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(NBC News)   'Cosmic Gorilla Effect' could be clouding our view of extraterrestrials (with helpful gorilla pic)   ( nbcnews.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Mars, SETI, dark matter, Extraterrestrial life, preconceived notions, extraterrestrial intelligence, journal Acta Astronautica, Cosmic gorilla effect  
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3299 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Apr 2018 at 2:07 AM (13 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-04-20 10:16:36 PM  
Cosmic Gorilla Effect? Far out, man. I saw them live in Copenhagen.
 
2018-04-21 01:02:59 AM  
https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12

If an extraterrestrial civilization has a SETI project similar to our own, could they detect signals from Earth?

In general, no.
Most earthly transmissions are too weak to be found by equipment similar to ours at the distance of even the nearest star. But there are some important exceptions. High-powered radars and the Arecibo broadcast of 1974 (which lasted for only three minutes) could be detected at distances of tens to hundreds of light-years with a setup similar to our best SETI experiments.

Really, that should be the end of it. It's a myth that somebody on some remote solar system can readily pick up I Love Lucy broadcasts from the original run. If they knew when we were broadcasting, knew where in the spectrum to listen, and decided it was worth it to build a giant antennae, perhaps as a network outside of their planetary orbit, they might be able to pick some signal out of the noise. Of course that's a set of conditionals that renders the question stupid.
 
2018-04-21 01:19:17 AM  
That's the name of my Blur cover band
 
2018-04-21 02:22:41 AM  

wademh: https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12

If an extraterrestrial civilization has a SETI project similar to our own, could they detect signals from Earth?

In general, no. Most earthly transmissions are too weak to be found by equipment similar to ours at the distance of even the nearest star. But there are some important exceptions. High-powered radars and the Arecibo broadcast of 1974 (which lasted for only three minutes) could be detected at distances of tens to hundreds of light-years with a setup similar to our best SETI experiments.

Really, that should be the end of it. It's a myth that somebody on some remote solar system can readily pick up I Love Lucy broadcasts from the original run. If they knew when we were broadcasting, knew where in the spectrum to listen, and decided it was worth it to build a giant antennae, perhaps as a network outside of their planetary orbit, they might be able to pick some signal out of the noise. Of course that's a set of conditionals that renders the question stupid.


And today our broadcasts are much more like narrowcasts, low powered by the standards of several decades ago and often highly directional as we rely more and more on low powered satellite communications. It would have to be a very deliberate signal for us to see it and there's a good chance of it being a honeypot to find potential competitors before they get too powerful.
 
2018-04-21 02:34:41 AM  
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2018-04-21 02:38:00 AM  

wademh: https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12

If an extraterrestrial civilization has a SETI project similar to our own, could they detect signals from Earth?

In general, no. Most earthly transmissions are too weak to be found by equipment similar to ours at the distance of even the nearest star. But there are some important exceptions. High-powered radars and the Arecibo broadcast of 1974 (which lasted for only three minutes) could be detected at distances of tens to hundreds of light-years with a setup similar to our best SETI experiments.

Really, that should be the end of it. It's a myth that somebody on some remote solar system can readily pick up I Love Lucy broadcasts from the original run. If they knew when we were broadcasting, knew where in the spectrum to listen, and decided it was worth it to build a giant antennae, perhaps as a network outside of their planetary orbit, they might be able to pick some signal out of the noise. Of course that's a set of conditionals that renders the question stupid.


You're missing the important part of the equation: No matter how unlikely, we have to be worried what would happen if a hostile alien race did pick up a sitcom.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-04-21 02:39:56 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

(artist's rendition)
 
2018-04-21 02:42:09 AM  
imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size
 
2018-04-21 02:42:33 AM  
SF has no shortage of exotic ideas for a basis for intelligent life, and not just pointy-eared humanoids with green blood or even bloodsucking blobs.  Crystalline mineral planets, gas giants with sentient clouds, even spin patterns on the surfaces of neutron stars and magnetic patterns on main sequence stars.

