Friday, 4 May 2007
Have a look at this photo. It shows the winged goddess of victory, Nike of Samothrace. The original stands in the Louvre museum in Paris. This splendid stature of 2 1/2 meter high was created to celebrate a naval victory in the Mediterranean, about 2200 years ago.
There is however something amiss. Today, nobody knows for sure who was fighting whom and for what reason.
Imagine a time when the Waterloo battle of 1815 that ended Napoleon's rule in Europe is more or less forgotten. Or the battle of Stalingrad 1942/43 that marked the turning point of the Second World War. Could this be? Could this happen?
Those old civilizations two thousand years ago had the good idea to carve some messages on stone. But we, what do we do? Our contemporary paper and print is of so low quality that it disappears in about hundred years. The first movies, turned about a century ago, are chemically so instable that they rot away, or just burn. Let's not talk about the magnetic tapes: even today, we cannot read them if they are older than 15 years. And those DVD's, CD-ROM's, their life is estimated at 50 years but in reality, nobody knows for sure how long they are able to keep the data.
Quite possible that in 2000 years from now, our big, loud civilization is utterly forgotten. Maybe, the archaeologists will go through our junk heaps - armed with a tooth brush of old - and unearth some broken coca-cola-bottle or a frying pen made of stainless steel. I wonder what that will tell them about us. Certainly nothing about Waterloo or the Abba-Group of Sweden.
Interesting times ahead.