Nashville received a backhand blow from the storm that knocked out the East Coast: we got 8 inches of snow (the heaviest snowfall since I've lived here), which completely paralyzed the city. Nashville's method of snow removal is called "solar power." We lost electricity for several hours on Saturday morning and watched helplessly as the temperature inside the house dropped about a degree every hour. Power was restored before it got too uncomfortable, but this led me to the following thought experiment. Suppose that all of our technological infrastructure (electricity, gas, cable TV) collapsed for a month in the middle of the winter. Which one of these people would you want at your side to help you survive?
A) Bill Gates
B) Thomas Edison
C) Albert Einstein
D) A randomly-selected medieval peasant
The choice is clear. So let's not make fun of our ancestors -- they knew a lot of things that we've completely forgotten. A modern special forces soldier would also be an excellent choice, but he wasn't on the list.