We buried this time capsule to give you a glimpse into our daily lives and explain why the things we have given you are relevant to us in a way in which you will better understand than reverse engineering. This letter pays homage to the traditions of our ancestors who verbally handed down such information through priests and shamans.
1. Keyboard. The death of the keyboard is at hand as it is replaced by voice commands and digital renditions. At one time, we caressed keys or stamped out our frustration.
2. Cursive alphabet. Our language had two distinct scripts. One is the print which our computers have always used. The other was an art form, the calligraphy of our language. While fonts exist to show some examples, enclosed you will find the varied cursive handwriting of five individuals who were taught this art in school.
3. MP3 players. We hope you will have a way to charge the batteries on these devices to listen to the quality of the music and hear the differences in the sounds we enjoyed as a society. They vary greatly from those enjoyed a mere 200 years ago. The two are labeled with music from this generation and the one 200 years before us.
4. Cowboy boots. There are a fleeting number of ranchers left. They ride horses and raise cattle. This pair is worn and shows the amount of work which goes into eating from the land without the aid of a factory or mill. We hope you still have some natural wildlife when you open this capsule.
5. Stamp. This is a tax placed on our correspondence. As its prevalence has waned, our governments have taxed all of our other modes of communication, albeit in ways which are not nearly so evident as placing a stamp on the outside of an envelope or package. Once works of art, famous or influential people, breathtaking photographs of our country and educational scenes of our surroundings and history graced the stamps. The art of collecting stamps has been dying in the digital age.
6. BDU and body armor. We are a militaristic people. In the last 100 years we, the human race, have killed millions of people. We did it through organized war, guerrilla warfare, bombing, naval battle on and below the surface, terror, gangs and one-on-one violence. We have sent our children to defend our beliefs against those we believed would take away life as we knew it. We have never known peace in our lifetime. We hope these are things you neither have seen nor have a need for.
7. Carburetor. We scurried about to places far and wide in vehicles which helped consume and denigrate our environment. Vehicles allowed us to partake in goods and foods from remote lands and travel to places for work and recreation. While this piece of the combustion engine is largely out of use now, we sincerely hope your travel has become better suited for sustained life on this planet.
8. House key. Today, more people employ electronic locks to keep strangers from coming unbidden into their abodes. Have you reached the point where people respect others enough to stay out of places where they have no business or are not welcomed?
9. Three Stooges, Looney Tunes and Charlie Chaplin videos. We love to laugh. Some of the greatest influencers of our time were those who could make us laugh away our cares by finding humor in the everyday goings on.
10. Photograph of a baby. This smiling child represents innocence. Whatever put the smile on her face is important. The laughter and mirth of children is paramount to a balanced society. Please remember to smile. It is a gift you give yourself, and it may be the only gift someone else receives today.
11. Abacus. We have enclosed the instructions on how to use this simple calculating device to show we had intelligence far in excess of the technology we employed. This device has survived 2,500 years to date. If it has fallen away, you can bring back an important breakthrough which relies on nothing more than the user.
12. Animals, birds and aquatic species. The photographs and literature enclosed are the animals which are nearly extinct. Rather than leave you to guess or induce their traits, habits and diets, we give you all we know of them. We watched hundreds of species disappear in our lifetime. We discovered nearly as many. We wish we could see the ones you have now which replace the ones which were lost.
13. Coffee, tea, beer and whiskey. The beverage of choice is believed to reveal much about the drinker. If you do not have these beverages, perhaps you can engineer them at least for a taste.
14. Cancer cell slide. This represents a massive number of abhorrent mutations of our genetic structure. During our lifetime, profiteering prevented eradicating them. Along with cancer, we hope you have found ways to eliminate other such banes as paralysis, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, nerve damage, birth defects and autism.
15. A love letter. Penned by an octogenarian to his partner of 60 years, the letter represents the enduring love we have for one another, our commitment to sharing life with the ones we love and the hope love remains a positive part of the human equation.
Hopefully, some of these things will bring you a better understanding of a culture lost to a cause we do not yet discern as terminal.
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