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Rosetta Disk Designed For 2,000 Years Archive

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the that'll-do-for-now dept.

Data Storage 659

Hugh Pickens writes "Kevin Kelly has an interesting post about an archive designed with an estimated lifespan of 2,000 -10,000 years to serve future generations as a modern Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta disk contains analog 'human-readable' scans of scripts, text, and diagrams using nickel deposited on an etched silicon disk and includes 15,000 microetched pages of language documentation in 1,500 different languages, including versions of Genesis 1-3, a universal list of the words common for each language, and pronunciation guides. Produced by the Long Now Foundation, the plan is to replicate the disk promiscuously and distribute them around the world in nondescript locations so at least one will survive their 2,000-year lifespan. 'This is one of the most fascinating objects on earth,' says Oliver Wilke. 'If we found one of these things 2,000 years ago, with all the languages of the time, it would be among our most priceless artifacts. I feel a high responsibility for preserving it for future generations.'"

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Well that's embarassing (5, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24734977)

Among the 13,500 scanned pages are 1,500 different language versions of Genesis 1-3

I'm sure they picked bible passages because the translations were mostly done for them already but I'm a little embarassed that future generations are going to think how amazingly superstitious we were. I mean, Genesis 2 alone...

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

They're going to think we were cuckoo!

Should have used Harry Potter... (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24734993)

It's contemporary, and already translated into almost every language on Earth.

OTOH The Bible is about the only book that wouldn't have earned them a DMCA slapdown affidavit.

Re:Should have used Harry Potter... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735037)

first reply to first reply to first post!

lick my nutsuck, homos!

GOATSE!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735269)

http://goatse.cz/ [goatse.cz]
You nerds love it!

Re:Well that's embarassing (4, Funny)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735021)

With the way things are going very soon the Bible will be the only book that's out of copyright....

Some versions are copyrighted (5, Interesting)

Selanit (192811) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735151)

With the way things are going very soon the Bible will be the only book that's out of copyright....

Some versions of the Bible are copyrighted. Any translation undertaken in the last eighty years or so.

Oh, and in Britain the Authorized King James version is subject to Crown copyright, which is perpetual. It's never going to enter the public domain. Probably not even if the monarchy were to be abolished -- any British government which saw fit to abolish the monarchy would likely retain its privileges for the state. Not that it seems like the monarchy's going away any time soon.

Pfff (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735029)

It has been two thousand years since some girl claimed that she got knocked up by a burning bush rather then her boyfriend and millions of people worship her as a virgin.

One person's cuckoo is another persons prophet. When everyone has forgotten Ron Hubbard was a bad Sci-Fi writer his novels may one day serve as the basis of a religion.

Nah, that could never happen.

Re:Pfff (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735063)

Hundreds of millions of people base their lives around those stories.

Sort of.

When you point out the fine print to them, most of those people don't measure up so they're going to hell anyway. Might as well have partied.

Re:Pfff (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735293)

Says the person that knows nothing about Christianity.

PROTIP: The holier-than-thou Christians are missing the point of Christ.

Re:Pfff (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735363)

Protip: wishful thinking doesn't make the Bible say things it doesn't. People who think being a good person would earn them any brownie points with the Biblical God are ignorant of their own religion.

Re:Pfff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735495)

When you point out the fine print to them, most of those people don't measure up so they're going to hell anyway. Might as well have partied.

What do you mean? The only fine print that matters is that you believe in J.C. and that he died for you before you die. The good atheist who dedicated his life to helping others goes to hell, while the child rapist goes to heaven for believing in J.C. Nothing could be more clear!

Re:Pfff (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735427)

The translation of the Bible is actually useful. 2000 years from now with zombie hordes roaming the earth and humanity scattered and hiding, it will be very helpful to know who was Zombie-0.

Re:Well that's embarassing (5, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735105)

Well, "we" (as in mankind as a whole) clearly are amazingly superstitious.