But what it's thin on are real science ideas about how we might detect them from afar.  Spectral signatures depicting steady state chemistry that must involve life...  OK, which chemicals in which abundances?  Amplitude or phase modulations in pulsar signals... what encoding and/or multiplexing scheme?

Which brings up another point that affects our own radiated signals, too:  the more efficient our compression schemes are for tranferring data, the more it looks like randomness.  Without knowing the bases for modulation, encoding and multiplexing, any signals we do detect are going to be indistinguishable from noise without both a high signal to noise ratio and lots of processing power.

It shouldn't be a surprise that we're having trouble detecting anyone else.  And that's not even considering how uncertain so many of the other terms in the Drake equation are.
 
2018-04-21 03:11:51 AM  
It's probably that there's a whole galactic communication network that we just don't know how to access. We stumble onto by accident one day and we find ourselves watching the galatic version of How It's Made, waiting for someone to explain how to change the channel.
 
2018-04-21 04:29:46 AM  
I thought it would be cold enough in space to make this a non-issue, surely?
 
2018-04-21 04:43:46 AM  
All I got from this is that we should probably be worried about an alien race of space gorillas destroying our habitat while placing those of us who survive in their zoos.
 
2018-04-21 04:53:09 AM  
bughunter:

Also, think about how we interact with the world throughout our five senses. Other animal and plant species share a lot of our evolution and dna, and yet exist almost in another world as their senses are different.

Dolphins, for example, can "see" in great detail with ultrasonic echo location. This renders most organic things transparent. Pregnant women excite them because they can see the fetus, sometimes before the woman even knows.

Imagine an alien species that uses RF frequency somehow. They aren't going to build radio towers. It would be like what sonar does to sea creatures
 
2018-04-21 05:03:23 AM  
Of, and the author fails any exam about analogies. Missing the boat has nothing to do with find the boat.
 
2018-04-21 05:42:18 AM  
"It seems there's a bit of consternation over the fact that our six-decade effort to find extraterrestrial intelligence hasn't paid off. What's wrong? Why haven't we seen even the slightest sign of other cosmic inhabitants?"

First of all six decades is nothing. Second of all our technology is fairly primitive for making long distance intergalactic calls. We might as well be standing on top of a mountain trying to make smoke signals. There's no guarantee there's anyone out there or that they're even listening or that they'd recognize any signal we made as originating from so called intelligent life. We might be in a backwater little corner of the galaxy. Bumfark, Milky Way. Population: Us. It could be they DID stop by the planet once and quarantined the place until we mature(assuming they're benevolent). Big if. Quite honestly given how barbaric we can be it's kind of reassuring we haven't bumped into anyone else yet. They might be worse.
 
2018-04-21 05:47:19 AM  

MechaPyx: given how barbaric we can be


I really think that humans jerk themselves off over this way too much.

If any other species was on par with us in tool use, we'd be flat out dead, except maybe matinees and dogs. Every other critter would war in such a way that even the most minor of conflicts would make Hitler and Stalin's little kerfuffule in the 40's look like a snowball fight at a nunnery.

Hell, weasels wouldn't even need tool use. They'd just have to be a little bigger.
 
2018-04-21 06:01:15 AM  

doglover: MechaPyx: given how barbaric we can be

I really think that humans jerk themselves off over this way too much.

If any other species was on par with us in tool use, we'd be flat out dead, except maybe matinees and dogs. Every other critter would war in such a way that even the most minor of conflicts would make Hitler and Stalin's little kerfuffule in the 40's look like a snowball fight at a nunnery.

Hell, weasels wouldn't even need tool use. They'd just have to be a little bigger.


Wolverines are basically dog-sized and kick ass.
 
2018-04-21 06:14:06 AM  

doglover: bughunter:

Also, think about how we interact with the world throughout our five senses. Other animal and plant species share a lot of our evolution and dna, and yet exist almost in another world as their senses are different.

Dolphins, for example, can "see" in great detail with ultrasonic echo location. This renders most organic things transparent. Pregnant women excite them because they can see the fetus, sometimes before the woman even knows.

Imagine an alien species that uses RF frequency somehow. They aren't going to build radio towers. It would be like what sonar does to sea creatures


While I'm sure there is some weird life out there, I have trouble buying that it would all be weirdly incomprehensible versions of life, or even the majority. I feel that the idea of convergent evolution, even in regards to extraterrestrials, has merit. There are only so many environments and only so many configurations of body parts that are useful for survival in said environments.

Not to mention that which is useful exclusively to intelligent life. Whales might be just as intelligent as we are, but it doesn't do them a lick of good since they lack everything needed to build things. So a similarly intelligent alien species would only "technically" be intelligent by our standards and ultimately a disappointment in the search for other civilizations. Hell we might not even notice them, or care. Just like we do with whales now.

If we ever find an actual technological civilization out there, I'm betting they'll be more similar to us than different. And that will also apply to non-intelligent alien animals. We'll probably find more analogues to known Earth creatures than anything else, with the truly abstract forms of life being much more rare.

Though, granted, I don't know shiat and am just talking out my ass like everyone else with an opinion on aliens.
 
2018-04-21 06:21:29 AM  
Eh, quoted the wrong post. But it still sorta fits I guess. Even a species that communicates via some kind of organic radio would have uses for technological radio.
 
2018-04-21 06:35:50 AM  

LeftisRightisWrong: doglover: MechaPyx: given how barbaric we can be

I really think that humans jerk themselves off over this way too much.

If any other species was on par with us in tool use, we'd be flat out dead, except maybe matinees and dogs. Every other critter would war in such a way that even the most minor of conflicts would make Hitler and Stalin's little kerfuffule in the 40's look like a snowball fight at a nunnery.

Hell, weasels wouldn't even need tool use. They'd just have to be a little bigger.

Wolverines are basically dog-sized and kick ass.


Bigger than matinees?
 
2018-04-21 06:39:52 AM  

wademh: https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12

If an extraterrestrial civilization has a SETI project similar to our own, could they detect signals from Earth?

In general, no. Most earthly transmissions are too weak to be found by equipment similar to ours at the distance of even the nearest star. But there are some important exceptions. High-powered radars and the Arecibo broadcast of 1974 (which lasted for only three minutes) could be detected at distances of tens to hundreds of light-years with a setup similar to our best SETI experiments.

Really, that should be the end of it. It's a myth that somebody on some remote solar system can readily pick up I Love Lucy broadcasts from the original run. If they knew when we were broadcasting, knew where in the spectrum to listen, and decided it was worth it to build a giant antennae, perhaps as a network outside of their planetary orbit, they might be able to pick some signal out of the noise. Of course that's a set of conditionals that renders the question stupid.


Planet of the Apes
 
2018-04-21 07:01:49 AM  

wildcardjack: It's probably that there's a whole galactic communication network that we just don't know how to access. We stumble onto by accident one day and we find ourselves watching the galatic version of How It's Made, waiting for someone to explain how to change the channel.


Why the fark would you ever want to turn over from 'How it's made'?
 
2018-04-21 07:15:53 AM  

doglover: bughunter:

Also, think about how we interact with the world throughout our five senses. Other animal and plant species share a lot of our evolution and dna, and yet exist almost in another world as their senses are different.

Dolphins, for example, can "see" in great detail with ultrasonic echo location. This renders most organic things transparent. Pregnant women excite them because they can see the fetus, sometimes before the woman even knows.

Imagine an alien species that uses RF frequency somehow. They aren't going to build radio towers. It would be like what sonar does to sea creatures


So... what you're saying is....  people who complain about cell towers... are aliens?

