Planning for ten thousand years

How do you plan to communicate with people 10,000 years from now? It’s a real problem for people building long-term nuclear storage facilities, as this fascinating episode of the 99% Invisible podcast discusses.

The options discussed range from radioactivity-detecting colour changing cats to ‘uncanny architecture’ that create a sense of foreboding. It shows just how difficult it is to choose symbols whose meaning won’t shift over millenia. This whole topic absolutely fascinates me.

Also, if you’re not already listening to 99% Invisible, you really should be.

Edit: Via the comments to that article, here’s the actual report, including the fascinating detail about the progressively more complex levels of text designed to encourage future generations to maintain and pass on the message of danger.

Written on May 14, 2014