Anthropology circa 2050

When I was visiting the monuments downtown this weekend, specifically the Lincoln Memorial, I was astounded by the sheer number of people shooting photographs. It seemed like it was at least 1 every 3 seconds, and the place wasn’t even near capacity.

I was astounded at the sheer volume of data being generated about the place, and where all that data is being stored, and how.

I was reminded of an amazing video I saw about a software product called Seadragon that can stitch together pictures like this into what is almost a 3-dimensional model of the object.

I’m thinking that by 2050 (or 3050) the standard way to study our time period will be to go back over all the photos that remain (almost all of which are timecoded now, and I assume soon will start being geo-coded as well) and construct the environment as it existed using all of this information. Essentially, if you combine this idea with my other idea about constructing artificial intelligences with the personality of a person based on their internet writings, they could come close to being able to approximately recreate our world in a simulation.

So take pictures of everything you can! Upload them to the internet and get them out there so they’ll stay around (I don’t really know the best way to guarantee this) or don’t, if you don’t want some future you-simulation walking around and talking to some anthropologists (or worse, tourists!) about what it’s like to be you.

Really, watch the video to the end. You’ll be impressed.


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