What would you do if you ended up in the year 1000?

The Marginal Revolution blog poses the musical question, "If you were transported back to the middle ages, what would be the top strategy for thriving?" Given that most of us can't make gunpowder from scratch (and don't have up-to-date smallpox vaccinations), dreams of becoming a technological pre-Enlightenment billionaire guru are probably not realistic (stipulating that "realistic" is probably not a good word to use in respect of responses to hypothetical time-travel questions).

First build grubstake by minstrelsy. I hope you remember some three chord Stones songs, or perhaps some blues. Next, I would suggest the magic of fractional reserve banking in a market town. Expand the banking operations to other market towns. Hire bodyguards. Loan money to the king. Loan money to the other king. Start a war. Loan money to the Pope, etc.

Posted by: Rebunga at Jun 6, 2008 12:15:47 PM