Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture on Knowledge Forum
20170325 The element from Reference #1 for focus today is Paragraph 4 on page 10, which continues over onto page 11.
In this paragraph, Dr. Dartnell reminds us of the importance of the preservation of ancient knowledge (principally from Greece and Rome) by Arab scholars.
While my interest is primarily in trying to see how the future might unfold as humans move away from the Earth, I am quite interested in identifying ways to preserve and convey knowledge right here and now, on Earth, in 2017.
In the past couple of weeks, Dave Z has led discussion of the idea of encapsulating concepts from “The Knowledge” and related concepts in hard plastic laminated sheets and similar durable vehicles.
Meanwhile, I have been thinking about how digital knowledge could be preserved in a form that could be expected to survive for thousands of years, AND have the feature that the contents of the medium could be extracted by "hand", using simple microscopes fitted with simple spectroscopy equipment (lens, grating, lighting, mirrors, etc).
Such a system could (presumably) be employed in 2017 to insure stable, durable archival storage of currently evanescent digital data, most of which exists as magnetic fields on the surfaces of rotating disks, or electric charges in Flash memory and its relatives.
The mechanism I have in mind is a thread of metal (such as copper) as the foundation for the storage mechanism. The thread would be coated with one of five other atom types to signify:
1) Digital Bit ON (1), 2) Digital Bit OFF (0), 3) High order bit signal (at high order end of a byte), 4) Low order bit signal (at low order end of a byte).
Thus, the storage mechanism would consist of arrangements of five atom types, chosen for compatibility with the copper framework material, and suitable for characterization "by hand" using simple optical spectroscopy equipment.
Certainly such data encoded thread could be read at high speed by suitable equipment. However, the design concept here is to create an archival storage system capable of all of:
1) Long life measured in centuries or millennia
2) Capability of "reading" by hand using simple equipment
3) Capability of "reading" my machine
As a followup on 2017/03/29, here is an example of a spool of copper "thread" which might be suitable as a base material for a 10,000 year digital data storage system:https://www.amazon.com/Remington-Indust ... B0082CUOWC
Begin Quotation from Amazon listing:
Remington Industries 28SNSP Magnet Wire, Enameled Copper Wire, 28 AWG, 1.0 lb., 2027' Length, 0.0135" Diameter, Red
Price: $16.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Assuming a conservative distance of one centimeter per bit or control element, this spool would be able to hold 61,783 bits. Assuming the proposed storage structure of 10 bits per byte is applied, this spool would thus hold 6,178 bytes of data which would be readable by manual inspection or by a machine designed to more rapidly pass the thread.
An alternative is to place human readable introductory data at both ends of the spool at the 1 centimeter per bit density, and to then store the balance of the data at a machine readable density of 1 millimeter per bit, which would allow for something on the order of 60,000 bytes of long term storage.
The 1 millimeter density is offered as potentially within the reach of a person (human or alien) attempting to read the stored data 10,000 years in the future.
A potential market exists for storage of non-volatile digital data, because governments are requiring long term storage of video data from automobile webcams and now from individual webcams.
The 10,000 year scenario calls for data storage that can be decoded by hand by persons who have only rudimentary knowledge of the science we humans have accumulated over millennia, and certainly over recent centuries. For that scenario I am thinking of making the bit segments on the order of 1 centimeter long, which would mean that a spool of magnet wire I found for sale on Amazon would hold about 6,000 characters.
6,000 characters is a LOT, if you are living on carcasses of animals you killed with a spear.
On the other hand, theoretically, data density could be squeezed down to the nanoscale, although according to the article below, it would be more practical to settle for micron length for individual bits. https://www.extremetech.com/computing/9 ... ithography
The length of a roll of 24 AWG magnet wire on Amazon (for $16.71) is 803 feet, or 244.754 meters.
That length would hold 24 Megabytes of data you don't want to risk losing.
That really ** would ** be non-volatile data storage. The only way to "erase" data in that format would be to melt the copper.
Amazon carries a (to me surprising) number of inexpensive spectroscopes. It would be helpful to know if these devices are capable of resolving differences between atom types in the copper thread scenario.
Update on 2017/03/30: Magnet wire comes coated with a layer of insulating material (such as shellac). It seems reasonable to suppose that a feasible way of implementing data storage as described above, is to add a layer of insulating coating on top of the existing coating. If coatings are chosen for their optical properties, they can convey bit information via spectroscopy as described above. If coatings are chosen for electrical properties, then (presumably) reading machines can pull bit information from the thread using electronic methods. Perhaps the two reading methods could be implemented as a check on each other.
The Atom Assembler topic I would like to introduce today is the humble "air filter"
The topic is current here, because yesterday was the day when the furnace filter was replaced in this household.
The air filter for a furnace might not be suitable for fabrication by an atom assembler, as it is realized in 2017, in the United States and presumably elsewhere.
This would seem to be an example of a product that would best be re-thought for the capabilities and limitations of the atom assembly process.
The function to be served is capture of objects floating in air. Air filters (in 2017) come in various grades, capable of capturing various sizes of particulate matter and other contaminants.
Many (if not most) air filters for furnace application are equipped with wire frames to hold the filter material against the pressure of air flowing through the furnace ducts.
Many (if not most) air filters are enclosed within cardboard frames for convenient handling by the end user.
All of these capabilities would (presumably) be designed into a system to be "grown" in an atom assembler.
I would estimate a month would be needed to fabricate a typical furnace filter.
May every member of The Knowledge forum grow financially, intellectually, socially and beyond.