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Rosetta Disk Designed For 2,000 Years Archive 659

Posted by timothy
from the that'll-do-for-now dept.
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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Rosetta Disk Designed For 2,000 Years Archive

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  • by bigtallmofo (695287) * on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:39AM (#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!
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:41AM (#24734993) Homepage

    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.

  • Pfff (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:47AM (#24735029) Journal

    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.

  • we did what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nimbius (983462) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:49AM (#24735043) Homepage
    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:Pfff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:51AM (#24735063) Homepage

    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.

  • by upuv (1201447) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:53AM (#24735079) Journal
    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.
  • by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:56AM (#24735105) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:58AM (#24735123) Homepage

    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.

  • by Dasaan (644170) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:03AM (#24735163)
    Put a massive repository of scientific and mathematical knowledge on it and I'd buy one for £100.
  • by Lord Lode (1290856) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:03AM (#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, .....
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:06AM (#24735185) Journal
    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.

  • by uhfdude (862689) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:06AM (#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)
  • by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:14AM (#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:Pfff (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:21AM (#24735293)

    Says the person that knows nothing about Christianity.

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

  • by Petrushka (815171) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:26AM (#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 ...)

  • by Lachlan Hunt (1021263) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:40AM (#24735463) Homepage

    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.

  • by fl!ptop (902193) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:43AM (#24735503) Journal

    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.

  • by KillerBob (217953) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:53AM (#24735599)

    Because the bible is already translated, and because the bible is more likely to survive 2000 years.

    Assume that none of the 1500 languages used still exist 2,000 years from now. It's a fairly safe bet that if there's still humans, there's still going to be religion. And as annoying as it is to admit for some people, Christianity is likely to be one of those religions that survives. That'll give them a translation key for 1,500 languages, which can in turn be used to translate the rest of the information contained on the plates.

    A far more likely situation, though, is that several of the languages used will still be in use. Or at least, still readable. That's why the Rosetta stone was so useful: the other two languages on the stone were still known, allowing scholars to realize that they said the same thing and that it was likely that the third, Heiroglyphs, said the same thing. The larger the sample size you have, the better the chance that it'll be useful. Again, however, having the biblical passages present serves as a translation key for the rest of the information contained on the plates. 1,500 pages out of 15,000 isn't that much.

  • by GrievousMistake (880829) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:55AM (#24735621)

    The plan is to mass produce them, eventually. I expect that if they do find a way to manufacture these cheaply, other projects will want to manufacture their own discs, esp. with stuff like Wikipedia. It would be nice if they became popular with publishers and the like. Having a couple of these around is good, but having a more heterogeneous collection of high-density durable information repositories scattered around would be priceless.

    And as a fan of dystopian future scenarios, the very idea of future primitives occasionally happening across these valuable information artifacts as they rummage through ruins for scrap metal makes me all warm and fuzzy. In fact, I'm slightly miffed that they can hold so damn much information. This way we'll never have a gatherer returning to his village with a small shiny globe, that upon inspection turns out to be an artifact of the ancients that reveals the schematics for building a more powerful coil gun, which gives them an edge in fending off the attacks of the neighbouring tribes. Having the best of Wikipedia, or maybe the archives of a couple of good research journals is much more helpful and versatile of course, but not nearly as romantic. ;-)

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:04AM (#24735697)

    So you are allowing your extreme atheism to get in the way of science?

    Why use Genesis 1-3 it is one of those stories that have been translated so many times and is ingrained in the culture of 3/4 of the world, across 3 Major religions, and which as already lasted for thousands - tens of thousands of years. Chances are that some translation of the story will survive and when people decode the disk they will have a common story to translate and if there are gaps in the translated languge they can use their knowledge of the story to fill it in and get a better understanding of the language. Very little documents are so widely known as Genesis. It is not about religion or fath in the message, it is about science of sending information to the future that can be decoded.

    If we send the DVDs of StarWars and Startrek it would be equally confusing.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:17AM (#24735805) Journal
    Wow, three replies and all of you completely missed my point. Hint: I wasn't talking about translating the contents of the disks.

    This is a Rosetta Stone. It's not a repository of all human knowledge, it's a translation aid. It assumes the existence of other, surviving, data from this era. Without this assumption, it is useless, because learning dead languages is only worthwhile if there is something to translate. The Rosetta Stone was not valuable because it contained useful knowledge (it actually contained a very boring passage with very little historical significance) - it was valuable because it contained the same text in three different languages, allowing large numbers of other (previously untranslatable) texts to be translated easily.

