Time Travel discussion

95 views
The Future > What Would A Time-Traveling Archeologist Find Remaining From Our Time?

Comments (showing 1-45 of 45) (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited Nov 01, 2012 08:03AM) (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Imagine that you time travel millions of years in the future. You're an archeologist and you want to see what became of our world. You'd dig into the rocks to the strata of the human epoch, the Anthropocene strata. What would you find there? Would proof of our civilization be evident or would it no longer be recognizable as proof of civilization? For speculations of what you'd find on your futuristic archeological dig, visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-env...


message 2: by John, Moderator in Memory (last edited Nov 01, 2012 09:12AM) (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
This reminds me of a song by Roger Waters (one of the original members of Pink Floyd) called "Amused to Death" that talks about alien archeologists visiting a decimated earth and what they would find. Here is the last verse of the song:

We watched the tragedy unfold
We did as we were told
We bought and sold
It was the greatest show on earth
But then it was over
We ohhed and aahed
We drove our racing cars
We ate our last few jars of caviar
And somewhere out there in the stars
A keen-eyed lookout
Spied a flickering light
Our last hurrah
And when they found our shadows
Grouped around the TV sets
They ran down every lead
They repeated every test
They checked out all the data on their lists
And then the alien anthropologists
Admitted they were still perplexed
But on eliminating every other reason
For our sad demise
They logged the only explanation left
This species has amused itself to death



message 3: by Tej (last edited Nov 01, 2012 10:17AM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
Those are awesome lyrics, reads like a poem. I just had to seek the song and its beautiful. The fuller lyrics is even more awesome too. Thanks John, I never explored Pink Flloyds music apart from their popular hits.

Here's a nicely done video to the song and full lyrics also shwon if you click "more".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds9JN...


Yet to read Amy's BBC article...


message 4: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Oh, I like it!

Yep. That was definitely our demise, wasn't it?


message 5: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Glass lasts longer than plastic but my bet is they'll be plenty of both once they hit pay dirt.

I used this device in my first book.

And you can never go wrong with the Floyd.


message 6: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Yes, plastic that has broken down is actually becoming a part of the sea floor and our beaches already. And plastics aren't going to last millions of years (more like 100-1000 years): http://news.nationalgeographic.com/ne....

You used this device in your first book? You mean an archeologist time traveler or glass artifacts from the past ... or both?


message 7: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy:

Plastic does biodegrade but the rate depends on both the nature of & the thickness, so your dates may not hold true.

To answer your questions:

Yes, yes, yes & yes.


message 8: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Howard wrote: "Amy:

Plastic does biodegrade but the rate depends on both the nature of & the thickness, so your dates may not hold true.

To answer your questions:

Yes, yes, yes & yes."


One of these days, I'll have to get around to reading it. The vote for your 2nd books looks promising in this month's round of voting.


message 9: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy:

Yes, very gratifing & I think Tej's review helped there as well as the with Intro on Youtube.

Before his review there were only a handful of hits & now it's approaching 400.

I think you know the 2nd book is not a sequel in that it stands on it's own, but if you read both, the pattern becomes clearer & I hope to continue this thrust.

Who knows what the Future will hold?


message 10: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy, not to push, but I've just put the Youtube link of the 'Piercing' Introduction on my profile page, so that would give you a bit of my style, if you had the Time, that is.

And there's a chapter I read from the first book on my publisher's web page, also listed on my profile page.

Tej wasn't too crazy about my voice, but what can you do?


message 11: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Howard wrote: "Amy, not to push, but I've just put the Youtube link of the 'Piercing' Introduction on my profile page, so that would give you a bit of my style, if you had the Time, that is.

And there's a chapte..."


I'll have to check it out. I have to admit that Tej's review did make me want to read it. You really never know what you're going to find when authors self-promote. I think our most successful self-promoting authors here have given away a few free books or had limited-time offers of their ebook free or super-cheap on Amazon. Those first reviews are always what gets you going.


message 12: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy, not stray from the thread but I've done that on Kindle & am soon to give it away on Smashwords, as well.

