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Future communication, was "Digital Dark Age"

At 14:12 -0500 99/2/12, DT Fletcher wrote:
>The only assumption that I am making is that the civilization in the far
>future will be at least as technologically advanced as we are today.

Well that, to my mind, is a big flaw in your arguments. If there is a
collapse of civilizatiion, the books in a library will probably be readable
and be used by the survivors to regain some of the lost knowledge. The
CD-ROMs (or their replacements) will *not* be usable.

To put the question onto a much larger table, think about nuclear waste
storage. A few years ago several groups were asked to come up with ways of
marking waste storage facilities to let people in the future know not to
dig there. These groups, make up of linguists, psychologists, materials
specialists, etc., were to figure out how to make signs that would last
10,000 years (arbitrary limit), and would still be understood then.
Fascinating. Different groups suggested different things. One suggested not
marking at all, to give no clue that there was anything there. They felt
that an unreadable sign was more enticing than no sign at all.


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