Sunday, April 26, 2009
In 1979, an anonymous group erected a massive stone structure in Elbert County, Georgia. This modern-day stonehenge is more than twenty feet tall and arranged to serve as a calendar and a clock. Its slabs have instructions in eight languages for reconstructing society after the collapse of civilization. The instructions are more philosophical than technological, but perhaps nonetheless prudent:
PROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS WITH FAIR LAWS AND JUST COURTS. LET ALL NATIONS RULE INTERNALLY RESOLVING EXTERNAL DISPUTES IN A WORLD COURT. AVOID PETTY LAWS AND USELESS OFFICIALS. BALANCE PERSONAL RIGHTS WITH SOCIAL DUTIES. PRIZE TRUTH—BEAUTY—LOVE—SEEKING HARMONY WITH THE INFINITE. BE NOT A CANCER ON THE EARTH—LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE—LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE.
If you were composing brief instructions for survivors of the collapse of civilization, what would you write?