A Palmtop, a UNICEF Post Card and the Flag of United Europe
Given the choice to pick 1-3 items for a time capsule to be opened in a thousand years, what would you choose to represent the way of life on the earth in the last decade of the 20th century?
The idea of preserving a tiny bit of our way of life for posterity has always been an appealing one. However, it is an act that comes with responsibility and requires thorough consideration. The twentieth century was a mixture of cruelty, human suffering and devastating wars on the one hand and unprecedented scientific progress on the other. Thus, both aspects should be represented.
The twentieth century was dubbed the age of communication. Perhaps the most ingenious invention of all time, the computer, revolutionised the way of life of millions of people worldwide. It was constantly improved and in the late 90s reached a level of perfection synthesising a mobile phone, a music player and a standard PC. And it was the size of a palm, a palmtop. Consequently, it is my first choice.
On the other hand, the world remained the arena of human anguish, manifested in numerous wars, in starving children throughout the Third World and mockingly caring world leaders. It is a dark page of the decade's history but nonetheless, true. Hence, it should be represented in some way. Since some efforts were made to tackle those problems, most notably by the UN, it is recommended to enclose a UNICEF post card.
It was a decade marked by strides towards globalisation as well, so I would put the flag of united Europe.
I hope that people in a thousand years will be able to acquire a comprehensive insight into life on Earth in the last decade of the 20th century by looking at those items. If not, they could always turn on the palmtop and find all possible details, stored in its flash memory.