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The story deals with a series of encounters between humans and mysterious black monoliths that are apparently affecting human destiny, and a space voyage to Jupiter tracing a signal emitted by one such monolith found on the moon
Arnold Joseph Toynbee CH (14 April 1889 – 22 October 1975) was a British historian whose twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History, 1934–1961, was a synthesis of world history, a metahistory based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline
Toynbee’s writings spoke of a man named Zoroaster who conceived the idea of monotheism, and this name also occurs in the title of the famous 2001: A Space Odyssey theme song; it’s entitled “Thus Spoke Zoroaster
The highlight of my search for answers to this mystery occurred one Sunday night of this previous winter. I had gone to my local convenience store for a snack around 4:00 A.M., noticing nothing unusual. On my way home I noticed something unusual in the street. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it to be a “Toynbee Idea” tile – freshly placed and only minutes old. Of course I was beside myself with excitement and I could now see exactly how, and of what materials these tiles are made. (This tile, by the way, is located on 13th. & Arch St. in Philadelphia.) The tiles are just that – tiles….although not the standard vinyl floor tile, as I had suspected. The letters are cut out of a material with, I assume, a higher rubber content than a standard floor tile. The inlay letters seemed to made from a less maleable substance, and in this case were red and yellow. The tile is secured to the street by intricately folded and layered tar paper, glued together. A layer of raw tar seemed to lie beneath the whole tile, anchoring it. The weight of cars, as they run over the tile, forces the layers of tar paper to impregnate the spaces in the cracks of the letters.
Originally posted by Praetorius
reply to post by Misterlondon
Did you hear about this on the recent episode of Mysterious Universe? lol...I think I first heard about these through an article over at Cracked a few years back.
For a regular dose of stuff like these tiles, I highly recommend checking out MysteriousUniverse.org. They cover all sorts of odd and unexplained stuff like this on a regular basis, as well as new science news. Free weekly show for non-subscribers and a $9/month subscription gets you an extension plus extra show on the weekends. I've been listening for years now.
They also raid ATS for new stories every few weeks, I absolutely LOVE hearing them read threads or reference members I know.edit on 12/5/2011 by Praetorius because: (no reason given)
I definitely love the show with Aaron on board, but I have to admit his stand-alone episodes are not my favorites (his gooberishness tends to come through too strongly and I think he has a hard time coming up with good material and presentation on his own...).
Originally posted by Pokoia
reply to post by Misterlondon
Nice I never heard of this. Nice thread and thanks for posting.
It is really strange to see someone taking so much effort in spreading a cryptic "message".
Maybe it is a group that is responsible for this action.
In The Netherlands we have the group "Loesje", they were a mystery too in the beginning. Not any more now.
They worked with posters and used short texts to make people more concious of the world they lived in.
It still is very nice to see one of their statements and often make you smile and think.
Originally posted by Josephus
"The Toynbee Convector" is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury. First published in Playboy magazine in 1984, the story was subsequently featured in a 1988 short story collection also titled The Toynbee Convector.
Origin of Title
Within the story, it is said that the protagonist chose the name "Toynbee Convector" for his machine, being inspired by "a historian named Toynbee." Bradbury likely references Arnold J. Toynbee, who proposed that civilisation must have a challenge to respond to in order to flourish.
It is unknown what, if any, relation these have to the Toynbee tiles found in the streets of several major cities.
The protagonist is Craig Bennett Stiles, also referred to as the Time Traveller, a man from an economically and creatively stagnant society (about 1984). Stiles claims to have invented a time machine (which he privately refers to as his Toynbee Convector, although he does not reveal the name of the device to anyone until much later) which he used to travel forwards in time about a hundred years. Now, after returning to the present, he shows evidence - films and other records collected on his journey - showing that man has developed an advanced civilization with many marvellous and helpful inventions, and a restored natural environment. He also claims to have then destroyed the machine deliberately to prevent anyone else doing the same.
Initially, the people of the past are skeptical of the Traveller's claims, but they are unable to explain or disprove the authenticity of the records brought from the future. Inspired by the prospect of a utopian future, many people begin projects to fulfill the vision and create the world the Traveller claims to have seen.
A hundred years later, the perfect world of Stiles' visions has come to pass, just as he saw in his time travel. As a now aged Stiles recounts the story to a visiting reporter — the first interview he has granted since soon after his return from the future — Stiles calmly reveals what really happened, simply stating, "I lied." Since he knew the people of the world had it in them to create a utopia, he created the illusion of one, to give humanity a goal, and hope. Because of people's belief in the illusion, the imagined utopian future became reality. After explaining his actions to the reporter, Roger Shumway, Stiles dies. As a pyrotechnic display appears overhead — the supposed past version of Stiles arriving via his time machine — Shumway resolves to travel to the future himself and carry on Stiles' legacy. Although Stiles wanted Shumway to tell people the truth so that they would know they had saved themselves, the reporter decides to maintain the illusion and not expose the secret, and destroys the evidence which Stiles had left for him to reveal.
"Arnold J. Toynbee, who proposed that civilisation must have a challenge to respond to in order to flourish."