Tuesday, August 09, 2005

What is your legacy?

Suppose, for a moment, our civilization will end tomorrow. You can leave three books that will, through the miracle of City In the Trees Magic, be unambigulously understood by our successors... be they other humans in a thousand years, or lemurs, raccoons, foxes, or rats in several millions. What would they be?

So as not to prejudice you, I will post my own selections in a reply to this post.

1 comment:

Lone Primate said...

My own selections are this:

1) COSMOS by Carl Sagan: this is my "bible". It's a catalogue of what we've done, who we are, and what we aspire to... the things we hope to achieve if we last long enough. If this book doesn't inspire you, stone axes and campfires are technology you'll never hope to grasp.

2) The King James Bible: this is the basis for Anglo-American society; both the Old Testament and the New. The Ten Commandments and the struggle to be free are there; as is the simple most basic human truth: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." What could be more basic? Incidentally, despite my Catholic background, I should admit that ever since childhood, I have had a problem with the "divinity" of Jesus. I just can't accept it. God is God; humans are not. To regard a human divine strikes me as impious. I believe Jesus was a prophet; a very special one... among others. But the beauty and poetry of the KJV is the hallmark of the English language. That, and the basis of its morality (liberally and not stridently applied) is at the very heart of Anglo-American society.

3) 1984 by George Orwell. If there is a more chilling, compelling, and yet plausible cautionary tale against the chipping away of civil liberties in the name of "security" (i.e., executive privilege), I'm unaware of it.