Never before information was spread in such a density and speed.
Across the planet and in realtime we share ideas and emotions.
But what will remain from the shares, likes, tweets and posts?
How will the picture of our time look like in the future?
Memory of Mankind - MOM - preserves the stories about our era and saves them from oblivion in a near future. Protected deep in a mountain and on durable ceramic data carries, MOM tells our stories for 1.000.000 years.
3,4 Billion people are online and generate data traffic. Data traffic uses energy, and this causes carbon emission.
Due to the growing community, HD and increasing loading speed, the data-traffic volume doubles every 18 months. If data traffic increases in the coming 10 years as it has in the past 10 years, the traffic volume will be more than 50 times higher than today.
Currently the internet causes already 3% of the global carbon emission. Theoretically we soon run out of breath...
This critical point is too close as to rely on new technologies such as unlimited energy sources or electricity-free data transfer. Both ar far down the line.
Here´s what that means: In a very near future ecological and economic reasons will force us to massively reduce data.
CD, DVD, Harddrive are classed as old technology, today our data is "in the cloud" or "in the internet".
What happens with a cloud account when its holder (a person or institution) terminates his existence? After a couple of unpaid bills the account will be closed and the content be deleted.
Blogs - instant mirror of our time - will never become valuable sources for future historians. Protocols of scientific congresses or research results of institutes will be irretrievably lost. Crucial know-how will vanish.
Whereas publishing today is simple as a post, tweet, share or video upload. Not only scientists or newspapers are publishing, everybody can do it today.
And because pseudo-science has such a mass appeal, stories about aliens and crop circles are spread much more often than scientific papers. That’s why a Google search for “crop circle” yields 20 million results, whereas “moon landing” yields only 6 million. Even worse, 5 million of the 6 million hits are “moon landing hoax” stories…
There is the ESA probe GAIA. It produces the most detailed maps of our galaxy. And yet, the size of its entire data output over 5 years in outer space is dwarfed by 1 day of internet traffic (precisely: 5 years data collection equal 0,03% of the daily internet data traffic).
The things we put lots of effort into and spend lots of money on (spaceflight, medicine, research,...), drown in oceans of trivial, irrelevant contents and redundant bullshit (in the sense of Harry Frankfurt).
Here’s why that’s a problem: It´s very likely, that after 2000 years a random fragment of today´s data will result in a completely distorted image of our time.
MOM - Memory of Mankind - preserves the essence of our time. Since this is accomplished very durably, MOM is our legacy for future generations, cultures or even civilisations. MOM is the keyhole through they will see what moved, fascinated and motivated us.
MOM is the first bottom-up history of humankind because it is written by everybody who takes part. The "big selfie" of the 21st century...
MOM stores image and text analogue - to guarantee the legibility whenever in the future.
On "Level1 tablets" images and texts are 4 color ceramic-stain prints, fixed on ceramic tablets by a thermal procedure.
These tablets can carry photos and text up to 50.000 characters and are resistant to heat up to 1200°C (2200°F), chemicals, water, radiation, magnetism and pressure.
If text and B/W graphics exceed the "Level1 tablet" capacity, they are stored on "Level2 tablets", best described as ceramic microfilm. Thin strong ceramic wafers carry microscopically engraved characters, readable already with a 10x magnifier.
5 Million characters fit onto a "Level2 tablet" of 20x20 cm , that equals five 400-pages books.
These information-carrier are the most durable carriers ever, resistant to: heat up to 1400°C , acid and alkali, water, radiation, magnetism and pressure.
We are currently researching the possibility to store sound/music/video and speech in a permanent way. We have a theoretical solution but this will only become a reality when funding can be secured.
An adequate place for a long term storage of that kind has some crucial specifications:
- deep under the surface to be protected against erosion
- not being flooded by change of sea level
- a geologic structure of the surrounding rock that doesn´t crush the archive
- sealing itself by natural processes within one, two generations
- natural landmarks around for relocation
The saltmine in Hallstatt/Austria fulfills these demands. Beside it is the oldest saltmine in the world with 7000 years of perpetual mining, being part of the UNESCO world heritage site Hallstatt/Dachstein.
A ceramic token is the "treasure map" for MOM: Everybody who takes part in MOM gets one. It indicates the location of the entrance with an accuracy of some 10 m. Simultanously it is the barrier, that the archive is only discoverd by somebody who can comprehend the content. Only a society with the understanding of geological processes and an exact measured coordinate system can decode the token. This society surely has the means to process the contents.
