Back in the early days of this blog, on September 1st, 2007, I wrote a post titled Don't Dig Here!, which looked at the crucial problem of disposing of nuclear waste from a linguistic standpoint: because much of our nuclear waste will be deadly for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years, how can we communicate an understandable warning across such a span of time? What languages will they speak? Will the symbols that have meaning for us today mean the same thing in the year 20,000 CE? What if this symbol, which symbolizes death and terror to us in 2017 ...
How do we send a warning to people living thousands of years after you and I are dust?
Lots of people smarter than I have worried about this problem, too. Containment, a short film by Peter Gallison and Robb Moss, is utterly fascinating, not too long (about an hour and ten minutes), and well worth your time to watch and ponder. It can be streamed online at the link above until February 9th, and I encourage you to watch it before it goes away.
We have a new President and a new Secretary of Energy who are focused on present day business and economic concerns. Somebody needs to worry about warning the future ... communicating our deadly legacy to people we will never know.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.