Maybe in the good ‘ole U.S. of A everyone just rolls over when a big honkin’ Internet company moseys into town and says, “Hey, we’re gonna do somethin’ here!”
But apparently things don’t work that way in Mexico. Earlier this week, Internet titan Yahoo opened the doors to a digital time capsule project to take a snapshot of digital life in the year 2006; one of the publicity events associated with the capsule was that selected submissions would be projected at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico, beginning on October 25, 2006.
It’s not entirely clear whether Yahoo planned to project images onto the pyramid for general viewing, or use the pyramid as a site to beam material into space using lasers, but now the whole thing is off. Although Yahoo says it obtained the necessary permitting, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has shut down the idea, saying that converting one of the country’s most significant archeological sites into a giant digital drive-in may cause significant damage, and the stunt cannot proceed.
In a spirit we hope isn’t indicative of how they’d treat a time capsule, Yahoo has now edited any mention of the pyramid project from its releases about the project. (We saved copies. Trust but verify, we always say.) And Yahoo must be irked: they’ve also edited their description of the project to omit any mention of giving a digital copy of the time capsule to the INAH once it’s completed. The Smithsonian is still on Yahoo’s freebie list, though: maybe they’d also like to host a laser show?
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