Saturday, July 15, 2023

Archeology of the Future


     The other day Daughter #3 asked me what I would do for a career if I could do anything in a do-over. My love for history and discovering things brought a romanticized image of an Archeologist to mind. I quickly dismissed this as impractical. Instead I answered, "I would be a professional metal detectorist." and we both laughed.

     Today, I was looking for a document that I buried on my computer years ago. I recalled having saved it and so began my deep dive into 'saved documents' on my laptop. It only took me one fat minute to get sidetracked. I began opening folders under all sorts of labels. Deeper and deeper I dove into photos from 2009, 2011, 2012. I clicked on old school reports the girls wrote, music saved on MP3's, photos of our good old dog, Gunner, photos of old boyfriends, click, close, click, close, on and on. I thought it was time to delete some this useless school stuff and other frivolous items. It crossed my mind to make a project of cleaning this all up, here and now. I could free up all kinds of space on my laptop if I deleted stuff. Suddenly I felt that I was in way over my head. This job was much bigger than the time I had available in this moment. I needed to focus and look for the document I originally came here for. I closed all the screens and scolded myself for being ridiculous. The document I wanted was nowhere to be found. I probably purged it during a previous spell similar to today's experience. 

     I sat for a moment and felt the weight and burden of all these saved tidbits of the past. I thought, "What will our children do with all this shit on my laptop after I am gone?" Then I realized, this is the buried archeological treasure of the future! Light years from now, archeologists will no longer sift through dirt and sand looking for bones and telltale signs of human culture. They will search and sift through laptop data, mapping the customs and lifestyles of humanity via our saved documents. The thought compels me to decide, should I save or delete? I have gotten myself into dangerous thought territory here and it's time to go back to freezing green beans. I will have to look somewhere other than my laptop for my freezing and canning information. I think I should just bury the whole laptop and let someone else deal with it a long time from now.

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