More importantly, though, it's a text that has a reasonable chance of surviving and being updated to remain understandable. Even if religion should start declining rapidly, it's played such a significant role in history and the text has been spread so widely that it's one of very few works I'd be willing to bet will exist in a "modern" translation 2000 years from now - a work that is currently considered a sacred text by more than half of the worlds population (both christians, muslims and jews) has a good shot at longevity.

What other texts do we have that has a similar chance of surviving? There are a lot of texts that are revered to some extent, but few or none that so many people have copies of, and even fewer currently widespread works that the next generation or the one after that will still have many copies of.

Re:Well that's embarassing (5, Funny)

inzy (1095415) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735177)

What other texts do we have that has a similar chance of surviving? There are a lot of texts that are revered to some extent

the man pages for emacs?

Re:Well that's embarassing (5, Funny)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735423)

No, vi.

Re:Well that's embarassing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735127)

They should also include a disclaimer that almost nobody (no, not even most Christians) takes the bible literally.

Or perhaps they could put in one of Dawkins debates with the creationists, why should future generations be denied the entertainment? Imagine the respect they'd have for our putting up with this level of stupidity.

Re:Well that's embarassing (3, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735145)

To give an idea of how embarrassing this will be, think of it like this: Bible-thumpers are the old Trekkies.

Re:Well that's embarassing (1)

d'fim (132296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735345)

Which is why I worship Gene Roddenberry.

Praise the Creator!

Re:Well that's embarassing (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735435)

That's a ridiculous comparison. The bible is fictional.

Re:Well that's embarassing (1, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735167)

Yeah really, why Bible passages, why not texts from *this* day instead of from thousands of years ago, there's so much choice of things from today, such as slashdot articles, QDB quotes, .....

Re:Well that's embarassing (2, Interesting)

Sophia Ricci (1337419) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735179)

They're going to think we were cuckoo!

If the future generations have not heard this already from some other source, chances are they have developed new language and won't make head or tail out of it.

Re:Well that's embarassing (4, Insightful)

uhfdude (862689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735187)

I was going to say pretty much the same thing. What bothers me is how prominent religion is in American society - leaders doing their thing in the name of God, large groups of fundamentalist christian believers picketing funerals of people they deem unworthy... I'm sure many of you can think of lots of examples. I think it's time that religions be demoted to the realm of mythology where they belong. I mean, come on, it's not gospel. (Can't take credit, stole that gospel bit from comedian Dara O'Briain)

Re:Well that's embarassing (5, Informative)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735295)

No no NO. The freaks at Westboro are NOT a "large group," and represent ONLY themselves. If you're going to complain about the excesses of religion, find a different example.

Re:Well that's embarassing (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735457)

Agreed. The Westboro people came to my hometown to protest an Iraq war funeral. There were only a handful of them...probably less than five...and we live within a hundred miles of the church.. I believe. There usually wind up being many more people wishing to counter-protest anyway. The parent needs to straighten his facts.

Re:Well that's embarassing (2, Insightful)

fl!ptop (902193) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735503)

What bothers me is how prominent religion is in American society - leaders doing their thing in the name of God

actually, that's one thing that makes America great. the realization that your civil rights are given to you by your creator (be it God, Yahweh, or whomever) leads to understanding that no mortal man can (rightly) take those rights away.

Re:Well that's embarassing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735199)

You mean we aren't?

Re:Well that's embarassing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735251)

They're going to think we were cuckoo!

Are you implying religious people aren't, at least a little bit, cuckoo?

If they still have religion they'll probably feel the same about it that we now do about outdated religions.

If they no longer have religion, they will feel the same about it as the non-religious of today do (a bit cuckoo, but mostly harmless).

I don't see it as a major issue. On the other hand, I don't see it as a terribly relevant topic to include. They'll get nothing about how we interpreted that text from the text alone. Considering all the differing interpretations today, I think it's a safe bet however they come to believe we followed these texts will be wildly off mark. Also, if they feel religion is a necessary part of this rosetta disk, they should _at least_ include all the major religions.

