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Communicating the Dangers of Radioactive Waste in 10.000 Years. A Speculative Approach

At the beginning of the 80’s the U.S. government asked a group of scientists, later known as the Human Interference Task Force, to come up with a communication technique that would withstand a large amount of time, precisely 10’000 years. This request was made in order to find a way to communicate future generations the dangers of nuclear waste repositories, in which the stored radioactive fuel remains toxic for at least 10’000 years. Thomas Sebeok proposed the idea of an “Atomic Priesthood”. Similar to traditional religions the Atomic Priests would pass their knowledge about radioactivity in a relay system to the next generation of priests, while feeding the population with false myths and legends that would steer them away from the nuclear waste repositories.
In my project a community of game developers, the “Atomic Coders”, replaces the secret and hierarchical “Atomic Priesthood”. In this scenario the “Atomic Coders” are the ones transmitting the knowledge to the next generation using open source video games as a carrier of message. The open source software allows people to further develop and share their own version of the game, spreading the message among their peers.
Basel, 2017