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204142Re: Universal language for communicating with space aliens

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  • Jim Henry
    Jul 26, 2014
      On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 2:44 PM, Warren D Smith <warren.wds@...> wrote:
      > Far simpler & faster is to just communicate. If we believe other
      > civilizations are common, then many will be way older & more advanced
      > than us, will detect us, and the scheme I proposed based on them
      > transmitting an AI, will work.

      If you assume that civilizations older and more advanced than ours are
      common, and that they are typically interested in contacting and
      mentoring younger civilizations, how do you account for the lack of
      evidence of them?

      Your proposed scheme involved pointing lasers at various star systems
      with earthlike planets and sending the AI to them just in case they
      have a radio-capable civilization we haven't detected yet (or whose
      signals haven't reached us yet). That makes sense because probably
      the range of time within which a civilization produces lots of
      energy-wasteful radio signals is probably limited, and if we wait
      until we get signals from them to send our own signals back, it might
      be too late -- they could have advanced beyond radio and stopped
      listening to radio signals, they could have destroyed themselves, or
      just fallen back to pre-radio tech. So if such civilizations are
      common, they'd already have been sending us messages two hundred years
      ago (or whenever) just in case we happen to have the right tech level
      when the signal arrives.

      From the lack of evidence I infer that one or more of the following is
      more likely than your assumptions: (a) sentient life is uncommon, (b)
      most sentient life is less advanced than us throughout most of their
      history, or (c) most sentient life that's more advanced than us is not
      interested in talking to us. There's no proof of any of these, but
      they seem more likely than the idea that they're all over the place
      and we've just been unlucky about detecting those ubiquitous signals
      they're trying to send us.

      Jim Henry
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