Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Wikipedia policies on what editors should do in the case of impending apocalypse (wikipedia.org)
25 points by rayalez on June 28, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments

I love this bit:

> Archivists should try to make the contents of the encyclopedia available in as much as circumstances will allow. All contents of the encyclopedia are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. As this license allows distribution of content in any medium, either commercially or non-commercially, copies of articles may be bartered for essentials such as food and water, although "all previous authors of the work must be attributed" in any copy.

I mean, sure, civilization has completely collapsed and we've all been reduced to bartering for food and water, but that's no reason to stop paying attention to licenses!

>The datastream will include a specially designed primer, or set of simple scientific principles and data that would be common to all extraterrestrial intelligences, providing a common base of reference to enable those receiving the signal to commence the mammoth task of decoding the encyclopedia. The message will be accompanied by a short video message by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and images required for the re-creation of fundraiser banners.

Yes it's humor, but there's a plan for the banners to live on after the extinction of mankind.


If you're interested in this sort of thing, I managed to drag the U.S. government's Cold War plans for keeping regulatory agencies operating after World War III out of the depths of classification a few years back. You can read about and download them here:


Anyone got any idea what the "primer" [1] represents?

It is vaguely reminiscent of the Pioneer plaque [2], but not really.

EDIT to add: Oh, it's the Arecibo message [3]. Hope the aliens are smarter than me.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Terminal_Event_Manag...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_plaque

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message

It's interesting to see the disinterest of comments so far. It's good to hope for the best but we cannot eliminate the possibility of catastrophic event.

I was hoping that there would be some plan to download as much information as possible and send it to orbit (I dont know what will happen after that). And at same time copying it in several locations across planet in a "easy" to read format/technology (hard copy, anyone?).

I think there should be a growing body of people downloading dumps of Wikipedia/arxiv.org (add other such websites) and dumping them in a silo in local library or basement etc.

But that's just me. Let the down votes begin. =)

A visible satellite in a very stable orbit isn’t a terrible contingency plan...

Oh yea... and it can constantly transmit data to earth and whoever is listening can re-create entire dump over time!

On the timescales it would be truly useful, any reasonable power source would degrade and electronics would fail due to solar radiation. That would be made worse because (I think) a stable orbit would be outside the Van Allen belts and subject to stronger radiation.

Physical plates would be best... but honestly, a visible and obviously man made object in orbit would be in and of itself symbolic and perhaps inspiring to a follow up civilization if ours were to collapse and enter a dark age.

why not?

It seems a little grandiose, but at the same time, I can't think of many projects as critical to the preservation of human history and knowledge as Wikipedia, so...good on them.

Code orange. Level 3 warning. The world is ending in 2 hours. Please:

> check existing articles for typographical errors, errors of fact and style issues

"On the implementation of the TEMP protocol, a laser etched version of Wikipedia will be created using plates of a resilient alloy to store miniaturized versions of every page. "

If the TEMP is so severe that Wikipedia will need to close, how they expect to finish laser etching the whole wikipedia before everyone is dead, or their power is out for good?

They should print it in discount coupons instead. I know people who will hang to them until the stores reopen :D

It’s a joke but they (we!) really should have one.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact