"Geez, why did I have to come here?" complained my friend as we walked into a different area of the museum.
"Well, because you needed to gather physical representations for your class feed remember?" I replied. "21st century history is not really the most exciting thing to learn about, but considering everyone is —"
"Yeah, yeah, it still doesn't change the fact that it's boring. At least the 1900s had two huge wars. Nothing happened in the 2000s." He huffed.
"Nothing is a huge understatement, remember this was the time of —" Before I could say any more, my friend gasped and dashed away to this particular display on the 21st century technology and started snickering.
"I'd heard about communicators looking weird before," my friend said between laughs, "But this one is just so ugly!"
Inside the display was a long, flat communicator with a large monitor covering a majority of the surface. There was a simple button on the bottom of the surface, presumably a power button. Based on what I remembered from reading the feeds, this was called a smartphone. It looked like the predecessor to the clear, sleek, communicators made by Toravidya Industries, before the aural receptors were fused with the visual monitors. Still, there was still a sense of awe that human technology had progressed so quickly since then.
"It says here that this communicator was made in the year 2015, produced by the Samsung Company of South Korea…Where was that again?" My friend uttered into in his communicator on his ear. "…oh! So that is part of Hanpan!" My friend then turned around and grinned sheepishly. "Sorry, I only just realized afterward that I should have just asked you, Mister-I-Read-History-Feeds-For-Fun."
"If only was your memory as short as the amount of time you spent learning in class, then you would probably forget my name." I retorted.
"Fair enough. But anyway, isn't it weird that you can't look and listen to the communicator at the same time?"
"At least they were lighter and cordless compare to the 20th century communicators. You could not bring them anywhere at all."
We continued discussing the inconveniences of the 21st century communicator, as my friend recorded several inventions that caught his interest with his communicator. Before we could move on the next room, I noticed a large, worn out machine encased in glass at the corner of the room. Feeling intrigued, I told my friend to go on ahead. Soon enough, I was left alone in the room to observe the machine.
The machine had a simple appearance. It was silver with a brownish tint due to rusting and had a rectangular shape. There was a filter that covered the front, similar to a purifier. I read the plaque the next the machine. It read:
Carbon Dissolutor. This machine was used to separate carbon and oxygen from carbon dioxide in the air by dissolving the bonds between the two elements. First introduced in 2061, this invention was a joint project between scientists from the countries of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and the United States in an attempt to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The application of this machine into everyday life, combined with relentless efforts made by countries around the world, allowed carbon dioxide levels to fall dramatically. Today, carbon dioxide levels have reached preindustrial levels and the average world temperature has decreased by 4°C over the course of 150 years.
My lips curled into a smile. Reading the last sentence made me think back to all the times when my great grandfather used to recount stories of his youth when he faced the Great Heat Flood. He would tell me how big, beautiful seaside cities would be submerged by water melted from icecaps, or how he barely received enough food to survive because the heat waves put a huge strain on food production that was supposed to feed almost 10 billion people. My great grandfather would hug me tightly, sorrow in his eyes as he spilled numerous stories about starving people during his migration inland. Yet the countries of the world were able to fend off global famine due to their efforts into researching heat-resistant crops, he told me. "Even in times of crisis," he would say, "Humanity would always find a way to extend its existence."
Feeling inspired, I sauntered towards the next room where my friend was examining the Universal Translator. "I can't imagine life without this function in my communicator," he said thoughtfully. "Imagine that you had to read an ancient site that the class assigned us to with no knowledge of the language at all."
I chuckled. "It is really much more important than that. Back then, humans were quite inefficient in conveying ideas. Sure, there was a universal language back then, but a machine that allowed a human to fully understand what another human was talking about was innovating."
"Didn't everyone, like, started working together more? Since it didn't matter where you were from, anyone could put ideas out on the Internet."
"Correct. Without language barriers, humanity finally found a way to fully understand each other. This is why after the Great Heat Flood, many countries unified into internations like Hanpan earlier with Korea and Japan, or Indostan, which combined countries of India and Pakistan, or Slavonia, which combined West Russia, Poland, Serbia, and other Slavic countries. Not to mention, we saw—"
"Whoa, whoa, slow down there. I'm already forgetting all the names you mentioned." My friend complained.
I laughed more loudly this time. "See, this is why you need to pay more attention to history. We humans still have a lot to learn about things we did in the past."
"Well no—I mean, I think that the bow and arrow was a cool weapon and that the 1600s music sounded very cool," he admitted, "It's not like I need history to become a space hotel manager."
"But as humans, we do. Sure, we have technology to help realize our goals for the future, but we have history to guide us on what actions we should and should not take from the past."
"Well if you put it that way." My friend said, satisfied with my response. "Still think that you read too many history feeds though. At this rate, your love life would probably be … history."
We both giggled loudly at the awful pun. Fortunately, only a couple who were looking at the model for the solar generator gave us a disapproving look. After browsing at more exhibits, my friend was finally done gathering data for his feed. "They're selling sushi tacos about 650 meters from here," my friend announced, checking the monitor embedded in the eyepiece section of his communicator, "Let's go eat there and then catch the 19:10 Levitrain home!" As we walked back towards the entrance, I stopped to look at the carbon dissolutor, again feeling satisfied that humanity was able to sort out their issues not only for themselves, but for the world. "I am glad to have been here." I said out loud to no one. Finally, turning my back towards the area, I departed.