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-   -   A Racist Message Buried for Thousands of Years in the Future (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=97075)

BrianB 25 October 2018 08:28 AM

A Racist Message Buried for Thousands of Years in the Future
 
The Atlantic 24 October 2018
Quote:

It's hard to predict how many years, decades, or centuries the crypt will actually last: Oglethorpe may have no legal obligation to maintain it, even though a large metal plaque outside implores future generations to keep it shut. Should it (and we) actually survive until 8113, maybe it will be dangerous in how it influences a future people who, one could hope, have shed constructs like race. [History professor at Georgia State University Perimeter College Paul] Hudson, for his part, retains optimism about the ultimate outcome thousands of years hence. "That whole concept of 'bigoted' might disappear by then," he says. "People might just not understand it at all."
This article was one of the most fascinating articles I've read all year.

Brian

ASL 25 October 2018 02:03 PM

Quote:

here are appliances, clothing, preserved food, an original copy of the script of Gone With the Wind donated by its director, a bottle of Vaseline, and a “Negro doll.” There’s even a phonograph designed to teach English words if future civilizations have forgotten the language.
I guess my question would be, what are "Negro doll[s]" and are they racist? Something tells me it was probably just a traditional sort of thing, with no ill-intent, and therefore not at all racist.

Quote:

Literally underground, it carries a message for the future that many people today wouldn’t want delivered yet that could still be seen as a valuable reminder of the past. If it somehow does reach our distant descendants, what will it teach them?
Well, if critical thinking remains something humans are capable of, and perhaps even more (hopefully) people consider it a virtue, it will teach them that there was at least one man who held to certain ignorant beliefs in the 1930s and into at least 1940. If they care to know more, perhaps they'll hit the history taps from there? Because people will learn by tapping into electronic databases, which will then transfer data to their cybernetic minds.

And we'll all live in cities on the moon--just not Earth's moon.

Also, I believe they'll take this as an example of honest signalling, perhaps intended to attract a mate or ward off predators, by showing an abundance of resources that could be locked away and essentially disposed of in a costly manner, signaling to others that this person was one of means.

GenYus234 25 October 2018 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ASL (Post 1990242)
Something tells me it was probably just a traditional sort of thing, with no ill-intent, and therefore not at all racist.

Don't know if that is what you meant, but "traditional" and not intending ill-will do not make something not racist.

ASL 25 October 2018 06:02 PM

Yes, that's the joke. I'm referencing the "golliwogs" discussion.

GenYus234 25 October 2018 06:07 PM

So that's what that massive *WHOOSH* sound was.

crocoduck_hunter 25 October 2018 09:18 PM

You know, I really don't think an archive of 20th Century stuff that includes racist ideas will influence people one thousand years from now any more than finding a one thousand year old book that includes medieval prejudices would influence present day society. More likely, I think it will inspire future people to say "boy, did those people believe some stupid things one thousand years ago."

Steve 25 October 2018 09:42 PM

Quote:

There’s even a phonograph designed to teach English words if future civilizations have forgotten the language.
How does that work? Imagine trying to learn Chinese from a recording done only in Chinese.

Richard W 25 October 2018 10:06 PM

You could have the sound of a dog barking and then a voice saying "dog", perhaps... we could teach future generations everything we knew about farm animals!

GenYus234 25 October 2018 10:10 PM

Who knew that See n Say would be the salvation of the future?

Steve 25 October 2018 10:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard W (Post 1990282)
You could have the sound of a dog barking and then a voice saying "dog", perhaps... we could teach future generations everything we knew about farm animals!

Yeah, that's probably it if they're just teaching words. But those 640000 pages of books will go to waste if far descendants only learn a handful of nouns.

Richard W 25 October 2018 10:57 PM

If they manage to preserve 640,000 intact pages I should think our descendants would have more than enough material to work it out anyway.

ganzfeld 26 October 2018 12:01 AM

Well sure that will tell them what thwy looked like and their behaviour but they'll need the recordings to know how large mammals sounded.

ASL 26 October 2018 01:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 1990290)
they'll need the recordings to know how large mammals sounded.

I hope to be remembered as a Great Ape, a truly excellent ape, the bestest best.

Tootsie Plunkette 26 October 2018 07:58 PM

If they're really concerned about the possible racist message, perhaps they could construct an "addendum" to the original capsule with some more updated and enlightened history about the changes in attitudes and laws since the 1930s, and seal it up in proximity to the original.

ASL 26 October 2018 08:05 PM

Honestly, if the people of the future are surprised at all, it’ll be at how enlightened the encacpsulater was. By which I mean, racism will only be a sudden "surprise" if they’ve become blind to the possibility (and are thereby probably pretty darn racist themselves without even considering it racism). Racism, at least refined racism, is learned, yes, but it is also innate within us. Ignorance doesn’t beget tolerance, it begets racism and bigotry.

So... if they (whoever they are) don’t get that racism is/was a thing, then they might just think it sure was nice of this enlightened thinker to include some positive depictions of these "half savages" too.

Beachlife! 26 October 2018 09:17 PM

I don't understand how this is supposed to work. Did he endow the University with enough money to keep this vault into perpetuity? Have they considered the fact that the building almost certainly won't last 6000 years? Are they just humoring his descendants or do they have some plan for keeping this thing accessible regardless of whatever else they might want to do with the building?


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