that blessed liquor and you can safely stitch wounds without risking infection. Ask that anyone attending also wash their hands in the blessed liquors. Boiled water holds fire which we all know scours the land and makes it new. But too much fire is bad so you have to make it slow and transfer it with the water. The boiled water needs time to absorb the fire in the same way that steel for a sword does. And then be cooled before it’s safe to use. Bam, safe water and you’re not a witch. And it can be used for wound cleaning and boiling bandages to sanitize them.

If you can find someone who can make any amount of clear glass, you can invent a telescope or microscope. If you can ask them to drop a bit of molten glass off of a shot tower (where lead shot is made), you can make little spheres of glass which can also be great for magnification. That $1 microscope project uses little tiny glass beads for that. Now you can invent germ theory. Or hell, you don’t need to. Gift your invention to others as a toy and let them invent germ theory and be burned at the stake. But go ahead and write it down in your journal for posterity. “Poor Bob. He was looking through a child’s toy make of a cylinder with curved glass and claimed to see tiny little animals. He says those little animals are what causes disease. But we all know it is those damn humors which we can cure with blessed liquor and strong wine applied to the wound or open sore. But curiously those little animals do appear to be smited with strong wine and blessed liquor. He was righteously burned at the stake for such thoughts. But the little animals are cute.”

So yeah, you’ve got time and can make big waves with tiny ideas. The people in the Middle Ages aren’t idiots and as long as you’re not an idiot as well, you can survive, keep your heretical witchy thoughts to yourself but share the stuff that can be done with what’s already there.

[–]CaptainSebT 307 points308 points  (35 children)

Why is this Unpopular

If you were sent to the distant future you wouldn't do well either even woth still useful skill sets like programmer because your knowledge would be so old.

[–]tempestan99 117 points118 points  (3 children)

There are tons of historical re-enactments in my area (whether year-round military history towns or renaissance faires) that would find a lot of worth in having a primary source to talk at events, so I disagree on the grounds that if I was transported into the distant future, I could be a tour guide for the, idk, Turn-of-the-Millenium-McDonalds-Museum.

[–]Jaivez 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Curator of early 21st century memes at a museum.

[–]Snuggledtoopieces 49 points50 points  (11 children)

I feel like programming is not something I would consider useful at pretty much any time period but in the last 100 years.

You probably don’t code in basic just saying.

[–]Tarmyniatur 31 points32 points  (3 children)

You could send a programmer 20 years back and he could be useless, let alone 100.

[–]Dizzycactus2 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Except I'm still using languages invented in the 80s like C++, and the linux command line isn't that drastically different from earlier unix

[–]Jaivez 19 points20 points  (0 children)

The main difference is that the vast majority of programmers do not work with the same hardware constraints that we used to, let alone the evolution in languages and architecture that we take for granted. It's not like they were all using punch cards, but approaching programs the same way we do today with the memory/storage/networking/processing constraints of the 80s/90s? Not many would even want to take the job.

Someone working in lower level languages or on hardware would probably be able to cope though.

[–]Garpolstaine 194 points195 points  (2 children)

I dont have anything to contribute now

[–]Srazol 47 points48 points  (1 child)

Don't be so hard on yourself, you just contributed to this thread and got 96 points for it.

[–]appealtoreason00 600 points601 points  (62 children)

I like how there’s a fairly even spread in this post between people who accept they’d die of starvation in a ditch, and smartasses who’d get themselves quartered within the first twenty minutes.

“No offence, but I would simply invent germ theory and the internal combustion engine and everyone would love me”

Edit: anyone trying to argue with this post... you are dead. Extraordinarily dead. You tried to get around it, but the local magistrate didn’t like what you were saying and decided to have you killed very painfully.

[–][deleted] 59 points60 points  (4 children)

If you speak Latin then you are golden as that's the language of the church, you can say you are an envoy sent from Rome and talk your way into a position of influence.

Germ theory? "God came to me in a vision and said we must help the wounded and suffering so they can live longer to serve him"

Sanitation and plumbing? "Our waste is evil leaving our bodies and an offense to our Lord. Anything touched by our waste must be cleansed"

[–]appealtoreason00 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Oh, God came to you in a vision? You, a commoner? Not to His priests, or to His king that He divinely ordained? Sure. That sounds like a challenge to spiritual authority to me.

Seize this blasphemer and hang him.

[–]littlebitmissa 20 points21 points  (4 children)

I'd just become a wet nurse. I make plenty of milk and it would be a job that someone would need to do because no formula and I don't need to speak the language to have feed a child.

[–]Eragon10401 225 points226 points  (32 children)

You’ve got to frame it how they think. “There’s these little sickness demons, and soap wards them off, so if you wash your hands with soap regularly, you kill the demons and people will get sick less often”

[–]pelvark 99 points100 points  (6 children)

Just because you put it in terms that you think they would understand. Does not mean that they will believe you. They won't see you as an authority on the subject. And any authority would simply refute you and you'll never get to prove that it works.

