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20 Responses to “Very Long-Term Backup”

   1. Rick Says:
      August 20th, 2008 at 7:02 pm

      I’ve been watching this project from the beginning. When do you estimate the disks will be commonly available at a pricepoint affordable to the masses?
   2. Kevin Kihn Says:
      August 20th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

      This is fascinating. Obviously it’s conceivable entire libraries could be permanently archived using this technology. I’d like to see something similar done with respect to creating permanent archives recording visual artistic treasures of the world in a highly compact and durable form. For instance, I gather research is currently being done to create holographic information storage in artificially generated crystal latticeworks, which presumably are quite permanent. I’ve come across abstracts concerning this subject online. Such might constitute a remarkable artistic medium. I hope to learn more concerning this and Norsam’s technology in future.
   3. Kent Schnake Says:
      August 21st, 2008 at 3:50 pm

      Very cool post. I like the idea of human readable text. Rosetta stone format is superb, the original Rosetta stone had only a few languages, yet it really opened some archeological doors. I would suggest including an ASCI or Unicode version of whatever is human readable.

      My daughter is a bible translator in Tanzania. When I first learned more about her work I was amazed to find that there are probably 6900 or so languages in the world (current use). The Wycliffe Family of Partner Organizations have a vision of having translation work in progress for every language in the world by 2025. There are about 2200 language that don’t have a work started yet. I don’t have anything against Genesis, but it has been translated into far fewer languages than has the New Testament. In particular, projects often start with one of the Gospels. Here is a link with more info: . The Seed Company is just one of dozens of Wycliffe partners. There is a great deal of work already in progress to insure that existing translations and new ones are collected and stored “safely”.
   4. King Cheops Says:
      August 23rd, 2008 at 6:07 pm

      It’s about time! The apocalypse is near. By the way, the pyramids are the same idea, under each stone is an information file. They were build by the Atlantians, ;later the Egyptians got the idea to put bodies in them.

      I think pyramids are better idea to store knowledge, and they have been proven as effective.

      What you need to do is cast your device in a 1.35 ton concrete block and build another pyramid with the blocks. You can be assured 4000 years survival, maybe even 15,000 according to the documentary on youtube “age of the sphinx”, and according to my belief 200,000 years.

      And please try to preserve something more important that this gobbledygook called “genesis”. I am Arab, and my ancestors fabricated this story and it’s not even good. And if you believe in such tall tales as “genesis” you can’t deny what I am telling you. Atlantians are more plausible than some bearded god flying over a body of water before creating the earth.
   5. Chris Simms Says:
      August 25th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

      I haven’t really kept an eye on the project, but I’m a bit curious. How will future cultures be able to read the stone? And I’m not talking about incompatibilities between evolved languages. I’m talking about it being printed in ridiculously small print. For how long has humanity had microscopes strong enough to read the disk? Not very long. And it’s plausible that we won’t in the future.

      I thought you guys were about long term thinking?
   6. marcello Says:
      September 4th, 2008 at 10:59 pm

      Hi, i have to admit that i share Chris Simms doubts, if this project is meant to archive “human culture” on a media that would be possible to read independently of the technology available than the fact that you need a quite advanced microscope to read is going to be an issue. Assuming that in the next generation humanity progress then they would probably have no big problem with that. But a humanity recovering from a planetary level catastrophe would be in trouble finding the necessary tech to read that, don’t you think?

      And, beside that, the genesis?
      The linguistic value of having a common text already translated in many different languages is without doubt.
      But imagine in a far away future someone finding the stone and managing to interpret it, what a bunch of weirdos they will think we were? adam, eve, the tree of truth and all that stuff? i really would hate if all we left behind was the genesis.


      p.s. are the comments moderated? then the system should give the user some kind of feedback, otherwise you can’t tell if things worked!
   7. Alexander Rose Says:
      September 5th, 2008 at 6:42 am

      To read all the content on this particular disk you would need a 17th century microscope. We also have even more content on redundant spinning storage accessible on the net, as well as optical backups (DVD). Indeed someone would have to re-invent pretty good optics to read this disk. However the disk could also be reproduced as a massive art piece 50 feet across in stone and be human eye readable. Or more importantly we are releasing all the disk content on DVD so that others can find ways of saving it.

      Regarding Genesis… yes we get this a lot. We had a ton of debate about it. It came down to a totally mechanical reason, the bible is the most translated text and it starts with Genesis. Finding John 3:16 in languages you dont know or scripts you dont recognize while scanning documents from a shoebox out of a closet in Papua New Ginea is really hard it turns out. Here is the question I always ask, “Without looking it up, can you tell me what was on the original Rosetta Stone?” It was a bunch of boring tax stuff, but we dont judge those cultures by that material. We are smart enough to know that this was just one piece of text that randomly survived and we are thankful to have it.

