A PROPOSAL

Here is the basic thought for this page:

1. History & archeology show that civilizations decay or are overrun and disappear
2. Knowledge gets lost
3. It will be useful to future humans for presently living humans to have made an attempt to preserve the science that they (we) know and to pass it on through any future discontinuity in the "progress of human civilization" so that it will be available to them 500 or 50,000 years from now.
4. An overview of the stuff that archeologists find indicates that things made out of stone are more likely to survive than things made out of other stuff.  This is particularly true when looking at written documents.  Very little of the papyrus, etc. of ancient Egypt, Rome, etc. remains, as opposed to stones.  Our data storage situation today is worse than that of the ancients.  There is several orders of magnitude more data and most is stored electronically on media that have maximum estimated shelf lives of 20 years or so.  It is practically being lost as soon as it is found.
5. Given that, does it not make sense to write basic scientific knowledge on stone in multiple copies for the possible use of future generations?  I mean the utterly basic things: the periodic table, basic electromagnetism, biology, optics, chemistry, mathematics, etc.  The simple stuff that allows us to do things and that no one disagrees with.
6. We could program laser engravers to put these things on little stones and manufacture thousands of them in many languages.  Scatter them all over the world.  Bury them in the ground.  Lose them.

Good idea?

Well, I sent it to the Gates Foundation, figuring that Gates is interested in data storage, maybe they'd pick it up.  The GF website basically states: "Don't call us, we'll call you."  I did anyway, and got back an email response that may or may not have been auto-generated to the effect that: "nice idea, but don't call us, we'll call you - sorry, it's set up that way in our charter."

I admit I have limited time and approximately no funds to pursue this idea into action.

If you find yourself reading this page, and you find it has merit, and if you think you want to spend even 30 seconds to advance it, please get in touch with me, or send the URL to someone else who might or might not be interested.  Perhaps something can be done.

There are probably thousands of copies of the Ten Commandments carved in stone.  The Ten Commandments are good, but they don't explain how to purify water and why you should, or how to make aluminum, or how to make electricity and why you might want to.  Yes?


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