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Television For an Audience 45 Light Years Away

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the waiting-for-syndication dept.

324

beebopdebop writes, "The Irish Times notes that Europe goes intergalactic tonight with the broadcast of a program conceived for aliens and broadcast towards a point 45 light years away in the direction of the Big Dipper. The two naked hosts will present their own unclothed bodies as examples of our physical embodiments, and will tell about daily human existence. Music, art, and our own personal messages will be transmitted as well as discussions from sociologists, scientists, and space experts. This project is the brainchild of the French-based Centre National D'etudes Spatiales and is rooted in seriousness as a natural extension of the gold-plated ambassador disks of Pioneer 10. Those of us wishing to be included can still post messages to be sent into space via a CNES antenna. We will have to wait 90 years to learn whether or not some lifeform was listening."

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The reply: (5, Funny)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264321)

"Put some clothes on, you flabby bastards."

Television For an ADULT Audience 45 Light-ys Away (3, Interesting)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264483)

...would probably be the more appropriate title.

We may be sending out the wrong signals though by telling them this world is not just pre-Warp, but even pre-Wardrobe. ;-)

Anyway, there's reason to be afraid someone may also have seriously misunderstood mankind's actual role in reproduction for Aliens [imdb.com] ...

Re:The reply: (4, Funny)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264531)

"Put some clothes on, you flabby bastards."

This is a European [istheshit.net] initiative, not an American one ;)

Re:The reply: (2, Funny)

ral8158 (947954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16265043)

Because American people are always obese, and European people are always thin and fit?

Painting with a wide brush only makes you look stupid.

Europe goes intergalactic tonight (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264327)

Since the target is only 45 light years away surely that should be intragalactic.

Re:Europe goes intergalactic tonight (4, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264449)

I'd be curious to know how they want to prepare any potential "viewers" for what's in the stream coming to them...

Even if they get a broadcast at a certain frequency - how intuitive will it be for an alien listener, that this broadcast will be audio/video in PAL, SECAM or NTSC coding?

Sounds pretty useless to me - about the same chance, as if they send a windows version of the Encyclopedia Britannica out for aliens to browse through...

In comparison, the gold plate on voyager is something more readily accessible - as an effort was made to keep the message simple.

Re:Europe goes intergalactic tonight (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264583)

I remember reading about a conference on communication with ET's where one person prepared a message, not encrypted, but just expressed in a strange way; which is what would would expect from ET's. The message was circulated to all attendees and none of them could extract the meaning, though there was a lot of slapping of foreheads, etc, when the answer was revealed.

So yes, even for people who know they will have to decode an unknown message, it can be hard to meaning with no starting point.

Re:Europe goes intergalactic tonight (3, Informative)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264827)

I remember reading about a conference on communication with ET's where one person prepared a message, not encrypted, but just expressed in a strange way

Yeah I saw something similar. The guy had made a file containing the binary data and handed to fellow ET researchers, asking if they could decode it. Nobody was able to do it. The trick was that if you printed out the 1's and 0's using a certain column width, it drew a picture.

There's a LOT of ways to encode data, which might seem intuative to some but will baffle others. I don't think you'll have to go further than the various file formats we got to see that ;)

Re:Europe goes intergalactic tonight (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16265039)

Wow that was the first thing i thought when i read this...

Maybe if we send them a TV with a nuclear UPS, a big pushbutton for switching it on, and a really good satellite reciever? Sure the radio waves for the tv show will have long come and gone, but at least they got a TV out of it... :\

The two naked hosts (3, Funny)

Xemu (50595) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264331)

"The two naked hosts will present their own unclothed bodies as examples of our physical embodiments, and will tell about daily human existence."

Let's hope they picked Ingrid Swede and Scarlet Johansson. It would be interesting to hear them speak about their daily life.

Re:The two naked hosts (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264375)

Let's hope they picked Ingrid Swede and Scarlet Johansson. It would be interesting to hear them speak about their daily life.

