Civilization Is Being Backed Up In A Salt Mine

first_img 2019 in Sci-Fi: What Movies, Games, and TV Told Us Will Happen This YearWhat Can We Actually Do About Climate Change? It certainly doesn’t seem like our civilization is going to vanish from Earth any time soon, but you never know. The Romans probably didn’t think their empire was about to fall when barbarians showed up at the gates. The Memory of Mankind project aims to make sure we don’t lose all the knowledge we’ve accumulated in the event of disaster. How? They’re packing it all up and storing it in a salt mine.Despite having access to more information than ever before, that information is also very fragile. Many texts, studies, and records only exist in digital forms. As technology advances, the data might not always be brought along. If someone handed you a floppy disk and said there was something important on it, how would you get at it? You probably don’t have a floppy drive, and neither do most other people. Even DVDs and other optical media are quickly going the way of the Dodo.Memory of Mankind is creating hard copy records of mankind’s achievements on what it calls “ceramic microfilm.” The flat ceramic plates are covered with a dark coating, then laser etched with information. There are two different “densities” used. The simpler one holds five million characters, the same as a 400-page book. You need 10x magnification to read them. The more advanced version can have color images and diagrams along with 50,000 characters of text. The plates include history, science, biographies of notable people, art, and more. The project has worked with the University of Vienna to decide what to preserve.The plates are being packaged up in ceramic boxes and hidden in a salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria. That’ll keep the data safe, sure, but they won’t be easy to find. The entire point is that people will find the plates, so the Memory of Mankind project has also designed small ceramic tokens (top) with an outline of Europe and the location of the mine indicated. The hope is that people living in a post-apocalyptic future could use these clues to uncover the Memory of Mankind vault and jumpstart civilization again. Stay on targetlast_img read more