Tuesday, 3 March 2015

After We Are Gone

I was going through some recent posts at the Futility Closet when I came across the following post.(I've copied the first paragraph, there was a little more.)  It reminded me how differently cultures can view the future, and their place in it.

The Hoover Dam contains a star map depicting the sky of the Northern Hemisphere as it appeared at the moment that Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the dam. Artist Oskar Hansen imagined that the massive structure might outlive our civilization, and that the map could help future astronomers to calculate the date of its creation. The center star on the map, Alcyone, is the brightest star in the Pleiades, and our sun occupies a position at the center of a flagpole. The whole map traces a complete sidereal revolution of the equinox, a period of 25,694 of our years, and marks the point of the dam’s dedication in that period.

It reminded me of another story by Environmental Architect William McDonough from the Univ of Virginia. He told about a meeting of the interested parties in Washington state about a Nuclear Plant being considered for closure along the Colombia River.
I was at the Hanford Nuclear Plant, where they make the plutonium for the bombs, and they had some scientist there where they mark the ground where they bury the plutonium such that an extraterrestrial arriving 5000 years from now would not dare to dig. I call it the semiology of extreme danger. . . .
The .... tribe happened to be at the same conference and when they heard what the scientists were talking about they laughed and said: "Tell the scientists not to worry, we'll tell them where it is.!"

They weren't leaving. Why is it that we are always leaving?

Staying or going? It is interesting how much that one view might impact how we live today. How you might act if you always had a backup plan for you great-grandchildren to escape to the skies, or how differently if you felt they might be here, "as long as the grass shall grow, and the rivers..." . What would we build now. How would we build now.
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