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"How do cavemen warn their decendents?" Topic

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800 hits since 14 Nov 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Last Hussar14 Nov 2012 4:32 a.m. PST

We have nuclear waste that will be dangerous for 10,000 years. How do we warn those in the future of the sites where it is buried.

For comparison that is like cavemen trying to warn us of danger – what common reference points do we have with them? English as a language we understand didn't exist 1,000 years ago. Latin is about 2,500, Ancient greek maybe 3,000 years old. We only understand much symbology because scholars translate. If/When civilisation falls, who will understand three triangles around a circle?

Turns out the answer is Damn Interesting.

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member14 Nov 2012 4:55 a.m. PST

We don't know what these are so they are obviously ceremonial and religious sites.

Must excavate to determine the religious practices of the past.

At least, that's what we would do today!

zippyfusenet Inactive Member14 Nov 2012 5:43 a.m. PST

The Ancients often buried valuable treasure! But sometimes their remains are protected by a curse…Tell Clyde to bring his shovel!

Last Hussar14 Nov 2012 8:08 a.m. PST

"Helloooooo? Which bit of 'This place is not a place of honour' didn't you understand? If you dig you will get very sick. Aren't all the 'Bleeped text off' signs a bit of a clue? Listen…
Aww hell, no, go ahead and do it."


Roderick Robertson Fezian14 Nov 2012 10:24 a.m. PST

Here we go:


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian14 Nov 2012 10:36 a.m. PST

Last Hussar: Ah, the Deadly Ranger Trap

Space Monkey14 Nov 2012 12:13 p.m. PST

My friend ran a contest here in Vegas several years ago where people submitted ideas for marking Yucca Mountain. The spine idea was one of the entries. The winner was an idea to engineer some local plant life to show a blue color when the radiation level in the soil hit a certain level.

Parzival14 Nov 2012 12:16 p.m. PST

I think any kind of abstract art is a mistake.

Instead, cover the site with laser-etched metal or stone that depicts photos of actual diseased, dying and dead humans. Then include a pictogram that shows a reasonable local measurement baselineŚ like, say, a local, distinctive mountain, with a line next to it indicating its height, and a symbol for that distance. Below that put another etched picture or pictogram of exactly what is buried below, then a map showing the radius measured off using the symbol for the provided baseline measurement. Inside that circle, place images of skeletons or the dead/dying people, with a skeleton at the center. Outside of that circle place an image of healthy humans.

Message is very clear: What is below here causes death, at a distance equal to the measurement shown. Stay away and live, enter and die. And it's not all that interesting what's in here anywayŚ see for yourself.

For smart people, it will work. For fools, it won't. But they can't say they weren't warned.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2012 3:13 p.m. PST

"All those signs trying to keep us away, it must really be valuable …"


Grinning Norm16 Nov 2012 12:31 p.m. PST

Or just leave it unmarked and relatively inaccessible. So if it would be buried deep enough it would be near impossible to access it without high technology, hopefully technology high enough to also have discovered radioactivity.

And if breached by a civilization with a low tech level, then let the price of the discovery be some dead, if they are wise, they'll leave the place alone. Or they'll use it to make dirty bombs and destroy humanity. Or they'll discover radioactivity and build nukes.

We would explore it, no matter what, so the people of the future will probably do the same.

infojunky24 Nov 2012 1:01 p.m. PST

I like the Bio Engineered Warning plant Idea, but I also can see a lot of Damn Fools wanting them for their gardens. Maybe engineer in a foul stench as well?

DS6151 Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 2:17 p.m. PST

The sign works.
You see it, you dig, you die.

After a few deaths, maybe a dozen, they will catch on.

*Making the huge assumption that anyone will be around to mess with it in the first place.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2012 3:40 p.m. PST

That was a very cool article. Thanks.

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