How The Ancients Had Better Technology Than Us

They had communication technology so powerful it reaches us still
6 min readMay 23, 2023
Photo of Tikal by Jeff Cotner

In the Three Body Problem, scientists at the end of the world rack their brains for the most long-lasting storage technology and sheepishly come back with this answer:

“According to the most advanced theories and techniques in every field, based on extensive theoretical research and experimentation, through analysis and comparison of multiple proposals, they did find a way to preserve information for about one hundred million years. And they emphasized that this was the only method known to be practicable. Which is — ” Luo Ji lifted the cane over his head, and as his white hair and beard danced in the air, he resembled Moses parting the Red Sea. Solemnly, he intoned, “ — carving words into stone.”

Carving words into stone. What the ancients did thousands of years ago. We are children standing on the shoulders of giants. We are like the Monkey King, thinking he can leap out of the hand of the Buddha.

In that story the Monkey King, Sun Wukong (my childhood hero) makes a bet with the Buddha to rule Heaven. All he has to do in jump out of the Buddha’s hand. Wukong laughs. He is much more powerful than that. He can ride clouds. He can leap 1,000 leagues with a single bound. He girds up…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at