The Time Machine The Time Machine discussion


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3 books to bring to the future ...

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Wendy It’s January 5, 1900.
I’ve just returned from the year 802,701 A.D., dined with my four friends and told the tale of my time machine excursion. I’m about to return to the future and join the people who call themselves Elio. I can only carry three books to bring to the future. (Pre-1900 books, obviously.)
Which three books do I take?


Joey V. It's been a while since I read the original, but as I recall the Eloi weren't very capable, relying on the Morlocks for actual labor and themselves being treated like sheep. So one book would need to be an almanac or some type of agricultural "how-to" book.

For much the same reason, a comprehensive science text would be a good choice. Necessary to bring the Eloi back up to "modern" standards, and probably easily available to our friend The Time Traveler.

Also, the Kama Sutra.


Jeni Utopia, The Illiad, and Plato's Republic.


Wendy One of my Facebook friends suggested:
"The Bible, U.S constitution, and whatever passed for a general science text back then."

Although I'm not religious,The Bible was my first thought. The U.S. Constitution sounds great, but is more of a document and some of its content may not be applicable. Also, in the movie The Time Machine, the friend and housekeeper noticed three books missing from George's own library. With all that in mind, my suggested list of three looks something like this:

1. The Bible
2. the best medical reference they had at that time
3. a classic with lessons to be learned and easy for the Elio to understand, but I can't decide (The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, A Christmas Carol, or The Swiss Family Robinson)

I didn't really commit to 3, but did the best I could.


Devero The Enciclopedia Britannica.

The Poetic Edda.

The Kama Sutra!


Jenny I'm too ignorant of pre-1900 literature in the particular fields I'd be choosing from to list actual titles, but I would pick a history book, something that will teach them to read and a maths book.


message 7: by Feliks (last edited Jan 16, 2013 07:57AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks Wendy wrote: "I’m about to return to the future and join the people..."

Perennial question for fans of both the book and the movie. I'm only completely sure of one title worth including on the 'list of three'. See that title below, at the end of my comments.

The point is always to remember what Welles' time-traveler-character has discovered from his trip. Everything which our entire civilization has ever learned (he comes to realize) eventually proved unable to prevent catastrophe and apocalypse.

Religion, history, science, art, politics, economics--all of it--every topic, every bit of knowledge we've ever amassed--proved ineffective (in this tale) at keeping us from destroying ourselves.

To start a new society; to get a second chance--to start from scratch--what is needed? Certainly, you want to NOT repeat any of the earlier mistakes made in our time. So, absolutely no religion. No Bibles. No gods, no myths. No beliefs at all. No patriotism. No racism. No "-isms" of any kind. No knowledge which causes rifts and divisions. And no science books (science too often, leads to weaponry).

So far, I can only think of one book to include. The classic manual for ensuring equal representation and building civil communities. "Robert's Rules of Order: the Standard Guide to Parliamentary Procedure".


Devero Very intresting point, Felix.

But, a question.
What is the necessity of book for future people that are analphabet?


message 9: by Feliks (last edited Jan 16, 2013 08:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks Thanks.

I'm assuming that the time traveler would be bringing them up-to-speed with reading/alphabets; in order to make use of this book.

Even if he does not; he might safely assume that just as our own culture became excited by the historic past and bent our energies to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs; so might this new society become spurred on merely by the sight of the book; to develop the skills to figure it out.

Its a culture which already demonstrates a tendency to take any artifact and make it into a totem or idol.

Anyway, I also like the suggestion made by another poster (above) that a good medical reference book would probably be valuable. On the other hand, I'm unsure whether a volume of mathematics would not turn out eventually to be harmful? Tough call.

I think the time traveler wants this future society to start building a culture with a whole new set of values; maybe a society where feelings, unity, and solidarity is prioritized rather than tools which calculate, divide, and apportion.

In my own view, I would hope he uses something like, the success of native American indians as a model: a society where everything is shared.


Michael T The one that can make fire, shoot bullets, and heal me.


Andrew Weaver You dont need three books, just make sure you take with you...
The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy !!!


message 12: by E.D. (new) - rated it 4 stars

E.D. Lynnellen I'd take a book on distilling single malt whiskey, one on pharmacology, and Animal Farm.

This, I believe, would create a society capable of producing it's own Hobbes and Locke.


message 13: by HalfPastHuman (new)

HalfPastHuman The Little Prince
:)


message 14: by Kirk (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kirk Book on good nutrition for the Eloi and a cookbook for the Morlocks. Not sure about the third.


message 15: by Rishindra (last edited Oct 09, 2013 03:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rishindra Chinta 1. The Bible, since it influenced our world to a greater extent than any other book, whether you like it or not.
2. The Origin of Species, a pretty important scientific text.
3. Hamlet, since Shakespeare is probably the most highly regarded writer to have written in the English language.