Re:Well that's embarassing (2, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735337)

Something else that's been massively translated:

http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/ [unhchr.ch]

I can't find a list of contents for the Rosetta Disk but hopefully it has this in bigger print than Genesis...

Re:Well that's embarassing (3, Interesting)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735355)

Ooh I just read down a bit further and discovered that yay, it does have it.

Re:Well that's embarassing (5, Interesting)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735447)

Well a lot of what we have from ancient Greek culture is religous material, and that shit is wack!
Even so, no one goes around saying the Greeks were idiots.

Re:Well that's embarassing (4, Insightful)

Lachlan Hunt (1021263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735463)

I agree, it's a shame they had to fill it with it with mythology, instead of something more useful like some sort of documentation of our current scientific knowledge, information about actual significant historical events, or something.

Wouldn't it make more sense... (1)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24734987)

To mass produce them? If they really want them to last that long, why only make two of them? I'd shell out some cash for one, but nowhere near the 25,000 it cost to make the one displayed on the website.

Re:Wouldn't it make more sense... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735041)

"the plan is to replicate the disk promiscuously and distribute them around the world"

Re:Wouldn't it make more sense... (1)

SlashTon (871960) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735093)

To mass produce them? If they really want them to last that long, why only make two of them?

Because setting this up to be mass produced will mean a tremendous startup cost? I imagine it could take millions to set it up so you can crank them out for $100 (?) a piece. A machine to etch at that kind of scale is going to be a huge investment.

Re:Wouldn't it make more sense... (3, Insightful)

Dasaan (644170) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735163)

Put a massive repository of scientific and mathematical knowledge on it and I'd buy one for £100.

haha (1)

extirpater (132500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24734997)

write everything to a bluray disk and put it in rosetta stone. 2012 bam bam!

Put it into deep space (4, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735003)

This would be a logical thing to put into deep space - on the Moon or on Mars, say. It is a good environment to preserve things, and any future civilization is going to look up our space probes sooner or later.

Re:Put it into deep space (1)

Higaran (835598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735073)

Yea, great idea, only one problem, at frist look people will think some civilization that used to be on the moon or mars actually existed, because the disk will be some kind of proof, that they worshiped the earth or something.

Also, bury at the Georgia Guidestones (2, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735107)

If they could get permission, it might also make sense to bury one of these in a waterproof enclosure at the Georgia Guidestones [wikipedia.org] - the huge Monoliths in Georgia in 8 different languages.

Re:Also, bury at the Georgia Guidestones (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735201)

If they could get permission

Permission from who? The Illuminati?

Do you have their email address?

Re:Also, bury at the Georgia Guidestones (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735281)

I would ask the couple that own the farm. And be patient.

Re:Also, bury at the Georgia Guidestones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735493)

Who knows if they still own it... [wikipedia.org]

"On the other hand, the Elbert County land registration system shows what appears to be the Guidestones as County land purchased [from Mildred and Wayne Mullenix] on October 1, 1979."

Re:Put it into deep space (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735185)

Space is very big, and finding stuff there is pretty hard. Designing a satellite which can keep transmitting a signal (so that it will actually be found) for two thousand years is not at all easy - solar panels degrade long before this and even radiothermal generators don't last much longer than a hundred years.

Also, part of the purpose of the Long Now Foundation is to make current scientific knowledge available to our descendants in the event of a global catastrophe. By the time they've (re)developed the technology required to retrieve something from space, there isn't a huge amount more we can teach them.

Re:Put it into deep space (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735347)

That is why I said Moon and Mars (i.e., landers). They will be found in due course.

For a disk like this to really influence the growth of a new civilization at the stage it first develops high technology, they need the equivalent of wining multiple lotteries at once - the disks need to be found, and to be readable, and to be understood to be readable, and to be in the place the high technology develops, etc. Well, that is a long bet indeed. But, even if that bet doesn't pay off, any civilization that finds these disks (even a non-terrestrial one) is likely to find them interesting and even valuable, so why not take some steps that make that bet have almost a sure pay-off ?

