WE SURVEY THE PAST and note how perishable are all human things,
we are moved to attempt the preservation of some of the world's
present material & intellectual symbols, that knowledge of
them may not disappear from the earth.
For there is no way to read the
future of the world: peoples, nations, and cultures move onward
into inscrutable time. In our day it is difficult to conceive
of a future less happy, less civilized than our own. Yet history
teaches us that every culture passes through definite cycles
of development, climax and decay. And so, we must recognize,
ultimately may ours.
By the same reasoning, there will rise again a civilization
of even vaster promise standing upon our shoulders, as we have
stood upon the shoulders of ancient Sumer, Egypt, Greece and
Rome. The learned among that culture of the future may study
with pleasure and profit things now in existence which are unique
to our time, growing out of our circumstances, needs, and desires.
Five thousand years ago, during a period of invention, development,
and science rivaling that of our day, recorded history began.
It would be pleasant to believe that we might leave records of
our own day for five thousand years hence; to a day when the
peoples of the world will think of us standing at history's midpoint.
Whether we shall be able to transmit such a segment of our
time into the future depends not only on our ingenuity at selection
and preservation, on the excellence of engineering, metallurgy,
chemistry and other intellectual disciplines, but also in large
measure on those who come after us, and their willingness to
cooperate in such an archaeological venture across the reaches
We pray you therefore, whoever reads this book, to cherish
and preserve it through the ages, and translate it from time
to time into new languages that may arise after us, in order
that knowledge of the Time Capsule of Cupaloy may be handed down
to those for whom it is intended. We likewise ask: let the Time
Capsule rest in the earth until its time shall come; let none
dig it up for curiosity or for any other reason. It is a message
from one age to another, and none should touch it in the years
that lie between.
* * *
Each age considers itself the pinnacle & final triumph
above all eras that have gone before it. In our time many believe
that the human race has reached the ultimate in material and
social development; others that humanity shall march onward to
achievements splendid beyond the imagination of this day, to
new worlds of human wealth, power, life and happiness. We choose,
with the latter, to believe that men will solve the problems
of the world, that the human race will triumph over its limitations
and its adversities, that the future will be glorious.
TO THE PEOPLE OF THAT
FUTURE WE LEAVE THIS LEGACY