When Reality Pops

7632653238_c9436bb80d_zWhat if an ancient scroll could change the way you look at reality forever?

In the early 20th Century, a monk unsealed a hidden archive in the Mogao Caves of China. The hidden cache of priceless art included “nearly 50,000 ancient manuscripts, silk banners and paintings, fine silk embroideries and other rare textiles dating from before the early 1000s.”

Among these treasures was a Chinese translation of the Diamond Sutra, one of the most famous sermons attributed to Buddha.

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A Message from Two Centuries Away

Four_antennas_ALMAWhy would some extremely patient alien civilization send a message to a planet 95 light years away?

The RATAN-600 radio telescope in the Karachay–Cherkess Republic of Russia picked up a strong signal that could originate from nearly 95 light years away from our planet.

A team of astronomers logged the signal from the 6.3 billion year old star named HD 164595. They want to focus on this star permanently, hoping that more communications could emerge.

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Storytellers of the Future

computer610What kind of new narratives will 21st Century storytellers create for our changing world?

Over at deviantART, you can explore a curated gallery of art dedicated to the future of storytelling–some end of the month inspiration.

Brain Games host Jason Silva tackled that question in a two-minute video called “Lucid Dreaming,” outlining the tremendous opportunities (and challenges) facing 21st Century storytellers. As our relationship to technology evolves, the stories we tell each other will change as well.

 

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Write a Letter To a Time Traveler

letter

If time travel is invented, would a time traveler come back to get you?

A writer nicknamed Time Travel Jake has created a simple “Come Back & Get Me” website where anyone can leave messages for time travelers. The hope is that someday, one of these visitors will come find you in the past and let you visit the future.

Here’s more about the site:

“When I was a young boy, I once day dreamt about time travel. I must have spent some mental energy on this concept because one day I had this epiphany: though I cannot time travel right now, this does not foretell that it is indefinitely impossible. So if time travel is possible at some point in the future, all I have to do is ask them to: “Come back and get me”. How was I going to ask this question? My best answer, leave it on a note attached to my last will and testament. I would then hope of it being pasted down, surviving the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of years before time travel becomes a reality.”

Follow this link to visit the time travel message site and leave your letter. The creator acknowledged that “there are countless paradoxes my theory would encounter,” but added his hope that “future time-farers have figured it all out.”

One reader responded:

I’ve already been contacted. Thanks a bunch! 🙂 I’ve made arrangements to retire in 1920’s Paris. I need to keep it quiet, though, because my great grandson is taking quite a bit of risk to do this for me. It’s not exactly condoned by the government.

Finally, the creator of the site added a message–reminding us all to dream a little bigger about the future…

I don’t doubt my mission is preposterous, but that is not my only theme. When I look around me, I see a bland world void of imagination. My hope with sharing is to find others who have open minds and do not take this life so seriously. Who knows what may happen?

(Image via Imurf)

Discovering Your Biological Fate

clockIf you could measure how much time is left in your biological life, would you want to know?

As scientists learn more about DNA, we are much closer to being able to read the “biological clock” that modulates your life.

Someday, scientists will be able to predict your biological fate with alarming accuracy. People will have to decide if they want to know this number or not. Would you?

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Wikipedia Dystopia

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svgWhat if Wikipedia merged with a major corporation?

The massive online encyclopedia depends on donations from users, and is compiled through the dedicated work of unpaid contributors, editors and volunteers.

Over at the Writing Prompts section of Reddit, one writer imagined a grim future where corporate sponsorship supported the amazing resource.

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Superman & the Comanche

kansasWhat if a superhero lived among the Comanche tribe in Kansas in the 18th Century?

In an epic answer that question, one Reddit user imagined what would happen if the comic book hero Superman grew up among Native Americans in 1775.

The post answered a hypothetical question posed in the AskScienceFiction section: “How does it change/affect history in North America and the world?”

 

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Computer Generated Bank Robbery

7862855188_b93525e4a4_zHow would a computer algorithm plan a bank robbery?

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have created “Scheherazade-IF,” an artificial intelligence system that has a single purpose: to generate an interactive story.

Through algorithms and crowd-sourced information, the program can write a simple Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style story. So far, the program has generated stories about a movie date and a bank robbery, and the researchers found that human readers could follow these narratives created by artificial intelligence.

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