Uploading History

A group of Scottish scientists are beginning one of the biggest computer backup projects in history: they’re creating an “accurate to within 3mm” 3D model of Mount Rushmore, so it can be recreated in case it is ever ruined by climate change, natural disaster, or war. The Guardian reports that this is only the fist in a series of efforts to create and archive 3D models of hundreds of at-risk heritage sites throughout the world.

The fact that this effort with allow future generations to meticulously recreate these sites is impressive, but in my opinion it is only one of many interesting possibilities of the project.

As futurist Ray Kurzweil explained to Big Think, virtual worlds are in their infancy these days, but they are becoming more sophisticated by the hour. In ten years, he suggests, virtual reality will be indistinguishable from the real world.

Imagine touring perfectly-rendered heritage sites in a virtual world, flitting from the Taj Mahal to Versailles in seconds. Not only will these environments provide a sublime destination for virtual tourists who may never be able to afford an in-person trip, but historians from across the world will also have instant access to the sites for advanced comparative study. It would synthesize our world cultures in unprecedented days, and provide a great way to spend a lazy weekend. If Kurzweil is right, it won’t be long until I can meet you in Mt. Rushmore’s shadow.

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Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
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A plan to forgive almost a trillion dollars in debt would solve the student loan debt crisis, but can it work?

Photo credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
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Supreme Court to hear 3 cases on LGBT workplace discrimination

In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.

(Photo by Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
  • The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
  • Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people.
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