What? And make them think we reproduce like parthenogenesis?

Of course if Scarlett Johansson was a typical human female, we probably would, ceteris paribus.

Re:The two naked hosts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264591)

You read that weird Joystiq article about the Wii didn't you?

Re:The two naked hosts (5, Insightful)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264441)

So, the real question is: Will these episodes be aired on our planet? :)

Re:The two naked hosts (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264471)

As long as it's not Keith Chegwin, we'll all be fine.

Naked Jungle was just toooo much.

hm, (4, Funny)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264335)

Don't we already send out enough signals into space, many of which deal with the subject of life on our planet? If anything aliens would be getting pissed off with being inundated with out crap 24/7... and it doesn't help that they'd be getting about 3000 channels all the time so would find it really hard to tell the difference between them.

On a slightly less serious note, is it really a good idea to teach potentially hostile aliens about how we work (and by extension how to kill us)? Not to mention we know that the only people who are really going to watch are 1000 light-years away waiting for single female lawyer

Re:hm, (1)

brown-eyed slug (913910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264447)

As you flag your second comment 'slightly less serious' I will treat it with a modicum of seriousness. Do you honestly believe that an alien intelligence with the knowledge and power to travel 45 light years across space will have any trouble at all finding a way to kill us? Don't forget they've probably seen most of the CSI series too...

Re:hm, (1)

speckledpig (880809) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264507)

I hope that we're smart like in the movie and built TWO giant alien machines in case one breaks down.

Historical Documents (1)

agw (6387) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264547)

Don't we already send out enough signals into space, many of which deal with the subject of life on our planet?

Oh, yeah. They already got our "historical documents" and shaped their entire society accordingly.

Re:hm, (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264553)

Yes, but now we can include our own messages. I've sent: "To whoever finds this note, I have been imprisoned by my father, who wishes me to marry against my will. Please, please, please come and rescue me. I am in the tall tower of Swamp Castle."

That should make it an interesting day when their invasion army warps into orbit.

Re:hm, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264769)

Upon which one of the aliens will say "At last! A call! A cry of distress! This could be the sign that leads us to the Holy Grail! Brave, brave Concorde, you shall not have died in vain!"

Re:hm, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264559)

- Don't we already send out enough signals into space, many of which deal with the subject of life on our planet?

Probably that's why they still don't want to contact us.

Couple things (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264663)

1) Just because we blast out signals all the time doesn't mean they are perceptible from any distance. None of our normal transmission systems are designed for anything but terrestrial operation. A large number face the Earth, many are low power and omnidirectional, and so on. Not the kind of thing really designed to be noticeable at interstellar distances. The SNR is likely to be too low. So something specifically designed and focused for it has a much better chance.

2) I don't think it's a worry if they are hostile because it wouldn't really matter. Supposing they are a hostile race, and thus devote a good deal of research and effort to weapons development as we do, and supposing their technology is far enough ahead of ours that they could send an invasion fleet (something we are at least hundreds of years away form, maybe more) I think its' safe to assume that we would get rolled regardless of the information we provided. I mean think of it like this: Would it really matter if a society like 18th century Europe gave any info to a foe as advanced as the current US military? The technology difference is so massive that there's no hope. A single armour division would probably be sufficient to crush whole armies.

Now please don't let this give the impression that I don't think this is a massive waste of time and money, it is, but not because of the reasons you listed (it's a waste because in all likelihood there's nothing there).

Re:Couple things (2, Interesting)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264743)

Why would they bother with an invasion fleet? Surely a one time momentum investment in applying a giant chunk of iron based meteoric junk to the "Terran Problem" is a much more likely scenario?

Re:hm, (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264771)

Don't we already send out enough signals into space, many of which deal with the subject of life on our planet?

Yeah, but considering what percentage of that is FOX news, daytime soap operas, infomercials and Jerry Springer, maybe they'd be happy to see some hot naked French chicks without having to invade North Dakota with pod ships just so they can get all the good porn on cable.