Re:Put it into deep space (5, Funny)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735441)

That's why you would hide it in an intuitive place. In the middle of the biggest crater on the moon, for example, inside a big, obviously artificial thing. A black monolith, say.

Re:Put it into deep space (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735209)

This would be a logical thing to put into deep space

Its been done [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Put it into deep space (4, Insightful)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735329)

For something that's actually intended to be an archive, perhaps. But this is expressly designed to be merely a curiosity, not an archive. So why bother going to the tremendous effort of sending it to a different planet?

The information that interests the archaeologists is, more often than not, the information that no one is particularly interested in preserving. Things like records of lawsuits, records of amounts of produce, textbooks used for education ... that kind of thing. Sure, mythological documents are interesting too, but they're likely to be preserved in multiple copies anyway.

Hence, Petrushka's Made-up-on-the-spot Rule One: The documents that a society most wants to preserve are exactly those documents that archaeologists will be the least interested in. Because they know that stuff already. (Sure, there are exceptions for truly ancient civilisations where literally nothing else survives except for official documents, but ...)

Re:Put it into deep space (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735419)

First, if you could get NASA, Russia or ESA interested, you could probably get it sent onwards for free.

Second, yes, this was done before. That was one take. This is another. Since I fully agree with you that we really have no idea what information from this period will be seen as truly important by whomever might find it, in my opinion there is no reason why not to send a bunch of different takes of "important stuff."

Pronounce what? (1)

joleran (1259908) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735005)

Assume an utterly alien audience. How exactly do you give them a pronunciation guide to any human language?

Re:Pronounce what? (3, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735103)

you start simple and work your way up from there...

Re:Pronounce what? (2, Interesting)

txoof (553270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735119)

Any aliens that encounter our civilization may experience life in a completely incomprehensible way. For instance, they might not speak, but rather use some form of sign language or color language like squid. But, if they are a space faring race, and presumably interested in learning about other races, they'll have the necessary intelligence to make a go at learning what the disk means.

You'd be amazed what you can tease out of a text, especially poetry. Because so much poetry depends on end rhyme, it's possible to not only figure out pronunciation, but also accent. We can be so precise as to narrow down the accent that Shakespeare wrote in by examining the songs in his plays. It's pretty freaking cool.

But again, this all hinges on the premise that aliens can comprehend a spoken language, or even a written, symbolic language. If they can't, then of course this device won't work. Fortunately, future humans (if there are any) should be able to make some sense of this thing. It will be invaluable to future researchers. Lord knows, our land fills will be a wealth of information to any future archeologist.

Re:Pronounce what? (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735133)

Why do you assume any aliens would use modulated sound waves at around 5 KHz as their primary form of communication ?

Re:Pronounce what? (3, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735175)

Well, here's how I'd do it, cartoon-style
  1. In the first frame put an image of a tuning fork and a representative atom of iron. Have the disk itself next to the tuning fork to indicate that the tines should be the same length as the diameter of the disk they have in their [hot | cold | slimy ] alien hands.
  2. In the next picture, show the tuning fork being struck, and waves emanating from it.
  3. In the next frame, show the details of a single sine wave, and put lines marking one cycle of the wave and text that says the symbolic equivalent of '1 Hertz'.
  4. In the next frame, show the tuning fork vibrating again, with the symbols for whatever frequency the pure iron fork resonates at.
  5. Show the sine wave with an arbitrary integer max amplitude of 1000 and show it being sampled periodically, with the numbers being copied into a list.
  6. In the next frame, show a human with sound waves emanating from their mouth, and numbers flowing into a list.
  7. Put a list of numbers on the disk so that they can reconstruct a simple WAV-like file of human speech.

Re:Pronounce what? (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735223)

Well, here's how I'd do it, cartoon-style

I'd just send them the url to xkcd. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Re:Pronounce what? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735197)

Assume an utterly alien audience

Why? The foundation doesn't, they assume an audience of humans in the future. Their goal is to preserve knowledge for our descendants, not for some hypothetical alien archaeologist.

