Ledger - Vol. 01

Hello 25,000 Years in the Future 

Christmas in August was magical. It happened because my lovely girlfriend bought us tickets to see Hamilton in Chicago. To make it happen, they had to be a few months in advance, obviously, so for about four of those months I put it out of my mind. I'm an almost (note: I say "almost" to preserve my sanity) irrational expector of things. Ordering anything online is a guaranteed countdown to the day when I will pace, check my email for delivery notifications, check my text messages for delivery notifications, since they do that now too, check the delivery status through whichever service allows me the pleasure...

Maybe I need enough time to forget the exact date of the delivery, whether it's an actual mail delivery or just the arrival of the anticipated event. And I did forget. Over and over again. I knew we were going, I knew which month (vaguely, sometimes), but the actual day was lost to me. I forget a lot of stuff, truly. People in my life are subject to being asked the same questions repeatedly, to me not having dates memorized, and all kinds of gaps in my memory.

My short story in Ahoy Comics is currently the next professional marker I'm jittering towards. It hits in October. Publishing has helped me with my waiting, undoubtedly. There are sometimes multiple people in control of the timeline, and since I'm not self-publishing this work, exactly 0% of those people are me. 

Did you know in 1977 the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute transmitted a message from the Arecibo Observatory designed to contact anyone who might be listening in a star cluster called Messier 13? It would take 25,000 years for the message to get there, and so 25,000 years - give or take a few months, maybe, while they made up their own message - for a response? Seems like there were plenty of people very publicly thinking of our future in 1977. That's when one of my favorite space travelers, Voyager 1 launched. It's still going, just like the Arecibo message is, years and years toward something.

Over there is the Arecibo message with color added, so it's a little easier to parse. Down there is the message in binary. If you scroll kind of fast you can see the shapes forming, which is pretty cool.

00000010101010000000000
00101000001010000000100
10001000100010010110010
10101010101010100100100
00000000000000000000000
00000000000011000000000
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00000000000000000000000
11000011100011000011000
10000000000000110010000
11010001100011000011010
11111011111011111011111
00000000000000000000000
00010000000000000000010
00000000000000000000000
00001000000000000000001
11111000000000000011111
00000000000000000000000
11000011000011100011000
10000000100000000010000
11010000110001110011010
11111011111011111011111
00000000000000000000000
00010000001100000000010
00000000001100000000000
00001000001100000000001
11111000001100000011111
00000000001100000000000
00100000000100000000100
00010000001100000001000
00001100001100000010000
00000011000100001100000
00000000001100110000000
00000011000100001100000
00001100001100000010000
00010000001000000001000
00100000001100000000100
01000000001100000000100
01000000000100000001000
00100000001000000010000
00010000000000001100000
00001100000000110000000
00100011101011000000000
00100000001000000000000
00100000111110000000000
00100001011101001011011
00000010011100100111111
10111000011100000110111
00000000010100000111011
00100000010100000111111
00100000010100000110000
00100000110110000000000
00000000000000000000000
00111000001000000000000
00111010100010101010101
00111000000000101010100
00000000000000101000000
00000000111110000000000
00000011111111100000000
00001110000000111000000
00011000000000001100000
00110100000000010110000
01100110000000110011000
01000101000001010001000
01000100100010010001000
00000100010100010000000
00000100001000010000000
00000100000000010000000
00000001001010000000000
01111001111101001111000