Of course, it depends on what your purpose would be, I guess. Would you want to teach them about our culture or show them how to develop their own? But, then again, there is no political book that has talked about how a world with two species that live like the Eloi and the Morlocks could work well.


message 16: by Kilburn (new)

Kilburn Hall 1. The Bible
2. Origin Of The Species
3. Complete works of William Shakespeare


William Thomas I would bring The Bible a book on mathmatics and a book on farming.


message 18: by Yet_one_more_idiot (last edited Apr 04, 2014 03:02PM) (new)

Yet_one_more_idiot Hmm....given all the troubles caused by religion, I would definitely steer clear of any religious texts as well. Plus I'm an Atheist myself, so I wouldn't feel qualified to spread a religion amongst the Eloi (and anyway, which one would be "best" to choose?) So I avoid that thorny subject entirely.

A good solid medical text would be a great thing to have with me; the best available then, and still the foremost medical text now, is Gray's Anatomy.

I think a good grounding in mathematics would help them with later being able to build and to maintain their own buildings, equipment, etc. For this, Euclid's Elements would be a pretty good choice, but I think I'd actually go with Newton's Principia Mathematica.

With medicine and mathematics already covered, I think I'd turn to literature for the third volume, something to encourage their imaginations. And for this purpose, I would choose what I feel is the best set of literature for the Eloi, who are essentially adult children; I'd pick up my own volume of the complete fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. :)

So yeah, to recap:
1) Gray's Anatomy
2) Newton's Principia Mathematica
3) Grimms' Complete Fairy Tales


Richard Hartwell How about throwing Marcus Aurelius' Meditations into the mix?


Nikolay Ivankov 1) C.F. Gauss, Disquisitiones Arithmeticae;
2) C. Darwin, Origin of Species;
3) E. Gibbon, The Rise and Fall of Roman Empire;

Oh, pardon, this is much more than three...


message 21: by redacted (last edited Jun 09, 2014 03:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

redacted My immediate reaction to the topic was Henley's twentieth century formulas, recipes and processes, which, if I ever build a time machine, will have a permanent home under the driver's seat.

Unfortunately, the very title indicates it would not have been available to Wells' protagonist. There might be a suitable 19th century equivalent.


message 22: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen OK. This is a formidible challenge.

1) The Oxford English Dictionary. Many of the words that we use contain whole ideas and many of the entries would be good reminders to take along.

2) Bulfinch's Mythology This book contains many of the concepts also contained in The Bible and in the Koran which would be great for developing philosophy but the myths can more easily be dismissed as failed attempts at understanding the cosmos.

3) Anything that I had by Isaac Newton. Physics, maths and astronomy knowledge are not only useful in their own right but are a useful jumping off place for re-discovering all the scientific knowledge that would be left behind.


Vickie I would bring the latest Medical text, although at that time, I'm not sure how comprehensive it could be, but would probably be better than what they could have.

I would bring the latest text on agriculture, since the Eloi would need to grow their own food.

And I would bring a primer, to show them how to read.


Yet_one_more_idiot Vickie wrote: "I would bring the latest Medical text, although at that time, I'm not sure how comprehensive it could be, but would probably be better than what they could have.

I would bring the latest text on a..."


Well I can't comment on the other two, but the medical text you'd be wanting is definitely Gray's Anatomy. It was and still IS the leading medical textbook in the world, ever since first publication in 1858 (so there's a very good chance indeed that the Traveller would have had a copy in his library, too). :)


message 25: by Alp (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alp Mortal Wendy wrote: "It’s January 5, 1900.
I’ve just returned from the year 802,701 A.D., dined with my four friends and told the tale of my time machine excursion. I’m about to return to the future and join the people..."


The poems of John Donne, The plays of William Shakespeare and The Paston Letters


Jonathan Jean-Jaques Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of Inequality may prove invaluable to the society of the Eloi.


Papaphilly A reading primer, a math primer, and a general mechanics book. More than likely I stop off during the early 21 st century and pick up a laptop with all of the information I would need on the hard drive.


Yet_one_more_idiot Papaphilly wrote: "A reading primer, a math primer, and a general mechanics book. More than likely I stop off during the early 21 st century and pick up a laptop with all of the information I would need on the hard drive"

You're the Traveller from the novel, you wouldn't know the first thing about 21st laptop computers, how to use them, or how they work (lets face it, it wouldn't last long anyway...no compatible power sources in the Eloi's time I'd bet).

