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Earth's history for aliens


Imagine aliens visit us one day, make an in-depth research into our species and sum it up in a history book that they bring home to teach their alien children from.

What would it say? What would it focus on?

I would argue: totally different things that we focus on.

We, humans, learn different “histories” depending on the country we grew up in. We learn about the past monarchs and rulers of that particular part of the land, about how its borders have changed across the centuries, and a bit about the closest neighbours of that part of land.

What about the rest of the world? Sure, that too, but not in much detail, just the most important parts. A child in Poland should know about “discovery” of America, the French Revolution, or the Roman Empire, but not necessarily about who commanded the armies during the Mongol conquest of Kashmir.

Aliens would zoom out even further. They probably wouldn’t give a fuck about our petty fights and moving some arbitrary borders around. They would focus on what’s important: things we’ve discovered, things we’ve invented, the art we’ve created, the celestial bodies we’ve visited, the agrarian, industrial and technological revolutions we’ve went through, etc. etc.

And also the thing we’ve fucked up: the regular acts of senseless violence against each other, genocides, pillages, senseless wars, causing climate change and not caring enough to fix it, making thousands of other species extinct, etc. etc. etc.

Looking from that perspective: is the issue that you’re passionate about going to matter in a long term and in the big picture? Is it going to help people who need help? Or maybe is it just a vanity project? Wanting your country to gain some level of power that eventually won’t even matter?

Will alien historians look at you and think: “oh wow, this awesome dude has managed to make Lithuania 10% bigger for a few decades, three millenia ago!”, or rather “oh great, yet another fanatic who sent thousands to die in a war just to boost his ego”?