vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
[personal profile] vaecrius
So I got schmuck baited into TVTropes and ended up reading this again.

I can't help but think they're missing five important points they must communicate to keep people out:
  1. It is waste, garbage, filth.
  2. It is dirty and will make you sick if you come near it.
  3. The dirtiness will pass through most materials, so your only protection is the hundreds of man-heights of dirt burying it.
  4. It is dirty not because of demons that can be exorcised but dirty the way shit is dirty - physically.
  5. It is an inanimate substance that does not move or live, and therefore the danger it poses cannot be subdued by force of arms.
Without these points, I can only imagine someone trying to break into the place long after we're all dead, thinking it is some weapon to be wielded against others or a monster that can be defeated for glory and renown. Whatever triggers the eww-dirty-don't-touch part of the brain is good, whatever triggers the hey-enemy-fight-kill part of the brain is bad.

Some technical information following the main message as an addendum would help, in case the future finders really are at our or a higher tech level. If they can read the message at all, then surely they could figure out if something's meant to represent an atomic number and a star alignment (paired with a CE year which I'm sure anyone who can read the modern language being used would have encountered already).

All keeping in mind that being at our or a higher tech level does not imply that the "dirty garbage, not a demon or a monster" clarification would not be necessary.

There's still a taboo appeal, but I can't for the life of me think of how to word advice on how to handle the waste safely that won't be misinterpreted as a holy recitation or a Zen-like koan, or in a way that could lead to cargo cult safety equipment being used.

All the while I would avoid any non-linguistic cue that the stuff being described is underground. If people don't get the sign and are enticed to the area, but assume it's got something to do with the area itself and don't bother digging down, that's imperfect but non-horrible.

That all said, maybe Cass's comment about an "isolated dump site in a relatively unpleasant area" seems to be the best. Though perhaps the work in trying to build the perfect keep-out sign is worthwhile on its own.

Date: June 2nd, 2010 00:17 (UTC)
lienne: Outer space. (emotion: not in touch with reality)
From: [personal profile] lienne
Okay, I have to ask:

"pyxolytical"?

Date: June 2nd, 2010 21:55 (UTC)
lienne: Several beads painted with smiling faces. (emotion: friendly)
From: [personal profile] lienne
...I think I might start using this word as a synonym for "intercategorical".

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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