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ET invited to contribute to interstellar 'library'

May 1, 2021 | Comment icon 15 comments

It's a long shot, but who knows - maybe someone will participate. Image Credit: YouTube / Sky
A philosopher is setting up a library with the goal of encouraging an interstellar cultural exchange with aliens.
The question of whether we are alone in the universe remains one of the biggest philosophical conundrums of our time. While it seems almost inconceivable that our civilization is alone in the cosmos, the fact still remains that we have yet to see any evidence to the contrary.

This hasn't stopped experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats, however, who has begun work on a "Library of the Great Silence" to encourage a cosmic cultural exchange with extraterrestrials.

Based at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory in Northern California, the library will offer easy access and will house artefacts from throughout Earth's history such as handaxes, fossils of extinct species and samples of material produced during the testing of the world's first atomic bomb.
Ultimately, the plan will be to host similar samples from other intelligent civilizations.

"Although interstellar exchange could take time, a material archive of transformations will have immediate global value that may be sufficient to extend the lifespan of human civilization in the interim," the project description reads.

"Manipulating existentially significant objects without the use of words - and without the underlying assumptions of language or limitations on who participates in the conversation - may facilitate comprehension of human behaviors that has previously eluded us, or even directly encourage beneficial practices such as cooperation."

Whether the project will grab the attention of any passing aliens, however, remains to be seen.

Source: Space.com | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 7 months ago
Would you still argue that it's pointless if we both identify an area in space that's suitable for life and we have the technology to attempt communication with them?
Comment icon #7 Posted by itsnotoutthere 7 months ago
Well, yes. As long as you don't mind waiting 20,30 or 50 years for a reply. Our next nearest star Proxima Centuri is 4.2 light years away which means even if we could communicate at the speed of light, we would have to wait 8.4 years for a reply. Now if we identify a planet on a star system 20 light years away, we'll have to wait 40 years for a reply..etc etc. Now considering the vast majority of stars in our galaxy 100s & 1000s of light years away from us, waiting 200 or 2000 years for a reply is unfathomable.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 7 months ago
Radio waves travel at the speed of light in a vacuum so we already can communicate "at the speed of light". 8.4 years for a response is nothing.  If we identify a planet in a star system 20 light years away that is potentially capable of sustaining life then waiting 40 years for a reply could very well be worth it. As we get into communication across such vast distances then I can agree here that yes, it would be relatively pointless given our current state of technology. That being said, I can only imagine that we will figure out faster, more efficient ways to communicate across such long dis... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by theotherguy 7 months ago
It's not too difficult to keep good records about what was sent into space, when it was sent, where, and how it was sent, and then to keep those records for several decades, or longer if needed. The question that comes to my mind is, would such a signal be intelligible by whatever might be there to receive it, and if so, would their response be intelligible to us? Even if the 1974 Arecibo message was sent out again, if the recipients' basic mathematics was based around triangles instead of rectangles, they might not recognize it as meaningful. I know I'm going deep into hypotheticals here, but... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Dejarma 7 months ago
well to start with they call it maths because that's short for mathematics like stats is short for statistics. You're obviously next to a fireplace somewhere in America. Though you may not be in America right now
Comment icon #11 Posted by theotherguy 7 months ago
Europe, Europa, same thing, right? I freely admit my American-ness, and my inability to pick a moon of Jupiter that doesn't sounds like a continent.
Comment icon #12 Posted by itsnotoutthere 7 months ago
Er....faster than light??  You do know the physics involved in accelerating sub atomic particles to near the speed of light? I say 'near' because it hasn't been done yet. Einsteins equations still hold. https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/1557/accelerating-particles-to-speeds-infinitesimally-close-to-the-speed-of-light By special relativity, the energy needed to accelerate a particle (with mass) grow super-quadratically when the speed is close to c, and is ? when it is c. E=?mc2=mc21?(“percent of speed of light”)2???????????????????????????E=?mc2=mc21?(“percent of speed of light”)2 Sin... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 7 months ago
No, not "faster than light". This is currently not possible based on our understanding of physics. I imagine we will eventually leverage quantum entanglement to communicate across these distances, though for now I can agree that yes, it is essentially pointless to attempt communication across vast distances of, say, hundreds of light years.
Comment icon #14 Posted by itsnotoutthere 7 months ago
"I imagine we will eventually leverage quantum entanglement to communicate across these distances" That's assuming we can find enough Dilithium crystals  
Comment icon #15 Posted by josellama2000 7 months ago
BTW, interstellar is a small town in Siberia. So I doubt any alien will be interested. :)

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