Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Manual for Civilization

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My friend Carrie shared this article and blog with me this morning from The Long Now Foundation which has started a project called the Manual for Civilization. To quickly summarize, the project is meant to have a collection of 3,000 books at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center which are deemed most valuable to contribute to the rebuilding of society if there was ever a fall of civilization as we know it (I jokingly mentioned zombie apocalypse or alien invasion to Carrie!). There are four criteria which the books must fall under to be included: Cultural Canon (their example is Shakespeare or Plato), Mechanics of Civilization (technical books), Rigorous Science Fiction (how we thought the world would be in the future), Long Term Thinking/Futurism (books on how to think about the future). The projects does have some authors as key leaders, but it is an open project made possible by the Internet Archive and anyone can have access to the growing list of suggestions and can contribute to this archive for the future.

I think it's such an intriguing idea to put together an entire collection for the sole purpose of explaining to people of the future who have potentially lost everything else and only have these 3,000 books to begin to rebuild society. I'm a sci-fi nerd so this kind of thing is right up my alley. I voted on a few books (you can do it right from the blog page!) and also submit your own suggestions as well. I'm having a hard time thinking of a book I would deem important enough for someone to be able to really utilize to rebuild the world at the moment, but it's definitely interesting to think about.

If you were in the post-apocalyptic society, what book would you most want to see in this collection? Let me know in the comments below!

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