Telling Long Stories

Just a little comment about this piece from Brainpickings, Neil Gaiman, and The Long Now Foundation.

The chemist in me was in glee when Neil was talking about research into an imminent atomic priesthood charged with creating a lasting mythology and ritual system to preserve the knowledge about how not to dig, drill or otherwise exhume atomic waste disposal sites millions of years into our future (wherein it may not be possible to actually read or understand any form of language we depict upon it currently).

And then that was related to how the first emperor of China‘s tomb has still yet to be fully excavated because the lakes of liquid mercury are indeed providing an adequate challenge to get past.

Which then makes me think of Numenera, a reasonably well executed RPG-cum-thought-experiment set a billion years in the future, replete with a scientific priesthood and science-as-magic storytelling.

Worth an hour of listening.