Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Wonderful Time Capsule

The Herald of Monterey California reports on the time capsule recently sealed in the Salinas library. Three students were selected to write letters describing what they think the future will be like 100 years from now.

Along with more than 100 of their classmates, the trio submitted "letters to the future" with their musings about what libraries and reading will be like in a century as part of the Salinas Public Library system's 100th birthday bash on Sunday.

The letters and other mementos were all sealed inside a time capsule, which was ceremoniously sealed by Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, library director Elizabeth Martinez and the three students at El Gabilan Library. The capsule, which will be on display at the city's three libraries in the coming months, will be reopened in 2109 for the library system's 200th anniversary.

Also going into the silver capsule were a range of mementos from the early 21st century, including photos of modern-day Salinas, money, the "Guitar Hero" video game, a phone book, a copy of a local newspaper, a TV guide, and representations of a computer, a smart phone, an iPod shuffle, and a car, among other items.

I find time capsules extremely fascinating. I think it has to do with the computer age which I feel so fortunate to have experienced. When I read about someone who died 30 or 40 years ago, Jim Morrison, for example, I think what a shame, he missed out on so much.

When this thinking is transported 100 years into the future, it becomes truly mind boggling. There must be a scientific way of describing the accelerating nature of progress. What happened over a decade or two in the mid 20th century now takes place in a year. And what happens now in a year's time in the future will take a month - or so it seems.

What do you think? Is progress speeding up? Or could that be an illusion somehow? Is it like the way every generation of parents says the same things about their kids when they become teenagers? In the 1950s people were probably saying how fast everything is progressing, compared to the previous generation.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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