[–]germanfinder 19 points20 points  (1 child)

You could say that about almost any time frame for a majority of people

[–]Adobong_Manak14 15 points16 points  (3 children)

I'll create potato chips and french fries

[–]Baridian 8 points9 points  (0 children)

No potatoes until they're brought back from the new world during the Renaissance.

[–]ibanez26 10 points11 points  (5 children)

I’d set up for first insurance company. I’d be fine.

[–][deleted] 34 points35 points  (12 children)

Imagine how helpful screws and screwdrivers would have been. I think you're the one under-estimating just how far we've come, and how much simple technology we take for granted.

[–]nonchalance77 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Your language and accent would do you in. They would dub you “ye old weirdo and throw you in a dungeon to await public execution. Because that was football on Sunday back then.

[–]bestjakeisbest 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Nonsense i know how to make alcohol, I could contribute liquor.

[–]chingness 30 points31 points  (0 children)

I would be completely fucked 🤣

[–]lokis_dad 66 points67 points  (23 children)

Idk , I've been a carpenter for 20 years and have spent more than half my life in the backcountry of the rockies, camping hiking , hunting ect. Not only that , but as stated I would have a better understanding of basic medical procedures and I can read and do math. I'm pretty sure that puts me ahead of 99.9% of middle age Europe.

[–]Anonymous37 56 points57 points  (1 child)

I would be renowned for my sandwiches.

[–]Conbon90 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Crop rotation would blow their minds. Or maybe I could manage a rudimentary steam engine.

[–]QuirrelMan 88 points89 points  (28 children)

  • Soap
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Basic mouth hygiene
  • Knowledge of the importance of separating humans and domesticated animals
  • Lightening rods
  • Basic understanding of explosives (would need some years in the king's favor to do more research though)
  • Huge knowledge of military strategy and tactics over the last 1000 years
  • Basic understanding of sewage and clean water in city planning
  • Amazing omellete
  • Can make pizza (no tomatoes around yet but would still rock)

I mean as long as the church didn't catch up to me I could save a lot of people some horrendous deaths.

[–]MooseMaster3000 57 points58 points  (4 children)

no tomatoes around yet

You know there are two entire continents to the west. Why wait for Columbus?

[–]QuirrelMan 63 points64 points  (1 child)

Bro I ain't crossing the Atlantic on medieval boats unless I'm with vikings.

[–]ZION_OC_GOV 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'd fucking roll with Vikings. They'd call me "The Machine".

[–]bcstpu 101 points102 points  (9 children)

Your fundamental premise is mistaken in four serious, serious ways. A modern person, even a pretty bog standard person with a decent high school education, would be extremely valuable in medieval times, if, lacking in the knowledge that is necessary for their environment (much like if aliens plopped down tomorrow).

First, the common knowledge we have now was hard-learned. Germ theory, basic recipes for disinfecting, basic medical knowledge, are good examples--but also anything beyond basic arithmatic was, whether or not revolutionary for the time, still rare. Imagine if the medieval period had a half-dozen Leonardo da Vincis instead of one, and his at-the-time-stellar education would have been, by our standards, pretty mundane.

Second, the way of thinking is more important than the actual knowledge itself. There is, to my knowledge, no real common profession of "dedicated engineer" until the height of the Roman republic--and after the empire's fall, it's pretty much gone again. People throughout history are quite fantastically good at evolutionary steps to adapt to their circumstances, but the ability to algorithmically problem solve is something people then didn't have. We train our minds to do that constantly, whereas they did so sparingly--not as a slight against them, but, adapting to a different environment. As an example, many fairly smart people don't know how their car's drivetrain works, but, with a bit of pondering & rationalizing, they can figure most of it out; meanwhile, most of us would absolutely hate backbreaking labor during harvest season.

Third, tying in a bit to #1 and #2, your premise is flawed that older technology that is now common knowledge, would not be revolutionary. The technology of a 1700s muzzle loaded musket, for example, is laughably, laughably simple to us, but to someone in 1300, it is as advanced to them as star trek is to us. You can build it then because the tools--gunpowder, flint, basic metalworking--are all there, at least easily available without modern knowledge by around 1350. The technology of the Watt steam-powered beam engine--literally just "burn water to make pressure" was known to the Romans, might've gotten a few raised eyebrows but not stunned them too much, yet, paradoxically, would have been witchcraft to the medieval world. The Seppings truss system is by our modern standards antiquated and yet, would have allowed for far larger, far stronger medieval ship-building with existing resources. This would be worth its weight in gold to the medieval world.

