Re: poly: Malign Probes and expanding civilizations

From: Perry E. Metzger <>
Date: Sun Dec 21 1997 - 17:36:13 PST

Damien R. Sullivan writes:
> Indeed. I've predicted that ASCII and Amish will be around a million
> years from now. If Earth stays civilized, and if the Amish can maintain
> their numbers internally, what's going to happen to them?

I think this is somewhat unreasonable. There are indeed a few stone
age peoples still around, but most have been wiped out by absorbing
too much civilization after merely a few tens of thousands of
years. Maybe Amish-like peoples might be around in 100,000 years, but
Amish qua Amish in a million years? In a world where few if any
religions survive without major changes over even 2000 years? (And no,
the religious Jews of 100BC did not practice a religion that was
identical to that of a Lubavitcher today.)

> (Well, an ice age, actually, and civilization might rudely dismantle
> the planet, so I only seriously predict that ASCII will be
> understandable a million years from now.)

I would not be surprised if information about ASCII survived a million
years, or if future archeologists were forced to decipher ASCII, but
ASCII as an actual in-use notation? When it hasn't even survived 50
years yet?

Received on Mon Dec 22 01:28:23 1997

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