Re:Pronounce what? (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735285)

Where in "for future generations" did you read "aliens"?

Re:Pronounce what? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735325)

"Emit gas from your third thoraxial smell-sac. Retract the parietal spikes in your stomach, and slightly part your mandibles. Now declench both dorsal sphincters and force the gas out by pushing into your abdomen with your tarsal claws. Make sure to close your nasal glands if the listeners hide is not resistant to corrosive acid. A smile is always free."

IOW there's still nothing better... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735007)

than carving it in stone

approved by the georgewellian nazi censors? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735015)

it would appear as though some recently re-recorded history has been FUDged beyond any notion of fact already? fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

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(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

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all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

You watch... (2, Funny)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735035)

This thing will end up in 2000 years on someones altar as they make sacrifices to some weird god thinking it's a source of untold power. Then some nut with a hat and whip will come along and steal it for a museum only to have it end up on a coffee table somewhere.

Or...

2000 years from now some primitive creature will be trying to crack some kind of nut for food and end up using this as a fancy nut cracker.

we did what? (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735043)

we invent a hard disk designed for 2000 years of storage and we stick bible stories on it?!

come on, surely we could upload 4chan instead..

Re:we did what? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735087)

Oh good god!
"We don't know much about the ancient civilisation except that they were all perverts and evil right down to their dark disgusting cores. All in favor of removing this blemish from history with our time nukes say Aye!"

Re:we did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735315)

You talk about the bible or 4chan. I am confused...

Re:we did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735449)

So what about your "Oh good god!" ?

Re:we did what? (1)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735149)

come on, surely we could upload 4chan instead..

As 4chan will be the death of english, at least they'll know why they can't understand the old texts.

Re:we did what? (1)

DerCed (155038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735181)

They just don't know when to stop. Evangelizing the future?!

You need a 500x microscope to read it (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735047)

Okay, so they include a 6x glas sphere. How nice, but you need a 500x microscope to read it. The sphere has a large base and it can be opened. Why not include the tool to read the document with the document?

Who is to say that whoever finds it in the future has access to such a powerful microscope? For most of history we haven't.

Nice idea, but geez, think things through, this could be found by the same kind of people who made the original rossate stone. Do you really want them to wait hundreds of years to develop magnifcation good enough to read it?

Re:You need a 500x microscope to read it (1)

dapho (939695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735089)

You may be a bit hard pressed to find humans, who would be digging around Earth in the first place, that don't have the necessary capabilities to magnify an image a couple hundred times.

Re:You need a 500x microscope to read it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735189)

I would think that it would be some kind of incentive for someone / something to invent a way of reading it. There is already a 6X lens on there. Using that concept, they might reach the 100X mark in a short time period. The better they get, the more they will learn.

Re:You need a 500x microscope to read it (5, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735245)

I would think that it would be some kind of incentive for someone / something to invent a way of reading it. There is already a 6X lens on there. Using that concept, they might reach the 100X mark in a short time period. The better they get, the more they will learn.

One would imagine they'd have included instructions for making said 100x or 750x lenses that were readable with the 6x lens. A form of boot-strapping, if you will.

Re:You need a 500x microscope to read it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735137)

TFA says you need a 750x magnification to read it but don't tell anybody I RTFA.

Re:You need a 500x microscope to read it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735249)

Shiny glass disk, distributed promiscuously into nondescript locations. Any culture that comes along after we're gone and wants the key to our communication is going to think these things are coasters or knick knacks.

Re:You need a 500x microscope to read it (5, Funny)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735479)

Why not include the tool to read the document with the document?

That's how they make their money! It's brilliant! Give away the media for free, then in 2,000 years, sell the 500x microscope "readers" for a *huge* profit! Just make sure the teaser text and critical reviews are readable by the naked eye.

Genesis (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735059)

That's a lot of Phil Collins - three Genesis albums!

