Life is vastly different than what it was when the original Golden Record was created. I think there is much that could be added to it in order to further display our world to anyone who might find the Golden Record. Despite there being much to take into consideration when choosing articles to put on a Golden Record, much of what I would include are items that were excluded from the original record that I felt should have been included.
My Golden Record would include the following:
- Contemporary Music
- Including musical works such as Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap, Rock, etc. would be beneficial to include because these are works of art that have drastically changed and shaped much of current society. I would have also arranged the music in a progressive and/or chronological order. It would provide a timeline for the extraterrestrials who find the record.
- Non-Western Music
- The Golden Record contained many classical style compositions yet that only comprises a small part of the music-making in the world. More Non-Western music representative of the different cultures on Earth should have been represented. Those cultural compositions better portray celebrations and interworking of those cultures. (i.e. Polka, Gregorian Chant)
- I think that it would have been nice if there were quick musical snippets of as many instruments that could be compiled. It would aid the discoverers in understanding how certain instruments sound especially when they listen to the musical works. They would be able to better define 'what' is making the sound.
- Animal Sounds
- I found it very interesting that there were very few animal sounds on the record. Humans comprise a certain portion of Earth's inhabitants, and the rest is other species. I would have included sounds of the ocean (i.e. whales and dolphins), the jungle (i.e. parrots and monkeys), and more sounds of the sahara (i.e. lions and cheetahs) in order to represent animal sounds from the various ecosystems found on Earth.
- I would include images of war and natural disasters. These images were left off the original record, and I was shocked to learn this. I feel that we should portray ourselves and Earth as we really are--imperfect. The good and the bad should be displayed to anyone who would truly want to know about us. I would focus on the images from WWI and WWII because they were battles that encompassed and affected the whole world not just particular parts. I think it's also important to include images that display the power of nature on Earth. How it can instantly wipe out a population/species/place.
- It would have been nice to include conversations between family and friends in various languages. The original Golden Record only provided music, photos, and greetings. If I was the discoverer of the Golden Record, I would wonder if the "creators" had the ability to talk. It would be nice to include these so the extraterrestrials could understand tone and hear a wide breadth of topics that are discussed amongst friends and family.
- Scientific History
- This would be a more personal inclusion, but I've been reading A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, and I think that including historical discoveries should be added. If it was possible, I would have it told in various languages (Spanish, Mandarin, English, etc.). I think it would be important to tell extraterrestrials from beginning to current everything we know about our planet. It would help in painting the picture of where we live, and the capabilities we have as humans to discover, explore, and quantify the world around us.