5 book that chronicle humanity

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fischju
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5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby fischju » Wed May 21, 2008 6:10 am UTC

5 books that would be left behind/5 to put on a spacecraft like Voyager/5 to give to aliens

1. Webster's Dictionary
2. Complete works of Shakespeare
3. The Bible
4. Collectice works of Carl Jung
5. Collective works of George Orwell

Your list?

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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Robin S » Wed May 21, 2008 2:50 pm UTC

I think a sufficiently good encyclopaedia, coupled perhaps with a dictionary (depending on how good the potential readers are at understanding the language, including colloquialisms etc., for themselves), would probably cover it. Obviously it would miss a huge amount out, but I feel like being more specifically selective than that would introduce a significant bias in the sample.
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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Dazmilar » Wed May 21, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

I think you're taking a huge leap in assuming that our alien friends will be readers. After all, if all the doomsday-reading-is-dead books are right, any civilization as decadently advanced as an alien civilization probably abandoned the printed word eons ago. Besides, we've been broadcasting radio and television to them for years. But anyhow...

1. Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary
2. Pellegrino and Zebrowski's The Killing Star
3. Goethe's Faust
4. Max Brooks' World War Z
5. The first book of any suitably long book series.

I think that covers it. A sense of humor, paranoia and science, religion, human nature, and if they're actually friendly towards us, a bargaining chip in negotiations -- We'll give you book 2 if you give us FTL travel.

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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby no-genius » Thu May 22, 2008 11:16 am UTC

We're assuming these aliens can read english, right?

Maybe Russell's History of Western Philosophy?
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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Narsil » Thu May 22, 2008 1:48 pm UTC

I say Finnegan's Wake, because with sufficiently advanced technology I believe one may be able to extrapolate the entire human saga from it.
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dbsmith
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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby dbsmith » Fri May 23, 2008 2:50 am UTC

Well yes, but if we have to represent the MASSES of humanity, the list will probably be more like:
1. The Bible
2. Dan Brown - The Da Vinci Code
3. Harry Potter 7
4. Harry Potter 6
5. Harry Potter 5
etc...

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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Bears! » Fri May 23, 2008 4:42 am UTC

1. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Covers love and all the annoying, irritating and delightful facets thereof.

2. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Covers redemption, forgiveness, human psychology, etc.

3. Bhagavad Gita
Covers Eastern philosophy, the soul, general metaphysics.

4. Nichomachean Ethics - Aristotle
Covers Western philosophy, logic, and all that jazz.

5. 1984 - George Orwell
Covers politics, societal desires, and how humanity fails as a whole.

This is everything forever, minus the maths.
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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri May 23, 2008 1:56 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:I say Finnegan's Wake, because with sufficiently advanced technology I believe one may be able to extrapolate the entire human saga from it.


With that much technology, couldn't they do the same with a piece of fairy cake?
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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Narsil » Fri May 23, 2008 9:30 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Narsil wrote:I say Finnegan's Wake, because with sufficiently advanced technology I believe one may be able to extrapolate the entire human saga from it.


With that much technology, couldn't they do the same with a piece of fairy cake?

At this point, however, you might as well get a cup of tea and extrapolate the whole damn universe.


Oh, and it seems like if we sent 1984 out to aliens to show them who we are and what we're capable of, why won't they just take mercy on us and destroy the planet?
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Zombor
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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Zombor » Sat May 24, 2008 4:06 am UTC

well, you would have to include
1) the Bible, whether or not you believe in it, there is no other book that has affected humanity so much
2) Frankenstein-covers ramberlings of human thought flows about creation/ how humans view themselves creating life succinctly
3) Grimm's book of Fairy tales or any other sufficiently comprehensive collection of fairy tales-a la Joseph Campbell
4) a collection of Shakespearean works- also a great affecector of culture
5) either On the Origin of Species or Walden, kinda hard to decide, science/evolution vs. one man's meta-thoughts

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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Eitel » Sat May 24, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

1. As said many times, the Bible, as a book with such a massive following cannot be left out.
2. The Divine Comedy, as is only fitting following the Bible.
3. The Da Vinci Code to emphasize humanity's struggle with the idea of religion.
4. Good Omens, for comedic effect.
5. Finally, The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins, for further comedic effect.

In addition Gray's Anatomy could prove useful in avoiding a scientific expedition.
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Mimi
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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby Mimi » Sat May 24, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

The Iliad and/or the Odyssey.

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Re: 5 book that chronicle humanity

Postby bennyprofane » Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:10 pm UTC

1. Collected Works of William Shakespeare
The plays and the sonnets together, representing the height of human art, or what we, in the modern day, in terms of academic thinking, perceive as the height of human art. Hamlet should be bookmarked for them.

2. The Bible & The Koran
Both religious texts serve beyond the realm of organized religion--the influence the Bible has had on western literature and philosophy is staggering, and the influence of the Koran is also particularly grand. Of any two religious texts, both of them should be included, and represented as one volume.

3. The Iliad/The Odyssey by Homer
Something both classical and epic, something that tells of human history through the eyes of the ancients and through the words of a poet.

4. Ulysses by James Joyce
I would argue for this against the Wake, simply because it seems to be vibrant with a somewhat understandable epicness of humanity. I'd say it's the best book out there that represents modern humanity. It also pays particular attention to the relations of men and women, which I feel would be something important for beings looking at our culture.

5. A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
It puts a lot of perspective into one volume, which is useful, as far as I see it.
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