    Modern printed books are unlikely to survive for 2,000 years because they use cheap paper and ink with a very short lifespan in comparison to older texts. The only thing that is likely to still be around to translate from this era is digital data which have been copied repeatedly over hundreds of different physical media. Some of this may be translated into newer formats and encodings. The rest, if not accessed frequently, will just be copied and copied in backups of backups. Eventually, if future generations do abandon ASCII and unicode, this will just appear to be a binary blob of data.

    Consider something like Project Gutenberg. If you had a print-out of this collection then these disks would help you translate it. If you just had a digital copy, then you need this disk and a definition of the character set used. Without these definitions, you have no way (short of cryptanalysis) of translating the binary files into a sequence of character symbols that you can understand.

  • by skeeto (1138903) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:18AM (#24735815)
    Is your name Hari Seldon [wikipedia.org]?
  • by guruevi (827432) <evi@@@smokingcube...be> on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:26AM (#24735881) Homepage

    Do you really know the meaning of the words "day" in the original language? No, it's only the Catholic Church and some other prominent so-called "christian" organizations that promote that idea.

    On the other hand, Genesis is one of the oldest book in the world that has survived thousands of years with minimal to no copying or translation differences across translations (only difference is in interpretation) since it has been written down. It's also available in almost all religions (the Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions) and languages (anywhere there was an influence of the before mentioned) of this world, it can be found in more than 90% of the world, most likely a translation will survive within 2000 years.

    It's also one of those books that has the basic/simplistic/root names (in all those languages) for members of the universe we can see with the naked eye (planet, moon, sun, stars, earth, life, male, female, sea, animals, vegetation) all in those 3 chapters as well as some abstract (religious/social) passages like cursing, naming, unions of man and woman, God, clothing.

  • by danaris (525051) <danaris@@@mac...com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#24735897) Homepage

    Whether we like it—or agree with it—or not, the Bible is something that is very important to a very large number of people on Earth. Genesis, in particular (and much of the rest of the Old Testament) represents a creation myth believed to lesser or greater extent by 3.8 billion of our 6 billion-odd people (Wikipedia's estimate of the number of believers in Abrahamic religions).

    Just because we agnostic or atheist geeks think that such things are embarrassing doesn't make it any less representative of the world we live in.

    Dan Aris

  • by maztuhblastah (745586) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:46AM (#24736129) Journal

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

    I know you said that partly in jest, but I actually got a little depressed when I gave it some thought. Think of what we could have included: the music that influenced generations, films that invoke anger, sadness, joy, books that literally changed the way that the world thought -- and not one bit of it can be reproduced, all because some assholes wanted to collect a check from an animated mouse.
     
     

    We fucked up somewhere.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:58AM (#24736263)

    You are an troll and a serious coward but this was too much fun to pass up.

    The point that you're missing entirely is that there is NO SUCH THING as a good person.

    Which is a premise that I fundamentally disagree with and why I'm not a christian. If you want to convince someone of your logic you might want to start with a premise both parties agree to. Furthermore you'll have to come up with a definition of "good" so that we can be sure we are talking about the same thing.

    Even your hypothetical "good atheist's" actions were tainted with self-righteousness.

    Helping others == "self-righteousness"? Can be but certainly doesn't have to be. Are you trying to say we shouldn't help others because that would be "self-righteous"?

    Better to be a sinner and know it than a pompous ass who thinks that he's perfect.

    I'm not aware of anyone who thinks they are perfect though I do know some people who try very, very hard to be. The fact that no one is perfect does not and never will logically equal "no such thing as a good person".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:08AM (#24736361)

    Genesis 1-3... already lasted for thousands - tens of thousands of years.

    Genesis is only about three thousand years old, tops, afaik... I think the earliest recorded writing (The Epic of Gilgamesh) is about 4-5k years old. No idea where you got this 'tens of thousands' from.

  • Re:Pfff (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hobbit (5915) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:14AM (#24736447)

    Anyone who treats the Bible as anything other than a work of fiction is missing the point of Christ.

    Test everything, keep the good...

    Try to live your life by Christ's example by all means, but for God's sake [sic] don't actually claim he was the incarnation of a personal deity.

  • Re:Pfff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:24AM (#24736579) Journal

    I think some of the classic mythologies were much more fun. Some pantheons had all the drama of a weekly TV show.

