What will survive 10,000 years?

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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:02 am

Well, what's around from civilization 10,000 years before now? Hard items in villages, like tools and dwelling structures survived, as did the occasional human or animal preserved body. Even stuff from 2,000 or 3,000 years ago doesn't fare well when the elements get involved.

So, 10,000 years from now we'll have some of our buildings left, perhaps, and whatever items get dropped on the ground or stored in a concrete bunker and forgotten.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:41 am

Rednecks. You know the ones, the ones that have free roaming chickens in a neighborhood or subdivision.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:45 am

The problem is that 10,000 years is a longer period of time than all of recorded history.

How much do we know about the ancients in terms of culture, beliefs, ideas, music, tastes etc? It is little at best, it is mostly deduce from the artifacts that manage to survive the ravages of time.

Digital information is arguably more vulnerable to the ravages of time. Not only you have to worry about media itself. You have worry the recording apparatus and how to decode the pattern of 010101s into a meaningful format. Your USB thumb may survive for centuries, but the knowledge to how to use it may get "lost". Making the thumb drive no different than a clay table written with a dead language.

Languages themselves will significant change over the course of time. The only hope languages in the future share a common root with the languages that are living today. It is a fairly safe bet that English, Chinese and Latin-based languages have a decent shot.

The vast majority of structures aren't build to last millennia. The only ones that managed to survive a few thousand years are literately large piles of carved rocks/boulders.

Radioactive waste lasts a long time since the by-products aren't from the natural decay in the existing quantities of U-238 and Th-232.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:08 am

Beer & wine. Salty cured meat products like bacon, salami, and beef jerky. Chess. Trolling on whatever communications medium has taken the Internet's place. Porn. All the things I've chosen shouldn't be significantly affected whether modern civilization has progressed or collapsed, so they stand a very good chance of still being around no matter what trajectory we follow (short of completely annihilating ourselves).

Krogoth wrote:Digital information is arguably more vulnerable to the ravages of time. Not only you have to worry about media itself. You have worry the recording apparatus and how to decode the pattern of 010101s into a meaningful format. Your USB thumb may survive for centuries, but the knowledge to how to use it may get "lost". Making the thumb drive no different than a clay table written with a dead language.

Even leaving equipment obsolescence issues aside, I think you are vastly over-estimating the data retention capability of flash memory chips. Retention times have been dropping (not increasing), due to the widespread adoption of MLC/TLC. Unless you're already a senior citizen, you will almost certainly outlive any data you've got stored on contemporary flash media.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:57 am

just brew it! wrote:Beer & wine. Salty cured meat products like bacon, salami, and beef jerky. Chess. Trolling on whatever communications medium has taken the Internet's place. Porn. All the things I've chosen shouldn't be significantly affected whether modern civilization has progressed or collapsed, so they stand a very good chance of still being around no matter what trajectory we follow (short of completely annihilating ourselves).

Krogoth wrote:Digital information is arguably more vulnerable to the ravages of time. Not only you have to worry about media itself. You have worry the recording apparatus and how to decode the pattern of 010101s into a meaningful format. Your USB thumb may survive for centuries, but the knowledge to how to use it may get "lost". Making the thumb drive no different than a clay table written with a dead language.

Even leaving equipment obsolescence issues aside, I think you are vastly over-estimating the data retention capability of flash memory chips. Retention times have been dropping (not increasing), due to the widespread adoption of MLC/TLC. Unless you're already a senior citizen, you will almost certainly outlive any data you've got stored on contemporary flash media.


I was referring to a hypothetical "thumb drive" that would be collecting dust or be buried for centuries and some future archeologist stumbles upon it. ;)
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:05 am

Krogoth wrote:I was referring to a hypothetical "thumb drive" that would be collecting dust or be buried for centuries and some future archeologist stumbles upon it. ;)


If I can wash and dry a thumb drive multiple times and it still works one would think that it would survive intact after some period of time if left undisturbed or even buried.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:26 am

yogibbear wrote:Stupid people
Porn industry.

As long as humans survive, these will for sure, although overpopulation might require the removal of warning labels to thin the herd a little bit :lol:

Also assuming humans exist, recreational substances.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:34 am

Krogoth wrote:I was referring to a hypothetical "thumb drive" that would be collecting dust or be buried for centuries and some future archeologist stumbles upon it. ;)

I don't see how that changes anything I said. The data will have decayed long before then.

tanker27 wrote:If I can wash and dry a thumb drive multiple times and it still works one would think that it would survive intact after some period of time if left undisturbed or even buried.

