Epic warning and communication arrangements are being planned around nuclear waste repositories in hopes of educating people of the future. Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plan (1993) by Sandia National Laboratories for US Department of Energy is the most notorious example of how deep-time-communication efforts have been organised. They are trying to send a simple message to the people of the future:
Danger. Poisonous radioactive waste buried here. Do not dig or drill here before a.d. 12, 000.
Symbols and texts used to convey this information are difficult to design because we don’t know how people will communicate during the next 10 000 years. Questions in the Sandia report focus on whether the warning illustrations will be read from left-to-right or how people of the future will understand scale. These are problems inherent to all language translation efforts and because of these issues we should look for communication methods which use non-lingual tools. I’m reminded about the classic catchphrase told to kids learning how to edit videos and write short stories: Don’t try to explain what’s happening, try to show what’s happening and allow the audience to build their story (Show, Don’t Tell).
This is why we should make people who discover nuclear waste repositories sick from radiation as quickly as possible! This is the best way to show them that the sites are unsafe. Killing someone is a very unethical way to communicate – But it’s a more honest than trying to frame toxic waste caused by our lifestyle with educational mantras. All of the educational texts and warning symbols are just trying to hide the dirty truth: We lived at your expense. The radioactive waste is the message!
Onkalo should have a swimming pool of plutonium, made as inviting as possible. After the swim people would get sick very fast and learn that we were assholes do dump the our pollution on them. Only people who cannot read should be allowed to develop these kind of warning systems. Death is a message.