Inside knowledge: What wisdom will live on once we're gone

 作者:庆椽     |      日期:2019-03-01 02:15:02
Jamie Mills By Joshua Howgego BY THE year 3700, Earth is far too hot for any human to call it home. On this planet at least, Homo sapiens is nothing more than a memory – if there is anything left to remember the “wise man”. But what of our wisdom – will any of it outlive us? The conventional answer is no. Knowledge requires a knower, and there will be no sufficiently knowing minds around. But if information survives, perhaps in books or hard drives, maybe the knowledge isn’t quite dead but dormant, ready to be resurrected by other minds that evolve or come to visit Earth in the distant future. At first sight, that seems plausible: after all, we have done similar things with past knowledge. Take the reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient computer salvaged from a shipwreck off the southern coast of Greece, or the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics thanks to the Rosetta stone. Meticulous work can bring previously lost wisdom back to life. Crucially, however, there is a certain cultural continuity with those ancient times that allows us to draw inferences and make leaps in the dark: we know we are dealing with the legacy of other humans. Without that link, the survival of artefacts and raw data doesn’t guarantee the survival of knowledge – and certainly not complex,