Right.  Let's round them up and take them to Hangar 18.
 
2018-04-21 07:18:24 AM  

gaspode: wildcardjack: It's probably that there's a whole galactic communication network that we just don't know how to access. We stumble onto by accident one day and we find ourselves watching the galatic version of How It's Made, waiting for someone to explain how to change the channel.

Why the fark would you ever want to turn over from 'How it's made'?


No kidding.  If we tuned in to a galactic version of How It's Made, we should record every second of it for further research before some dumbass changes it to reality TV.
 
2018-04-21 07:20:20 AM  

Mister Peejay: gaspode: wildcardjack: It's probably that there's a whole galactic communication network that we just don't know how to access. We stumble onto by accident one day and we find ourselves watching the galatic version of How It's Made, waiting for someone to explain how to change the channel.

Why the fark would you ever want to turn over from 'How it's made'?

No kidding.  If we tuned in to a galactic version of How It's Made, we should record every second of it for further research before some dumbass changes it to reality TV.


Like the History channel...
 
2018-04-21 07:20:51 AM  

fluffy_pope: LeftisRightisWrong: doglover: MechaPyx: given how barbaric we can be

I really think that humans jerk themselves off over this way too much.

If any other species was on par with us in tool use, we'd be flat out dead, except maybe matinees and dogs. Every other critter would war in such a way that even the most minor of conflicts would make Hitler and Stalin's little kerfuffule in the 40's look like a snowball fight at a nunnery.

Hell, weasels wouldn't even need tool use. They'd just have to be a little bigger.

Wolverines are basically dog-sized and kick ass.

Bigger than matinees?


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-04-21 07:43:50 AM  
That reminds me of the article the other day alleging a lack of phosphorus in the universe.

If you don't recall your biology lessons, phosphorus is an element with ginormous influence on life. Every cell in your body has a phospholipid bilayer composed in part with phosphorus. Ergo, a lack of phosphorus means a lack of life. (this is a gross oversimplification of course - wish i didn't have to put disclaimers on everything)

Except....there are some Archaea which can survive even when phosphorus is not present. So the problem twists into are we detecting a lack of life or are we detecting a lack of life as we know it.

I dunno. I'll be dead before these questions are answered.
 
2018-04-21 07:49:13 AM  

moos: Mister Peejay: gaspode: wildcardjack: It's probably that there's a whole galactic communication network that we just don't know how to access. We stumble onto by accident one day and we find ourselves watching the galatic version of How It's Made, waiting for someone to explain how to change the channel.

Why the fark would you ever want to turn over from 'How it's made'?

No kidding.  If we tuned in to a galactic version of How It's Made, we should record every second of it for further research before some dumbass changes it to reality TV.

Like the History channel...


All about life of Gashark Hitler
 
2018-04-21 07:59:21 AM  
FTFA: The scientists involved in the search have a straightforward answer... psychologists at the University of Cadiz in Spain argue that...

Well, I think I've found your problem. This is what happens when soft science people try to understand hard science problems.
 
2018-04-21 08:06:52 AM  

czetie: FTFA: The scientists involved in the search have a straightforward answer... psychologists at the University of Cadiz in Spain argue that...

Well, I think I've found your problem. This is what happens when soft science people try to understand hard science problems.


Ouch. I have a BS in Psychology. I learned problem solving, critical thinking, and....well.

My mother once asked me if I had any of my old books because her friend's daughter was interested in Psychology and I told her that I would not contribute to the delinquency of a minor.

While my degree may be worth less than the coins in my pocket, I did still study biology, physics, and astronomy. And that whole problem solving and critical thinking thing.
 
2018-04-21 08:14:42 AM  
The reason we haven't heard from extraterrestrial civilizations is pretty obvious: if they are out there and communicating, they certainly aren't doing it in any part of the electromagnetic spectrum, least of all RF.

