Something I think we forget occasionally is that those of us reading here at FTB (and here amidst this fantastic array of writers and thinkers, I’m just as much part of the audience as you) are a community.
Yeah, we sit in our separate offices or computer dens, generally in solitude, and some of us are perpetual lurkers (and nothing wrong with that) whereas others gush with comments. But there’s something real here, something very much “us,” in that we’re gathered for the sharing of ideas and experiences. The outpourings of love for PZ Myers (stop blushing, PZ, you know it’s true) or Christopher Hitchens, the audiences that gather for the freethinker events across the country and around the world – and also, I hope, a rising political consciousness (see the National Atheist Party, for instance) – are evidence of this community.
Bearing that in mind, I’d like to try something — an appeal to our community to participate in a little project.
Thinking not long back about the fading phenomenon of letter writing, I mused on the fact that we have letters from, oh, Jefferson to Madison, or Thoreau to Emerson, but that all of those letters are, in at least one minor sense, letters to ME. To US. Those people in the past wrote letters to us, here in their future.
And wouldn’t it make a cool SF story if you could write letters BACK to them? To let the famous and the infamous of our past know what you thought about things they said and did? What if they could be made conscious of us up here in their future, reading and commenting on the things they wrote? How would it affect what they chose to send us?
I realized that something like that can happen. You actually can write a letter through time. The catch is, it can only go one way — futureward.
In this case, WE are the famous and infamous of the past, addressing our descendants. We could never know if they got our letter, but the very writing of it might spark new thoughts, new insights into our own contemporary lives and minds. And what the heck, they MIGHT get to read it.
So: I want to do it. I want YOU to do it.
Write a letter to the future. Whoever and wherever you are, see what you come up with. And send them to me, to post on Blue Collar Atheist.
If you already have a website, post your letter there, and I’ll link to it. If you don’t, email it to me and I’ll post it here. If there are a few, we’ll get them all, if there are many, I’ll have to pick and choose which ones seem best, and post them as representative of the offerings.
The approach you choose to take is totally open. Write to your newborn daughter as she will be at the age of 18. Write to yourself as you’ll be ten years from now. Write to your many-generations-removed descendants. Write to the people of 100 years from now, or 200, or whatever span of years you choose. Tell them about your life, your time, your hopes — for politics, science, reason, advanced research in zero-gravity sex — anything you like.
Interested? Let’s see those letters. However short or long you want to make them, whoever or whenever you want to address them to, whatever subject or approach strikes your fancy, whatever tone – humorous or solemn – you feel is best.
I’ll post a regular Letters to the Future feature, for as long as they keep coming.
Send letters to me at LTTFVIAHANKFOX [at] gmail [dot] com — the caps aren’t necessary; I just wanted the letters to be easily readable. (Leave letters as comments if you really want, but I won’t re-post comment-letters separately.)
Address your letter to someone or somewhen (Dear Friends in the Year 2525: What did you think of Zager and Evans’ immortal classic?). Sign it with your real name, a screen name, Anonymous, whatever you choose. Include a short biographical paragraph, so those future-people will know something about who’s talking.
I – no, WE – look forward to hearing from you.
[ Fellow FTB bloggers: Yes, I mean you too. How about it, Camels With Hammers? Digital Cuttlefish? Greta Christina? Alethian? Zingularity? Canuck? Blag Hag? Ed? PZ? The rest of yez? I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours. ]