Money is not a concern for me & as such, this does tie in to the thread, for your question, as I read between the lines, implies more than just Time Travel & touches rather the larger human condition & how Time Travel can open a window into that energy flow to gain greater insight.

My point is not just to tell a story, but show this larger picture using a simply told story.

Hence my use of what I call the Epic Fable, I think a unique way to plug deeper into the universal, human condition.

So I'm grateful for the group's interest in Time Travel, but I have ulterior motives, as it were.

Tej jumps me & rightly so for self-promotion but the Future someone finding artifacts will attempt to place them within some context & that’s all I’m trying to do with my books.

As I’m nothing more than an ancient being from another Time Frame, I hope you forgive any misplaced attempts towards this goal.

I think it’s self-evident I enjoy the group & don’t wish to misstep any bounds & here I’m just endeavoring to answer your last post.

A few more reviews would help though, no doubting that.


message 13: by Tej (last edited Nov 02, 2012 11:48AM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
I dont what to say, I'm rather shocked but very glad to hear my review helped in such a way. However, at the same time, I'm sad that authors such as yourself have to rely on review and ratings to get attention for their/your books. Gone are the days when everyone used to just look at the cover, read the synopsis and purchase on faith. I wish it were like that still. I like to think I still do. Its far more of a thrill to read a book and discover the delights or disappointments yourself than to be influenced in what to read by other people. Ideally we should use a balance of both, read books recommended by other people you trust AND discover books yourselves, disregard ratings, if a synopsis appeals, take the leap of faith. This time travel group has proven to be a great example for that.

I'll be honest, I write reviews for selfish reasons, mainly to vent my thoughts on what I read, watch or play. I feel as if I am leaving an imprint of who I am by what I like and dont like and when I am gone, most of it will wither away apart from one tiny spec of me survives in amber, in the form of a review by some nut called Tej giving a ridiculous 4 star rating towards a Steve Martin Pink Panther movie.

Which very neatly brings us back on track (oh that was accidentally clever of me). Most of who we are, our culture, politics and lifestyle are now stored digitally. How long can that survive? Will far future archaeologists or aliens find and decipher these 0s and 1s on these perfectly round disks and platters encased in rectangular metal casings? Will they discover Howard's ebook, John's post about Pinkl Floyd, my Pink Panther review and Amy's concern for the longevity of plastic? Will any of it make any bloody sense to them?

It would be no different to deciphering ancient hieroglyphics. And I am not convinced they are actually reading those picture correctly.

But at least hieroglyphics are on stone/walls/tablets which much of it can still be read. But today world of knowledge are mostly stored on media that only have a lifespan ranging from 3 years to 100 years at the most. That's a big problem. What will happen to all these internet servers that store these websites? Geocites, has been totally wiped out hasnt it? There isnt any back up of that, is there? Many of us put years of our personality on that vast labyrinthine of websites. Its all gone. So what will happen to the rest of the world wide web, more importantly the time travel group on Goodreads? Will our future generations try to preserve these websites? Or will they just be overwritten when the domain names are no longer registered? Furthermore, these information always need relocating to newer longer lasting storage. Will that effort be made? I like to think, yes but probably selectively.

It seems to me that the far future will know more about our pre digital era than our current era because think about when last you actually put pen to paper other than to sign something. Not too far from now, paper/hardback books are looking to be a thing of the past.

Having said all that, we do care more about our history and preserve whatever we have found, wether it be ancient books or silent age movies or clay pipes. I hope we continue that approach and find a solution to preserve the digital riches.

There is a series on BBC showing right now called Andrew Mar's History of the World. Its recreates a story from various key moments of human history. In one segment, archeolgists found some of the earliest writings dating something like 3500BC. The program picked one piece of hieroglyphics writing and it was simply a rant and rave journal of a mother of 2 children. In the journal she moans that she fed her children, grew them up and then they sho no gratitude to her. She tells of neighbourhood arguments and the story of a scoundrel who secretly courts the neighbour's daughter then cheats on her. Big mistake he made was that it was the village chief's daughter that he made the fling with. He was given trial out in the open, in front of the few hundred population of the village then sentenced to 50 whippings or something like that. Its like a soap opera episode of our daily lives, and that uncommon mother is immortalised and...I LOVE THAT! Those little stories fascinate me more than the Pharoahs.

Oh and I finally got round to reading Amy's BBC articles, excellent read. But you see, they can never really grasp our culture and way of life unless our writing can be somehow preserved.


message 14: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Yes, Tej. I've wondered about that. What's going to be left behind that's readable? I have disks in my office that are no more than 10 years old from which I cannot retrieve data. We keep thinking we'd like to scan in all our old files to free up space, but there's no guarantee that I'd be able to retrieve student transcripts from the scans in another 10 years time.

Speaking of Geocities, I had a Geocities site that I really wanted to take down because one page was a tribute page to my now-ex, and it was full of embarrassing silliness. Unfortunately, someone archived it such that I couldn't remove it. The ex's current girlfriend found it and asked if I knew that it still existed. I was actually QUITE grateful when the archive finally went away ... so that my silliness wasn't preserved for eternity.

So, I suppose there's a good and a bad side to our digitization of everything these days. But unless future generations uncovered a dvd, a dvd player, AND a way to get compatible power to the dvd player, the whole thing would be a useless pile of meaningless garbage.


message 15: by John, Moderator in Memory (last edited Nov 02, 2012 03:42PM) (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
Have you guys not seen the new "Time Machine" movie based on H.G. Wells' novel and starring Guy Pierce? We will eventually have the Vox 114 holographic librarian with an endless power supply. The only thing missing is a humanoid creature that understands its operating language and subsequently all of the information it contains.


message 16: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Of course, humans of the Future will have technology that comes from, is built upon what we have now & that may give them an edge in retrieving coded info & they should have more powerful computers (or better) to help them in this task.

This implies an unending stream of knowledge & given no worldwide apocalyptic event in the interim, that should be so into the Future.

With such a catastrophe, this might not happen.

In other words, when we look back now it's at prehistory, before writing existed & this won't be so in the Future if no such event occurs.

Have some faith.


message 17: by Tej (last edited Nov 03, 2012 07:09AM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
John wrote: "Have you guys not seen the new "Time Machine" movie based on H.G. Wells' novel and starring Guy Pierce? We will eventually have the Vox 114 holographic librarian with an endless power supply. The..."

Oh yeah! He was a funny character, very condescending if I remember, probably the most appropriate front for the human race to preserve!


message 18: by Frances (new)

Frances Clark (throughtime) | 88 comments Amy wrote: "Imagine that you time travel millions of years in the future. You're an archeologist and you want to see what became of our world. You'd dig into the rocks to the strata of the human epoch, the Ant..."

A ton of useless junk


message 19: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
So ... it seems that they've found plastic on Mars: http://nasaupdatecenter.us/press.html

When do the archeologists arrive?


message 20: by Tej (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
How did my mum's necklace get there?

Wait, that article is for real...??? What?...that picture is unreal...omg its real, no it cant be??


message 21: by Tej (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
Thats a fake website. This is the official one and no mention of pkastic spheres...

http://marsmobile.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ne...


message 22: by Tej (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
http://marsmobile.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ne...

Confirmation from curiousity team that the rumours are false.


message 23: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Tej wrote: "How did my mum's necklace get there?

Wait, that article is for real...??? What?...that picture is unreal...omg its real, no it cant be??"


