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The Preservation of Knowledge



“People of the Fleet. While we are now in orbit around Eta Helion, we still wish to take steps to preserve the Memorandum library in case of further corruption, or damage during the transfer to the planet. For this reason, attached to this message is a precis of the knowledge of humanity. It is not complete - it could never be complete. However, it has been curated to ensure that it contains details of our history, our arts, and the minimum necessary to derive the science on which our technologies are founded. Even if we need to run again, even if humanity is reduced once more to such tiny numbers, if this data survives then it will give us what we need to rebuild, without forgetting where we came from.”




“When we left Earth the first time, we set out to teach miners the skills they would need to do their job. When we left the second time, we brought along some books, movies, and games for their entertainment, to supplement what had been provided to them already. By the fifth time, companies were asking us to store their data - purely so that they could spin PR about security 'beyond the clouds'. By the tenth, we were offering university-level courses in not just scientific disciplines, but also the humanities and arts, to those working light years away from any university. By the twentieth, with much politics and fanfare, the UCCNZFJ had declared us a copyright library - one which stored a copy of every work ever published.

The last time we left Earth, that decision proved to be far wiser than we ever could have anticipated.

Humanity is not defined by what we do, but by what we remember. Our history is as important as our actions. Our art as important as any private expression of emotion. It is not only our science that builds by standing on the shoulders of giants - our entire culture is built on such foundations, looking ever further towards some distant boundary, and ever deeper within ourselves. It is for this reason that any loss of knowledge, any loss of art, any loss of our shared past, is a tragedy, and it is for this reason that it is the right of all to absorb that knowledge, appreciate that art, and learn from that history.

With that in mind, I pronounce the first of our libraries open. All of the information within may be accessed by any terminal in the colony, so that everyone can share in humanity's memory.”

- Laurie McLaughlin, opening the first of the Terra Libre Library Project buildings

“120 years after the Exodus, the final swansong from Earth will arrive at the nebula. While many wish to forget that part of our past, and feel that resources would be better spent elsewhere, we of the Echo Project believe that the final hours of Earth should be recorded and added to the Archives. Our detection system turns the entire surface of the nebula into a lens - a hundred carefully positioned stations can polarise the outer surface and use it to detect the faint wash of radio signals. Analysis of the signals is likely to take several years, as the signal to noise ratio will be tiny, but our models show that it should be possible to reconstruct 90% of the data given sufficient time.

We will always remember those that we lost. We should not let them be silent.”

- Funding proposal for the Echo Project

eternity/preservation_of_knowledge.txt · Last modified: 2016/06/14 14:03 by gm_tom