Idea for a sci-fi story. Maybe it’s already been done.

There’s a race of sentient birds (or birdlike creatures). And these birds have proceeded roughly along the same track as humans did, developing agriculture, domesticating animals, then metallurgy, class society, and then the industrial revolution and capitalism. And they’ve invented telescopes and the radio. And a decade or two after that, one of them discovers a signal that couldn’t possibly be natural. It’s very clearly some kind of foreign communication, and in fact it’s coming from orbit, or maybe from the planet’s moon.

They can’t decode it for a long time, but the same signal plays every let’s say five or ten or twenty years. And eventually they have like television and that sort of technology. And finally someone cracks it, and it turns out it’s like a data stream, and it plays this sequence that helps the viewer/listener decipher the language using images and diagrams associated with the symbols and sounds, and then it tells a story.

This stream tells the story of human history in terms of industry, the development of various energy technologies, from wood to coal and so on. And it explains the laws of electromagnetism, which we know they must relatively recently have discovered and applied, and also other stuff they probably haven’t discovered yet. And it also discusses the development of class society. It tells the story of feudalism and then capitalism, and also the struggles to achieve socialism.

And in the last part of the story, it explains the greenhouse effect and the economics of capitalist resource depletion. It explains how capitalism set us on track to destroy the planet’s ecosystem and the ecological basis for human existence. And it explains that, in fact, in the end, once the ecological and resource crises consumed so much of the planet and so many hundreds of millions of lives, eventually, socialism did win globally, but it was too late–the damage was done. We could see that the global temperature was going somewhere totally unliveable, a 10 or 12 degree increase, and that it was going to totally wipe out not just us but virtually all existing ecosystems. Nonetheless, we had a few decades or maybe even a century or two before it would all be over, so we created these devices that would orbit the earth or hang out on the moon for million of years to try to tell our story and help caution whichever species came after us avoid our mistake, and give serious argumentative firepower to that species’s socialists.

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