Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Like a magnifying lens, only with rocks.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



The Great Computer of Giza

How did they do that?!
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

In the distant future, after the fall of the information civilization, people will wonder what all the semiconductor components and chips lying about were for and how they worked. If we record all that knowledge only in electronic form as we do now, it will be lost. We need to build a repository of knowledge about computer technology that will be readable without using technology. It could be a (boring) library with many print books. But a more enduring (and endearing) scheme would be a huge walk-in model of a computer made of stone, with to-scale parts and millions of engraved images illustrating and explaining the workings, all the way down to the quantum physics.

Future citizens would marvel at the ingenuity of those ancient humans, as we marvel at those who built the pyramids.

A little research reveals a related but less ambitious proposal by Grogster. See link.

sqeaketh the wheel, May 21 2011

Preserve Our History Preserve_20Our_20History
by Grogster [sqeaketh the wheel, May 21 2011]

The Face On Earth The_20Face_20On_20Earth
[theircompetitor, May 21 2011]


       10 years after completion it would be embarassingly old fashioned and would be knocked down.
pocmloc, May 21 2011

       Bury it under 1 km of sand to keep vandals away.
sqeaketh the wheel, May 21 2011

       Big and impractical. I likey very much.   

       A bun-worthy attempt to keep our culture from fading into obscurity! I would add going into caves, scrubbing off all those hokey drawings, and spray paint some integrated circuit designs. [+]
Grogster, May 21 2011

       [sqeaketh] I so wish you'd applied to hb for the [squeaketh] account! the absent u drives me nuts.
po, May 21 2011

       Yuo are so right, [puo]
pocmloc, May 21 2011

       The thing is, all these apocalyptic fantasies run thin when you ask whether there are any lost civilizations who had technology which we can't replicate or improve on.   

       The answer is that there aren't any. We may not know how the Egyptians built their pyramids (actually, I think we do). We may not understand what the antikythera mechanism was for. We may marvel at both. But we can sure as shit outbuild the Egyptians and whatever problem the antikythera mechanism was for can be solved by a dollar's worth of computer power today.   

       Suppose we found papyri explaining exactly how to build a pyramid, or a full set of technical drawings for the antikythera mechanism. Who would be interested apart from historians?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 21 2011

       (Of course, the Great Trouser Press of Corby is a counterexample.)
MaxwellBuchanan, May 21 2011

       //I so wish you'd applied to hb for the [squeaketh] account! the absent u drives me nuts.//   

       Well, I simply incremented by one letter the p in speaketh, as in: Proverbs 12:17 King James Version: "He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit."
sqeaketh the wheel, May 21 2011

       //I simply incremented by one letter//   

       I get it. You're shewing fifth righteousness.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 21 2011

       And when that future civilzation discovers the reason for the ancient pyramid. And when they spend years upon years following the detailed instructions. And when they finally throw the main power switch, they shall ask it:
"Oh great computer of Giza, what is the purpose of which you have been designed, and what is the meaning of it all?"
And the great computer will reply....

       "....Forty One..."   

       For the damn software was always buggy.
Ling, May 22 2011

       ... and on this panel, the hieroglyphics show a hero, represented as a yellow disc that eats things, being chased through a labyrinth by demons, or perhaps ghosts, that look like jellyfish ...
8th of 7, May 23 2011

       I think it would rather be a bright orb that zenlike bounces from side to side in a reflection of the sinusoidal nature of the careful maintenance of the balance of life, occasionally disappearing into the unknown voids at the edge.
RayfordSteele, May 23 2011

       We should leave the plans for constructing the receiving end of a time machine, along with the message "We knew you would find these plans in _____. Build the machine in time for our arrival in ______". There should also be a machine that will etch in the date and hide when someone opens the pyramid.
marklar, May 23 2011

       Would it not be prankier to leave a note saying "We visited from 2011 but there was nobody in. We have parked the time machine in 2018 - the keys are behind the driver's side sun visor."
MaxwellBuchanan, May 23 2011

       Time travel will be possible tomorrow!
Alterother, May 24 2011

       Nah, I've been there already. It wasn't nearly as workable as next week's version.
RayfordSteele, May 24 2011

       Upgrades available tomorrow!
Alterother, May 24 2011

       // Upgrades available tomorrow! //   

       You work for Microsoft, and we claim our free Service Pack ...
8th of 7, May 24 2011

       //You work for Microsoft//   

       If only; I am neither that intelligent nor that stupid, and I live on the wrong end of the country to boot. But thanks for the compliment!
Alterother, May 25 2011


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle