Past, Present and Future of the Third Media Revolution

Worldwide Me-the-Media Mars Scoop

June 2nd, 2008

May 25, Phoenix, the next Mars Explorer, landed on the Red Planet. Phoenix has a DVD-ROM on it, visible for all aliens, next to the US flag image.

What on Earth and for heaven’s sake, I wondered, does it say in the text block just beneath the disk’s center? This thing, made of a special silica glass, of course is meant to be Me-marketing par excellence: the first digital library representing human kind as such, our archetypal Me, on this most of the time icecold planet nearby.

To get a clue, I loaded a fairly hires picture from the web, oversized it on a PowerPoint slide, put on my +1.0 reading spectacles, focused my eyes, and tried to decipher the text. It wasn’t easy at all, but finally I managed to get the full picture. However, I’m not sure about the word with the (? ? . . . ? ?) behind it. Someone help me please, to solve this final mystery!

Well, below is what I made of it, imho a little hilarious and actually strictly relevant for the record to visitors in some down-to-earth space museum:

“This archive, provided to the NASA Phoenix mission by The Planetary Society, contains literature and art (Vison of Mars), greetings from Mars visionaries of our day, and names of 21st century Earthlings who wanted to send their names to Mars. This DVD-ROM is designed to be read on personal computers in 2007. Information is stored in a spiral groove on the disc. A laser beam can scan the groove when metallized or a microscope can be used. Very small bumps and holes ( ? ? not sure about this ? ? ) represent the zeroes and ones of digital information. The groove is about 0,74 microns wide. For more information refer to the standards document ECMA-268 (80 mm DVD Read-Only Disk).”

This discovery was made on June 1 by Jaap Bloem, co-author of the Me the Media book, currently in Dutch, but to be published in English and French as well ([email protected]). On June 7 the text was submitted to the Wikipedia Phoenix spacecraft lemma.

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3 Responses to “Worldwide Me-the-Media Mars Scoop”

  1. found-your-story

    Via BoingBoing ARKIZZLE replied:

    #54 posted by ARKIZZLE, June 9, 2008 8:05 AM
    Hmm.. I checked for references, but couldn’t find any better than this, which I presume is the same one you used.

    “Holes” seems right in context, but I can’t see where the “L” would be, and looking at words with an “L” in them on the same disk, you can see it standing proud, like in the word “spiral”.

    Sorry :)

  2. found-your-story


    My idea. Could be it says “hoses” however. A normal English word, but a typo in the context of course. That would be fun. With such an error no alien ever would be able to figure out the exact meaning of the text. I mailed [email protected]. Perhaps they can help.

    TNX anyway, Jaap.

  3. Guejepsype

    большое спасибо!Взяла себе тоже-пригодится.

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