That picture is enigmatic, isn't it? I'm not really sure what I'm seeing there. They've been sitting on this find for a while now, not saying exactly what it is that they'd found, so I'm glad they finally released the information. But this is just ... weird. You wonder if it's something naturally-occurring or manufactured. And then you wonder what would happen if you tried drilling for oil on Mars ... or excavating archeologically. What would you find beyond just the bare surface?


message 24: by Tej (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
Amy stop stop, im sorry girl but its a fake :( seems theyve dupe a lot of journalists too.

Good thing i didnt tell my mum i found her bead necklace.


message 25: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Could be a beaded drive chain, like a chain or a belt drive.

Maybe it flung off the machine as it cranked about.

Or maybe Tej's mom stopped by for a quick stellar view & left it behind.

Or maybe it is a fake, as Tej says.

I like the 2nd option but believe the last one.


message 26: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
Maybe the martians (who as we all know are subterrainian dwellers) were simply celebrating Mardi Gras and the party got crazy and moved above ground.


message 27: by Tej (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1676 comments Mod
Howard wrote: "
Or maybe Tej's mom stopped by for a quick stellar view & left it behind.
"


And she told me she lost them while in France for 2 weeks...France, yeah right.


message 28: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
The NASA site that was up yesterday talking about plastic on Mars now says:

"BREAKING NEWS: Further Analysis Reveals Startling Origin of "Martian Plastic" and "Face". Chewbacchus Temple Found on Mars, Ancient Alien Offerings of Mardi Gras Beads Found Everywhere. "ALL HAIL THE SACRED DRUNKEN WOOKIEE!""

:P


message 29: by Gene (new)

Gene (Vilstef) | 20 comments What archaeologists have to study, are the middens. All the garbage a culture has left behind. What was most interesting to me about Mesopotamian archaeology was how much information the scholars got from the cuneiform tablets. It made them feel as though they were contemporaries of their subjects.


message 30: by Valerie (new)

Valerie | 3 comments Why they need to digg into rocks to find something? They must have time travel technology at that time.:)

Now the sad part of this kind of archeology, at least for me, is that the cultural part will not be preserved. From what we have now only some inscriptions made in stone or in stainless stell will survive. It's difficult to rebuild our cultural life only from these. The same issue we have now with the cultural life of the people which created the paintings of Lascaux or Altamira. We can only guess what they really intended with their pictures or carvings. Maybe they will find the Statue of Liberty and thing that we worhsiped the sun.


message 31: by Frances (new)

Frances Clark (throughtime) | 88 comments Valerie wrote: "Why they need to digg into rocks to find something? They must have time travel technology at that time.:)

Now the sad part of this kind of archeology, at least for me, is that the cultural part wi..."


I think we are becoming much better at preserving our cultural history in specially created stable environments Valerie. Museums and libraries know the value of preserving our heritage for future generations and do it all the time. Our local school even buried a time capsule to be dug up at some future date so children then could see what school was like years ago.


message 32: by Vickie (new)

Vickie | 63 comments My sister used to sneak out to the barn to smoke. She always put her cigarette butts down an open hole in a cement block in the foundation wall. I always teased her about how some far future archaeologist was going to be excavating the remains of that foundation and get all excited over the discovery of a pile of little plastic cylinders.

But, like Gene said, I think our landfills are going to be archaeology treasure troves.


message 33: by Florian (new)

Florian Armas (goodreadscomFlorianArmas) | 21 comments Gene wrote: "What archaeologists have to study, are the middens. All the garbage a culture has left behind. "

The "one man’s trash is another man’s treasure" saying is especially true in archaeology. It looks a bit funny but they are already doing this. It is a kind of detective game, extracting details of history from the scraps that, at the time, those ancient peoples thought were unimportant. Unfortunately for the actual archaeologists early humans produced very little garbage, most goods were reusable or consumable. Seems that we have learned the lesson and helping hardly the future ones.


message 34: by E.B. (new)

E.B. Brown (EBBrown) | 320 comments Will far future archaeologists or aliens find and decipher these 0s and 1s on these perfectly round disks and platters encased in rectangular metal casings? Will they discover Howard's ebook, John's post about Pinkl Floyd, my Pink Panther review and Amy's concern for the longevity of plastic? Will any of it make any bloody sense to them?
"

What crosses my mind is that will people of the future base their opinion of us on a few found relics of the past, as we have done to those before us? We study ancient artifacts, languages, dig up graves, super-analyze every scrap we find. Yet, if someone 5000 years from now found the paper I shredded yesterday and pieced it back together, would they think it held the key to understanding the literary advancement of our uncivilized time?

