Thursday, 24 September 2015

In which they fail to mention that the metaphor springs from the name of a vapor that literally rains on anything directly beneath its release.

Congratulations, you have found and translated our message! We presume that this script will have been so hidden that the condition in which you found it is remnant of what we once desperately engraved in stone to preserve these words for whoever might discover them. Experts in several fields have contributed to this text in an effort to mitigate the difficulties of translation... all glory and honor to God. Just kidding ;-)


Ours was a collaborative project begun in order to inform future inhabitants of this planet about our era of human culture. Based upon our modern scientific analysis, along with that contained in records of civilizations prior to ours — and assuming that you, too, humanoid or otherwise, evolved as we did — we hypothesize that our civilization predates yours by at least fifty-thousand revolutions of planet Earth around the Sun, the last few thousand of which you will have developed to the point where you have unearthed, restored, mistranslated, misunderstood, retranslated, misused, misinformed, reinterpreted, and finally comprehended the import of this message, at which point it's probably too late. ó_ò

We come from a civilization that had advanced its method of communication such that we spent decades not so much communicating with one another, but instead having what turned out to be a tedious meta-discussion about how to balance the legal justification necessary for the control of human interaction by a select group of our most elite with how we might safeguard ourselves from that same control.

The second thing that was lost amidst this discussion was our innate ability as human beings to recall detail. Following that was the ability to recognize the difference. The further we advanced the technology of artificial intelligence, the more artificial we ourselves became.

For it was neither the knowledge itself, nor the capacity to learn, but the techniques we had used to learn that were the primary thing that differentiated us from the machines we were developing. The more we changed that process, the more we are belong to them.  :-D

Fortunately, our data obsession did not wane, and one day it became clear that we were so rapidly losing the resources needed to access our information, that we were running the risk of losing all record of our prior communication. So we have chosen to re-translate the most important of this and set it back to stone, with the prediction that you in our future will already have the tools necessary upon discovery to begin its translation. Please subscribe. LOL.

We have tried to avoid certain terminology without detailed definition, but it is possible that what you have discovered is incomplete. When we began to transcribe this text, the modern method we used to write was much quicker than the method used to engrave. Like, you have no idea. Think about what you want for lunch. Okay, now in that time, we would have been able to order a pizza without having to talk to anyone and eaten it without chewing.

Unfortunately, pizza delivery only exacerbated our problems.

We had barely realized that global civilization's extinction was immanent when it dawned upon us that our system of language preservation would not be readable to the next beings who arise from our ashes. Time and material resources were disappearing too quickly for us to be able to engrave into durable material everything we had written elsewhere. Therefore, this attempt has been to start with the most essential information. You won't believe what happened next.
:-D

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Our main point is to inform you that we once lived here on this planet called Earth and that there were other civilizations here tens of thousands of years before ours. Like us to you, they left writing to us, but we did not allow ourselves to disseminate it quickly enough to learn from the mistakes they had warned us against. We have decided it would be instructive for you if you knew of our existence and its end, and how both came to be.

The folly inherent in the hiding or otherwise obscuring these words out of a concern that someone else might do the same should be self-evident. The story of our civilization proves this is not the case.

Therefore we cannot state explicitly enough: Do not hide this message or attempt to keep it for a privileged few. This will guarantee your repeating our mistake. Worse still is the deliberate distribution of misinformation as it pertains to the lesson herein. Never assume you know what is best for those around you. Let them decide for themselves and together you will have a chance.

As language is a symbol primarily for the tangible world, we warn against translating this writing too symbolically. This is a difficult task, as one can take literally a specific phrase when it is not meant in the same literal context as it is later understood. However, one can conversely attribute to metaphor something meant literally. For this reason, we are reluctant to advise an all-or-nothing approach to translation.

Only know that it is not our intention to relate to you symbols or allegory or metaphors to any greater an extent than a word is a symbol for a thing, a phrase is a metaphor for an idea, and a story is an allegory for what actually happened. We are aware that you may sometimes have to use metaphor to reach the correct context of your time if you are to reach an accurate translation of this text.

Furthermore, we are aware that there are others, both of our time and era-spanning times before ours, who have written much as we have, but who have used terminology that is more metaphoric than we would have chosen. At least that is our best hypothesis. Therefore, we have chosen some of these metaphors with accompanying explanation.

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In the decades before this one, our people of this planet had achieved the fastest possible travel between masses of land whereon different peoples lived. Once global travel reached this point, the growing expedience of global communication soon followed.

The fastest way to get text from one place in the world to another place in the world had been first via a vehicle that sailed upon the water. Then we developed a vehicle that flew through the air, which was much faster. Faster still came a method to translate the words into something that could be sent much more quickly through long tubes or wires. Finally, translating the words into data made the text so small that people could send it faster than people could travel even in the fastest flying vehicles.

This text you are reading and many others like it was in our penultimate time created using a system to make it invisible to the human eye without a tool to make it visible. The recipient of the text would then use a tool to translate the data back into words.

We presume that you are reading this from stone, as it is incomprehensible to us that a future civilization will be able to find our libraries and recover words from the storage space. Even if you have developed similar technologies, we find it unlikely that these would be compatible with ours. Oddly, the newer our systems of storage, the shorter term their durability.

This would seem to be at counter-purposes unless you consider that the dominant people of our age were not concerned with the strength and logic of the cultural development of our species, but rather the sustainability of their position of control over the rest of their own species and other life-forms on the planet. To maintain this control, they disallowed the development of more durable technologies in favor of those that would require dependence on always newer production.

Then came communication via the cloud. The cloud developed to become synonymous with something we had called the Internet, both sometimes referred to as the World Wide Web. All of these were evolving metaphors for a network that linked global communications systems, which eventually became the almost exclusive method for data storage. Data is what the words were translated to so that they could take up the least amount of space and travel around the globe at the greatest speed yet possible.

In this era, all data was recalled out of the networking space, which was the space between communicators. The precise location of this space was as accessible to the simple user as the clouds in the sky, which is what the metaphor refers to: You can see the cloud in the sky, but you cannot know its contents by touching it.

Prior to this development, data had been stored exclusively in places of material tangibility even to the local user, but nevertheless unreadable without the same kind of tool used for deciphering the modern cloud-stored data. You might be able to imagine this symbolically as writing that is too small to be seen, but if you use the special tool, it will appear large enough to read.

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We the authors of this message bring to your attention that others of our time engraving similar messages will have included samples of an obscure machine language that we had used to codify and interpret human language. We believe this is a mistake and there is evidence to support our belief.

Messages from past eras that we uncovered contained similar machine language, but it was not until we ourselves had developed for decades our own machine languages that we could imagine that large sections of the messages we had uncovered had no interpretable meaning. One insidious example is a series of commands that many of our people had thought came from an invisible god who ruled over us from beyond life and death. It turned out that the commands were instructions to be interpreted by a machine, yet we had spent centuries translating these to be interpreted by humans. Since we believe that you too will unlikely have developed machines that can read any of our machine languages, we have not included such herein, but caution that you might find remnants elsewhere.

Back to the meaning of this text: The question will arise: "Why would someone go to all this trouble to write something in stone, with clearly such rudimentary a tool?" If you are like we were, you'll assume it comes from a culture that knows no tool of greater sophistication and you, like we, would be mistaken.

Irony reappears in a potentially endless loop if you, like us, discover this message and crack the code with just enough time that it's too late for you. So yours, too, will be a last desperate attempt to preserve a potential rise out of your decay, not just to erect wondrous monuments but to build a civilization in concordance with your true nature, a nature based not upon capturing the elements but cooperating with them, not invested in mining the mineral but preserving it, not conditioned on conquering peoples but coordinating with their mutual autonomy.

The older cellulose and stone-based versions of these ideas of human preservation repeated this true nature of ours in the guise of a god, sometimes singular to signify one true law, sometimes plural to codify a set of them, but always in accordance with either/or complexes of inferiority or compulsions of arrogance borne out of fear.

So the dominant civilizations have arisen comprised primarily of those who saw nature as a problem to be overcome and those who refused to believe that any greater purpose exists except for in a life after this one.

The prevailing science of the first turned increasingly inward and microscopic, obscuring to their would-be followers that the control in this experiment was the environment of a globe so massive that the results could never be verified. This intentional folly combined with an entire population's resources subsumed to the singular depth of humanity's avarice, there was simply no way for whatever small isolated alternative segment of society to succeed, let alone survive.

Believe us when we tell you that karma is irony, because the survivalists within our dominant culture were the first to be made extinct by it, an ironic extinction not because they failed to thrive for insisting alone on survival, not because they were the fools. These are certainly not the case. But in that, when all our reactionary science had exhausted itself, there was no one left to learn how to survive from.

And it will be hard for most to fathom, that significant are the number who would have advocated for the survivalist approach had it not been for self-conscious preferences of an aesthetic kind of norm. But the survivalists were not extremist as much for their extremism as for having been identified as extreme. Nobody really expected them to be the first to be done in by the misappropriation of science. Slaughtered by the states' armies, perhaps.

Karma's other conundrum is that, had the survivalists had the states' resources, indications are that they would not have remained so true and rather have been corrupted by them.

So what is the solution? The solution is simple as a concept but next to impossible in reality: The soundness and sustainability of your father's science is only verifiable if you yourself can verify its being so. This requires an awesome level of knowledge in every household, for sure, but more than that, it requires a level of honesty yet unknown on this planet. As in, can you look at me honestly and tell me you know what you are talking about?

Any answer to that question that substitutes trust or hope for honesty, or any evasion out of a fear of falling from favor, will have you carving some version of this message again in stone. Maybe you'll begin well before the collapse of your civilization and make it easier on yourselves. And your fingernails. If you have fingernails.

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Omni – collage, late twentieth century