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Modern Rosetta 2
Make a monument that would allow future civilizations to know our languages.
Imagine it's 10,000 years from now. Whatever replaces us
uncovers part of our civilization. How will they know what
we sounded like when we spoke?
My idea is to have a phrase (or phrases) that has the same
meaning in all known human languages, and uses all of the
sounds in each language with
its version of that phrase.
Then, put that into a long lasting material - carbon fibre? -
where the phrases are held in such a way that even if part
is worn away, the message will still be there. Like an
extrusion of the text, or the way Corian always looks the
same even when you sand it down.
In the same, or even more durable substance, carve or etch
a pattern in it that, if someone were to drag a stick along
it, it would make sound. Kind of like that Honda road thing
where when you drove over a part of a road with grooves
in it, it played a song.
In this way, not only could you see the words, you'd have a
record of the sounds the words made.
Finally, you'd want there to be imagery showing people
talking and writing, and maybe pulling a stick along the
yoy mean like this?
baked? except for that last part [zeno, Aug 29 2013]
Voyager Gold Disk
Kinda similar in that it attempts to explain how to play it. [mitxela, Aug 29 2013]
The Rosetta Project
No sound, just lots of tiny text [Freefall, Aug 29 2013]
It's only Wikipedia, so probably not definitive... [neutrinos_shadow, Sep 04 2013]
||I'd prefer a Red Setter. More meat on them.
||It'd have to be in a cave or similar. [+] btw.
||// a long lasting material //
||Very large polished slabs of igneous rock seem to have a good <intentional pun> track-record </ip> as far as durable media are concerned.
||I'd like an 8' diameter 1' thick stone wheel laid out at the front of my property on a low plinth. When kids run around it, playing it with sticks it yells "Get off My Lawn !!!"
||This phobia about our civilisation being erased or
unreadable is silly. We can read almost everything
that every civilisation has left behind.
||If humanity were extinguished tomorrow, and if
nobody visited Earth for one million years, they'd
still be able to reconstruct Wikipedia with negligible
||The converse argument going the cynical direction, is that
it's futile trying to save information which is basically just
all the noise that comes off of everything happening, and
we couldn't possibly condense everything informative in a
meaningful way, so even though recording and translating
is possible, it's destined to be misunderstood,
decontextualized and fragmentary. Even at the rate
contemporary ideas are revised it's almost impossible even
for close generations to impart the meaning of the ideas
from the previous time.
||Just calculate Pi to a sufficient number of places;
then find the starting point in the decimal from
the digits are numerical representation of all
knowledge; then just write down that starting
point on lots of pieces of paper and leave them
around. Problem solved.
||Interestingly, all civilisations throughout the
universe would be able to do the same, each of
them picking a different starting point in Pi.
||Then, of course, you need a reliable way to record
all those starting points. Fortunately, there'll be
another starting point, from which the following
digits match the consecutive starting points of all
the civilizations. So, all we need to do is to
record one single number to encode the total
knowledge of every civilisation in the universe.
||^ I think that rather stands on its own as an idea, no ?
||I'm not sure it can stand. It might just sit here a
while until it gets its breath back.
||The PI idea is interesting, but there are (probably) not enough atoms in the universe to write down (much less calculate) the digit location of the starting point.
||Well then, just multiply Pi by 10^enormous, and
start counting from the new decimal place.
||But in any case, I am fairly certain that there would
be *just* enough particles in the universe to encode
the starting position in Pi that encodes everything in
the universe, to within a factor or so. In other
words, the universe contains enough particles to
encode the universe. If it doesn't, then I think we're
||//We can read almost everything that every civilisation has left behind.//
See [linky]. And this list (naturally) doesn't include undiscovered civilisations. Heiroglyphics would probably still be on this list if not for the (first) Rosetta Stone.