Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Modern Rosetta 2

Make a monument that would allow future civilizations to know our languages.
  [vote for,

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 monument.

simpleknight, Aug 29 2013

yoy mean like this? http://www.world-my..._ga_guidestones.htm
baked? except for that last part [zeno, Aug 29 2013]

Voyager Gold Disk http://en.wikipedia...yager_Golden_Record
Kinda similar in that it attempts to explain how to play it. [mitxela, Aug 29 2013]

The Rosetta Project http://rosettaproject.org/
No sound, just lots of tiny text [Freefall, Aug 29 2013]

Undeciphered Languages http://en.wikipedia...red_writing_systems
It's only Wikipedia, so probably not definitive... [neutrinos_shadow, Sep 04 2013]


       I'd prefer a Red Setter. More meat on them.
not_morrison_rm, Aug 29 2013

       It'd have to be in a cave or similar. [+] btw.
FlyingToaster, Aug 29 2013

       // 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.
8th of 7, Aug 30 2013

       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 !!!"
FlyingToaster, Aug 30 2013

       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 effort.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 31 2013

       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.
rcarty, Sep 01 2013

       Just calculate Pi to a sufficient number of places; then find the starting point in the decimal from which the digits are numerical representation of all human 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.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 01 2013

       ^ I think that rather stands on its own as an idea, no ?
FlyingToaster, Sep 01 2013

       I'm not sure it can stand. It might just sit here a while until it gets its breath back.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 01 2013

       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.
nebosite, Sep 03 2013

       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 in trouble.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 03 2013

       //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.
neutrinos_shadow, Sep 04 2013


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