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the forever problem


scientists, futurists and historians debate and try to plan warnings for the next 500 generations of humanity for what lies below the surface at the huge radioactive waste dump near Carlsbad, Mew Mexico.

The “forever problem,” unique to the modern technological age, has made crafting the user manual for this toxic tomb the final daunting task in an already monumental project. The result is a gargantuan system that borrows elements equally from Stonehenge and “Star Trek.”
“No culture has ever tried, self-consciously and scientifically, to design a symbol that would last 10,000 years and still be intelligible,” said David B. Givens, an anthropologist who helped plan the nuclear-site warnings. “And even if we succeed, would the message be believed?”

link to LA Times article

comments here...:

  1. jeremiah says:

    “No culture has ever tried, self-consciously and scientifically, to design a symbol that would last 10,000 years and still be intelligible,” said David B. Givens, an anthropologist who helped plan the nuclear-site warnings. “And even if we succeed, would the message be believed?””

    What is this? How does David know that this has never been tried? It obviously hasn’t worked or has been ignored. That statement sounds pretty egotistical to me. Though we are more technologically advanced than we have ever been it does not mean that we are original in our thinking.

  2. True, it is hard to say that this has never been tried by a previous culture in some way….the scope of the problem, the consequence and time scale perhaps make it somewhat unique.
    the idea that this has been tried before (and forgotton or ignored), makes one wonder if it is at all possible.