Dear Future Earthlings

A message in a bottle won’t be enough to communicate with distant generations

By Sid Perkins, 12:54 PM November 29, 2012

When Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, he probably didn’t think much about the students who would painstakingly slog through the text hundreds of years later. This literary classic is loaded with references and expressions specific to its author’s time — part of what makes it so difficult to read, even with CliffsNotes to serve as a decoder ring.

Likewise, people of the future will no doubt face tremendous challenges interpreting the texts of today. Far enough forward in time, it...

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