FFC: Time Capsule

When I was a schoolgirl, we had a class project to create a time capsule. We were told to find items typical of our age and time period, seal it in a box and bury it. The idea was to open the box years later and remember what it was like to be that age.

Nowadays, I wonder what I would or could put in a time capsule box. Time capsule artefacts typically include newspapers, pictures and letters to future readers. Looking around, I am surrounded by digital artefacts which may be obsolete fifty years from now. Newspapers have been replaced by news-feeds, photos are jpg files and letters are e-mail.

If I were to create a digital time capsule … maybe I’d include the following items, random snap-shots of events over the last week – signs of the times, in this place in 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccine

I saw this poster on my way home after receiving my last Covid vaccination shot. Yeah! I am part of the 57% of the Canadian population vaccinated against Covid.

My province Ontario and city Toronto, is the most densely populated in Canada and as such, hardest hit by infections. In April after an unprecedented increase in new cases, the premier put the province in lockdown mode with strict Stay-At-Home orders. This is the third time and third wave, since the pandemic started in 2020.

Thankfully, the restrictions have worked. The stats show a steady and dramatic decline in new infections. This week Ontario recorded the lowest number of new infections since October 2020.

With the vaccination rate accelerating, we expect to have everyone fully vaccinated by the end of summer. A return to (near) normal is in sight!

A Good Book

Last week, I finished a good book called The Outlander by Gil Adamson. It follows nineteen year old Mary Boulton who murdered her husband and flees across rural Alberta, pursued by two vengeful brothers-in-law.

It was an unexpectedly good read, given that it was a first novel and written by a poet. Maybe it was good because it was written by a poet. The writing was lyrical, the characters imperfect and the story line fast paced and tight.

This is a book to either love or hate. I could have gone either way but last week, I loved it.

Like all my other books, this was an e-book, borrowed or purchased online and downloaded to my Kobo or Kindle reader. According to my e-book history, I’ve read over a thousand books in the last ten years. That’d be an average of about two books a week. I used to force myself to finish every book I started. These days, I put the onus on the book to force me to finish. Life is too short to read a bad book when another is just a click away.

A Good Song

I thought it would be a good idea to post a popular song in the Time Capsule. I looked up the most popular songs in 2020 and did not recognise one of them. I guess I don’t listen to the right radio channels. Actually, I don’t listen to any radio channels. That’s the scourge of streaming music and social media – we get pigeon-holed into things similar to what we know and like. (There’s a term for that. I can’t remember its name. Please tell me, if you can.)

Occasionally though, I “discover” old songs from different cultures. Like this song “Papaoutai” by Belgium artist Stromae. It was released in 2013 and appears to have been in the Top Ten lists for most of Europe. I didn’t hear it 2013 but it’s currently on my favorites playlist for 2021.

There are lots of reasons why I like this video & song. The music is catchy, a blend of modern and African beat and the lyrics touch on a sensitive social issue. The video concept is unusual with novel lighting and camera effects and the dance moves fun to watch.

One problem though. Having listened to it on Spotify, I now have a steady stream of popular French songs. My pigeon-hole is being adjusted 🙂

So, these are the things I’d put in a digital* time capsule with the hope that fifty years from now, they’d still be accessible* on the cloud* and that devices* would still be able to stream* them.

* It’s sobering to think that fifty years ago, these words and that sentence would have been meaningless. Will any of it be meaningful fifty years from now? Time changes so quickly, which is what my schoolgirl project was all about. It makes you think, doesn’t it?


Many thanks to Amanda for posing another thought provoking topic for this week’s Friendly Friday Challenge: TIME CAPSULE.

