The existence of endless opportunity doesn't diminish our need to create. We are all kids building sand castles. I feel connected to my own castles, and find comfort when others enjoy my work. We can't resist the urge to mold and shape reality to better match our imagination. The primal urge to modify our environment is inseparable from being human.
Revolutionary patterns have immeasurable impact for the future. The smallest idea can spread through our entire civilization changing everything. But even a ripple now will have little lasting effect (the pet rock, anything pop culture).
I like to think long-term to put things in perspective. What will happen to anything I write, or any work I do a thousand years from now. My guess is there's very little to nothing I've done so far that will last that long, and I want to change that. But what patterns could I possibly introduce that could survive 30 or 40 generations?
As an example, I look to things in history that survived for that time period.
- Religion is an obvious choice but one that doesn't suit me well
- Of course writers are another great choice for work longevity, as long as there has been a written language, documents have survived the wheel of time. I suspect this blog won't be available a thousand years from now in any form
- Philosophy is another great example, we keep records of ancient thinkers and review their ideas
- Political systems can last for some time, and the principles and ideas of law can also extend for thousands of years
Work with the greatest chance of surviving a millenium has a wide range of value to our society now.
It's probably silly, but one way of archiving data is to create a resonating signal that contains the information we wish to send forward. Perhaps an embedded signal in seismic activity, or in super slow changing events (orbital shifts ). In addition to broadcasting our DNA into the future (procreating), we can send some of our best ideas, and knowledge forward. Who knows what future civilizations will glean from our humble musings?
I feel the need to create a sand castle in time, despite the fact that it will wash away with the next tide.