Irrelevant. Data in flash chips degrades over time because the charge on the "floating gate" in each cell eventually leaks away. Since the flash chip itself is waterproof, washing it has no effect on the memory cells. As long as you make sure it is dry before plugging it in (so that you're not shorting out the connections between the flash memory chip and the internal flash controller, or between the flash controller and the USB port), it should be fine.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:41 pm

Krogoth wrote:I was referring to a hypothetical "thumb drive" that would be collecting dust or be buried for centuries and some future archeologist stumbles upon it. ;)

And a future anthropologist, having no idea what the letters "USB" mean, disassembles the silicon chip under high magnification and concludes that the etched patterns are some sort of hieroglyphic.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:51 pm

ludi wrote:
Krogoth wrote:I was referring to a hypothetical "thumb drive" that would be collecting dust or be buried for centuries and some future archeologist stumbles upon it. ;)

And a future anthropologist, having no idea what the letters "USB" mean, disassembles the silicon chip under high magnification and concludes that the etched patterns are some sort of hieroglyphic.


Nah it was decorative jewelry that we wore to attract sexual partners.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:32 pm

yogibbear wrote:
ludi wrote:And a future anthropologist, having no idea what the letters "USB" mean, disassembles the silicon chip under high magnification and concludes that the etched patterns are some sort of hieroglyphic.


Nah it was decorative jewelry that we wore to attract sexual partners.

...thus explaining why that particular fork of the homo sapiens declined rapidly and ceased to exist, leaving behind nothing but a lot of small, silicon-based artifacts.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:18 pm

Wind, Sand and Stars.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:45 pm

hookers. They also existed 10,000 years ago as well.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:30 am

The Great Pyramid of Giza and π. Our steel and glass structures will be dust.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:51 pm

The long now clock, for one. It will still be ticking, to boot.

I would imagine many of our modern roads will survive. I can't imagine at least some of the 200' wide roads with 12-24" concrete substructures wouldn't be visible. Even if they're not maintained, my guess is that whatever is here would use them. By using them keep the trees/bushes out. Probably not as likely where I live, with the freeze-thaw, but maybe in California etc.

Airports. Many tarmacs are designed for incredible forces on a huge scale and are in geologically stable environments.

Some of the satellites we have put into orbit will remain so for such a short (astronomical) period. Even if they're not functioning anymore, they would still be evidence of our technology. How cool would a find like that be in 10,000 years?
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:44 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:The long now clock, for one. It will still be ticking, to boot.

I would imagine many of our modern roads will survive. I can't imagine at least some of the 200' wide roads with 12-24" concrete substructures wouldn't be visible. Even if they're not maintained, my guess is that whatever is here would use them. By using them keep the trees/bushes out. Probably not as likely where I live, with the freeze-thaw, but maybe in California etc.

Airports. Many tarmacs are designed for incredible forces on a huge scale and are in geologically stable environments.

Some of the satellites we have put into orbit will remain so for such a short (astronomical) period. Even if they're not functioning anymore, they would still be evidence of our technology. How cool would a find like that be in 10,000 years?

I think concrete structures are going to depend on what else is going on. Sure, stuff freezes and thaws up here, but California also has earthquakes and landslides in some places. I think most roads and tarmacs will be around, but they probably won't be entirely usable by cars and airplanes from our current era.

Satellites, on the other hand, will probably survive pretty well considering how many are up there. Some might get hit by cosmic debris, but with no wind or other erosion and nothing to alter orbits, I imagine they will still be spinning in 10,000 years. They will be very cool to find.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:40 pm

Objects in low earth orbit (used by the majority of man-made satellites) still experience a bit of atmospheric drag, so LEO objects will eventually crash and burn. Satellites in higher orbits (e.g. the geostationary satellites used for satellite TV service) will probably be there for a very long time though...
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:05 pm

just brew it! wrote:Objects in low earth orbit (used by the majority of man-made satellites) still experience a bit of atmospheric drag, so LEO objects will eventually crash and burn. Satellites in higher orbits (e.g. the geostationary satellites used for satellite TV service) will probably be there for a very long time though...

I tried to Google relative orbital lifetimes by orbital altitude but didn't find much. The Clarke Belt relies on every member maintaining station-keeping. Once the ground control goes away they'll inevitably drift and collide. Some bits may get kicked into orbits with no real decay times but the vast majority will eventually reenter.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:45 pm

I'm very surprised nobody posted this.

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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:48 pm

I once had a Nokia 5165 and am sure that I could have driven nails with it with no damage.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:17 pm

Assuming nothing disturbs it. Huygens will likely last for billions of years on the surface of Titan. Titan has little, if any geological forces happening on its surface. These day, Saturnian system experiences very little meteor impacts if it likely will be the case for the next billions of years. Let alone an impact that can penetrate the thick atmosphere of Titan. The worse thing that may happen to the Huygens lander is that it will get buried by hydrocarbon ices.
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Re: What will survive 10,000 years?

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:19 pm

yogibbear wrote:Nah it was decorative jewelry that we wore to attract sexual partners.

Like a Bedazzled jean jacket?
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