Surely a greater variety would have given a broader view of our world! Maybe some Elton John, and Boney M at least!

Rosetta Archive is a truly a grand achievement. (5, Insightful)

upuv (1201447) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735079)

I gotta say this is something special. Just imagine having a transcript of Roman Senate debates. Pictures of Inca ritual. Blue prints and plans of how they made the monuments of Easter Island. As almost the complete entire collection of current knowledge and experience will fade in all it's current forms, very little of our lives will survive for 2000 years. Only scraps of buildings and monuments will survive. Oops I take that all back. I forgot about Google cache.

Re:Rosetta Archive is a truly a grand achievement. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735257)

Did they include definitions of ASCII and unicode? I don't know how long either of these will survive, but it's fairly easy to imagine copies of copies of copies of data surviving but the basic encoding being lost. Even if you understand the language, it doesn't help if you can't translate the binary data into characters.

Archive readability (5, Informative)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735081)

Just so long as they didn't do what the BBC did in the 1980's with the UK's modern "Doomsday Book" history archive project. The archive went on a Laserdisc, and what hardware today can read that format (not the machines on ebay)?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/07/11/bbc_domesday_project_saved/ [theregister.co.uk] or
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/preservation/research/domesday.htm/community.htm [nationalarchives.gov.uk]

BBC Micro ... LOL! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735273)

Typical BBC thinking. Have a BBC Micro as the only way to access it.

I'm sure this was a pet project of somebody at the BBC rather than a serious attempt at preserving culture.

PS: If you're a geek and you haven't seen the BBC series "Making the Most of the Micro" then get a copy today. Seriously!

Re:Archive readability (1)

sdbillin (166060) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735289)

That's Domesday, not Doomsday. Pronounced the same, largely the same meaning, but it's dom, not doom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Domesday_Project

Re:Archive readability (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735507)

This disc is being designed to be read through analog processes.... and in fact the first few words can be read with the naked eye, and gradually get smaller to the point that each attempt to magnify the words shows there is much more on the disc.

Each language that is being used is also given "equal" treatment, other than some languages tend to be much more verbose than others such as Latin languages vs. Germanic languages or even the most efficient being Chinese (in terms of characters per word/idea in the language)

Cool Idea, but pricey (1)

Selanit (192811) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735099)

This is really cool. Long LONG term backup for a huge number of languages. I approve of the long-term thinking behind it.

I hope they can bring the price down, though -- the article says it currently costs $25,000 for a copy, which is a bit steep for a thing where you can't even read most of it without an extremely high-powered microscope. The article also refers to the LOCKS principle which archivists use: Lots Of Copies Keeps 'em Safe. At 25K a pop, it's going to be hard to get the "Lots" part of that working. Get the price down to a hundred dollars and I bet lots of geeks all over the planet would buy one as a conversation piece.

Re:Cool Idea, but pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735297)

I think item that costs $25,000 is much more a conversational piece than something around $100.

Seriously, we are talking about preserving a piece of the human civilisation here, so a few thousands is not so great number for quality workmanship that lasts 2000 years.

(This was a sponsored message.)

Only 2000 Years? Pffft (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735123)

The Romans managed to preserve their language and culture for 2000 years completely by accident. Do you really think all the stuff we're doing today will vanish in the same time span.

In far less than 100 years the whole of today's Internet will fit on a single USB stick - smaller than a single shard of Roman pottery.

Re:Only 2000 Years? Pffft (2, Funny)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735235)

All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, public health, and the preservation of their language, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Re:Only 2000 Years? Pffft (1)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735243)

The Romans managed to preserve their language and culture for 2000 years completely by accident. Do you really think all the stuff we're doing today will vanish in the same time span.

In far less than 100 years the whole of today's Internet will fit on a single USB stick - smaller than a single shard of Roman pottery.

You probably mean on a CSSB stick. You know, using a Chingaia Super Serial Bus. Chingaia? The time when chinese culture swamped all other culture because of higher efficiency?