      And yes unfortunately due to spam these comments are moderated.
   8. PioneerPlaque Says:
      September 7th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

      I thought the information on the Egyptian Rosetta Stone was about
      the coronation of some obscure pharoah?

      Either way, it worked!

      We need to have more such disks on all sort of information made and
      scattered everywhere, especially beyond Earth.
   9. clemm Says:
      September 20th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

      Rocks! Rocks are the obviouse awnser to long term media storage. They last a very long time. In some cases longer than the language! Start carving!
      You could probably teach a computer to laser burn the data into thin slabs of stone!
  10. clemm Says:
      September 20th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

      Modern techonolgy: Its amazing how far we have progressed from the cave man days!
  11. NiQue Safani Says:
      September 21st, 2008 at 7:17 pm

      Rocks have always been that answer, how can we modernize this method? This makes me feel like the civilizations before us could have been so much more advanced than we think. I mean think about it… 5000 years from now nothing might be left but those old carvings in stone that have been here for so long already… and look at how advanced (we think) we are. 5000 years from now we might forget how to magnify to 1000 times, we will never forget how to see and interpret drawings/pictures.
  12. Alexander Rose Says:
      September 21st, 2008 at 10:29 pm

      “we will never forget how to see and interpret drawings/pictures.” This is a common first intuition. Ironically drawings a pictures are the most difficult to interpret. This is exemplified in hieroglyphics, Mayan glyphs, and countless other pictographic writing systems that have taken decades of concerted effort to decode. The problem lies in the changing nature of what a pictograph represents to a culture. For instance someone from 01980 Berlin might make a pictograph of the Berlin Wall which would have represented all kinds of things to that person, but in 1000 years would be absolutely opaque to an archaeologist.

      You are right about carving in stone though. If we can find a donor and a location I would love to etch this whole disk in stone at a human eye readable size… It would be about 100ft across.
  13. Troglobyte Says:
      October 12th, 2008 at 9:59 am

      If only this technology was available at the time of the Library of Alexandria! Hopefully, some soldier would not have found the disk and worn it around his neck.
  14. James Morton Says:
      October 29th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

      Would be cool if people with enough money could submit their own text and order a custom disk. In addition to languages, how about a disk with a concise timeline of history as we know it. Or one with the periodic table, math formulas, physics formulas, and other scientific goodies.
  15. Alexander Rose Says:
      October 30th, 2008 at 7:26 am

      Anyone can use this technology. We were just a customer. Please do put together a timeline dataset and have it etched!
  16. Yasmin Bowe-Woods Says:
      December 9th, 2008 at 6:57 am

      Amazing work. Could this be used for archiving art? Will the special microscopes for reading be available to the masses.
  17. Alexander Rose Says:
      December 10th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

      You can do grayscale images with the technology and you can make CMYK or RGB plates to express color, but I would not suggest this as the best way to archive art. I think Ed Burtynski’s ideas on art archiving are far superior. You can listen or watch his lecture and see the write up here:
  18. Orionas Boundy Says:
      December 11th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

      I think it’s a marvelous idea!! we should have one made for different subjects and then lock them up somewhere in a time capsule for people to open in 500 years. It could include all the information that we know about history, physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, language (check), All Novels ever written (???), engineering, modern technology, music and millions of other things. Mabye we could make one in every language we possiblly can, and then put copies of them in the countries were the langage is spoken. Perhaps we could even make a 10 foot (3 meter) disk with all of this information. Wouldn’t it be great? all the knowledge man posses about the world today permanantly etched onto a 3 meter disk? We definatly can do it. Perhaps one day theese disks will replace books completly and they will be used as census or Encyclopædias. I would just love to see all the knowledge of man reduced into a big disk, so we can look back at it and imagine it grow. I would truly feel a sense of pride. please, can you try and do it???? All you need is to get a sponsor like Bill Gates or someone, who would be more than glad to do something like that.
  19. Kyote Ael Says:
      December 17th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

      100 ft across? that would look cool on the floor of a library, museum or university, being genesis a religious organisation might sponsor it as well.
  20. anonymousrecording Says:
      March 22nd, 2009 at 11:41 pm

      why not use this method to create a self contained handcrank device that preserves an oral recording of languages as well as visual writing? records are simple enough and listening to a record without a recordplayer is easy…just use a needle and a cone shaped