Re:hm, (1)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264873)

On a slightly less serious note, is it really a good idea to teach potentially hostile aliens about how we work (and by extension how to kill us)?

Don't you know that security through obscurity always fails?

Leftist Apologia for Aliens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264967)

Aliens will never kill humans. Aliens are essentially good. If they did attack us it would be in response to galactic imperialism from the evil earth run U.S. TV stations. When aliens level earth cities with death rays it is a good thing. When humans send TV into outer space it is neo-con airwave imperialism and is a bad thing. We should multiculturalise with the aliens and allow them to destroy everything on planet earth. Regards, Marxist Alien Lover

90 years is optimistic (4, Insightful)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264337)

No, we'd have to wait a few years longer. Before 'they' figure out that it was a transmission, before they've decoded it correctly (do you think they use PAL or NTSC? Decisions!) and can begin to interpret it (who says they have eyes or ears?), manage to figure out what we are and what we're actually saying, and managed to construct a reply in a format that we're likely to be able to decode, you're probably looking at quite a few years.

Given that we've only just managed to decipher what our own first man on moon actually said after a few decades, I think you're looking at decades of work.

And all that's before they even manage to create and send a reply, which will take 45 years to get here.

Re:90 years is optimistic (4, Funny)

Steve Cox (207680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264463)

Knowing the French, it's likely to be transmitted in SECAM-L rather than PAL/NTSC so no one will be able to decode it :)

Steve.

Re:90 years is optimistic (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264963)

Well, actually, it can be a lot less than 90 years. For all we know, there is a spacecraft just outside the solar system that is receiving the data and can send a response. All life may not be biological and work on our timeframes.

Naked Presenters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264349)

How is this any different from any other european news broadcast??

Re:Naked Presenters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264453)

How is this any different from any other european news broadcast??

European news broadcasts aren't relevant to daily human existence.

Great, intergalactic pornography (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264351)

Great, now we're doing intergalactic pornography. What's next?

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (4, Funny)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264455)

Great, now we're doing intergalactic pornography. What's next?

Inter-dimensional porn?

As a second thought; how could we ever make pornography that turns aliens on? Just imagine a dog or a lizard trying to get you turned on? (or a fat chick)>
What if the mechanisms of reproduction are very different as ours? Maybe they would think of us as ugly stupid mamals, mainly driven by mating instincts and obsessively seek out into the universe for mating-partners. They OR would avoid earth, or send out more probing UFO's. Eitherway, not the desired result.

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264665)

uh, how old is the lizard, and what is it wearing? Do you have some pics?

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (4, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264549)

You should realize, the equivalence nakedness == pornography is virtually unique to the USA.

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (2, Insightful)

Denial93 (773403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264629)

>You should realize, the equivalence nakedness == pornography is virtually unique to the USA.

And to those sorry people who have girlfriends with the last names of GIF and JPG. With the population of American geeks here, it surprises me that noone has yet wondered why we don't do it properly and send those aliens goatse.cx.

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264699)

Really? so it's 100% ok for women to go naken or barely clothed in muslim countries?

wow! we are told over here that muslim women most be completely covered at all times or face death.

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264739)

That is why I said virtually, instead of completely ;-)

But I'm not sure its that simple. Women are oppressed in most muslim countries, for sure. But is it specifically nakedness? What about naked men?

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (1)

rizole (666389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264789)

Nothing to do with pronography then if nakedness==death.

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264875)

I knew foreigners were weird, but you don't even take your clothes off to do it?

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (2, Informative)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264989)

Scary, you never did computer science 101, you don't even know what 'equivalence' means?

Either that, or you never get undressed without having sex in the process.

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (4, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264923)

You should realize, the equivalence nakedness == pornography is virtually unique to the USA.

That's actually not true. In other theocracies it's often the same or even worse.

