And to those of you listening in the year 2100,
January 31, 2015 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Are there any audio or video clips available from the 20th century in which people speak directly to those of us living in the future? Or people in the even more distant future than now?

I was just listening to a radio show from the 1960s in which the host was talking directly to "those of you in the listening audience" and got this really tingly feeling, like what would he have said if he knew people were going to be listening in 2014? So I thought I'd ask.

(If you are reading this in summer 2028 please find me and wish me a happy 50th birthday, thanks)
posted by circular to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Neat question. Made me want to look for things like that.

Here is Bertrand Russel's early message for you, a child of the future.

The rest of this isn't quite what you're looking for:

Theoretical time capsules:
  • The short story Time Shards by Gregory Benford involves a voice recording from about the year 1280 by a man addressing his future descendants. It's pretty good. (The idea is that it's possible for a type of potter's wheel to capture audio vibrations and record them in the clay. I like to imagine that such a recording might have accidentally been created in real life and we just haven't found it yet.)
Old time capsules opened recently:
  • The oldest time capsule in American history, buried by Paul Revere, Sam Adams, and William Scollay was opened this month. No audio, of course.
  • This month a guy in Oklahoma got a letter from his great-grandpa from 1889.
  • Here's a Youtube video of a guy opening a DIY time capsule from 1976 in 2013. This link shows the part where he finds a 1976 tape recording of people's messages for the future. Frustratingly, this video doesn't show him playing the tape.
Current time capsules meant for the future:
  • Here's current messages for the 2100s, associated with the documentary "The Eleventh Hour" (about how people are currently messing up the environment).
  • KEO is an awesome but long-delayed project to launch a time-capsule satellite that will fall back to Earth in 50,000 years for messages for whoever's around then. You can send your own message.
  • There's a similar idea for putting a time capsule on Mars:
Other messages for posterity:
posted by Sleeper at 1:57 AM on February 1, 2015 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Do you know about the Golden Records sent into space?
posted by mareli at 4:44 AM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Both great answers--I didn't realize that you can actually listen to the content of those golden records on Youtube.

Sleeper, huge thanks for your research!!! These are awesome resources & I loved the Russell clip.
posted by circular at 10:15 AM on February 2, 2015

Hey. I just found this:

Jeremiah McDonald was on the Today Show in 2012 or 2013 for having shot a video as a kid in 1992 addressing himself, and then responding to it in 2012. (There's nothing spectacular about it, but it's kooky cute fun.)

The Today Show clip (caution: Took a while to load for me, and almost crashed my browser.)

The 2012 cross-time conversation video

The 1992 unedited video

The context
posted by Sleeper at 12:45 AM on February 9, 2015

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