Scattered thinking about science

Ironical Coincidings

I’d always thought that “what should you bring to a desert island?” was a party game, not a serious scientific question, but this Boston Globe article suggests otherwise:

In the event that life as we know it is truly upended, the survivors will have to rebuild our civilization. Given everything humanity has learned over the past hundred thousand years, what information should we leave them? And how do we store it so they can actually make use of it?

In recent years, these questions have jumped from the pages of science fiction novels and onto the research agendas of a range of thinkers, from physicists to philosophers to agricultural engineers to librarians…..

Some of the approaches the article discusses are intriguing, but most won’t do for a true catastrophe; what good will an open source blueprint library do anyone when the Simpletons burn it down? We need to think smaller…

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