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The End of the World (has been postponed)

6 September 2012

No, this isn’t about Revolution, the new JJ Abrams series where the world’s power goes out, but people inexplicably revert to swords and crossbows even though assault rifles in no way require electricity. Or rather, it’s not entirely about that.

I was listening to the Nerdist Podcast the other day (as I am wont to do), and Chris Hardwick made an offhand comment about the permanence of the Internet — once something gets posted there, it’s there for good. Even TV shows that have characters inexplicably running around with swords.

So what would happen once our civilization ends? The original ARPANET was designed to safeguard our data in the event of nuclear war, so it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that a lot of what’s on the Internet today would survive the apocalypse — locked away in some powerless server, perhaps, but reconstructible by whatever future forensic data experts happen upon it. With the immense amount of stuff we have on the Internet — from great literature to video of some 14-year-old kid eating it on his skateboard — I think those future people (or aliens, I won’t judge) will have a pretty complete picture of the world as it is today. For every cat meme, there will be an insightful blog post on the state of world politics (though not at this particular blog). For every horrible Rebecca Black song, there will be talks by people like Neil deGrasse Tyson.

So what will people of the future think of us after the world’s gone to shit? And what will be your personal legacy? What piece of you will they find in the ashes?

(For me, they’ll find a guy who was angry about Revolution.)

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