The Knowledge Book Summary - The Knowledge Book explained in key points
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The Knowledge summary

Lewis Dartnell

How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch

3.8 (14 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

In The Knowledge, Lewis Dartnell explores what it would take to rebuild society from scratch after a catastrophic event. From farming to medicine, he delves into the key technologies and knowledge needed to keep humanity alive and thriving.

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    The Knowledge
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    In the event of a catastrophe, your priorities are shelter, warmth and water.

    What would you do if a cataclysmic event occurred? In the aftermath of such an event, whether a catastrophic asteroid collision or an unstoppable pandemic, civilization as we know it will begin to fall apart. So, if you’re lucky enough to survive such an event, it’s imperative that you make wise use of the brief period before total collapse.

    First off, you’ll need a roof over your head and a fire to protect you from the elements. Shelter shouldn’t be too hard to find, though; after a catastrophe and its massive death toll, empty houses will be plentiful.

    But keeping yourself warm is another story, because without electricity, heaters will be useless. One accessible option for fighting off the cold is clothing. Most small shops will have been destroyed, but goods in large shopping centers will probably be safe. After all, they’re buried deep inside the cavernous interior of a mall. Malls are therefore a good bet for finding clothes that’ll last you a few years.

    Sometimes, however, clothes aren’t enough, and you’ll need a fire to stay toasty. You’ll probably have found some matches or lighters, but if you haven’t, you can always go old school: grab a magnifying glass or a pair of glasses and use it to focus the sun’s heat on a piece of paper.

    Once you’re warm and secure, you’ll need clean water. Right after the catastrophe, you’ll be able to get potable water from the municipal supply and bottled water from supermarkets. Be sure to save all the water you can. That means filling clean buckets, baths and sinks with water. Keep your supply covered to prevent light from harming it, detritus from contaminating it and algae from growing in it.

    And keep in mind, you’ll need to sterilize any water that didn’t come out of a sealed bottle – an easy thing to do. Just boil it for a few minutes and you’ll kill any dangerous pathogens.

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    What is The Knowledge about?

    The Knowledge (2014) is a practical guide to surviving the apocalypse. These blinks explain both how to survive a horrific catastrophe and how to create a self-sustaining life and rebuild civilization.

    The Knowledge Review

    The Knowledge by Lewis Dartnell (2014) is a captivating exploration of the essential knowledge needed to rebuild society from scratch. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its fascinating insights into various scientific disciplines, it offers a comprehensive understanding of how our world works.
    • By providing practical instructions on everything from creating fire to building complex infrastructure, it equips readers with the tools necessary for survival in a post-apocalyptic world.
    • The book's engaging storytelling keeps readers hooked, transforming potentially dry subject matter into an exciting adventure.

    Best quote from The Knowledge

    As long as you can grow grain for yourself, along with some other fruit and vegetables for the sake of nutritional balance and a more interesting diet, youll never starve to death.

    —Lewis Dartnell
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    Who should read The Knowledge?

    • Every human on earth
    • Anybody interested in disaster survival

    About the Author

    Lewis Dartnell is a UK Space Agency Research Fellow at the University of Leicester, where he does work in Astrobiology and searches for microbial life on Mars. His science writing and outreach work have earned him several awards. The Knowledge is his third book.

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    The Knowledge FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Knowledge?

    The main message of The Knowledge is how to rebuild civilization from scratch.

    How long does it take to read The Knowledge?

    The reading time for The Knowledge varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Knowledge a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Knowledge is a must-read for those interested in surviving and thriving in a post-apocalyptic world. It offers practical knowledge and insights for rebuilding society.

    Who is the author of The Knowledge?

    The author of The Knowledge is Lewis Dartnell.

    What to read after The Knowledge?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Knowledge, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • How to Know a Person by David Brooks
    • Emergency by Neil Strauss
    • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
    • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
    • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • The Trusted Learning Advisor by Keith Keating
    • Impromptu by Reid Hoffman with GPT-4
    • The Order of Things by Michel Foucault