I shudder to think that someday people would find a petrified Big Mac and think that was the staple food of our diet. And of course, if they dissected the stomach contents of petrified bodies found near the Big Mac, they would find more Big Mac, and viola! Big Mac is what we all ate!


message 35: by Alex (new)

Alex (alexure) | 28 comments fast food and (plastic) fizzy drink containers will most likely be in abundance as a few people have said. As will the plasticised components of things like mobile phones, laptops and whatever we have coming next.....

On another point I heard someone comment recently that future archeologists will be incredibly confused when they start digging up millions of little plastic bags containing dog faeces. Seriously, what the hell will they think we were up to?


message 36: by Alex (new)

Alex (alexure) | 28 comments I should add, I know that seems like a rather flippant point but it's worth some consideration. Let's say in the far-flung future the notion of keeping household pets has long since disappeared. Or let's even consider extraterrestrial archeologists to whom the idea would completely alien altogether, well then we would have some very confused people indeed!


message 37: by E.B. (new)

E.B. Brown (EBBrown) | 320 comments Alex wrote: "fast food and (plastic) fizzy drink containers will most likely be in abundance as a few people have said. As will the plasticised components of things like mobile phones, laptops and whatever we h..."
Omg, I just spit out my coffee.
TY, I needed that!


message 38: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
Have you ever watched the show on the History channel called "The World After People" talks about degradation of things that are not maintained. I often watch that show and think yes no people but aliens are going to find the planet eventually right?

The question I ask myself is this...How would aliens interpret Las Vegas assuming millions of years have not passed, a pyramid, a castle, Cesar's palace...would they see it as a gambling mecca or some sort of religious complex.

A friend of mine wrote a short story envisioning elvish archaeologists coming across the Balrog killed by Gandalf thousands of years later.


message 39: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Lincoln wrote: "Have you ever watched the show on the History channel called "The World After People" talks about degradation of things that are not maintained. I often watch that show and think yes no people bu..."

That's an interesting twist ... alien archeologists wondering about us. I hope they'd realize that we were just all just a bunch of weirdos pretending to be normal.


message 40: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Fish | 5 comments Pottery seems to have remarkable longevity - it seems to be 90% of what we find from the past, so there'll probably still be a fair amount of it left in the future.


message 41: by E.B. (new)

E.B. Brown (EBBrown) | 320 comments Lincoln wrote: "Have you ever watched the show on the History channel called "The World After People" talks about degradation of things that are not maintained. I often watch that show and think yes no people bu..."

Omg, I am obsessed with that series! It's fascinating to get a scientific perspective on how things would change. I love movies or shows with themes like that: I am Legend, Revolution(tv), Zombieland...love life after people stuff.


message 42: by Doc (new)

Doc | 34 comments Puts me in mind of a book, "Motel of the Mysteries," which shows what 41st century archeologists think of a 20th century motel they unearth.
Not millions of year in the future, but still fun.
The book is available as a PDF at various sites.


message 43: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Fish | 5 comments I've done a pot..."

Try to make something really anachronistic - perhaps something that could have come through the Stargate. That'll confuse Tony Robinson's descendants.


message 44: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Mika wrote: 'I would make something special, maybe with esoteric symbols and stuff'

Mika, who says this hasn’t already been done?

Lots of people think fossils were faked & put there only to fool the gullible, or test their faith, or both.

Those sneaks.

I’ve heard it’s fun though.


message 45: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Debo (marlenedebo) Malls


back to top