Almost nothing today is built to last

Did you ever stop to think that if mankind were to vanish from the face of the earth in a few thousand years, eventually the pyramids built by the Egyptians and Mayans would probably still be standing, but almost none of the more famous buildings built in the last 100 years would still be around?

Hieroglyphs would survive but digital data would be gone. 

Eventually, only the most ancient civilizations of Egypt, the Asian Indians, the Mayans, etc., would provide evidence that civilized mankind had ever been around at all!

Views: 243

Comment by H3xx on June 28, 2013 at 12:24am

Our forged metal and some of our monuments would stick around for awhile. But yeah, digital data would most certainly disappear. so we wouldn't leave treasure troves of information like the Egyptians had, but I'm sure Mount Rushmore would make a few archeologists scratch their heads.

Comment by matt.clerke on June 28, 2013 at 2:53am

Have you tried carving hieroglyphs at the same data transfer speed as burning a DVD? Our data doesn't last as long as hieroglyphs because we were able to gain significant advantages by using less-permanent data storage which still lasts long enough to be useful.

Comment by Ed on June 28, 2013 at 6:26am

Just look what that one little earthquake did to the Washington Monument a few years ago.

Comment by SteveInCO on June 28, 2013 at 9:16am

Of course the overwhelming majorify of structures from the ancient era are gone already too; the pyramids have lasted precisely because they are just big piles of rock, not too far away from the angle of repose, enclosing very little actual empty space, so the is little issue with supporting a roof, in an arid climate.  A large enclosed volume (like the Parthenon in the Athens Acropolis) will tend to collapse (though the Parthenon in particular had help from the Ottoman Turks storing gunpowder in it in the 1600s and having an incoming round touch it off).

Comment by Unseen on June 28, 2013 at 9:50am

Yeah, but 50,000 years from now, if some space beings landed, what remnants of our own civilization would be extant. It would almost have to be made of stone or gold.

Comment by Strega on June 28, 2013 at 10:35am


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear --
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

[Percy Bysshe Shelley]

Comment by Adam on June 28, 2013 at 10:47am

That's the point man

It's called planned obsolescence. Make stuff crappy so it breaks and consumers have to keep buying it so the economy keeps going. This has conspired to every part of our modern day lives that nothing we do is for a permanent cause, rather than a temporary resolution. 

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on June 28, 2013 at 11:46am

With all that damned packaging everything ships with you might expect things to last a little longer......some future race will wonder what all that polystyrene was for.

Comment by Dave G on June 28, 2013 at 3:52pm

There would still be numerous satellites orbiting the planet. Not as many as there are today, some will undoubtedly lose orbit, suffer from collisions, etc, but there'd likely be some left making their endless loops. 

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on June 28, 2013 at 4:27pm

The longest lasting items from our age will be landfills and radioactive waste.


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