The Museum

They walked down the aisle slowly. Two their left and two their right laid before them all of human history. The First Being approached one of the exhibits. “What is this?” they asked? “That is a spear” The Second Being answered. “It is a type of weapon that human beings used for thousands of years. Sometimes it was for hunting, other times it was for warfare. This spear dates back to around 10,000 B.C., prehistoric times, a time when humanity used what little technology they had for great violence.” The First Being and The Second Being continued their walk down the aisle. Curios, the first being once again approached an exhibit. “I’ve never seen this before, tell me, what is it?” The First Being asked. The Second Being replied. “That is a sword. Over many centuries human beings learned how to mine bronze, steel, and iron. They then learned how to turn those materials into the object you see before you. A weapon that was more effective on the battlefield than anything that came before. Human beings had evolved greatly at this point in time, and their greatest technological achievements allowed for much violence.” The First Being and The Second Being continued their walk, and it was not long before The First Being once again approached an exhibit. “What is that” they asked. “That is called a gun.” The Second Being Replied. “As human beings approached modern times, their desire to expand led to great conflict, and with that conflict came the dire to develop a more effective killing machine, and the piece of technology that you see before you was born. Entire wars were fought with these things, it was a period of great violence.” The First Being and The Second Being continued down the hall, but it was not long before they reached the end, where the final exhibit stood. Awe struck, The First Being asked “what on earth is that?” The Second Being replied “Humanity referred to it as an atom bomb. It is the pinnacle of human weaponry. When these were used by mankind, there was no violence afterwards, just nothing.

2 Replies to “The Museum”

  1. This was a really interesting take on the evolution of weapons. The fact that you started with a spear and ended with an atom bomb shows how technology advanced throughout the years of weapons. Starting from the simplicity of a spear, which could have been made out of pieces of nature, to the atom bomb made chemically, really shows how much technology has transformed one level of danger to another. This was an interesting story, and I feel like you could have even stuck to the evolution of guns. You could have started with the Chinese fire lances, which shot flames at their targets, to the current guns on market today that can shoot rounds at a time. It is honestly a scary topic talking about technological advances of weapons, and how safe should we feel about that? This is a topic in technology that could be looked at as negative or positive, and I believe we should be frightened at what technology can be capable of in the perspective of deadly weapons.

  2. Okay, can I just take a second to appreciate that final line?
    “When these were used by mankind, there was no violence afterwards, just nothing.”
    That hit me a bit harder than I was expecting, but I think that’s what’s so great about this piece. You did a great job with the progression through each of the weapons, building suspense that you don’t know is there until it releases at the end. On a writing standpoint, this is perfect. On the technology standpoint, that hit in the chest got me to take a second and think. How much of this cool technology and advancement that we use today stemmed from violence? From taking advantage of each other?
    And then I was reminded of Iron Man from the cinematic universe. In the first Iron Man movie, Tony Stark was a highly celebrated tech genius who headed Stark Industries, the most advanced tech company on Earth that both spearheaded and encouraged technological progress. One big downfall: Tony built his company and his living from developing and selling weapons of mass destruction.
    And it’s sad. Both your story and Iron Man’s origins point out how intricately linked technological progress is with violence, conquest, and war – basically our species’ entire history, seeing as every other history class we talk about a new conflict. We’ve spent so much energy coming up with new ways to kill each other instead of using that extra brain power to cooperate and make the world a better place. How long until it completely destroys us from the inside out?
    Or, alternatively, how long will it take us to realize our faults and stop this future from happening? According to Heidegger, humans are forever linked with the technology we have created and will create. We can’t escape its grasp, but we can affect what we do with what we have. Humans have the potential to advance and grow just like the technology we so adore. That potential would just be wasted if everyone was given an atomic explosion for Christmas.

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