Do You Speak Alien?

AreciboMessageStephen Battersby writes in New Scientist:

The cosmos is quiet. Eerily quiet. After decades of straining our radio ears for a whisper of civilisations beyond Earth, we have heard nothing. No reassuring message of universal peace. No helpful recipe for building faster-than-light spacecraft or for averting global catastrophes. Not even a stray interstellar advertisement.

Perhaps there’s nobody out there after all. Or perhaps it’s just early days in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), and we’re listening to the wrong star systems or at the wrong wavelengths.

There is another possibility, says Douglas Vakoch, head of the Interstellar Message Composition programme at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, which ponders the question of how we should communicate with aliens. “Maybe everyone’s listening but no one is transmitting. Maybe it takes an audacious young civilisation like ours to do that.”

So should we start sending messages into the void? And if so, how can we make ourselves understood to beings we know nothing about?

Read More: New Scientist

12 Comments on "Do You Speak Alien?"

  1. I Seem to recall Michio Kaku once talking about radio signals, from this solar system, being broken up past a certain distance because of something to do with all the dust and shit out there. I wish my memory of what he said was better, but maybe this applies to incoming signals as well and that's why we haven't heard anything. I think, in the same interview he also said that if someone did find proof of intelligent extraterrestrial life, us civilians wouldn't be told shit about it. At least not for a long time.

    I'm gonna go find that audio.

    • This is correct. I was afraid that our into to the galaxy would be Hitler's first broadcasts, but no, after a certain point the radio signals dissipate and get jumbly enough that they're worthless.

  2. “eerily quiet.”

    Except for Crop circles, the alien abduction syndrome and UFO sightings all over the world for the past 50 years (witnessed by highly credible pilots, NASA astronauts, and entire CITIES!)

    The only quiet is in the critical thinking faculties of these so-called experts.

    • iphlogiston | Jan 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm |

      Crop circles: debunked. They're made by huimans.
      Alien abduction syndrome: debunked. People are just effin' nuts. Same category as people who have stigmata or claim to see the Virgin Mary.
      UFO sightings: no solid evidence. Besides, “highly credible” people are still just people, susceptible to the same inclinations as any one of us.

      The “proof” you've stated is too shaky. We need more solid evidence to prove that there's intelligent life out there.

      • Are you Kidding me, iphlogiston?

        Crop circles and the alien abduction syndrome has most certainly not been debunked.

        Not only are you clearly ignorant of the detail and depth of these subjects but you are unable to form a cogent argument; see “ad hominem attack”.

        “UFO sightings: no solid evidence'

        Uh huh. so, in example, in 07 when a dozen United Airlines employees (and many travelers) witnessed giant saucer stopped and hovered over Chicago Ohare Airport they mistook it for a… CLOUD??

        Or when NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchel said he had Air Force personnel tell him they have filmed the landing of a UFO the guy was talking about a Unidentified Floating Otter?

        Or how about NASA Astronaut Gordon Cooper FILMED a UFO land ? Oh! but he is bonkers, just like those Thousands or even MILLIONS of people who claim to have been abducted. Right?

        or maybe it's just a rumor?

        well, here is a video interview with him for you.

        But he's probably just nuts! right, iphlogiston?

        Please continue getting your facts straight.

        Richard Dolan's UFO's and the National Security State

        and Disclosure Project

      • Are you a government dis information agent. Grow up. How long can the government fool us.

  3. mildagaines | Jan 27, 2010 at 6:57 am |

    i fell asleep one time and i dreamed of myself sleeping in my living room waking up to a 5'8'skinny grey alien with large black eyes standing, staring in front of me and it seemed to me that he had me all paralyzed and i couldn't speak. what is that all about?

  4. Perhaps we have been cut off…from sending or receiving messages because of how utterly fucked up we are as a species. Just think of all the toxic bilge emanating from our planet…there is probably a giant bio-hazard warning symbol flashing in front of our planet as a warning to all others who happen to pass by. We are like the south of the galaxy: a worldwide zoo of glorified apes who should know better but refuse to grow up…the ultimate tourist attraction. And by the way…if “they” are smart enough to get here it means they are smart enough to take control and probably already have. They could be manipulating everything…all governments and corporations could be under their influence. Perhaps life on this planet is nothing more than a trashy reality show for their disturbed viewing pleasure…when they get bored, they make shit happen: a war, an earthquake, a collapsed economy, etc. Hell, every time you pop a zit in front of the mirror they could be watching it in magnified 3D…another spectacular volcanic eruption! One thing is for sure…they are doing nothing to help. But then it is also possible that we are completely alone and have not ever been contacted…it's all in our head's and we are left to figure it out for ourselves. They aren't coming out of the sky to hand us enlightenment…only we an do that for ourselves.

    • I don't Know about all that, but Arthur C. Clarke said “any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Given the characteristics of our general idea of magic, if he was right, we could all be nothing more than characters in some hyper advanced civilization's equivalent of The Sims.

      • “we could all be nothing more than characters in some hyper advanced civilization's equivalent of The Sims” I actually find that concept to be oddly calming…

  5. dwaindolan | Jan 28, 2010 at 2:06 am |

    no one really pays attention to the babbling of infants…

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