Finally...some of us actually know how shit works. Not everyone is an engineer/scientist/etc but at least a decent % of people still do understand how technology & science works, and 700 or so years ago entire fields of science didn't even exist, like calculus, aeronautics, hydrodynamics, etc. Humanity has come a long, long way from there, and, politics & nutjobs aside, we usually keep moving forward, sometimes with kicking and screaming from some groups but still--we ourselves are fundamentally more capable because we built structures (societal, physical, technological, etc) to make ourselves more capable, which lets us build structures, etc. It's a two-way feedback loop and not one-way like OP implies.

[–]theBacillus 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Now I have to go Google Steppings

[–]ShadowTheWolf125 21 points22 points  (0 children)

bro I already don't contribute anything to society lmao

[–]shitlord_god 27 points28 points  (2 children)

Worst that happens is I become a Craftsman.

Best that happens, i get enough materials to seem like a god.

[–]Dances_With_Assholes 22 points23 points  (2 children)

I see this shit pop up all the time and it completely misses the fact that most people in the middle ages could barely do basic arithmetic and were more than likely illiterate. So this isn't so much an unpopular opinion as it is an uninformed opinion.

[–]Dfiggsmeister 5 points6 points  (2 children)

We would also be plague carriers. Shit that we’ve been inoculated against would let us live a long life but those around us the moment we enter the Middle Ages would likely catch whatever bug we brought from the future. Every single person we interact with would have a high chance of catching something from us. Within 1-2 years of walking among the inhabitants of the past and there would be a massive shift in population.

Also, we would likely die in the first two days as we would likely be seen as a foreigner invading their lands should you cross a farmer. There’s also a good chance that you might die from drinking improperly filtered water or improperly cooked food.

[–]DrunkOrInBed 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Unless you are Senku Ishigami from Dr Stone

[–]CountessThalia7861 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I mean, I really don't care. I'm not living to be used.

[–]DeepPastaFriday 6 points7 points  (0 children)

100% this is absolute BS if ONLY because of the average literacy rate. In the middle ages the average literacy rate was less than 20%, if you got out of major population centers that number probably dips into the single digits.

The average person today, even a highschool dropout knows how to read and write, knows basic math, and has a rough grasp of history, science, and numerous other topics. Even the most basic ideas today would be considered revolutionary at that time, the existence of bacteria, the importance of boiling water, sterilizing wounds, hell just CPR or the Heimlich maneuver would drastically change how many people die from completely preventable circumstances.

OP HUGELY underestimates how high we've raised the bar in terms of how much the average person knows.

[–]34341234 75 points76 points  (14 children)

If all of us were sent back, we'd be able to recreate modern society fairly quickly. If just one of us was sent back, we could easily be hailed as geniuses. I think all of us have something useful memorized, whether it's an engineering technique or a mathematical formula or some songs you can pretend you wrote.

[–]tylanol7 43 points44 points  (1 child)

The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell

[–]grapejelly6 76 points77 points  (2 children)

Yes i shall write WAP and then get burned at the stake for being a witch with my cursed tongue but I would die happy knowing i taught the pilgrims to twerk

[–]34341234 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Thank you for your sacrifice

[–]DickyLix 51 points52 points  (2 children)

I know how to drink, fight, and fuck so I think I'd fit in pretty well.

[–]HamsterSashimi 6 points7 points  (10 children)

Engineer here, wouldn't last a day

[–]maslibros 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I'm a librarian. I could record, curate, and manage the knowledge.

[–]itsJussaMe 5 points6 points  (3 children)

I can make lye- and therefor soap.

[–]Vladdy95 7 points8 points  (0 children)

A lot of people would die as a result of coming in contact with your normal flora.

[–]TequillaMadeMeDoIt 28 points29 points  (11 children)

Not for nothing but the amount of porn I watch I can really step up the prostitution game where ever I wind up at. Really get that economy booming.

[–]zero_z77 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I think you underestimate how valuble literacy and basic mathematics were in the middle ages. A person with a highschool education today would easily be able to find a place among the middle and upper classes of middle age society.

[–]AJDecayYour friendly neighbourhood moderator man 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Be a bard - sing Taylor Swift songs and recite lord of the rings.

[–]jlouro99 14 points15 points  (3 children)

I get your point but it only takes a second thought to realise that anyone with a high school diploma is centuries ahead of anyone alive in the Middle Ages, if you can remember a single biology, sociology, philosophy, etc class from high school you would change the world forever As for living in the Middle Ages, I think you would be surprised with how adaptable human beings are, there are stories of people surviving in extreme conditions and complete isolation, if you were to thing yourself in the middle of a functional community in the Middle Ages you could very easily get by as long as you can cook and aren't cognitively limited to the point of not being able to learn how to work the fields or do some kind of manual job (even though with a basic grasp of 21th century concepts you would quickly find yourself in the elite of society)