Haven't thought about it some more, I'm still sticking with my answers. Gray's Anatomy, Principia Mathematica, and the complete Brothers Grimm as a reading primer. :)


message 29: by Papaphilly (last edited Nov 23, 2014 02:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Papaphilly Yet_one_more_idiot wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "A reading primer, a math primer, and a general mechanics book. More than likely I stop off during the early 21 st century and pick up a laptop with all of the information I woul..."

I have traveled 10,000 years into the future and have returned. I think I can figure it out. If I can travel back and forth once, I can probably travel back and forth a number of times and get new batteries as I need them or build new ones.

If I couldn't figure it out, how did I build the machine to start with?

Everyone is a naysayer. Sheesh!


Yet_one_more_idiot Papaphilly wrote: "I have traveled 10,000 years into the future and have returned. I think I can figure it out. If I can travel back and forth once, I can probably travel back and forth a number of times and get new batteries as I need them or build new ones."

OK, that's fair enough...although he's never depicted interacting with anything resembling 21st century electronics in the course of the novel's events, but I'll give that to you that he could figure them out with enough time.

Still, it's kinda cheating by the original rules isn't it? He was supposed to be only taking 3 books from his own time, not stocking up on supplies from the following centuries! ;-P


message 31: by Clifford (new)

Clifford James I would love to say the Bible as well, but the one thing I personally believe that is the cancer of the world and the reason our race is so divided, is religion. I recently moved out of my parents house and in with a friend. I have my own personal library of two-hundred plus books (at the age of twenty-four) and because of me being lazy, I decided to do this exact thing.

Book 1; The Elements by Euclid. This is the basis of all geometrical science and math that we use today. For the last two-thousand three-hundred fifteen years, we have been using this doctrine to teach and build from.

Book 2; Metaphysics by Aristotle. True understanding of ones self using a form of philosophical physics to define infinity of thought and matter throughout the universe.

Though the third book I brought with me was one published in the 1960's (most prized possession, a first edition copy of At The Mountains of Madness by Lovecraft), if I were to come think of a third in my collection I would chose The Odyssey. The universal theme of traveling to a beloved while meeting obstacles have been retold through the years, however this is the best known example because it can be shown as a pictorial story of Freud's theory of life stages. Because of the heavy topic of deities throughout the poem, it probably wouldn't help to explain that they resemble Odysseus' Id, Ego, and Super Ego.


message 32: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Catto 1. The Bible, the Eloi's "god" was the statue, they will need a God to replace it. So unless you want to become a god, you will need to provide them with one.

2. Gray's Anatomy- basic medical knowledge would be of a great help in moving a civilization forward.

3. A book on farming to help them learn to grow their own food.


As for book on math and science, I am assuming since he built a time machine the main character has a good knowledge of math, science, and mechanics. Since he is the only one who could read the books, taking a book that contains information he already knows would not be necessary.

A reading primer and math primer, I am assuming he would be able to recreate to help them learn to reading, writing, and arithmetic.


Rodger Johnaton In the Garden of Eden there were plants bearing food. Man can return to that and live simply and with a purpose. These are my 3 books I would take.

1. The Holy Bible -With God all things are possible

2. Farmer’s Almanac -Useful for farming of food

3. Physicians’ Desk Reference -Identify ailments and cures


message 34: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate Minarcine-Wyllie Are we basing the three books on:

H. G. Wells - The Time Machine

or

1960 movie - The Time Machine - with Rod Taylor

or

2002 movie - The Time Machine - with Guy Pearce

????
There are differences in each one listed that would require taking back three different books for that scenario you choose.


message 35: by Margaret-Ann (new)

Margaret-Ann I would like to know if anyone knows for sure what 3 books he took? Not guessing. is there any evidence? I would really like to know. Thank you


Papaphilly Margaret-Ann wrote: "I would like to know if anyone knows for sure what 3 books he took? Not guessing. is there any evidence? I would really like to know. Thank you"

The movie never says I do not think the book did either.


message 37: by Gladstone (new)

Gladstone Gimenis Ele levou Princípios Matemáticos da Filosofia Natural, vol I, II e III de Isaac Newton.


message 38: by Gladstone (new)

Gladstone Gimenis Papaphilly wrote: "Margaret-Ann wrote: "I would like to know if anyone knows for sure what 3 books he took? Not guessing. is there any evidence? I would really like to know. Thank you"

The movie never says I do not ..."


👆


Papaphilly Gladstone wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "Margaret-Ann wrote: "I would like to know if anyone knows for sure what 3 books he took? Not guessing. is there any evidence? I would really like to know. Thank you"

The movie n..."


