Mark Twain's book, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, is a philosophy- and adventure-tinged exploration of the idea of a "modern" person transported back into historical times. The book, along with its hundreds of imitations and rip-offs, all presuppose that modern technology and knowledge would be a vast advantage in a less technological and educated age. Particularly in Twain's work, it seems plausible that a blacksmith with a good almanac could recreate the modern technologies that he needed, including steamships, rail-roads, and electric fences. The idea does lean a little on the questionable assumption that people of the past weren't as quick to pick things up, i.e., that they were ignorant and superstitious primitives, but it makes for a good story in any case.
Consider, if you will, not a Connecticut Yankee, but a Los Angeles Systems Programmer being blipped back in time to Camelot... I'd awaken at the foot of an Oak tree, to see Sir Gawain on his horse. My first question, once we straightened out the date thing, would be if they have an internet connection back at the castle. I'd have vast knowledge of wondrous things that they couldn't even imagine -- but I'd be unable to implement them without access to Google. I'd probably end up as a teller of astounding yet ridiculously unbelievable stories about the distant future.
Well, that's progress for you.
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