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(Fox News)   Well, we're all farked. Twitter is sending a reply to the Wow alien signal that will be composed of Tweets from anybody who wants to send one. Please, people, don't taunt the aliens   (foxnews.com) divider line 221
    More: Scary, Twitter, Arecibo telescope, natgeo  
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10920 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Jun 2012 at 3:28 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-26 09:22:40 PM  
Having just spent my evening replaying the ending of Mass Effect 3, I think I'm now going to go back and beg the Reapers to take me now...
 
2012-06-26 09:40:29 PM  

ciberido: Base 2 is universal in the sense that it's the lowest possible base, yes. If I had to guess what base an alien race was going to use, and I had NO other information to go on, then yes, I'd guess base 2. If, on the other hand, I knew for a fact that they had two hands with five fingers on each hand, then 10 would be a better guess. Since all of our attempts to communicate with aliens make it a point of telling them we have 10 fingers, I think the "We have to use base 2 or they won't understand us!" argument is pretty weak.


Base 1, or unary as I called it above, is the lowest possible base. You could call it reality's base, because representing a number requires the same number of marks. But it's also not the

The real reason to use Base 2 (binary) is that you only need two states to encode it, and so you can encode a signal in almost anything. Radio is the current popular choice, but anything that can be turned on and off will work, which is why computers use it. Whatever signalling technology we use after radio should be able to easily encode the same signals, increasing the likelihood of aliens catching one.

ciberido: By the way, I would say the same of pi. It's such a fundamental thing that pi is an irrational number equal to 3.14... that the only reason to talk to the aliens about pi is to get the silly stuff out of the way so we can talk about -real- math. Knowing the value of pi is literally caveman stuff. Obviously if we can send radio signals into space we've know about pi for thousands of years. Yet for some reason people are always like, "Oooooh, tell the aliens we know about pi!"


The point of using pi, or some other fundamental constant, is not so much to tell the aliens that we know it as to tell them that this is a signal worth listening to. Radio has lots of random noise, and we cannot rely on the possibility of finding some noiseless signal at some future date, but random noise is unlikely to start spitting out the digits of pi in binary. By using it, we tell the aliens "Hey, that thing your radio's doing? Someone is deliberately making it do that. You should keep listening."
 
2012-06-26 09:44:08 PM  
Does anyone know of any other system that isn't base 10? Are there mathophiles out there who are making up their own system using a different base number today?
 
2012-06-26 10:11:23 PM  

kd8our: downstairs: No, you're 6EQUJ5!

6EQUJ5 this is KD8OUR I read you 5 by 9 QSL.


That would be one hell of a DX. How many points does that get you on Field Day?
 
2012-06-26 10:15:27 PM  

linuxpyro: kd8our: downstairs: No, you're 6EQUJ5!

6EQUJ5 this is KD8OUR I read you 5 by 9 QSL.

That would be one hell of a DX. How many points does that get you on Field Day?


CQ CQ DE HAM RADIO NERD, OVER
 
2012-06-26 10:23:36 PM  

Dedmon: Does anyone know of any other system that isn't base 10? Are there mathophiles out there who are making up their own system using a different base number today?


Computers use binary (base 2) and some programming uses hexadecimal (base 16). But other than that, I don't think it is too common nowadays.
 
2012-06-26 10:24:34 PM  

Peki: the1hatman: Someone should post the plans to the Death Star. Make them think we have that level of gear around just in case they're thinking of coming for piece rather than in peace.

/hey they don't know it's a movie

Good god man, haven't you seen Galaxy Quest? They're more likely to build the stupid thing and then show up so we can tell them how it works!


Voyager actually had a good episode about what happens when you send a message intending one thing, and the recipients learn a little too well. I think it was 'Friendship One'.

Never assume the other guy is 'just like me'. And this is heresy, but maybe that should go for math as well.
 
2012-06-26 10:30:07 PM  

Millennium: Um... err... what? I was going for a string of 1s and 0s; where'd the rest of the text junk come from?


wouldn't it be fked up if that happened for reals with any message sent back or sent forth?
 
