Were you to plant a time capsule to be opened at the next millenium..

what do you feel is most important to put into it?

What, to you, are some of the most important innovations of this millenium?

What it be items? Ideas?

A book maybe? They are on their way out, to be replaced by electronic books.

A cassette? On it’s way out too.

What would YOU want to be remembered for?

If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

BTW…leave a map…

they seem to get forgotten…

Does that say something in itself?

If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

Do you think that we can build something that can last unharmed for a thousand years? Hmm…

“Leave a map.” It would be a good idea to put a map in the capsule. An atlas, actually.


That is the best Idea I’ve heard in all my talks…


If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

Well, since this time capsule is to be opened at the next millennium, and the next millennium starts on January 1st, 2001, I’d want to put something in the time capsule that everybody will have forgotten about a year from now.

So, I’ll put the latest episodes of 60 Minutes and 20/20 in there. Both shows are topical, slanted, and eminently worthy of being forgotten, in my opinion. :wink:

Pick where the time capsule will be buried. Say Assboink, ID. I’d get a copy of every single law applicible to a person in Assboink. International treaties, the Constitution, EPA disposal rules, everything down to dog licensing.

And then I’d hope the Y3K people thought we were kidding.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

What about a book on medical practices. I’ll bet things like lobotomies and circumcision’ll have them rolling in the aisles 1000 years from now.

That and old A-Team reruns.

Of course, in the year 3000, The entire cast of Beverly Hills 90210 will still be on, and still playing college students.

Civility costs nothing.

We should put a whole bunch of severed heads in the time capsule - that’ll get them thinking!

Hell is Other People.

How about a bunch of those snake things that come flying out of the fake cans of peanut brittle?

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

I’m trying to think of small objects.

A technical manual on how to read information stored on a DVD. Then, a DVD with the Encyclopedia Britannica.

On paper:
A small (pocketbook) copy of the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Talmud, a selection from the works of Shakespeare, Corneille, Racine, Dickens, Goethe, Dante, Cervantes, Melville/Faulkner. A history of philosophy and mathematics.

A CPU chip or maybe a Personal Digital Assistant.

A twinkie.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Don’t make it one of those low-fat Twinkies, though. Those things DO go bad after a while, unlike their high-fat cousins.


If you want to know what to put into a capsule for 3001, think about what we’d like to see in one from 1001.

We wouldn’t be impressed by their Technology like the latest horse collar or plow or galley oar. Imagine that a thousand years from now CDs and CPUs and Space Shuttles will seem just as primitive.

Their state of the art Sciences like Medicine, Astrology and Alchemy would be ludicrous. By 1001 the major Greco-Roman scientific, military, engineering and political skills had been mostly lost in the West but even where they survived they were pretty primitive by our standards.

There are probably about 11 people on the planet who could read their literature (try reading “Beowulf” in the original) and, even in translation it would have a miniscule audience. The vastly important theological disputes of the late Middle Ages would certainly be in their package but of no interest to anyone today except ivy covered professors (and the occasional plastic fish).

Their art and music might be a little more accessible but still only to a small audience. They would, of course, send us only their best, i.e. the religious stuff, which would be as obscure as their theology.

So what would interest the average guy in the street today?

All the stuff that they never gave any thought to: How do you live in a society which is 99% illiterate? Where the life expectancy is 40 years? Where there is NO social mobility and every aspect of life is governed rigid class structure? What do you eat? How do you dress? Waddaya do on Saturday night after the wheat field closes?

I think what they will want to see in 3001 is pretty much the same thing. What we did for a living every day. What we ate, how we dressed, how we raised our families…what we did for FUN. Nobody will be impressed with Fellini or Stravinski or the Abstract Impresionist du jour. But Harpo will still be funny. Van Gogh’s Sunflowers will still be beautiful. And the powers that be will hate Rock & Roll but the kids will rediscover Chuck Berry and we’ll corrupt a whole new millenium. :slight_smile:

Barring the Big War much of what we know today will be preserved, much more than what survives from 1001. And virtually everything that the “serious people” think is important will be ancient history and boring beyond belief. So lets send 'em the really important stuff:

  1. All the Marx Brothers Movies (and the next 87 funniest movies of the 20th Century).

  2. The formula for Guinness.

  3. The Complete Mad Magazine on CD.

  4. The Complete Works of Cecil Adams.

  5. Elvis’ First three albums.

  6. The Complete Duke Ellington/Ella Fitzgerald Canon.

  7. A full color layout of a black on black full boat 1962 Two Top Corvette.

  8. A Video of Provincetown on Saturday Night.

  9. Jimmy Swaggart’s post hooker show.

  10. The “Guy Stuff” thread.
    That oughta get their attention. :slight_smile:

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis


Actually, JB, I’ve never been turned on by Scholastic theology, any more than you by the arcane sidelights of canon law. But if I had to pick one thing from 1000 AD that was worth preserving, it would be Gothic architecture. Nobody has ever designed anything that more thoroughly expresses the questing of the human spirit. Beyond those two nits that deserved picking, I agree, it was a terrific post.

Except that Gothic architecture, being built out of stone and other durable materials, is (A) probably gonna survive, with or without a time capsule; and (B) is big and heavy and probably won’t fit in a time capsule anyway.

What I’d like to see from 1001 is some of their “lost” art – descriptions of how, precisely, to play the popular music of 1001 (since sound recording technology hadn’t been invented yet); cheap paintings on paper that would be sure to crumble with age if not for the time capsule; the works of ephemeral literature that would later get scraped off the page so the vellum they were written on could be re-used for “important” stuff; and maybe a description of how they faked that shroud of Turin so well. :slight_smile:

Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Two points. First, they would have no idea which peices of art would be lost a millenium later. Second of all, we do have the music from a little later than that, and our main problem is that we don’t know how to read it. My suggestion for the capsule is a photo album, because if the pictures stay good, anyone can look at it and know exactly what it means. The technology to decode any kind of information such as CD’s, written music, movies, etc. may be lost by then. Also with a picture you can really see what people and things were like back then.

David has a good point, of course. I dunno what they’ll be using for information storage in 3001 but it won’t be PCs and CDs. It’ll be very difficult to transmit data a thousand years into the future. 'Bout the only thing I can think of would be etchings on inert metal plates and we’d have to include diagrams on how to build players.

I’m a sucker for Gothic architecture too but IIRC, that is a product of this millenium, not the last one. Y1K was pre-Norman, never mind pre-Gothic.

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

A copy of the Sunday NY Times…WITH the ads, so people can see what we bought (they’ll be scratching their heads saying, “What the hell was the attraction with the Furby?”), how we lived, what we ate, and what was important to us.

A copy of Life’s Century in Pictures. Cause a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

A couple dollar bills and some change so people can laugh at how inefficient the system was. It’ll be 100% electronic by then. Or some other technology that I can’t foresee.