Our civilization will come to an end, someday.

It won’t be pretty, however it happens. Mass starvation due to climate change, wide societal collapse through nuclear war and untold suffering, antibiotic-fueled epidemics that bring the very species to its knees.

But humans are resilient creatures. They’ll survive the onslaught. They’ll rebuild. They’ll recreate a civilization where ours stood originally, unknowingly borrowing pieces of our culture and identity, but largely forgetting about their origins.

Eventually, they’ll remember us. They’ll study us. Some lost flash memory here or there, an unusually well preserved RAID drive in a basement that somehow survived the near boundless destruction of the world above. Each fragment gives incredible insight into how people lived before we came up against the great filter the first time.

And one day, one anthropologist, sorting through the remains of what could have been an old office building, stumbles upon the discovery from which hundreds of papers and untold accolades stem. She holds it carefully in her hand: A perfectly preserved 2TB hard drive.

She sends it off to the lab in New York (now amusingly located about 20 miles south of modern day Manchester) and waits patiently while they sort through the slog of not so randomly aligned magnetic fields.

The team pulls out an old adapter and spins up the disk on a device purpose-built to study this exact kind of artifact. They pull a remarkably clean section of data off of the disk, and start their analysis. A slightly distorted header field here. A bunch of unorganized data there. Old tomes, digitized, are parsed and sifted through with incredible accuracy, until one possible match arises. A very old… video codec?

They quickly put it into the universal decoder, flip the switch to MP4, start playback, and watch in complete awe.

“YOU’RE TRYING TO BUILD SOMETHING. SOMETHING GREAT. SOMETHING, THAT MA [ skip video ]”

holy hell, CircleCI. Advertise to someone other than me.

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