The technology that is used in our lives is amazing. We can video conference live from just about anywhere in the world, driverless and flying cars are all but a reality and pretty soon we will never need to leave our homes for much of anything. But just because you can do something with technology, should you? A recent example in may test that.

I hear the drums echoing here tonight

The Namib Desert in Africa is a vast and empty place. So it was the perfect place for Namibian artist Max Siedentopf to install a speaker system and solar batteries. The system would be set up to play the 1982 Toto quadruple platinum hit single Africa that can be found on their album Toto IV. The song has seen a resurgence in popularity in the past decade with its official YouTube video being viewed over 448 million times.

Siedentopf hopes that the song will be able to play in perpetuity as the ultimate homage to the continent. The site, which is undisclosed, has six speakers which are attached to an MP3 player. The components were chosen for their durability due to the harsh conditions of the desert. Reaction from the public is mixed, some Namibians love it and some think it sounds like a horrible idea.

I bless the rains down in Africa

Its durability will be key. The Namib Desert stretches for more than 1,200 miles encompassing 31,200 square miles in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. It receives less than 2 mm of rain every year in its most arid points and summertime temperatures can reach 113 ℉ while it is possible for temperatures to go below freezing during the winter.

The desert is believed to be over 55 million years old, making it the oldest or second oldest desert on the planet with only South America’s Atacama Desert comparable. It is uninhabited except for a few indigenous groups though several species of animals and plant life call it home. It is also one of the most picturesque places in the world with its dunes as well as the ruins of old structures used during Colonial times.

It’s going to take alot to drag me away from you

So the question is should you do something with technology just because you can? It is very easy to say that this is a waste of resources and will benefit no one, especially in Africa and Namibia in particular where as little as 10 years ago the unemployment rate hit 50%. Some Toto fans may go looking for it though which could bring much needed cash to the country. Rest assured though it is doubtful that should a global disaster occur that this would be the last vestige of humanity, the Hoover Dam should outlast this by decades.

Just imagine a group of aliens coming and finding this as the only remnant of humanity and thinking that this was our planet’s greatest song. For Siedentopf it has given the 27 year old artist his 15 minutes of fame. Can’t argue with results as this has become an international story.

Is this a fitting tribute to a song that has only gained popularity in the Internet age? For the true answer, ask Nicely Done’s own Dan Kemper. You should probably also let him hear the song before asking as a refresher.

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