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Circa 2020

A Time Capsule Project
Historians a thousand years hence will tell the
men and women of that age what happened in our time...
Let us paint them a picture.

  1. Time Lapse


    In your time the year-long (and more) periods between Circa 2020 posts will barely register.

    In our time, or at least in mine, they seem endless.

    Perspective remains ever so intriguing.

    Updated 11-16-11 at 08:41 AM by Om

  2. Taking Flight

    Dear humans of 3020,

    It has been almost two years since I posted to Circa 2020.

    Two years can feel like an eternity to an individual, particularly when the time involves a major life-changing event.

    Given the paradoxical way humans experience time, however, two years can also be little more than a meaningless blip. Certainly it can be as viewed through the prism of the millenium that has passed since these words were written.

    I have been looking for a way to get back to regularly updating this humble time-capsule blog ... and have almost done so any number of times since solemnly sending my friend and brother Bruce off in early 2009. But, for reasons which I may or may not ever end up writing much about here, I have never quite gotten around to it.

    This morning, finally, the Time was right.

    I ran across a story today that got me thinking about Time. About the markers that come along occasionally during ...

    Updated 01-06-11 at 08:58 AM by Om

  3. A Proper Sendoff

    Dear Humans of 3020 AD,

    With science and medicine accelerating at a dizzying rate even today, it is not inconceivable that death is as archaic a notion to you in your time as ritual human sacrifice is to us in ours.

    Part of me certainly hopes so ... a sentiment made all the more keen this week as I grieve the sudden loss of a friend l have known and loved for thirty years.

    When a loved one dies today, particularly if young or in unexpected fashion, it shakes our foundations. Cool logic, mature perspective and intellectual understanding of death as the natural process we know it to be—the yin to life's yang—is shattered, exposed, undone. For a time all is upside down, the fabric of our lives torn apart ... and what we see peering back through the hole unnerves us as nothing else can.

    Strangely, part of me also hopes you have not conquered death, at least not completely. Because for all the grief, as we slowly emerge from its immediacy ...

    Updated 02-18-10 at 01:39 PM by Om

  4. Innocence Is As Innocence Does

    Dear Humans of 3020 AD,

    In your time, do innocent bystanders still fear displacement, injury and worse in the crossfire created by others?

    "You don't know anymore; you don't know who is alive, you feel you are in a trap, you don't know who is a target," said my friend and neighbor in Gaza City, journalist Taghreed El-Khodary. The fear resonated in her voice while she was on the phone to Al-Jazeera. Taghreed lives on a street near my parents.
    I sit safe, warm, well-fed and sheltered in one part of our world, while in another, fellow human beings with no more an active hand in the geopolitical forces surrounding them than I have in mine are endangered, grief-stricken, exposed.

    This euphemistically-called "hot spot"--a place called Gaza in a small nation called Israel--is just one of several remaining in the world today. Your history will record the religious, political and cultural roots of the conflict in the part of the world ...

    Updated 02-09-09 at 10:05 PM by Om

  5. About the Animals

    Dear Humans of 3020 AD,

    I wonder how a story like this might read in your time.

    The boy, whose ordeal mirrors that of the character Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book, was discovered by police in Misiones, in Argentina, surrounded by eight wild cats.

    Doctors believe the animals snuggled up with him during freezing nights which would otherwise have killed him.

    The boy was seen eating scraps foraged by the animals while they licked him, it has been claimed.

    Policewoman Alicia Lorena Lindgvist discovered the child by a canal in the Christ King district of the city.

    She said: "I was walking and noticed a gang of cats sitting very close together. It is unusual to see so many like that so I went for a closer look and that's where I saw him. The boy was lying at the bottom of a gutter. There were all these cats on top of him licking him because he was really dirty.

    "When I

    Updated 01-09-09 at 01:07 PM by Om

  6. Circa 2020: What and Why

    After several months of trying to figure out what this blog would be “about,” I think I’ve finally stumbled on an answer.

    All my life, I’ve wondered what my counterparts a hundred, a thousand, five thousand years ago, did, felt and thought in their daily lives.

    Our libraries are full of history books that tell us what happened in their times.

    We have writings from a handful of learned individuals—the precious few who could, had the time and occasion to write—telling us of the events of their day … as often as not, one suspects, as much with the intent to influence their times than objectively record them for posterity.

    And we have wonderfully written historical novels that do their best to interpret history, place it in the hands of fictional characters and thus hope to give us a flavor of their day.

    I don’t believe, however, I’ve ever had the opportunity to know, first-hand, the life and mind of, say, a farmer living ...

    Updated 11-07-08 at 12:27 PM by Om

  7. Religion or Village?

    I write this in response to a spirited (and remarkably civil) discussion I was engaged in late one night on the proposition that organized religion’s primary function is teaching Right from Wrong.

    And further, that it is the primary, and arguably single most indispensable, vehicle for that purpose known to the human race.

    Felt compelled to try to memorialize some thoughts on the matter.

    To me, the role of providing moral and behavioral guidance to each individual should properly--and pragmatically--fall upon parents. Parents, and the village in which each child is raised (no invoking Hillary, please--"village" is not a dirty word).

    I's my hope that there were far more compelling reasons behind our species having created entire universal belief systems--complete with what they can expect to be their lot after death--than getting our youngsters to eat their vegetables and remembering that they probably shouldn’t blow up the neighbor's ...

    Updated 11-07-08 at 02:00 PM by Om

  8. With Apologies to William Wallace

    It's not easy being free.

    I'd not like to have to make that case to a large tattooed gentleman locked in solitary, mind you ... or to someone who, by accident of birth or circumstance, has never enjoyed a day of freedom at all. But it's true nonetheless.

    How so? Because being free means making choices; every minute, of every day, for a lifetime. And then living with them.

    Most day-to-day choices, of course, if not always "easy," are certainly manageable. The kind we are unlikely to find ourselves, at 85, rocking slowly on a veranda somewhere a little unclear on how we got there but pretty sure someone will be along shortly to wheel us back inside for tunafish, regretting.

    T-shirt or polo?
    Turkey or pastrami?
    Left lane or right?
    Seinfeld or Science Channel?

    Other daily choices don't register as important in the moment, but laying in the dark later, waiting for sleep, you find your conscience whispering

    Updated 11-07-08 at 02:14 PM by Om