View Full Version : A book for the ages

Tom Mazanec
2018-Jan-04, 05:36 PM
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?

2018-Jan-04, 05:50 PM
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?

Tom Mazanec
2018-Jan-04, 11:54 PM
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.

2018-Jan-05, 12:13 AM
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.

2018-Jan-05, 12:47 AM
Engrave it on gold plates.

2018-Jan-05, 01:33 AM
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 precious...like 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.

2018-Jan-05, 01:54 AM
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.

2018-Jan-05, 02:07 AM
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:


2018-Jan-05, 03:20 AM
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.

The Backroad Astronomer
2018-Jan-05, 03:40 AM
While it should be written several different languages so if knowledge if one dies it can be translated.

2018-Jan-05, 03:42 AM
write it in icing...:)

2018-Jan-05, 01:41 PM
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.