Any ETCs out there are going to be separated from their nearest intelligent neighbors by lightyears, and in most cases by tens or hundreds of light years. Even if aliens were looking for radio signals, after the initial shock / delight of confirming that We Are Not Alone, no meaningful communication is going to take place when you have to wait decades for a reply. For the same reason, no alien species will achieve worthwhile interstellar travel until they find a way to bypass the speed of light limit (e.g. they can manipulate wormholes).

So if advanced aliens are looking for others to communicate and interact with, I don't expect them to be interested in civilizations that still mired in the electromagnetic age. It's highly likely that they will be looking for signals in whatever FtL technologies they may have created, and if they have beacons broadcasting their own presence it will be in the same form. They certainly won't be scouring the RF bands for the vanishingly faint traces of 1930s radio shows.
 
2018-04-21 08:26:18 AM  
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2018-04-21 08:40:39 AM  

grumpfuff: [pics.me.me image 500x522]


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2018-04-21 08:40:55 AM  

Esroc: doglover: bughunter:

Also, think about how we interact with the world throughout our five senses. Other animal and plant species share a lot of our evolution and dna, and yet exist almost in another world as their senses are different.

Dolphins, for example, can "see" in great detail with ultrasonic echo location. This renders most organic things transparent. Pregnant women excite them because they can see the fetus, sometimes before the woman even knows.

Imagine an alien species that uses RF frequency somehow. They aren't going to build radio towers. It would be like what sonar does to sea creatures

While I'm sure there is some weird life out there, I have trouble buying that it would all be weirdly incomprehensible versions of life, or even the majority. I feel that the idea of convergent evolution, even in regards to extraterrestrials, has merit. There are only so many environments and only so many configurations of body parts that are useful for survival in said environments.

Not to mention that which is useful exclusively to intelligent life. Whales might be just as intelligent as we are, but it doesn't do them a lick of good since they lack everything needed to build things. So a similarly intelligent alien species would only "technically" be intelligent by our standards and ultimately a disappointment in the search for other civilizations. Hell we might not even notice them, or care. Just like we do with whales now.

If we ever find an actual technological civilization out there, I'm betting they'll be more similar to us than different. And that will also apply to non-intelligent alien animals. We'll probably find more analogues to known Earth creatures than anything else, with the truly abstract forms of life being much more rare.

Though, granted, I don't know shiat and am just talking out my ass like everyone else with an opinion on aliens.


This. All we know for certain right now is that life could exist in parameters similar to Earth's. Even that could mean ample life forms that are both weird and weirdly familiar. Sci-Fi writers making squid-like aliens, or bear like aliens, or saurian aliens, or even human-like aliens are probably not far off the mark. Though I do wonder if a truly aquatic species could, or need to, harness fire, which has been so critical to us.

Outside of our specific band of warmth and carbon-based lifeforms, we have no definite idea if life is possible. We do have theories, but that's all they are. There is one other fact we do know. Entire swaths fo the galaxy have radiation fields that are inimical to carbon-based lifeforms. No planet there could have life as we know it.

We are pissing in the wind until we go and actually look, or they come to talk at us. That ain't happening anytime soon. We don't have our shiat together enough to even colonize our solar system, and no way anyone smart enough to have viable interstellar travel would risk to talk to us openly.
 
2018-04-21 08:42:28 AM  
 
2018-04-21 08:47:55 AM  

Esroc: non-intelligent alien animals


See, here's the problem:  We take for granted that other places will automatically have all the basic building blocks at the root of the tree of life, but the root of us being animals is the fact that we must eat other living matter to survive. This is a fact we take for granted, whereas on other planets this might not be the case. The advanced life form might be able to take their sustenance from the sun or other heat sources (like plants, just being a motile version).  Imagine what they'd think of an entire planet of things that are required to destroy other life and ingest it, just to survive.  They'd already think the planet barbaric even before they realized some of it was as intelligent as them, let alone that said intelligent species had a history of killing each other for reasons other than food.