The more people take part in MOM the more tokens will be scattered on the planet´s surface.
The content of the MOM archive is split into 3 sections.
It is indicated in each tablet´s header which kind of content it carries.
The purpose of MOM is to produce an overall, global and mostly objective image of our time.
This is accomplished by mechanisms that collect information. e.g.: Important newspapers all over the world send their daily editorials. Editorials are more than just news, its partly interpretation too.
Relevant magazines are invited to store their monthly/weekly issues in MOM.
Blogs are the instant mirror of our time, the most widely read blogs of different regions of the world will be part of MOM.
Randomly selected facebook profiles portrait in the same way our time as the 1000 most important books.
Specific contents are contributions by institutions such as universities and museums and collaborations with other long term projects.
New Horizons - OneEarthMessage:
After the Pluto space probe New Horizons accomplished it´s mission, a message from the earth will be uploaded. A copy of this message will be stored on the home-planet of the probe in the MOM archive.
The nuclear industry
will use MOM to forward information about nuclear waste repositories into a distant future.
Our generation didn´t invent nuclear power but we have an ethic responsibility to store information about toxic waste at least for the same period as these substances may threaten the biosphere. The nuclear waste repositories will contain lots of precious metals beside the nucleotids and their products. Stainless steel and hundreds of tons of copper build the containers for the toxic waste. After a periode the waste has lost its primary danger and the containers fulfilled their purpose. We have to inform the future inhabitants of the earth where to find these materials, which we borrowed from them... Nuclear waste combined with MOM is a long term recycling project.
- Human Document Project - an initative of professors of Twente, NL, Saarbrücken and Freiburg, DE, held three workshops about a selection of humanity´s documents being stored permanently.
MOM on the Moon
Team Puli Space, the Hungarian contestant of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, will carry the MOM token and up to six tablets of ceramic microfilm to the Moon. The first MOM on the Moon tablet will contain names and writings of Puli's supporters, companies and private individuals as well. The content of the other tablets is still to be defined.
Papers of events and conferences discussing the topics of our today and tomorrow (Momentum, Brain Bar Budapest, TED,...) are stored in MOM.
If you are involved in events/conferences/workshops which portrait our present crucial endeavours, and should be part of the MOM archive, please contact us!
Individual contents are created by you and me:
Stories of life, cooking recipies, wedding photos, texts you find worthwile being preserved for eternity.
Everybody can participate in Memory of Mankind!
Send your personal message in a bottle to the future!
Here you can contribute text to MOM.
You can also design entire tablets, see the section for donations.
- You want a particular text to be stored for eternity?
That can be a quotation, a text passage of your favorite book, an article in the newspaper, or your personal message to the future.
- You are a blogger and want to preserve your thoughts for future readers too?
Imagine that future historians will reconstruct our days based on textes, that YOU chose for the MOM Archive.
Add text to the MOM archive here for free!
You receive the token when submitting text with 2000 to 5000 characters. For longer texts please contact us first.
Suggest content for the MOM archive, we might haven´t considered yet.
Contact us here >>>
If you quote something from a book or news-article (or any copyrighted text), please name the origin!
Support MOM! We reward you with a bit of immortality!
With a donation you help twice:
First, money helps to fund common content for the MOM archive.
Second: Your reward is space on MOM tablets for your personal ( - or your best friend´s) story. And that helps to draw a colorful portrait of our time.
An unforgettable (!) experience, working on the greatest time capsule!
Some things may only happen, when skills are united - play an active part in MOM!
If you are good in one of these things:
- Web programming
- Contacts to institutions, media and publishers
- Sponsorship (notable MOM sponsors will have their Monument of Immortality)
- Local MOM representative
- MOM for schools programs
please contact us here! >>>
Approximately 500 Level1 tablets are already stored in the mountain. These are results of several "MOM pilot projects". We had to learn, how the content is obtained and processed, how museums, universities, scientists, artists, publisher, companies, industries or communities had to be approached, how schools react on the MOM idea, and how individuals can be motivated to participate in MOM.
Here you can find a couple of examples. When funding enables an online gallery with search filters, we immediatelly will install this.
The recent development of the ceramic microfilm was a crucial step to lower the costs and considerably increase the capacity. The text of a book on ceramic microfilm needs far less than one hundredth of volume as the original.
MOM will contain a deciphering tool: A "Pictionary": Thousands of images of concrete things and situations, directly labelled with the respective words. Accompanied by the theoretical volumes of the main languages: dictionaries, grammar, phrases, orthography, thesaurus,...
