Thursday, 27 January 2011

An Experiment

An Experiment

Assume that the world, or at least the human world, will end. You have a trunk which you might bury in the mountains or some such thing, that may be expected to survive the coming apocalypse. The contents of the trunk will be preserved, to be discovered by whatever peoples, human, sub-human, post- or meta-human, or alien of whatever kind, that will stumble upon the wreckage of our world and discover these last archaeological traces of humanity as we know it.

Which 10 (or 5) items in your possession would you put into the trunk?

Remember that these 10 (or 5) items may well be all that the future knows of our species and all that we have done or been, thought or said, felt or loved. And remember that it must all be taken without context or explanation. What pieces of humanity would you choose to survive humanity? And don’t choose Guttenberg Bible’s or anything like that, what do you own that ought to be recorded in cosmic history?

Think about it.


  1. For myself:

    1. 'The History of Civilisation' vol 1-11, by Will and Ariel Durant
    2. Globe, circa 1932
    3. 'The Illustrated Guide to World Mythology'
    4. Collection of lighting devices: candlesticks, oil lamps, light bulbs, flashlights.
    5. 'Franny and Zooey,' by J.D.Salinger
    6. Typewriter, produced by the Oliver Co.
    7. 'Island,' by Aldous Huxley

    Seven being midway, with a sympathy for brevity, between five and ten. My list being midway between history and humanism, despair and hope. I imagine it would be a pretty fair representation of both the best and the truest in human history.

    Oh, and

    8. (Brevity be damned) 'The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,' by Carl Jung - Without it the myths (and the history) wouldn't make much sense, and wouldn't have much to do with us, the people who need them.

  2. 1. The internet
    2. The Far Side Collection
    3. Deck of Playing cards
    4. Earth by Jon Stewart

    I just thought of these things but all in all they are pretty good I think lol. Ill have to put more thought into this. I am feeling a philosophy night out of this topic.

  3. 1. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    2. Les Mises
    3. Les Mises (Musical Soundtrack)
    4. Star Trek TOS
    5. Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
    6. Tchaikovsky Symphony 6
    7. Bottle of Single-Malt Scotch

    I lol'd at Justin's #2

  4. 1. NYT's guide to Essential Knowledge
    2.Portable Jung (surprisingly succinct and accurate)
    3. 1933 copy of Dante's Divine Comedy
    4. Book of Impressionism
    5. Canon Rebel EOS XS with 18-55mm lens
    6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    7. iPod/head set
    8. Theories on Personality
    9. Salinger Collection (I love Franny and Zooey as well but I can't leave out A Perfect Day for a Bananafish)
    10.Enamel Lily Pin

  5. A scrap of paper with precisely two words: "Do better." Wouldn't want to distract them with anything else, that's a monumental enough task already.