Thursday, August 21, 2008

The new Rosetta Stone

"We're standing now on the last generation of the majority of tribal languages in the world," said Alexander Rose, executive director of the Long Now Foundation, noting that an estimated 50 to 90 percent of the world's languages are expected to disappear within this century. "We're losing them so fast."

Only this one is a Disk.

Over eight years in development, the Disk is a physical, microscopic library of information on over 1,500 human languages. 14,000 text and image pages are etched into the surface of a 3” diameter nickel disk, which can be read with approximately 750x (optical) magnification.

The nickel disk has a high resistance to corrosion, and can withstand temperatures of up to 300 oC with little to no change in legibility of the text. Kept in its protective sphere to avoid scratches, it could easily last and be read 2,000 years into the future!

From the San Francisco Chronicle and the Long Now Foundation.

More on the Rosetta project.

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