in Random Thoughts

In The Year 9999 A.D.

Late last night I was working on a new database and entering a default value for an effective end date field, and I thought to myself; “What would it be like in the year 9999 A.D.?”

Why was I entering a default date of 9999-99-99, you ask? Because it is the largest possible value for a date data type and ensures that date will never occur, at least while the database I’m creating exists, hence; the data set will always be “effective”. I won’t go into further technical details on why 9999-99-99 was chosen… let’s continue with this mental exercise.

To give you some sort of idea how much time there is between now and 9999 A.D. I have broken it out in several measures of time:

  • 7,987 years
  • 95, 844 months
  • 2,918,285 days

Looking at those numbers, you can be quite certain that you, or anyone you will ever know, will not have existed for a very long time by 9999 A.D.

I began to think, what would the universe be like in 7,990 years? Most likely it would be relatively the same as it is today. 7,990 years is hardly a blink in the eye of the universe. This isn’t even enough time for a new star to form. Star formations take roughly 10 million years or more, depending on the spectral type. Hardly enough time for the Universe to implode on itself and start another Big Bang. Or fizzle out.

After pondering the state of the universe and realizing that hardly nothing would have changed on a such a grand scale as the universe, I began to wonder what Earth would be like in the year 9999 A.D. Most likely Earth would still be around (assuming it is not struck with a large meteor or blown up in a nuclear war). Think about it, the generally accepted age of Earth is 4.55 billion years. 7,990 years is barely a yawn. But would Earth still be habitable? More importantly, will it still be inhabitable by humans? Or would the world be inhabited by Morlocks?

Which brings me to my next thought, will we (humans) still exist? If we still exist, how much will we have evolved from our current form?  What kind of technology would we have at our disposal? Surely, by 9999 A.D. we would have developed a cure for cancer and AIDS. Would we be teleporting and even warping through time? The technology of 9999 A.D. can’t even be imaginable within our wildest dreams. Maybe we wouldn’t even be “from earth” anymore. Perhaps we would be colonizing other galaxies millions of light years away.

Maybe we will regress in technology. There is a lot of concern these days that technology is deteriorating our social natures and we are becoming more isolated from each other. Perhaps we will end up in little closed communities much like the movie, The Village.

Or maybe our species will be extinct by then, demolished by Skynet’s drive to exterminate us, or another singularity event.

Well, my mind is blown thinking of the possibilities. What do you think the universe will be like in 9999 A.D.?

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  1. I came across your blog searching for this very topic. I was captivated into the year 9999 AD after realizing that 12-12-2012 ended the famous digit pattern, we must wait one century for this to occur again! Then I pondered what would of it been like to be alive at the very moment of 11:11:11 on 11/11/1111. The famous 11:11. Then I was thinking even 2:22:22 on 2/22/2222.

    I to am working on a database and figured I would have some fun with the calendar, dates and such.

    Interesting topic John.

    It really is a total mind wrap for us to even comprehend what life would be like. If we even make it as a civilization, if you are a believer in Christ would he have came back already. If humans live to see 9999, I imagine that we will be a peaceful bunch with technology that we cant even imagine/fathom.

    I like to think the movie A.I, with Halie Jo Osmen fits the scenario quite perfectly. After all we as humans have made quite an accomplishment during our short presence on this beautiful planet. The evilness of our ways will diminish and we will learn to be a peaceful habitant of the universe. Who knows maybe we will have made contact, explored, populated the universe. It could be like Futrama tv show, no one knows, its not to far fetched either…Just look at primates and dolphins on our very planet, look at their intelligence level, maybe what we perceive as Aliens are visitors from our very planet in the distance feature. Maybe they are the successful projects of scientist.

    No one really knows whats out there, this is am amazing place that we live, the complex evolution of our very planet is a sign that there is more out there.

  2. Interesting that you should mention 7,990 years would be “barely a yawn.” (Well, as of now, it’s just
    a bit more than 7,984 years.)
    After I read your page very thoroughly, I didn’t find any mentioning of what I, myself had learned, only
    AFTER I published a novel by the very same title.
    I’ve often pondered the question of what the world, as mankind knows it, would be like then. My answer?
    Very desolate. (That’s the perspective from which I began writing my novel, but it soon became a very
    different sort of storyline.)
    It might interest you to know that there’s what’s known as the 10K Problem. That is simply this: all of the
    things we rely on — anything from digital watches to computers, cars, jet crafts and all other machines
    in between — are only programed to recognize years with 4 numbers. So, it would be virtually impossible
    for any sort of mechanism to be able to function, after the year 9999.
    As for the question of just how long it really is? I would suggest you visit wikipedia.org, when you have a lot
    of free time. I discovered, just last week, that various reputable scientists have theorized — and even been
    able to put approximate time lines on — astronomical events that could occur, anywhere from 10 million to
    50 trillion years from now. (E.g., that our solar system’s planetary alignment will be thrown off entirely, due
    to a stray shooting interstellar star; Mercury could lost, by falling into the Sun; and the utter chaos would be
    a sort of reverse of The Big Bang that began it all.) Makes one think. Doesn’t it? Imagine the “dwarf planets”
    Pluto and Haumea being nice, warm places to inhabit.
    At any rate, for whatever it may be worth, I respect your interest in the question of 9999 A. D. (I often feel
    like shaking my head, any time I’m told by someone, as a new year approaches: “Oh, well, it will just be
    another year for me.” And, I’ve heard that many, many times. Truly amazing.)