Sunday, 30 June 2013

Interesting world in interesting times.

There is a saying "may you live in interesting times" it is allegedly a curse but may derive from the Chinese "It's better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period.". I'm pretty sure that any history of the world that actually gets written will conclude that from about the beginning of the industrial revolution to at least now has been interesting. I'm just not sure what in the future may seem the most interesting bits and which will be viewed as positive and which as negative, a future whose inhabitants share some of our aspirations and live in the future we want to create may will see this as an age of great growth and learning, those of what we would call a dystopia may will, as a society view this as a dark age, with the collapse of moral structure and order.
It is possible that our age will only exists in myth like the stories of Homer and King Arthur with the meaning of fragments of a story, argued over endlessly. What would the story of man's journey to the moon sound like when passed down verbally for a 100 generations.
Whilst our civilisations may fade and fall, like previous civilisations our buildings will leave deep marks on the land, the earth is covered in the welts and bruises inflicted by our quarries, further down are our mines and tunnels. There is a permanent mark in the layers of geology set down since July 16, 1945 when the Trinity tests blasted radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere and the rain pulled them down to earth.
If any civilisation should approach out technological level they may find the remains of some of our satellites still in orbit, those in low earth orbit will have long go as will those of in medium orbit, but unless interfered with those out at 35,786km in Geostationary orbits may still be there or there pummelled remains as the vehicles are dragged toward stable points on the orbits.
The remains on the moon will still be there in some form, likely in better condition than those on Mars as what slight atmosphere Mars has will work to corrode some of them whilst sand blasting. Everything else will be lost either in the immenseness of interstellar space or the only slightly smaller vast heart of the gas giants.
The most distant and longest lived human artefact will be the radio waves spreading outwards in a forlorn hope of catching the ever accelerating edge of the universe. The most power full of these signals will not contain any information other than to say we were here. They will not be the powerful signals of the early TV transmitters but the collected murmur from the a billion mobile handsets.
From that rise and fall of the signal over time they may be able to spot the signature of a 23 hour 56 minutes 10 second rotation, the 365 day orbit around the sun, and possibly the inclination of the ecliptic. Even when the Sun has swollen and swallowed the Earth this will be our everlasting mark on the fabric of the universe, at least anyone who hears it will know that they are not alone, or at least are not the only species to rise to technological sentience. Though perhaps they decide it is the lunch bell and pop over to eat us, in all likelihood we will be long gone as will the rest of our artefacts.
Mobile phones are our tickets to immortality, no wonder the prices are so high.

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