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Interstellar Communication Failures - The Pioneer Plaques. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Interstellar Communication Failures - The Pioneer Plaques. [May. 8th, 2006|05:30 am]
Sauce1977
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[Special Music |I-F - Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass]



Imagine if you were a humanoid species which was part of a collective, living somewhere in the galaxy close to our solar system. Your race, as an intelligent body, stands along the time-line of our early space age, somewhere through to this current day.

On a routine space mission, you encountered on radar a foreign object traveling through your area. Your space mission is successful in retrieval of this dormant object. You return it to home base. When your scientists examine it, they find this image:



Click on this image link for a larger image size.



If I was one of those scientists, maybe I think this way:


The first thing I notice are the 'people.' Then, I see the thing behind them. Then, I see the diagram below of what might be a solar system. Then, I notice the line where the thing behind them is moving. I see the thing behind them looks just like what was just picked up . . . and then, I start wondering whether they created a giant version of the thing behind them, and then I wonder if that thing's coming for me. Maybe they also have huge 'people' with it, too. I mean, they're huge. Look at them! Their genitals are probably around the size of moons or planets.

What is that thing to the left, where it's got a bunch of lines from an origin? Hey, maybe they shot a bunch of these gigantic things into space.

Maybe that thing in the upper left is their eyes.

They're watching us, man! And, they're going to send a bunch of gigantic things with big people to smash us!



Here's a link in Wikipedia to the Pioneer Plaque. I find this sentence most amusing:


Although the message was designed to encode the most information possible in minimal space, rather than to be easily readable, almost none of the human scientists that were shown the message were able to decode all of it.



Check this album out some time, if you haven't already.


linkReply

Comments:
From: needlefinger
2006-05-08 10:34 am (UTC)
"here come the white people. there goes the neighborhood"
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2006-05-08 10:36 am (UTC)
Hahahhaa.
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From: jackwilson
2006-05-08 11:39 am (UTC)
"Note that since the plaque is 22.9 cm wide, the actual unit of length could have been depicted."
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2006-05-08 11:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, but note that humanity is what it is.
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From: zboson
2006-05-08 05:12 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid we went to the ROM planetarium where they have a replica of the plaque on the wall. I couldn't make heads nor tails of it, the only thing I really recognized were the naked people. But that makes sense considering how esoteric much of it is.

"Obscenities"! Haha, one hopes that extraterrestrial intelligence wouldn't be as offended by our bodies as we ourselves are.

I miss Carl Sagan. It's actually quite touching, the lengths we go to to try and make "contact". It's a lonely universe sometimes and I feel sorry for us humans on this planet in the middle of a vast empty space.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2006-05-09 12:01 am (UTC)
When I was a kid, I knew of the Pioneer probes, too, and I had enough sense to know that they weren't 'space smut,' lol.
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From: steakumms
2006-05-08 05:21 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how that thing can be both elegant and completely befuddling. Also, it shows a startling lack of imagination in how other intelligent civilizations may perceive things. What if they have no sensory systems analogous to vision?

But let's assume for a minute that the beings who find this can, in fact, see things and understand that the blobby things on the right are the beings who made it, and the shapes on the bottom represent where it came from. And let's say they pay us a visit. They'll probably think that the species who created the spacecraft have been enslaved by a similar, but much fatter, dumber, and more violent race, and leave without even saying hello.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2006-05-09 12:03 am (UTC)
Scientists are professing that life is only most likely to exist on stars near and around our star's classification, with a range of the planet's distance around our range, too.

That doesn't suppose much else, considering that other life forms may not be carbon-based and may live at temperatures completely different from our temperature range, too.
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[User Picture]From: prophecy03
2006-05-09 12:28 am (UTC)
It is well-documented that Sauce is the shit.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2006-05-09 02:35 am (UTC)

Hahaha.

Hey, you like basketball, and this is unrelated to the post, but I thought I'd share.

I pulled this text off a chat transcript with John Hollinger.


Shane (Austin, TX): As a basketball purist, can you admit you are looking forward to Spurs-Pistons II unlike everyone else?

John Hollinger: I'm looking forward to the baskeball quite a bit, especially the atmosphere at the Palace. The eight-night stay in suburban Michigan, not so much.


LOL @ the stay in MI. I tend to agree with that.
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