    Sometimes I think they maybe WERE the weekly "tv drama" and that we've imputed a little too much significance to them because the records happened to survive.

  • Re:Genesis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Drathos (1092) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:37AM (#24736791)

    Actually, if it's the first three Genesis albums, there's not a lot of Collins. He didn't join them til the third album. It is, however, a lot of Gabriel, Banks, and Rutherford.

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:43AM (#24736901) Homepage

    So you are allowing your extreme atheism to get in the way of science?

    Why use Genesis 1-3 it is one of those stories that have been translated so many times and is ingrained in the culture of 3/4 of the world, across 3 Major religions, and which as already lasted for thousands - tens of thousands of years. Chances are that some translation of the story will survive and when people decode the disk they will have a common story to translate and if there are gaps in the translated languge they can use their knowledge of the story to fill it in and get a better understanding of the language. Very little documents are so widely known as Genesis. It is not about religion or fath in the message, it is about science of sending information to the future that can be decoded.

    If we send the DVDs of StarWars and Startrek it would be equally confusing.

    When you say 3/4 of the world, do you mean land mass, or people? Wait, you said culture. I'd guess people. Given that China has 1.3 Billion people, and India has 1 Billion, and Korea/Japan has a bunch more people, and Indonesia is the world biggest muslim country, and hmm... all the near east countries are muslims too, another, what, 1 billion? I just counted half the world's population that does not have Christianity as its base.

    As for the tens of thousands of years - even your own bishops say your religion is only 4+ thousand years old - WTF are you smoking?

    Damned religious fundie.

    Hey, I know, why not put a copy of the FSM's teachings in there? Hey, hey, I know, Buddha's teachings, yeah, I like Buddhism, lets put that in there. After all, there's nothing that shows more on the cycle of life than us blowing ourselves up, and having another group build up a new civilization (and then blow themselves up, etc etc).

  • by clintp (5169) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:47AM (#24736959)

    Mod parent up.

    Stories persist whether true or false and represent the oldest extant (nearly complete) texts in many languages: Genesis, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Illiad, Beowulf, the Vedas, and the Book of the Dead to name a few.

    Many modern humans will know of, part of, or all of at least one of these stories.

    Whereas more practical texts have survived, but knowledge of them isn't as widespread. Not a lot of people can recite goat inventory from Ur or lists of Old Kingdom Egyptian rulers.

  • by not-my-real-name (193518) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:48AM (#24736969) Homepage

    Whether the Genesis account is believed or not, it is familiar to a large number of people. Whether you believe it or not, it's an important part of western culture. Trying to ignore it would be like trying to ignore Shakespeare in English literature.

  • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:56AM (#24737087) Journal

    Would it be any worse than this?

  • by Gryphoenix (1052272) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:57AM (#24737109)
    The point is that Christianity doesn't believe there is a 'good person' for 'all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory'. Christ is the key because His sacrifice made us right in God's sight DESPITE the fact there are none 'good' or 'perfect'. I agree that logically this is foolishness but a belief in God definitely takes faith. Let's just say that I'm not going to lose anything by believing in God!
  • by deanlandolt (1004507) on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:10AM (#24737257) Journal

    Or are you you arrogant and ignorant as to believe the only things that have so influenced mankind have only been produced within the last century?

    That's completely beside the point. Or are you you arrogant and ignorant as to believe those things which have so influenced mankind within the last century will ever find their way into the public domain, what with the ever-increasing length of copyright terms?

  • by balbord (447248) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .droblab.> on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:14AM (#24737311)

    dd
    x

  • Re:Pfff (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:18AM (#24737355)

    People can call it venerate all they want, but when you offer up a prayer to Mary, that's worshiping.

  • by whitneyw (1135381) on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:19AM (#24737369)

    How many other stories have remained in oral culture for as long? Gilgamesh was lost. Hammurabi's Code was lost. Beowulf is recent. The Iliad is still around, but it is certainly not as widely known. The Upanishads and Confucius date only slightly before recorded history (~500 BC). I am no expert, but Job (older than Genesis, but also biblical) is the only thing I can think of that has lasted more than 5000 years.

    The story of Genesis has been around for longer than the idea of written language! It seems reasonable to guess that it will still be around when our current idea of written language begins to falter. It seems the only reasonable guess.

  • by dubl-u (51156) * <2523987012NO@SPAMpota.to> on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:24AM (#24737429)

    If those people choose what economists call "Nash efficiency" as an ideology (what atheists do), improving themselves without conscious regard to others

    That's embarrassingly wrong. Do you know any actual atheists?