19 Comments

  1. Your digital time capsule is an interesting idea. I’m wondering if you ever dug up your childhood ‘real’ one?

    I saw your conversation with Amanda above about what to save and how – and why. It reminds me of the dilemmas faced by Virtual Tourist members when the site was closed at fairly short notice by Trip Advisor in 2017. Some of us, me included, had most of the tips and reviews we’d written saved as Word documents – in my case, not because I anticipated the site closing (it hadn’t occurred to me!) but because I always drafted in Word first as in the early days the site had a habit of crashing regularly and anything you were in the middle of would be lost 😦 Some members were able to download much of their content using a programme quickly developed by the site’s founder, but it was an imperfect solution and missed some items completely. And some of us were able to transfer our files to TravellersPoint, a travel blogging site, but that didn’t work perfectly either because the two sites were so different. And did it matter that everything was lost? Yes, to many members it did. They felt completely let down by TA who had promised not to close the site when they bought it some years earlier. They felt bitter that so many years of work were lost, just like that. And for those who wanted to carry on with some sort of digital presence, having access to all that past material, as I do, was hugely useful, and for some of those who didn’t have it, carrying on writing, starting from scratch, seemed just too much effort. Which is a long-winded way of saying, don’t feel you’re wasting your time preserving stuff, even if you are only doing it for yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My childhood time-capsule is 50 years old, three countries, a continent and an ocean away. No chance of me ever finding that, even if it still existed.

      I agree that it’s time well spent preserving our blog posts offline. It’s tedious but worth the effort.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of a digital time capsule … especially since most of us spend so much of time in this world now. And physical capsules are apt to get lost as we lose more and more of our physical spaces – at least in cities like Singapore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A completely new song and book for me, thanks! I will post my post tomorrow but I didn’t think of including items for a time capsule. It’s more about the places that put me in a time capsule. I would love to find one from 100 years ago. Have you heard of the project where famous writers write a book and put it in a time capsule for 100 years? Margaret Atwood did it too. It is here: https://www.futurelibrary.no/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Manja – I realised after reading Amanda’s post & others that there are two different interpetations of Time Capsule. The Time Capsule Box was my immediate response. I have another thought along your lines but that might come later.
      Yes, I had heard about that Time Capsule book with Margaret Atwood. It’s an interesting idea. If it were you, what would you write about?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your ‘Let’s Get Vaccinated’ poster and would definitely add that (or a mask or handsanitizer) to my 2020/2021 Time Capsule. I am grateful to be part of the 8% of Canadians who are now fully vaccinated. I am also grateful that this number is now rising rapidly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. With the accelerated vaccination rates, the shift in mood is tangible. B.C. is doing well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the re-opening plan proceeds on schedule. It’d be great to be back on the island!

      Like

  5. As someone who collected information in hard copy, I think about this all the time. Even today, I went back to my original blog posts from 20111/12, I found the photos that were uploaded without reduction are now too ridiculously small to be able to see with any clarity anymore and I have lots of broken links in my old posts.
    Will my blog posts disappear and be unreadable as data enlarges. Maybe we should make a hard copy of them.
    Totally agree with this:
    “These days, I put the onus on the book to force me to finish. Life is too short to read a bad book when another is just a click away.”

    Like

    1. It’s an interesting modern day dilemma … where much of our everyday communiciation is tied to tech. In the old days, we printed or wrote stuff on paper & how long it existed depended on physical conditions – whether the paper & ink survived physical conditions
      Now, your 10 year old jpgs look small not because they have changed, rather it’s because our digital images have much higher resolution & the screens are all calibrated for that. I archive copies of my blogs in offline WORD files (for easy of retrieval & reference) but if the MS WORD app ever disappeared, I wouldn’t be able to even open it again. Should we print everything off & keep hardcopies of them? What is everything though? and isn’t it too much?

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      1. Printing everything didn’t seem feasible so I delete some things and keep the most important or those special items. Perhaps those items should be kept in hard copy form. However you made me think of the wider issue, Sandy. Why do we want to keep them, in the first place? Who would read themselves and how long do we want do we aim to keep them for?
        I have letters and documents, (reproductions) concerning and written about my seventh great grandfather’s brother, from the turn of the 17th Century and I find them fascinating. But we can’t keep everything and everyone’s life is not fascinating. So how do we decide if it is significant or interesting enough to ourselves or to history? If don’t have grandchildren, would anyone bother to read or even keep a hard copy. Hard copy books are even slowly becoming redundant.

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        1. It’s a sad fact that our digital life has created a lot of digital detritus, much more than our ancestors could have ever generated. We don’t need to have physical copies of that. In terms of what to leave behnd of grandchildren – I think that’s why so many people write memoirs. I sometimes think that blogging is like free-writing a memoir.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree! And so, we should preserve it. We speak of memories, describe and document places and experiences and discuss everyday life. A social historian of the future’s dream!

            Liked by 1 person

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