What would you pack off and send into space, to show other worlds what we've done with all this time here on Earth?
A John Muir essay on a wild life?
Ansel Adams's photos of Yosemite?
The collected work of Bruce Springsteen and a bottle of Beaujolais? (Our vote.)
Forty years ago, when Voyager 1 first launched into space, we got to answer that question for real.
The Voyager Golden Record, an eclectic mixtape dreamed up by Carl Sagan, accompanied the craft — and on it, recordings of our humble planet Earth.
It's a greatest hits compilation of life.
Chuck Berry and Stravinsky, Bach and Mozart.
The Night Chant of the Navajo and Senegalese percussion.
Panpipes from the Solomon Islands, a Peruvian wedding song, a raga from India.
(Honestly, if you can read through that list without getting chills, we have a Katy Perry album to sell you.)
To mark the 40th anniversary of Voyager's flight (which by now has carried it 13 billion miles away), and the Golden Record that accomapanied it, a team of the Bay Area's best — including Boing Boing managing partner David Pescovitz and Amoeba Music manager Timothy Daly — is hard at work producing a luxury reissue. For just under $100, you'll get the Voyager Golden Record box set, with three heavyweight vinyl LPs produced in translucent gold, plus a hardback book about Voyager and our other trips to the stars.
Those uninterested in being super-literal with the whole "Golden Record" thing can take advantage of "a color, plastic digital download card with a code to access all of the audio in MP3 or FLAC format."
Sounds like a bargain to us.
For the full track listing, which is well worth examining, go here.
Nota bene: Should you want to learn more about the making of this record, Radiolab has an excellent podcast on the subject, featuring Sagan's widow Ann Druyan and his recruit Neil deGrasse Tyson