Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Greeting to the Galaxy: What Songs or Images Would You Have Put on Voyager's Golden Record?

Carl Sagan was/is a prize; he was and remains one of the best of us. I discovered him via Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM radio show. The show's current iteration is acceptable. It is a ghost and zombie of its early run which introduced so many millions of its listeners to the future. To this day, I nod and smile, laughing to myself about how I heard about topics such as the NSA and PRISM scandal, as well as resource scarcity, several decades ago while still in high school.

Earth sent probes out into space years ago. They are still traveling. Will their contents be discovered and deciphered by an alien intelligence? Who knows? I am excited and terrified by the thought. Between our TV shows, radio, and other emissions, what lessons are we teaching about ourselves to the galaxy.

I am sickened by the thought of what ET would think of black folks based on the hellishness of BET. I digress...

The Voyager space probes contain a golden record which is intended to be an introduction to human civilization. This is our calling card. If you had a chance to replace or alter its contents, what would you include on Earth's introduction to the universe? What images, formulas, or songs? Be ambitious.

I love this thought experiment. Alien life may smell sound. They may taste it. The gap between different types of intelligences, and the challenge of communication across the cosmos, is an epic puzzle.

What is your mixed tape for the stars? How do we share who and what we are with the cosmos?


threeoutside said...

I was somewhat consoled on the issue of what crap we were sending streaming out into the Universe on our various frequencies of electromagnetic waves, by an article analyzing how far those broadcasts would actually reach. Turns out, not that far. The signals attenuate.

Lee Viola said...

"Carl Sagan is a prize; he is one of the best of us."

Was. RIP.

"Loving You," by Minnie Riperton. John Ashcroft's "Let the Mighty Eagle Fly." And country music. 'Cause I want the aliens to suffer as much as us.

chauncey devega said...

I took the license...he is immortal in his own way.

chauncey devega said...

So BET will not be black folks' calling card to the cosmos? Thank god.

Vic78 said...

Mr Rogers talking to the Senate. Some Paulo Freire interviews. They have to get some James Brown and George Clinton. Those things will give a positive impression. Something might come here and be disappointed about James Brown. We can tell them about Prince and things will be fine.

Black Sci-Fi said...

I think it speaks volumes about earthlings that we destroy our own environment, like PIGS, litter NEO with high speed space garbage and send probes to litter distant planets within our solar system that are powered by deadly radioactive plutonium.

Does that sounds inviting or friendly?

It also speaks to a certain culture's (white folks) sucidal hubris to think that we alone are subordinant to the REAL Universal Prime Directive.
Contrary to popular fiction and with the factual support of everything we know about everything; the REAL Universal Prime Directive is: "EVERYTHING HAS GOTTA EAT...!!!

That would include everything we know of and see from the micro to the macro level. Black Holes EAT, Germs EAT. Everything that lives needs fuel to exist.
Those are FACTS that some folks seem to forget.

Oh, Brother...!!!

So, while we contemplate ET contact, I would first ask that you all ponder the following: What EXACTLY would motivate an advanced ET civilization to expend
massive amounts of energy and limited resources to cross the vast void of deep space? If you said they did so in response to the UPD, you'd have a clue. If
you are a cosmology research grant writer (Carl Sagen?) you'd say anything to get more money to pursue your own UPD here on earth.

Considering the way we treat each other and anything living or even dead that might make a tasty snack, we'll rue the day that some "self appointed" spokesperson for the entire population of planet Earth decided
that ET contact was a good idea.

Our senses are unique to our evolution here on a water planet orbiting a yellow star. While there are other types of stars that may also, in dreamy theory,
support life as we know it, it's the "as we know it" part that is too often overlooked when quasi-scientific research grants are being funded or discussed in popular media.

Life, “as we know it” means finding ET beings with very human (naked ape) senses and a, wait for it, non-aggressive philosophy. Of course, that's bullshit because WE aren't non-aggressive, so that per chance meeting between Earthlings (naked apes) and ET will more than likely end up with one species being studied, exploited, killed, enslaved, conquered and perhaps even end up on the menu.

That is the "life as we know it" we are looking for in space. And, if you think I'm being paronoid then consider this: Did the Africans living on the
Atlantic coast of Africa foresee the danger of encountering "life as we know it" with advanced technology?

Oh, Brother…get a clue.

Vic78 said...

If something comes our way 20 light years out with bad intentions, we don't have to worry about slave labor. At best we'll be like roaches to them.

buddy h said...

Voyager's Golden Record would contain the short subjects of Robert Benchley, the lectures of neil degrasse tyson, the music of Bo Diddley, and the essays of Chauncey Devega. Maybe some silent films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin for good measure.

chauncey devega said...

Goodness Buddy, if you put any of my rantings out there we are most certainly doomed :)

Now you should write a nice greeting in binary and/or as a mathematical formula. I think that would make for a far better greeting!