WTF ? (5, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735157)

replicate the disk promiscuously

Only nerds too long in their basements would use this kind of terminology !

The rest of us would say "make a lot of copies".

Logical next step... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735183)

This sounds great. Now we need one with a copy of Wikipedia on it, so that all human knowledge can be preserved as well.

Re:Logical next step... (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735237)

Oh, that would be lovely. "Albert Einstein was a scientist who JASON MAYNOR SUCKS COCK developed one of the most important theories..."

Re:Logical next step... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735453)

[citation needed]

I hope someone is monitoring this... (1)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735225)

because, I would make sure I made myself look really good. Maybe something like RemoWilliams84 had millions of followers that would bow down with a simple waive of his giant, throbbing... well you get the idea.

DRM... (1)

Slurpee (4012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735227)

I hope they put some sort of DRM on it - this could be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands!

Promised since 02001 (1, Redundant)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735239)

This idea has been around for a few years - I remember reading about it back in 02001 or so.

I'd love to buy one, however they aren't actually producing or selling them - if you want one you have to cough up 25000 USD to support their foundation - no idea if anyone actually has one yet or if this is just a hypothetical. Which means they're not going to be ubiquitous any time soon, and undermines their whole purpose.

In my opinion this is far more useful than anything else they're engaged in, including the clock. Even if they made disks with a cheaper process that lasted only 1000 or so years in normal conditions, and could sell them for 100 USD, they'd be a great asset for future archeologists and a very provocative statement in our society, which more than ever values the present over the future.

First one to write ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735265)

"We have machined a hollow cylinder into the bottom hemisphere that holds a stainless steel ribbon for disk caretakers to etch their names, locations, and dates - hopefully creating a unique pedigree for each Rosetta object as it travels through time and human hands."

And the first one to write something on it will write ... http://xkcd.com/269/

Please spam me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735291)

alice_18@live.com

2000 years, come on.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24735311)

Already artifacts from eg. egyptians allow us to go more than 2000 years back in time.

For something impressive, I'd expect atleast 1 million years, then it would not just be a *blib* in time.

Yes, I read too much sci-fi, see eg. http://www.amazon.com/Deepness-Sky-Zones-Thought/dp/0812536355/

This seems too expensive (2, Interesting)

joshv (13017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735327)

To have any hope of surviving and being found in thousands of years, they need massive replication. Oh, I am sure they picked the best of materials, and they will last, but at $25,000 per, there just aren't going to be many of them left in 2,000 years because there weren't many of them made.

I would favor a cheaper mass produced product. Maybe something that on average doesn't have much hope of lasting more than a few hundred years, but if you make millions of them and shill them on the home shopping network - maybe somebody will have a hope of finding one in the distance future perfectly preserved in a redneck's hermetically sealed grave.

I'd suggest using something like a CD mastering process to stamp an analog message into a gold foil disk, that is then embedded in high quality, impact resistant glass. The glass seals against corrosion and moisture (if you are too cheap to go with the gold foil), and acts as a sacrificial surface that can take scratches bumps and dings and still be polished up by future archeologists.

No 2.000 years (4, Interesting)

mseeger (40923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735331)

Hi,

if you treat this disk the way the original rosetta stone has been treated, nobody will be able to decipher it afterwards. The only reason we were able the rosetta stone: The chars were relatively big. High information density and long lifetime (in any conditions) are contradictions....

Yours, Martin

Speak for yourself (2, Funny)

2Bits (167227) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735443)

Following the archiving principle of LOCKS (Lots of Copies Keep 'em Safe) we would replicate the disk promiscuously and distribute them around the world with built in magnifiers.

Speak for yourself, man, all the geeks in us already found a better way long time ago. We store our important stuffs for long term archival in newsgroups.

It wont be readable by future cultures (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24735485)

We are making an assumption the can even understand our technology by then. They could be light-years ahead, or behind.

At least with a stone tablet, all you have to do is look at it. ( ad figure out the language, another barrier future readers will have )

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