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Tower of Babel reaches the stars… and your neck

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Smithsonian - Fair Use

The Daily Catch - J-P Mauro - published on 01/23/17

The Rosetta Wearable Disk is a new product from the language library initiative, the Rosetta Mission. The disk is about the size of a coin and they have made it into a wearable necklace. Now you can have every language on your person at all times.

The Rosetta Wearable Disk is wearable archive of more than 1,000 languages compressed into a pendant less than an inch wide. It’s the brainchild of the Rosetta Project, a language library initiative of the Long Now Foundation, a non-profit that fosters long-term thinking. Embedded on the tiny disk within the necklace are over 1,000 microscopic “pages” printed on nickel using nanotechnology. The disk contains the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 327 languages and basic vocabulary lists for 719 languages. The disk also includes a book about time that serves as the foundation’s manifesto and diagrams for the foundation’s other initiative, a clock designed to run continuously for 10,000 years. As Livni notes, the archive contained within the necklace doesn’t offer instant gratification. Rather, it’s only readable by someone with a microscope. It’ll cost you, too: The disk can’t be purchased, but rather is only available to people willing to donate $1,000 to the foundation.

It is really neat that people are making sure there is a record of human languages. Although, if we ever needed to really use them, that might mean that something awful has happened to humanity.

If that’s not cool enough, there is a copy of these languages that they landed on a comet to sit and wait to be discovered.

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