There are peculiar streetlights on the post 1993 Dark Ages:
- In September 2010, m'pal Rissoles Hayes took his family off to Extremadura for a year. I thought he'd be home-sick, so I wrote something in excess of 30 letters - about once a week. Because the postage was the same up to 100g, I filled the envelope with the kind of shite that I later distilled into a 700 word Blob but send in full . . . at least they had fire-lighters in their casa in Spain.
- Just about the time Chris returned to Wexford, Dau.I left home and country in 2011 and I undertook to write her letters, at least weekly, and send them, in an envelope, with stamps. That project doesn't seem to have lasted as long.
My correspondent El Asturiano [prev] sent me a tech-geek link about long-term information storage . . . using DNA! I Blobbed about writing English text in a genetic code: in real life the DNA is read in triplet codons which gives 4^3 = 64 permutations: plenty for a 26-letter alphabet. You can have some harmless fun looking for ELVIS in the human genome. Microsoft is behind the cunning plan to convert text to DNA, and recover it when needed. Their prototype pipeline took 21 hours and cost $10,000 to wrote and read "HELLO" but, as I explained recently DNA technology scales up really well; the same technique would cost [in time and money] the same for 5,000 letters as for 5. And DNA being really small scale will pack a helluva lot of information in a very small container.
The Arch Mission Foundation is about to launch 30 million pages of information in a rocket to the Moon. It is stored on a 100g electronic device and will last forever out there while the creators of all that data trash head-office to hot wet oblivion. Doubtless, the next archive Wikipedia project will send the same material stored in GM Bacillus anthracis spores - they last forever.