Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ancient Accidents

     So let's set the scene, shall we, Company?  It is a thousand years in the future.  A thousand.  That is a one with three zeros.  That is how much you spent on that bumpin' system in your Corolla.  The world, as Dr. J has predicted many, many times, is vastly different.  Yellowstone has blown its top and wiped out a large amount of civilization.  Those who were left have managed to sort of restart, and a lot of guys got lucky using that "We have to save the civilization, baby.  We are the only two humans left in the whole world." line and now they are at the point where they are re-discovering shit.  So somewhere along the way an archaeologist is digging through the ruins of North America, which has been buried Vesuvius-style. 
The paper was found in the hand of this Unpaid Intern's skeleton
He is digging through the thousand year old ash-soil (relax feministas, this archaeologist happens to be a guy, there are tons of female archaeologists discovering exciting things elsewhere) and he find the ruins of an old building.  As he and his team start the digging for real, one of his interns comes across the remnants of a paper, saved from immolation by ash and lava be being buried under a million billion other papers on someone's desk.  And on it he sees a stamp which reads "Big Dave and Company, Received, January 62, 2015."  OH. MY. GOD.
      Okay, Company, now we jump into the way back machine and come back to the now times.  This might surprise you, Company, but the media empire that is Big Dave and Company is a huge, giant, bureaucracy.  One that is so huge, and lumbering, and complex that even the Federal government or your health care provider.  So it should be no surprise if you think about it, Company, that we have stamps.  A LOT of stamps.  We have ones that say "Copy," some that say "Faxed."  a couple that make pictures of cute kittens, and lots of them that say "Received." and have a date that you can set for whatever the date is. We even have one that says "Denied" for some reason.  And they are all those ink stamps that are really hard and annoying to re-ink, especially when you are trying to do it in business clothes like a white shirt.  It's tremendous.
A selection of our many important stamps.
     Anyway, I am a great boss, and I like to do all that sort of Undercover Boss type stuff.  Included in that is things like opening the mail.  Well, I went down to the mail floor (yeah, we have a whole mail floor, not just a mail room, so suck it other major corporations) and I opened up the mail like, well, like a boss.  I did this on January 23, which was a Friday, so when I was done I went ahead and set the received stamper to say January 26, 2015, so that it was ready for Monday morning.  I know, considerate, right?  Or was it?  Because I didn't set the stamper to say January 26, 2015.  I set it to say January 62, 2015.  I was looking at it upside down and I made a mistake.  Like a boss.
     So fast forward again to a thousand years in the future, and the infamous paper has been transferred to a university somewhere where guys in tweed are looking at it.  And they are using it, along with other articles and items that people have dug up, to try and figure out everything about our civilization.  Like our language or in this case, our calendar.    And they are going to write a textbook all about it, because that is what people in tweed do after they have looked at things.  And now, students at just-a-little-more-than-a-thousand-years-in-the-future university are learning through the first, second, third, and fourth editions of "Ancient America" that we had a sixty-two day long calendar month.  Uh oh.
Additional evidence may lead us to find that these really are cool

     That is wrong.  We don't use a sixty-two day calendar month, unless you have a strange misprint bargain bin calendar that accidentally forgot to separate July and August from one another.  We use a calendar that is sort of based on the moon but not really at all and named after dead people from Roman times.  But the tweed people or male archaeologists or university students of a thousand and change years from now don't know that, because someone found a paper stamped with my incorrectly dated stamp.  Now, maybe another thousand years later they find the National Archives (there has to be a couple of calendars in there, right?) in what used to be Washington, D.C. and things change.  Just like Pluto used to be a planet but then wasn't and now maybe is again.  Or like how we used to think that parachute pants were cool until we found ample evidence that they were not.
      Anyway, Company, the point of all of this is that you never, ever, know how a simple action of yours will affect the course of history. Simply making the simple mistake of setting the stamper incorrectly can make a whole generation be dumbasses.  Or is that archaeologist had chosen to dig over there instead of over here, then maybe it would have just been a mystery until that big National Archives find.  It works the other way, too.  How do we know that something that we have found in an ancient Egyptian tomb isn't a one-off mistake that the carver made.  Maybe it was supposed to be a bird but he carved a snake into that clay tablet.  Maybe we are the dumbasses.  Maybe we have ancient Egypt all wrong.  Just like they will have it all wrong with Ancient America.  Just as wrong as we are about them. 

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