2012-06-26 10:31:22 PM  
Through space, our broadcasts
propagate infinitely
Sorry, universe

www.big.or.jp
 
2012-06-27 12:06:33 AM  
"Look'it that, Clem. It's another of them giant marauding aliens again. Now why do you suppose they always pick on our quiet little town?"

"Don't know. Maybe I shouldn't have wrote graffiti all over that space probe back when I worked for NASA."

*cut to a deep-space probe with the words HEY STUPID ALIENS! I DARE YOU TO ATTACK TERLAWK written on it*
 
2012-06-27 12:35:28 AM  
Sounds like a plan.

www.omenaheights.com
 
2012-06-27 12:40:52 AM  

machoprogrammer: Dedmon: Does anyone know of any other system that isn't base 10? Are there mathophiles out there who are making up their own system using a different base number today?

Computers use binary (base 2) and some programming uses hexadecimal (base 16). But other than that, I don't think it is too common nowadays.


Years ago I heard someone was creating a computer system using a base 3 system. Claimed it was the only way to solve certain space-based equations. Anyone else hear about it?
 
2012-06-27 01:16:37 AM  
Silly farkers. Aliens do maths in 4D.
 
2012-06-27 01:18:09 AM  

Nick Nostril: [img20.imageshack.us image 640x336]


Wow, and I thought the one hanging in my basement with Elvis was awesome. Gotta get me a print of this.
 
2012-06-27 01:32:37 AM  

Perducci: We traced the call, and it's coming from... inside the planet. Get out! Get out now!


Then who was SETI?
 
2012-06-27 01:50:16 AM  

Millennium: The real reason to use Base 2 (binary) is that you only need two states to encode it, and so you can encode a signal in almost anything. Radio is the current popular choice, but anything that can be turned on and off will work, which is why computers use it. Whatever signalling technology we use after radio should be able to easily encode the same signals, increasing the likelihood of aliens catching one..


You seem to be confusing the encoding of the message with the content of the message. Sure, if we're talking radio signals, we'd probably want to send them digitally, and anything we encode digitally will probably be in binary (you COULD use trinary or base 10, but why would you?) However, in the message itself, there's still no real advantage to using binary.

Essentially, the "bootstrap" of the message would be teaching them ASCII or EBCDIC or something along those lines, assuming a sufficiently long message to make that worthwhile. After that, restricting ourselves to binary seems kinda pointless.
 
2012-06-27 01:53:29 AM  

ciberido: Base 2 is universal in the sense that it's the lowest possible base, yes.


Millennium: Base 1, or unary as I called it above, is the lowest possible base. You could call it reality's base, because representing a number requires the same number of marks.


Ok, fine, if you want to get technical, base 2 is the lowest possible base for positional notation. And obviously you knew I knew that base 1 was possible, since I used base 1 in my post, so I guess you just wanted to be pedantic.

Millennium: The point of using pi, or some other fundamental constant, is not so much to tell the aliens that we know it as to tell them that this is a signal worth listening to. Radio has lots of random noise, and we cannot rely on the possibility of finding some noiseless signal at some future date, but random noise is unlikely to start spitting out the digits of pi in binary. ...


Yes, that's essentially what I said. We could use pi to establish that this is in fact a coded message from an intelligent civilization, and as a kind of bootstrap or Rosetta stone to help them decode it. It would be silly to use pi as part of the message itself, since it wouldn't tell them anything about us they wouldn't already know from the simple fact that we sent them a message in the first place.
 
2012-06-27 04:41:26 AM  
"We are working with Arecibo Observatory to develop the best way to encrypt the transmission," said Kristin Montalbano, a spokeswoman for the National Geographic Channel.

Arggh...
encode != encrypt

To encrypt means to deliberately make a message unreadable to parties one does not want reading it. "Encode" can be more general.
 
2012-06-27 06:23:52 AM  
"They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"Meat. They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"

"Both."

"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."
 
2012-06-27 08:28:12 AM  
"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans . . . We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."
-Stephen Hawking
 
2012-06-27 11:29:10 AM  
I'm thinking something along the lines of: "Hey, Aliens, you suck! America #1 #ChasingUFOs"
 
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