“A recollection of Memory”

Voyager Golden Record

The Voyager Golden Records contain sounds and images that were selected to inform and educate extraterrestrial beings, or possibly our future human selves, about what life on Earth is/was, insofar as it could be summarized and encapsulated, bounded by the technology available in the late 1970’s when the Voyager spacecrafts were launched. The collection of data included on the discs include natural sounds, spoken greetings, musical selections, printed greetings, and images.

This image, to me, represents curiosity and also implies the extent to how little we know. The discs contain a relatively minuscule amount of data (compared with today’s storage standards) and are tokens of Earthly experience which may (or may not) one day be intercepted and deciphered by another civilization or our future selves. The discs represent the basics of the life on planet Earth, but also encapsulate a variety what we consider to be foundations of our scientific and artistic achievements. Of course, it remains to be seen if this communiqué will ever be intercepted or deciphered, but it speaks to our forward-thinking curiosity and our willingness to share knowledge and experience. In the present ETEC540 course, I’m interested in looking at technological advancements in education and technology with a historical lens and exploring how our educational decisions now might inform our future selves.

A little bit about myself – My name is Nicola and I am a dreamer and a self-proclaimed sci-fi geek, I have always been fascinated with science and technology and particularly the exploration outer space. I live on the relatively remote island archipelago of Haida Gwaii, located in the northwestern coast of British Columbia, where I have enjoyed the role of Children’s Librarian in the village of Skidegate for the past two years.

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2 Responses to “A recollection of Memory”

  1. cmck says:

    Hi Nicola,
    It’s nice to meet you. That’s a great image. I begin my English 12 Accelerated class by reading Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” and showing the image on the screen. I never thought of showing the image you have too.

    Chris

  2. Good morning Chris! Thanks for your response, a pleasure to “meet” you too 🙂
    When I was a little girl – 4 or 5 years old – my father bought me a book about the Voyager spacecrafts. At that time, I believe they were just finishing their primary mission, it is so neat to think that over two decades later they are still barreling through space. The image above is actually one of the first things I actually remember reading/learning about, with the end result of my wanting to “be” an astronaut until I made it to highschool and was career-counselled out of it. haha. I love Carl Sagan, I feel like he has such good food for thought and I hope his work strikes your English students in the same way!

    Nicola

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