ranking long term nuclear waste warnings
rubble landscape - exactly what it sounds like. a bunch of blown up rock in a square. not very creative and it would be worn and grown over after 10,000 years. 0.5/10 because i think it could be fun to blow up the rock required for this.
forbidding blocks - a ton of large, black, stone blocks organized in an irregular grid to create the feeling of an abandoned city with winding streets that lead nowhere. i like this one but the name could be better and it could be more visually interesting. 6/10.
"this place is not a place of honor" - classic. i want to cross-stitch this and frame it in my house. excellent for decor and warning future civilizations of our sins, what more could you want. 9/10 only because it would need to be used in conjunction with other methods.
black hole - a bunch of black concrete or basalt in a square rending the land unfarmable. no creativity whatsoever, just a lump of colorless rock. we can do better. -10/10
spike field - a bunch of spikes sticking out of the ground. i love this idea, giant spikes sticking out of the ground definitely get the point across that this isn't a place to be messed with. simple, but effective. 10/10.
information center - a place for warnings in several languages, english, french, navajo, and more plus pictograms to inform anyone who entered. i like the idea, but languages probably aren't the way to go with how fast they evolve and are lost. pictograms are neat, and the fact it would be made of granite and open concept gives it a bonus. 6.5/10.
the atomic priesthood - basically just the catholic church but dedicated to passing down knowledge of the waste and how to avoid it. this could go very well or very poorly. the actual church has preserved its message for 2,000 years, but there is the potential for fracturing, corruption, and eventual muddling of the message. i think this would be a good idea, but would have poor execution. 5/10.
landscape of thorns - irregular spikes of varying size that protrude from the ground at odd angles. this is what i'm talking about folks. if saw this today i would think that this is some cursed shit and i'm gonna leave this entire area alone. that or climb the spikes. either way the ground isn't being disturbed so it works. 17/10 love this.
ray cats - there is one thing i love more than thorns and that is genetic engineering and cultural memory. the gist is that cats (who have been revered companions for thousands of years) would be genetically engineered to glow or change color when exposed to radiation. a myth would be created that if your cat changes color/glows it means danger and you need to move, therefore protecting people from radiation on an even broader scale. it even has a song about it with a simple melody and is designed to be catchy enough to last 10,000 years. there's also some hostile audio and a compressed version that can fit in a calculator's memory in case of storage issues in the future on the album. 10,000/10 best case scenario.
monoliths - big fan of these, inscribed with warnings and astronomical time markers. very ominous and have the added bonus of borrowing a great idea from history. just overall a solid idea, but might need to be used in conjunction with other ideas. 8/10.
Y'all it's 2am and I'm out here getting
Over the "warning message" we wrote for future Earthlings 10,000 years and beyond:
"This place is a message... and part of a system of messages... pay attention to it!
Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.
This place is not a place of honor... no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here... nothing valued is here.
What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.
The danger is in a particular location... it increases towards a center... the center of danger is here... of a particular size and shape, and below us.
The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.
The danger is to the body, and it can kill.
The form of the danger is an emanation of energy.
The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically.
This place is best shunned and left uninhabited."
The past tense, the desperation, the finality.
This nuclear waste is a remnant of repulsive things, of war, of death - yet it remains, it festers, and we frantically scribble messages and draw pictures like paintings on cave walls long ago, trying to reach an unimaginable being 10,000 years away.
Trying to tell them in every human way we can imagine: "Please don't make the same mistakes as us."
Imagine something intelligent finding this. Maybe they can read it. Maybe they know exactly what it means. Maybe they honor us from here and now for giving them the message. Maybe they memorize it and pass it on to their children like Scriptures of old.
Or maybe it's unintelligible, a matter of study among those beings.
Maybe they don't believe us.
Maybe by then the Earth is empty of humans and those that live among the stars recall the Cradle-planet, and instead of the warning they tell stories of blue skies and flowers and sun and snow and sparkling seas.
We who send the message through all that time will never know.
Yet we write it all the same, and hope that it will be enough.
*me, exhausted by over a year of survival mode, the past election, constant darkness and death on my timeline, seeing the news story about Chernobyl*:
The semiotician and linguist Thomas Sebeok argued on grounds of futility against the search for a transcendental signifier that could outlast all corruption and mutation. Such a sign did not exist, he said. Instead he proposed working toward what he called a long-term "active communication system" that relayed the nature of the site using story, folklore, and myth. Such a means of transmission—perpetuated by an elected "atomic priesthood"—would be flexible, allowing retellings and adaptations to occur across generations. In this way what began as a simple set of warnings might be reconfigured as, say, a long poem or folk epic, made narratively new for each society in need of warning. Those ordained into the priesthood would have the responsibility of "laying a trail of myths about the [burial sites] in order to keep people away."
underland, robert macfarlane
I’m absolutely obsessed with long-term nuclear waste warnings so I made myself this wallpaper ☢️
Feel free to use but plz like and/or reblog if you do ^^
If your “hoe scaring music” playlist doesn’t have 10,000-Year Earworm to Discourage Resettlement Near Nuclear Waste Repositories (Don't Change Color, Kitty) by Emperor X on it, then what the hell are you doing at this point?
Working on Book 2 of the Re-Write, so I get to illustrate another character. Have Mike Rivers aka Mike from the sewers aka Michael from the Bronx. Changed his computer from a Mac to a Lenovo because no one should trust Apple.
(Lyrics read “No one’s gonna worry / Or notice when I’m gone / They won’t know I’m missing / ‘Till they pull me out the Mystic” from The Mystic by Adam Jensen)