To put it simply: The entirety of the sequence of events for the past few billion years for us to be the exact configuration of cells we are is incredibly unlikely such that it is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to replicate.  You aren't finding human-like aliens out there, or even a world much like ours, even as similar as Avatar's world was to ours.
 
2018-04-21 08:51:23 AM  

casual disregard: czetie: FTFA: The scientists involved in the search have a straightforward answer... psychologists at the University of Cadiz in Spain argue that...

Well, I think I've found your problem. This is what happens when soft science people try to understand hard science problems.

Ouch. I have a BS in Psychology. I learned problem solving, critical thinking, and....well.

My mother once asked me if I had any of my old books because her friend's daughter was interested in Psychology and I told her that I would not contribute to the delinquency of a minor.

While my degree may be worth less than the coins in my pocket, I did still study biology, physics, and astronomy. And that whole problem solving and critical thinking thing.


I'm not sure hypothesizing about extraterrestials is psychology exactly, but it's not hard science either. It seems pretty squishy to me. And you can't neglect psychology in considering why you might or might not encounter aliens.
 
2018-04-21 09:28:20 AM  
Good thing we have  some random psychologist from some university in Spain to teach all those halfwits over at SETI, NASA and the ESA what is what.
 
2018-04-21 09:31:15 AM  

IlGreven: Esroc: non-intelligent alien animals

See, here's the problem:  We take for granted that other places will automatically have all the basic building blocks at the root of the tree of life, but the root of us being animals is the fact that we must eat other living matter to survive. This is a fact we take for granted, whereas on other planets this might not be the case. The advanced life form might be able to take their sustenance from the sun or other heat sources (like plants, just being a motile version).  Imagine what they'd think of an entire planet of things that are required to destroy other life and ingest it, just to survive.  They'd already think the planet barbaric even before they realized some of it was as intelligent as them, let alone that said intelligent species had a history of killing each other for reasons other than food.

To put it simply: The entirety of the sequence of events for the past few billion years for us to be the exact configuration of cells we are is incredibly unlikely such that it is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to replicate.  You aren't finding human-like aliens out there, or even a world much like ours, even as similar as Avatar's world was to ours.


Those damn close-minded peaceful sunlight-eaters!
 
2018-04-21 09:34:09 AM  
Searching for radio signals and abnormal amounts of infrared light are just about the only ways to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.
 
2018-04-21 09:41:27 AM  
Since no one seems to be acknowledging the elephant in the room, I'm just going to go ahead and say it:
That is not a gorilla. That is a man in a gorilla suit.
 
2018-04-21 09:55:29 AM  

wademh: https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12

If an extraterrestrial civilization has a SETI project similar to our own, could they detect signals from Earth?

In general, no. Most earthly transmissions are too weak to be found by equipment similar to ours at the distance of even the nearest star. But there are some important exceptions. High-powered radars and the Arecibo broadcast of 1974 (which lasted for only three minutes) could be detected at distances of tens to hundreds of light-years with a setup similar to our best SETI experiments.

Really, that should be the end of it. It's a myth that somebody on some remote solar system can readily pick up I Love Lucy broadcasts from the original run. If they knew when we were broadcasting, knew where in the spectrum to listen, and decided it was worth it to build a giant antennae, perhaps as a network outside of their planetary orbit, they might be able to pick some signal out of the noise. Of course that's a set of conditionals that renders the question stupid.


Also, wouldn't that also imply that a civilization with similar tech to our own would be broadcasting in similar bands, therefore meaning that we wouldn't be able to pick up their as well, rendering the whole project moot?
 
2018-04-21 09:59:44 AM  
Yeah I saw all this on the gorilla channel.
 
2018-04-21 10:30:32 AM  

Veloram: wademh: https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12

Also, wouldn't that also imply that a civilization with similar tech to our own would be broadcasting in similar bands, therefore meaning that we wouldn't be able to pick up their as well, rendering the whole project moot?