This guarantees, that our present languages will be decodable for future linguists, even if there will be no connections to our present languages at all any more.
Isn´t there a huge discrepancy between the traces we physically leave behind compared to our virtual legacy? Never before have human beings exercised such an impact on the biosphere. Toxic chemical wastes will outlast our species many times over. The effects of global warming will shape the lives of countless generations.
And yet, at the same time, we don´t leave durable information about our present activities at all.
And in fact, we inhabit this planet as there is no tomorrow: trashing the place and leave without paying the rent.
Think of survaillance cameras. We accept to be constantly observed as we understand, this should prevent us from comitting criminal acts. And if something happens, the suspect swiftly is detected.
There are no survaillance cameras watching our planet. In the future it will be unknown who did it, who was responsible for this ecological disbalance.
Is this probably the reason, why we behave like reckless morons? Because nobody will ever know?
Now think of the reverse: Would a permanent record of our current activities make us behave more responsibly?
If it is known forever, who to be made accountable for this destruction, which companies or families profited from the planet´s exploration, will this change anything?
We think so. See Avaaz for instance. A big common voice changes things.
MOM is a project for the next couple of years, let´s say decade.
To keep the memory on MOM alive in the near future, every 50 years all holders of a token shall come together and decide, if the content is still known and if MOM needs extensions.
50 years is a period from grandparents to grandchildren, a ceremonial passing on of the token, the "holy grail" of the stories of the 21st century...
The envelope resp. the certificate says:
This token is the key to the Memory of Mankind archive.
In the early 21th century we decided to store some of the worlds most important information and works. We estimate this information being worthwhile of preservation for the future.
Every 50 years, starting in 2070, all holders of a token shall gather and decide if the content of the archive is still known and if it needs extensions. Bury this token in a safe place or
bequeath it to your offspring.
Use the free space here to translate or transfer this description into a different or altered language for future generations.
A couple of people help with ideas, advice, inspiration, experise and administration. Meet some here:
Martin Kunze, Artist
Initiator of MOM
"Isn´t it an exciting era we live in? Within a generation we wittness our world´s fundamental change. So many stories to be told, some with pride, some with regret, some are touching, and - to be honest - some of them at least embarrassing.
MOM tells our story, complete, not whitewashed. If we dont write it down now, it will probably be lost forever."
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claudia Theune-Vogt
Dekanin der Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät und Professorin für Historische Archäologie, Universität Wien
"Public national archives are subject to state-controlled requirements. MOM is not bound to these aims. This time capsule however contains documents, which seem not worthwhile being preserved on the first sight, but representing a reflection of ourselves, of our time and therefore being of cultural-historic value on the long term."
until 2015 Principal Administrator, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Paris
now research affiliate, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden
It was Claudio´s idea to create a mechanism in the presence to keep the memory of MOM alive: The ceremonial handover of the token from grandparents to grandchildren and the gathering of MOM tokens holders every 50 years.
Michael I Rhind
OOW Class II/I (Unlimited)
Worldwide History - English Language
MOM-Ambassador United Kingdom
"The Memory of Mankind involves everyone around the world, fundamentally this means we all have a part to play in protection and preservation of the worlds history. For this aim to work we must use every possible source available to record and protect as much as we can for future generations. We cannot predict what will happen in the future so we must protect our history now"
Jon Lomberg, Artist
Design Director Voyager Golden Record
Project Manager One Earth Message
"The Memory of Mankind Project is an expression of human creativity and the desire to leave something of ourselves for distant generations to discover and from which they may learn. Now the project has a handsomely designed new website that describes the project and the opportunities for public participation. Just thinking about this project provides a time perspective that puts the events of our own time into proper historical context."
Dr. Tibor Pacher
Leader Team PuliSpace / CEO
"When we try to look back into the past, we are often confronted with the lack of tangible information, privately and in general as well. The Memory of Mankind project offers the opportunity to create together something about our times really to grasp, in the truest sense of the word. Thus it will become to a true treasury chamber for our followers - and perhaps even to a colourful business card for ET. On the Moon, too!"
Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB)
“The nuclear industry needs to forward information about waste repositories into the future in persistent, accessible and comprehensible ways. MOM offers a possibility to complement archives, markers and the human memory.”
Prof. Cornelius Holtorf
Department of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden
“The Memory of Mankind is a unique archaeological collection and heritage to be preserved for the benefit of future generations. This is a grand project that poses important questions about the legacies we leave behind and ultimately what being human is all about.”