Pastxting the Nuclear Dump of the Future


Examples of communicating ideas of the past without the use of text are appearing in a wide range of places. Here is an example that appeared on the Wired Blog this year. Now, I’m not usually one that shows much interest in the science fiction nonsense that Wired publishes under the guise of tech news, but this one caught my eye:

Ten thousand years from now, the last remaining momument [sic] of the U.S. military-industrial complex could well be the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. And it will be marked by an elaborate keep-out sign. Planners building underground storage for radioactive military waste hope to develop a universal warning system that will communicate its message to future societies, regardless of language, custom or even species.

This is the deliberate construction of material remains to inform those that come after us. Text wouldn’t work, of course, but the hope is that people in the future will be warned off by these remains. Will it work? I’m not convinced, but suppose I’ll never have the opportunity to find out. I think it would make an interesting paper to present (not write) sometime in the future.




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