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  • Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.

  • On December 17th, 1977,

  • Gary Gilmore was executed for murder.

  • He was the first prisoner executed by the United States after a

  • 10-year suspension of the practice. When asked if he had any

  • last words, he simply replied "let's do it."

  • Years later, advertising executive Dan Wieden adapted those words into

  • a slogan, that is now more widely known

  • than Gary Gilmore. Last words

  • are powerful. They are the final statement, a person's entire life has

  • been leading up to.

  • One last chance to go on record before obliteration.

  • We don't know Albert Einstein's

  • last words. He spoke them in German

  • to a nurse who only knew English,

  • They're lost.

  • But what will be

  • our first words? The first words

  • from earth extraterrestrials out there might hear from us.

  • We have been broadcasting signals with radio waves

  • wirelessly through the air for more than one hundred years.

  • Under the right conditions, those signals can leak into space

  • and keep going outward at the speed of light

  • through our galaxy, through the universe. Current human technology would struggle

  • to tune into regular TV and radio broadcasts from

  • as near as Mars. But perhaps other intelligent beings out there

  • would fare better and could point there instruments at earth

  • and hear us. If so, what would the

  • earliest thing be that they could receive?

  • Our cosmic first

  • words. Well, the

  • earliest signal, robust enough to be picked up light years away,

  • might have come from Hitler.

  • His 1936 broadcasting

  • of the Summer Olympics used powerful enough radio equipment to reach

  • forty-one countries,

  • making it a contender for what listening extraterrestrials could receive as,

  • to them, Earth's first words.

  • Within the last 50 years or so, broadcast signals

  • in general, have become stronger than Hitler's Olympics

  • and are better candidates for being intercepted.

  • The earliest of them have traveled 50 light years away from Earth.

  • Altogether they have entertained billions of

  • people and by now about 2,000 stars.

  • The 133 brightest of which are shown

  • here. So far, Martin Luther King JR's

  • "I have a dream" speech has traveled as far as the furthest

  • on the diagram µAra, which has

  • four known planets. In six years,

  • our first words on the Moon will pass by µAra's

  • system. "That's one small step for man,

  • one giant leap for mankind." Those words were spoken by Neil

  • Armstrong, seen here a few years before his death

  • with Eugene Cernan, the most recent and currently

  • last man to have walked on the surface of the Moon.

  • On December 14th, 1972,

  • before climbing back into the lunar module, Cernan spoke

  • our, as of today, last words on the Moon.

  • "We leave as we came and,

  • God willing, as we shall return, with peace,

  • and hope for all mankind." Of course,

  • once inside the lunar module, the crew kept

  • talking, meaning that technically the very last words humans have said

  • on the surface of the Moon were a countdown spoken by Harrison

  • Jack Schmitt. "Three, two, one."

  • We haven't been back to the Moon

  • since. But hold on. What were the first words

  • spoken on the surface of the Moon

  • really? Armstrong's giant

  • leap statement is a good answer, but what counts as being

  • on the Moon if touchdown

  • counts? Then the first words spoken on the Moon go not to Armstrong but to Buzz Aldrin,

  • who, on feeling at least one of the landing pads

  • softly settle onto the lunar soil, spoke

  • this immortal description: "contact light."

  • We are pumping broadcasts in the space

  • as an ever expanding sphere of radio waves.

  • But here's something humbling. Even while growing at the speed of light,

  • Earth's radio sphere is puny.

  • This is our galaxy, the Milky Way. Comparatively,

  • the distance our radio signals, our voice

  • has traveled is this big.

  • The universe is huge.

  • How the heck are you supposed to be remembered in it?

  • Utter last words that stick around after you die?

  • Well, you may have heard the famous quote from Banksy

  • "They say you die twice.

  • One time when you stop breathing and a second time,

  • a bit later on, when somebody says your name

  • for the last time." But your anonymous influence continues

  • long after that, right? I mean, people may stop saying your name,

  • but, for instance, if you have kids and they have kids

  • and so on and so on, you continue on,

  • in a way. Maybe just genetically, not by name.

  • Well, people have tried. The world record

  • for most children passed out of one single woman

  • belongs to Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev. She had

  • 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets

  • and 4 sets of quadruplets for a grand total

  • of 69 children. As for being a biological

  • father, that takes less time. The documented record

  • for most children fathered by one man is held

  • by Ismail Ibn Sharif, who is estimated to have had

  • more than 900 children with multiple women.

  • But childrenor notin a feedback system like

  • earth or life, cause-and-effect

  • are complicated and never ending.

  • Remember the double pendulums from this video? A small difference

  • in the initial conditions of a system can lead to enormously

  • different outcomes later. On Tuesday

  • I'm flying from London to Los Angeles. The plane will be flown by pilots who

  • can steer it toward the correct runway

  • in the United States, but if the airplane needed to be

  • aimed from London and sent on a straight shot,

  • now, things would need to be very specific.

  • Misaiming just one degree to the left

  • at the beginning would send the plane not to Los Angeles

  • but nearly 160 kilometres south to Tijuana, Mexico.

  • Your name and your last words might eventually be forgotten, but your status

  • as an initial condition for the universe's

  • future is already happening.

  • Bach died before he could complete

  • The Art of Fugue. The peace ends abruptly

  • during Contrapunctus XIV. So, composers continue

  • reconstructing it. For that reason, it is

  • uniquely alive. Speaking new

  • last words all the time, as new people meet it

  • and finish it in their own way. Likewise, no matter how

  • cool or lame and small

  • you feel, you will continue. Your impact will be remembered, mathematics

  • guarantees it. Even if like Bach you leave things

  • unfinished.

  • And as always,

  • thanks for wa...

Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.

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辞世の言葉 (last words)

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    Diana Lin に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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