Any chance of our probes being found? None. It was an exobiological, intellectual exercise.
The intended recipients of the message have already read and acknowledged it. It was never meant to be a message to aliens; it was meant as a message to other humans. Yeah, it seems silly that you’d need to launch an engraving a gazillion miles away from the nearest humans in order to get their attention, but we’re weird that way sometimes.
Please note, this does not mean that the plaques were pointless. Inspiring other humans is, in fact, one of the points of the space program.
As a countermeasure, we radioize political debates and beam them directly toward outer space. Since alien marauders are particularly interested in enslaving intelligent races, these signals lead them to seek satisfaction elsewhere.
Correct. Thanks for reminding me. But the point remains the same…
How do we know that? That’s a big assumption. Why would “advanced enough to make it here” mean they don’t need resources from other planets? That sounds like a pretty idealized idea of what an advanced civilization would be. (I can imagine some Native Americans making the same argument: Hey, if they can get across The Big Lake That Never Ends, what could they possibly want that we have? They’d have to be way too advanced to depend upon extracting resources from our land.)
We don’t know what they’re like, what they want, what they need, what we have that we don’t even realize is valuable to them. Maybe not water. Maybe it’s dryer lint. Maybe it’s us. (To Serve Humans: It’s a bestselling cookbook.) We just don’t know.
Colibri, good to hear that Sagan at least acknowledged the issue. I would have enjoyed debating this with him.
The amount of easily recoverable resources in this system alone is enormous. Many magnitudes of order more than the meager resources we can recover by scratching a few thousand feet of dirt of the surface of the Earth.
There is absolutely NO reason a civilization capable of travelling the stars would ever need to stoop to raiding a habitable planet.
“The asteroid 16 Psyche is believed to contain 1.7×10^19 kg of nickel–iron, which could supply the world production requirement for several million years. A small portion of the extracted material would also be precious metals.”
Sorry if I’m repeating myself, but isn’t this an assumption that we know what they need or want? To say “There is absolutely NO reason a civilization capable of travelling the stars would ever need to stoop to raiding a habitable planet” seems, umm, a little presumptuous. What if nickel-iron is complete crap to them but they want something else?
How can you be so sure? You even used all caps on NO. That expresses a level of certainty that I find intriguing.
And the description about how tasty the parts are.
As close as the spacecraft are to us, it would be fairly obvious where they came from in any event. And well within the radio envelope.
If they’re not found for another million years or so, then we’ll either be extinct or something far removed from whatever is described on the discs.
In either case, the data is irrelevent.
ETA: Personally I think we’ll have expanded into space and built a museum/casino/resort around it keeping pace with it on it’s travels through the cosmos.
Forget the arrows. Interpreting **lines **as outlines is itself an artifact of the edge-detection circuitry of the human visual system. Creatures with different visual hardware may not be able to make sense of line art as pictures.
Name a resource anyone cannot find metric fucktons more of floating around in space, or synthesize massively cheaper than flying light years to recover.
Unless they want our Art. We have tons of crap artists who would be thrilled to oblige them.
Pearls. Amber. Bezoars. Yeah, all could be synthesized, but maybe their jewelers are as stuck-up as ours and insist on only using materials formed in the natural way.
I see it as a cry for help. Our unsustainable wildlife management is at risk of wiping out the elephant, and thus a huge part of the potential ivory production of this arm of the galaxy.
But ivory-loving aliens could conquer us and do what we can’t bear to do: wipe 90% of us out, and start farming elephants for ivory in earnest, thus saving the interstellar pianoforte trade.
Sadly, the Pioneer plaques describe a single small planet beyond Neptune, which we now understand to be inaccurate. This may confuse the aliens long enough that the elephant will become extinct before they find their way here.
(Is a metric fuckton bigger than a regular fuckton? I never did get metrics.)
The point is still that you’re assuming you know what they’d be interested in – anything that you as a 21st century Earthling would recognize as a “resource.” You don’t know what they would consider a resource or reason to come visit. I don’t either. They might want to just come and fuck with us for the fun of it.
If we don’t know who they are, what they are, where they are, or have even the slightest idea what they want or need, how can we be sure we’re so uninteresting to them?
From here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contents_of_the_Voyager_Golden_Record
“Sagan had originally asked for permission to include “Here Comes the Sun” from the Beatles’ album Abbey Road. While the Beatles favoured it, EMI opposed it and the song was not included.”
Imagine yourself in a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon. Imagine that this statement appears in a bubble quote as two lichens speak to each other from under a rock.
It was pointed out (no cite) that assuming they might think the outline of the humans was a map of some sort; that they might think these creatures have snake like arms (perspective drawing indicating 3D is not to be assumed–even on Earth–especially if “they” use eyes; if they can even comprehend that beings make self portraits; etc.
Risible from the beginning. I’ll have to check how much it cost.
Also cow pats.
Intelligent life forms?, perhaps they need slave labor to work in their interplanetary sweatshop chain?
“Perhaps the safest thing to do [in contacting alien life] at the outset, if technology permits, is to send music. This language may be the best we have for explaining what we are like to others in space, with least ambiguity. I would vote for Bach, all of Bach, streamed out into space, over and over again. We would be bragging of course, but it is surely excusable to put the best possible face on at the beginning of such an acquaintance. We can tell the harder truths later.” - Lewis Thomas, 1974