What makes you think these are the books?


message 40: by Gladstone (new)

Gladstone Gimenis Porque até hoje, é o livro de ciências naturais de maior influência já publicado, contém como leis de Newton para o movimento de corpos, fundamentação da mecânica clássica, assim como uma lei de gravitação universal. Newton demonstrou como leis de Kepler para o movimento dos planetas (que foram usados ​​empiricamente).
Na elaboração de suas teorias de física, Newton criou um campo de matemática conhecido como cálculo. Entretanto, uma linguagem de cálculo foi deixada de fora dos Principia. Em vez de usar, Newton demonstrou a maioria de suas provas com argumentos geométricos.
O Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica é composto de três volumes:
De motor corporativo - Sobre o movimento dos corpos
De motor corporativo - Sobre o movimento dos corpos (cont.)
De mundi systemmate - Sobre o sistema do Mundo


Papaphilly Are you saying these are the books that you would take to the future?


message 42: by Gladstone (last edited Apr 17, 2020 07:19PM) (new)

Gladstone Gimenis Claro! Por este conhecimento .Copérnico morreu na prisão, .Giorgano Bruno foi enviado a fogueira e muitos outros antes de Newton dedicaram sua vida para obter o conhecimento que foi .resumido nestes 3 volumes, sem estes três livros voltariam a idade da pedra, você disse que gostaria de saber se alguém sabe ao certo quais 3 livros ele levou, estou lhe dizendo e não adivinhando. Descobri evidências e estou certo que foram estes os três livros que ele levou.


message 43: by Nick (last edited Sep 02, 2020 02:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Wells himself would certainly not approve of the poor Eloi being subjected to the Bible. He'd be more likely to go with Darwin's Origin of the Species. But the question is what I would take if I were the Traveller.

Well, according to my reading, the Eloi are most likely degenerated beyond aspirations of literacy. Not so much the Morlocks. As in Baxter's excellent official sequel, The Time Ships, those vilified subterraneans are far more likely to be the Traveller's new companions, despite his obvious attraction to Weena. They do, after all, operate machinery and still have some semblance of community - working together as they do to steal the Traveller's machine.

With this in mind, the Traveller is going to need some entertainment to while away the dark hours in the Morlocks' tunnel complexes. The collected works of Shakespeare would have the most ground for this. As far as enabling the Traveller to understand what has happened to result in the bifurcation of the human race, Max Nordau's Degeneration might be Wells' own choice, Darwin's The Descent of Man would be mine. I would also want something there to aide with the regeneration of the species, i.e. something to inform the Morlocks' "training". For this I would choose Tower and Tweed's First Lessons in Language. Wells however, may've chosen his own Text-Book of Biology.

Don't forget your box of matches and jar of camphor...


message 44: by Alfan (new)

Alfan Fahru Did anyone knows what are 3 books that told in this novel? . I would really to know.is there any evidence ?.


message 45: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Yet_one_more_idiot wrote: "Hmm....given all the troubles caused by religion, I would definitely steer clear of any religious texts as well. Plus I'm an Atheist myself, so I wouldn't feel qualified to spread a religion amongs..."

Good choices


message 46: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick 1960 movie - The Time Machine - with Rod Taylor


message 47: by Ditpook (new)

Ditpook So many comments reflect a group of 'city kept people'. If you remember the Eloi do not farm or prepare food, they eat what the Morlocks put out for them. Th Eloi are worthless, like so many Leftists today. Not one drop of sweat generated as they consume the fruits of others labors. Why not eat them? I would imagine if Wells took 3 books they would be one on food so they could grow it themselves, one on warfare to fight the Morlocks and to keep what they worked for, and the Bible, since you need a template for morals and proper human behavior that atheists lack.


message 48: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Ditpook wrote: "So many comments reflect a group of 'city kept people'. If you remember the Eloi do not farm or prepare food, they eat what the Morlocks put out for them. Th Eloi are worthless, like so many Leftis..."
Not a Wells fan I'm guessing.


message 49: by Paul (new)

Paul Lariviere 3 books to bring back to the futur.
Math,that encompass physics and chemistry. Being a professor he can teach algebra
Medicine.
Probably a bible given the religious nature of the time travelers era.
A book on agriculture could be useless since the food grows on its own and unnaturally without anybody needing to tend to it.
Chemistry and science could resolve this mystery.


message 50: by Mariano (new)

Mariano Corral I just finished watching this movie for the ... oh I don't know I guess for the 20th time!
The suggestion by many here makes sense. I am an individual of faith, but I would not have taken the Bible. Not yet! I would have taken 3 books that would help the Eloi's to a self sustainable society, such as growing food(agriculture or farming), chemistry, and construction. Now the fact is George could always get on his time machine and travel to the future to see how his society had progressed. Seen what went wrong go back and make the necessary corrections. He could always go back in time and get more books as time went by and his society grew. As it was mention in the movie: He has all the time in the world. Oh that brings another thought: Do you think he would have travel to the future and find out when he would have died?


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