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  #1  
Old 09 Apr 17, 06:18
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Book for a Time Capsule

If you were asked to select a book for a one thousand year time capsule, what would be your choice?

Your rationale for choice would be interesting.
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  #2  
Old 09 Apr 17, 07:38
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I'd say something capturing the 'Zeitgeist' of the turn of the millennium:
end of the twentieth century, early twenty-first century.
Likely fiction would be most appropriate to this end.

Original publication not necessarily in English, but translated into many languages and that has been around for a while and still going strong.

At the moment I'm thinking of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez...
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Old 11 Apr 17, 07:48
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In fashioning this thread, I thought there might be a difference in consideration of a book for a century or so versus one for a thousand-year time capsule.

While taking your time in choosing the book, any discussion on the difference in consideration?
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Old 11 Apr 17, 08:14
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I think Catch 22. I'd like to think that no matter how far in the future the reader will see the black humour of a man trying to stay human (and alive) in a world gone mad. And the word play is simply brilliant.

I'd like to think that there is a bit of everything in there for the future reader: a history lesson, satire, humour, creative language, the study of a soul, the hopelessness of being a cog in a machine, pathos, struggle, and (at the end) hope.

I'd hope that all these things would resonate no matter who read it, no matter the time.
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Old 12 Apr 17, 06:29
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While traveling between home and the Pentagon in 1982-5, I had a fellow commuter who was a chaplain for a national rehab hospital. I asked him what his choice would be for a thousand-year time capsule. His reply, quickly considered, was the Bible. My immediate retort was: "You don't think your religion will last that long."
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Old 12 Apr 17, 07:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
In fashioning this thread, I thought there might be a difference in consideration of a book for a century or so versus one for a thousand-year time capsule.

While taking your time in choosing the book, any discussion on the difference in consideration?
I would say no need for a book for a century to be stored. After all we are now, in 2017, still reading literature written in 1917 (War Poets come to mind) and this is still being published.

For a thousand-year time capsule other criteria apply such as capturing the spirit of these times. Rojik's 'Catch-22' with its black humour and cynicism would be a good sample.
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  #7  
Old 13 Apr 17, 04:20
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At first my choice was a rationale like the two above posters, and the choice was Atlas Shrugged which really spoke to the challenge of communism as a way of life, characterizing the Cold War.

But my choice changed considering the threshold of one-thousand years and maybe more if the time capsule was forgotten in that length of time. My choice is The American Heritage Dictionary. In addition to its word meanings and instructions on usage, it offers an etymology showing the derivatives from Latin, Greek, Old French, Old English, Old Norse.... It also has the following: a table of Alphabets; pronunciation key; style manual; listing of currency by country, basic unit and subdivision; Tables of measurement units, metric system, metric conversion chart, and scientific units; a section of biographical entries; a section on geographic entries.....

I have three copies: one at my bedside (with Old English words highlighted to work around the Latinate language of bureaucracy), at my work desk, and on my bookshelf (the famed 7th Edition for its high point in etymology).

It would be better than a Rosetta Stone for the far future.
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Old 13 Apr 17, 04:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
At first my choice was a rationale like the two above posters, and the choice was Atlas Shrugged which really spoke to the challenge of communism as a way of life, characterizing the Cold War.

But my choice changed considering the threshold of one-thousand years and maybe more if the time capsule was forgotten in that length of time. My choice is The American Heritage Dictionary. In addition to its word meanings and instructions on usage, it offers an etymology showing the derivatives from Latin, Greek, Old French, Old English, Old Norse.... It also has the following: a table of Alphabets; pronunciation key; style manual; listing of currency by country, basic unit and subdivision; Tables of measurement units, metric system, metric conversion chart, and scientific units; a section of biographical entries; a section on geographic entries.....

It would be better than a Rosetta Stone for the far future.


Can follow your rationale entirely and have considered something similar, like putting the 'Brittanica' or 'Facts' in the time capsule

However I chose against it for two reasons:
1. Such work would be too culture specific; but maybe this cannot be helped.
2. A dictionary, encyclopaedia or factbook would be too rational, too bloodless, not conveying what made us tick.
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Old 13 Apr 17, 06:22
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Can follow your rationale entirely and have considered something similar, like putting the 'Brittanica' or 'Facts' in the time capsule

However I chose against it for two reasons:
1. Such work would be too culture specific; but maybe this cannot be helped.
2. A dictionary, encyclopaedia or factbook would be too rational, too bloodless, not conveying what made us tick.
The Rosetta Stone opened worlds of culture and understanding to future generations. The dictionary would allow reading not only English, but the etymology would lead back into the derivative languages. I am sure a future scholar would appreciate the difference between Old French and Old English in dual modern names for our meat. I fear you may not read a dictionary for its full knowledge.
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Old 13 Apr 17, 07:17
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'The Man Without Qualities' Robert Musil.

Even a thousand years of evolution and they won't be as clever.
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Old 13 Apr 17, 08:41
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'The Man Without Qualities' Robert Musil.

Even a thousand years of evolution and they won't be as clever.
Definitely a great book on human nature.
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Old 13 Apr 17, 22:07
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Interesting topic. I would have to choose whatever is the most comprehensive history of the world. It guess it's the historian in me. I always get depressed when I think of how much of the first millenium has been lost to us.
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Old 15 Apr 17, 09:19
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I like the "Catch-22" idea.

Perhaps, "Guns, Germs and Steel" or Kissinger's "Diplomacy"
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Old 15 Apr 17, 09:25
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I like the "Catch-22" idea.
Me too, I like it already better than my own idea for '100 years of Solitude'.
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