That was, I thought, the obvious point. Given that out SETI program wouldn't pick up the very type of signals we leak into space, the premise to this question is rendered foolish. Our SETI program has presumed that if somebody wanted to broadcast a loud "Here we are" that they would use microwave frequency in order to be in a relatively quiet frequency band. They also make the assertion that it would be an intentional signal which is hard to justify. There's little consensus on Earth that broadcasting our presence is a good idea. It certainly doesn't flow as a simple matter of logic. Beyond that, anticipating what some alien life would be thinking is pure speculation untethered to any knowledge. It's really just appeals to preteen sci-fi fantasy.
 
2018-04-21 10:31:40 AM  

uttertosh: I thought it would be cold enough in space to make this a non-issue, surely?


memeguy.comView Full Size
 
2018-04-21 11:03:41 AM  

wademh: Veloram: wademh: https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12

Also, wouldn't that also imply that a civilization with similar tech to our own would be broadcasting in similar bands, therefore meaning that we wouldn't be able to pick up their as well, rendering the whole project moot?

That was, I thought, the obvious point. Given that out SETI program wouldn't pick up the very type of signals we leak into space, the premise to this question is rendered foolish. Our SETI program has presumed that if somebody wanted to broadcast a loud "Here we are" that they would use microwave frequency in order to be in a relatively quiet frequency band. They also make the assertion that it would be an intentional signal which is hard to justify. There's little consensus on Earth that broadcasting our presence is a good idea. It certainly doesn't flow as a simple matter of logic. Beyond that, anticipating what some alien life would be thinking is pure speculation untethered to any knowledge. It's really just appeals to preteen sci-fi fantasy.


I always wanted to write a Sci Fi story about scientists who endeavor to set up a project like SETI, and during testing, accidentally discover intelligent life on their own planet they didn't even know about. Either radically different aquatic ones or ones on another continent way more advanced than them. The kind of 'Oh, that's weird' moment of scientific discovery because of how hard we look out there for minute traces... Yet we haven't fully mapped our own planet. And if our planet were a little less accessible to travel, boating from one continent to another could be consistently lethal, so it'd just be a given you don't try that. A little higher gravity, and maybe no flight. If there were no birds, would we have ever gotten the idea to try? Without planes, would we make rockets and satellites? If the barrier to travel were higher, could we have modern medicine, ground communication, fabrication, etc without having ever left our starting point leaving entirely possible that other landmasses had entirely covergent evolution? Maybe we're the first round of lifeforms, so no fossil fuels... Or we don't invent gunpowder.

It's funny to think how many things have to line up pretty specifically for us to get with what we have for all we have to come to be. Doesn't mean life needs all of it, but little differences could mean an entire technological branch is entirely inaccessible.
 
2018-04-21 11:05:40 AM  

casual disregard: Ouch. I have a BS in Psychology. I learned problem solving, critical thinking, and....well.

My mother once asked me if I had any of my old books because her friend's daughter was interested in Psychology and I told her that I would not contribute to the delinquency of a minor.

While my degree may be worth less than the coins in my pocket, I did still study biology, physics, and astronomy. And that whole problem solving and critical thinking thing.


In fairness I studied computer science, which had next-to-no practical value in my life after college, even the parts where I was a programmer. So I basically got the same thing from my degree minus the biology, physics, and astronomy.
 
2018-04-21 11:29:48 AM  

big pig peaches: Good thing we have  some random psychologist from some university in Spain to teach all those halfwits over at SETI, NASA and the ESA what is what.


Author of TFA is Seth Shostak
 
2018-04-21 11:48:04 AM  
It seems there's a bit of consternation over the fact that our six-decade effort to find extraterrestrial intelligence hasn't paid off.

Most of my consternations have paid off.
 
2018-04-21 11:50:33 AM  
Contemplation through the crack of the door.
Furthering for the perseverance of a woman.
 
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