As the opening ceremony of the Olympics draws nearer, Max Sugarman writes for York Vision on the difficulties of accurately representing British life, and how Danny Boyle can take lessons from NASA:
For those of you who don’t regularly keep up to date with your astronomy, it might be news to you that the spacecraft Voyager 1, the farthest travelled man-made object, will soon be leaving our solar system, making its gradual way deeper into space and further away from our blue little planet.
When the Voyager 1 was first conceived, its creators, including the revered Carl Sagan, had the difficult task of creating a time capsule that, if found by an alien species, would successfully portray the large variety of life and culture that the Earth is home to. They came up with the ‘Golden Record’, a mixture of (amongst other things) noises from Earth, greetings in 55 different languages and an assortment of musical pieces, hoping that through at least one of these items they could portray to some superior species that there is other life in the universe.
Sure, it sounds like science fiction, but the interesting part of the story of the Voyager 1 is not whether aliens ever find it (which unfortunately, no one in our lifetime will find out), but instead what Sagan and his colleagues must have thought when confronted with the task of how to describe an entire planet with so limited resources. What should they put in it? Which people should get the most representation? Will it be understandable? Weird questions, yes, but questions that I feel we can so easily related to as the world descends on London for the Olympics.
Full article here.