    Let's take the classic ur-atheist, the physical scientist. You're suggesting all of those people are in it for themselves? Because the ones I know could do a lot better than a post-doc's wage. The ones I've asked do it because they want to be involved in an enterprise for the ages. They want to learn and contribute that learning to human understanding. They want to teach, sharing knowledge with young minds. They are atheists, but they are not so much in it for the bucks.

    Personally, I'm an atheist and very community-minded. Why? Well really, that's who I am. But if you want me to rationalize it, I'm glad to say that I value life and hope and love, and I want to maximize those things not just for myself, but for everybody, and for the ages. Yes, it's all dust eventually, but so what? Every extra moment of beauty, of joy, of wonder that we make is that much better a universe.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:27AM (#24737471) Journal

    Tons of it can be reproduced - because it is in the public domain due to it's copyright having expired.

    And tons more cannot, because it's not in the public domain, due to said animated mouse.

    Or are you you arrogant and ignorant as to believe the only things that have so influenced mankind have only been produced within the last century?

    Except this is supposed to be a time capsule showing the world the way it is today, not the way it was a hundred years ago. And there is so much we could be showing them, were it not locked down by copyright.

  • by dubl-u (51156) * <2523987012NO@SPAMpota.to> on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:30AM (#24737545)

    Just because we agnostic or atheist geeks think that such things are embarrassing doesn't make it any less representative of the world we live in.

    Yep. I'm a flaming atheist, and I'm fine with them having used Genesis. I'd bet it's the single most translated text in the world.

    If I'm going to build a bridge that I want to last 500 years, I'm going to take a hard look at all the bridges that have lasted that long already.

  • by tgd (2822) on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:46AM (#24737775)

    Nice rant.

    Really, one would've thought the reason music and film wasn't included is because... well, you can't listen to sounds or watch movies on an etched nickel disk through a 1000x microscope.

    But DMCA rants are a sure path to karma here, no matter how irrelevant to the discussion they are.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Monday August 25, 2008 @11:54AM (#24737891) Journal

    if any of them object to granting permission [...] I'd be amazed if every single one of them didn't say "hell yes".

    Maybe read that again. I think you meant the opposite.

  • Re:Pfff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday August 25, 2008 @12:22PM (#24738295) Journal

    People don't believe in Jesus because of Mary's claim that God made her pregnant. People believe in Jesus because of claims about his miracles & resurrection.

    Isn't a virgin birth one of those miracles? By casting doubt on that miracle, you cast doubt on Jesus's divinity.

    But yes, the most important question to settle is whether a "Jesus" actually ever existed in the first place. There's not much evidence for that assertion outside the Bible.

  • by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Monday August 25, 2008 @01:06PM (#24738903)

    I'm sure plenty of writers would be right onboard with the idea.

    Convincing their publishers to allow it might be a little more difficult.

  • by SmokeyTheBalrog (996551) on Monday August 25, 2008 @01:09PM (#24738937)

    That noisy 1% of Copyright holders tend to own over 99% of the pertinent copyrights.

    Sorta like small business vs big business.

    A writer often looses the copyright over their book when it is sold to a publisher. Only some writer's who have already made a name for themselves keep their copyrights. The Harry Potter books are one of a handful where the author was able to keep her hold on the copyright.

    Good luck getting a large publishing house to allow you to use something they own for free.

  • by kesuki (321456) on Monday August 25, 2008 @01:09PM (#24738947) Journal

    i can see plenty of people worshiping the flying spaghetti monster by then, remember harry potter isn't marketed as religion, and while the FSM is marketed as how stupid real religion is, because of the way it parallels real religion we're not far off from people actually worshiping the FSM as real, it's hard coded into our brains, when certain stimuli eg:Near death experiences, specific EM shocks to the brain, disease and hunger and drug induced hallucination.

    that or people will start worshiping the 'invisible pink unicorn' not quite sure which one i would 'rather' have replace the 'one true god'

  • by Repossessed (1117929) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:12PM (#24741617)

    Uh, it has nothing to do with showing the world as it is today, its meant to provide references for creating language translations. The bible got picked partly because its likely that a translation of genesis will still exist in thousands of years (even if only as a textbook in an ancient myths course).

    I'm glad to see this project finally nearing completion though, and I hope the tech behind it will be expanded for storing more information than just the languages.

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