5000 Year Vault
Strangely Enough, Keanu Reeves Resides at the Heart of This Discussion
Started out pretty lame but turned Excellent.
So as soon as I came up with the idea for this article, everything I thought of just seemed pretty lame. I felt vindicated by a little research into recently-opened time capsules that were filled with things that were equally LAME. I'm convinced a random selection would be better, like the room in Paris that was blocked off for almost a century, it's far more interesting than commemorative buttons and newspaper clippings.
Thankfully, I watched a Sci Fi movie that clicked with the notion of what's truly valuable. More on that later. First, let's explore what makes most time capsules totally lame.
2 seconds of thought. That's about as much as anyone puts into about any decision. It's a lot, don't get me wrong, especially when the brain doing the thinking is a massive and epic machine like mine. But another, lesser brain could conceivably remit the same thoughts as part of a team of brains, or a stroke of luck, or obsessive thinking. Whatever the method, even resorting to AI, the same thoughts are likely to occur and whatever one person puts in a time capsule, another keeps for any other reason. This makes everything in the time capsule basically lame. Like most collectibles, the very fact it is a collectible renders it less unique. What truly deserves to be put in a time capsule has to be something that cannot be easily replicated. Something that takes a lot longer than just a couple seconds to think of, something that perhaps nobody will save. Something, once lost, could never be remade. So back to Keanu Reeves.
Neo Klaatu's TARDIS Adventure Booth
Time Traveling Phone Booth - Not a TARDIS
Whether it's Doctor Who or Bill & Ted traveling through time and relative dimensions in space, have you ever thought of what they should be carrying with them? Think about what they should have brought back, instead of Billy the Kid. Just about anything will suffice. OK, we need a little more direction here. Lets move forward to an underrated remake of a Science Fiction Classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still. Starring Keanu Reeves, of course.
There's a lot to like about the movie, especially the scene in which John Cleese implores the watcher that humanity has much to offer, and though is on the brink of self-destruction, has the potential to turn the corner and become a better steward of creation.
For this article, however, the scenes where the alien drones collect DNA from organisms around the world is absolutely brilliant. It's genius. And it's a key lesson for us today.
Science and technology are awesome, but if you take away or lose something, there's no reason to believe it wouldn't be discovered or invented again. It's just a matter of time in most cases.
But when an organism goes extinct, there's no expectation of getting it back. Whether you believe in Creation or Macro-evolution, you have to agree that extinction is an observable and unfortunate reality. Likewise, expecting a group of alligators to birth T-Rex babies anytime soon via random mutation is misgiven.
The DNA of extinct species, the detailed code in its analogue form, perfectly preserved, is perhaps the most valuable artifact Bill and Ted could have "bagged and tagged". The Doctor really has his hands tied, and can't meddle to that extent. You know, like a prime directive, wibbly-wobbly timey wimey stuff.
Data Rot. Except it's a Living Thing.
Unplugged Analogue Artifacts
Good luck figuring out how to code the DNA of an extinct organism on your own. Especially as science begins to meddle with and muck-up natural genetic codes, it falls upon you and I to preserve the irreplaceable DNA in the world today for future generations. And if you find yourself in a time-traveling booth, bring back extinct species and leave Genghis-Khan behind. He's not unique here. Jeff Lynne and the music of ELO, however, is a great example of what we have today that is being lost with time.