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Thread: A book for the ages

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004

    A book for the ages

    How would you go about making the most durable codex possible? Could you make the pages waterproof? How flame resistant would they be? How tear resistant? How long would it last?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    a polaroid photo is good, the pigments are inside the matrix. Seal it or them in a waterproof wallet such as a protected stainless steel welded all round. then protect from heat with ceramic insulation and polymerised wax or bury in a stable geological area. Or did you mean in space?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I mean, in case of World War III or a solar CME sending us back into a Dark Age, what kind of book would survive intact and still be readable without advanced technology.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Depew, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    I mean, in case of World War III or a solar CME sending us back into a Dark Age, what kind of book would survive intact and still be readable without advanced technology.
    You could print something in energy sensitive ink so that it will only be readable in the event of a CME or a nuke. Maybe paper and lemon juice.

    I don't think a CME or nuclear war would cause enough damage to affect books really. Societal collapse would be a problem. Rare documents on paper survive hundreds of years, I am sure a plastic/Teflon like material would last longer. Keeping the environment benign and having a lot of redundancy would be most helpful.

    If you wanted to go crazy, you could carve your information on rock. If you dresses the walls of a good sized mine, you could apply a lot of information to the walls themselves, then cram the open space with smaller, redundant packets of information in various formats.

    If you wanted to invest a lot of money, you could look into 3d printed metals. Printed titanium would last a long time. Even better, if they were compromised by water and sediment, you might have a shot at making a technological fossil or otherwise have information imprinted to the surrounding natural materials.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    The Great NorthWet
    Engrave it on gold plates.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    R.I. USA
    You want to do it on something that is survivable, what is called " archival " material, and yet it has to have worth in it's information , and NOT in and of itself gold, copper etc.
    Ceramic is quite good unless people deliberately want it destroyed. Most of what we have of the ancient world has survived in the form of ceramics , which have been widely found nearly everywhere. Stone is good, but it is easily re-shaped for nefarious purposes by scoundrels.
    Acid-free parchment is fairly good...for 500 to 100 years, depending. But.....10,000 ....yea
    50,000 years? Ceramics are good. You can weld your information on sheets of stainless steel ,
    but some joker will try to make can-openers out of them. Ceramics , once fired , are unto themselves.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    There's actually paper made from ceramic fibers, I happen to have an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of the stuff. It's fireproof, rot proof . . .

    Graphite is a stable pigment.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Gold plates are cool. But actually, things engraved on stone last pretty well as well. If you need color, you can also do something using nanoparticles, like this:
    As above, so below

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    The Valley of the Sun
    An orbiting satellite powered by solar panels with a bright blinking light could keep sending a message back to earth. The survivors of a global disaster wouldn't have the technology to knock it down. No one could stop everyone from seeing it. It might be too expensive, though.

  10. #10
    While it should be written several different languages so if knowledge if one dies it can be translated.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    write it in icing...
    Formerly Frog march.

    Newscaster: ... But I've just had a report that a representative of Disaster Area met with the environmentalists this morning and had them all shot, so now nothing stands in the way of the concert going ahead this afternoon on this beautiful sunny day.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Etch it onto metal plates. Gold wouldn't work -- it's too soft and too pretty, so as soon as some illiterate grabbed it, it would get turned into jewelry.

    Iridium is probably the least reactive metal, but I suspect that a nickel-based superalloy would be a better choice. The book might be a tad heavy, especially as it would have to include some sort of image-based glossary so it could be interpreted by a people have forgotten writing.

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

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