Re:Great, intergalactic pornography (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264985)

I never understood why it is so wrong for a woman to show her bare nipples in public. I mean, think for a second: it's not the breast per se that is, apparently, immoral, but rather the nipple, since it seems to be ok to show all the other parts of the breast that don't fit into bikini tops -- since those are nothing more than a skimpy triangle of fabric these days, and breasts tend to, uh, overflow it -- or show lots and lots of cleavage aided by {wonder,push}-bras that practically point those things at us. So, clearly, the "forbidden fruit" must be the nipple.

Strangely enough, showing male nipples doesn't seem to offend anyone.

This double standard is really hard to understand. What is so dirty and foul with a woman's nipple that makes it socially unacceptable to show in public, while the male counterpart isn't given as much as a frown? For the life of me, I could /never/ understand why it is so. Stupidity, perhaps?

Hope they have Tivo over there (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264353)

It would be a shame to send it once and have them miss it.

This is the problem I have with specific EM signals.
Once they are gone, thats it.

I still think the only real way to communicate with outlying civilisations properly will be with supernovas.
Though, only one message could be send - "Help our sun is blowing u^&"%£%^&!*(())[NO CARRIER]

SFL (4, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264361)

I'd think they would much prefer the latest episode of Single Female Lawyer.

I suggest.. (1)

rkaa (162066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264683)

..we transmit looping reruns of Soilent Green :)

I'm going to get my Karma wiped out but... (2, Funny)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264363)

I've gotta be the first to say this: So with the two naked presenters (presumably male and female adults, I haven't seen the show), exactly how are they going to show human reproduction?

Re:I'm going to get my Karma wiped out but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264377)

They can print them out and make cutouts, and much like a kid with a puzzle, try to put them together...Though that might lead to the conclusion of skull fucking...

Re:I'm going to get my Karma wiped out but... (3, Informative)

he-sk (103163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264429)

The "hosts" were animated drawings, which looked surprisingly like the man and woman drawn on the disk that is aboard Pioneer.

Incidentelly, I was watching TV with a friend yesterday as I don't own one, and while we flipped through the channels we stumbled upon that program. In the 10 minutes or so we watched, they showed an interview with Orson Welles, telling that he was shocked to learn that so many people took his radio play of War of the Worlds for real and then a guy who on 9/11 first thought that he, too, was in some kind of fake television play. Then they showed a report about early alien/monster movies and how they spoke of the desire and fear we have of the unknown.

Inbetween segments they had a split screen with one panel showing a guy laying on the grass talking about something or other and in the other panels they showed beautiful nature photography.

Quite entertaining, I must say.

Re:I'm going to get my Karma wiped out but... (4, Informative)

Monsieur_F (531564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264615)

The "hosts" were animated drawings


Actually they are real human beings, look here [www.arte.tv]

Anyway the program is mainly an artform to me, and the "send it to aliens" is just there as a cover.
The idea is funny, but that's it...

The best part was the letters to aliens from some average people, some were quite funny.

Re:I'm going to get my Karma wiped out but... (2, Funny)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264889)

I was watching TV with a friend yesterday as I don't own one
You'd have more friends if you understood that you're not supposed to own them...

Program title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264369)

The two naked hosts will present their own unclothed bodies as examples of our physical embodiments.


Debbie Does the Big Dipper.

Ak ak aaak ak aak! (1)

nephridium (928664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264379)

What if the Martians are all like "Nice planet. We'll take it!" [imdb.com] after receiving our transmission? Has anyone thought that through? - In any case just keep in mind: if a Martian draws a big circle into the air, it's not the international sign of the doughnut!

Naivete.... (4, Interesting)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264409)

Why do people continue to delude themselves that an alien intelligence will be able to comprehend communication as we consider it? And if they can that they'll be foolish enough to waste time on decoding, renderring and interpreting an unreachably distant point of light? And if they go that far, why the heck does anyone expect a usefull response?

At best there'll be no response, but should they then pick up on our everyday TV the likely response is surely some form of uncrewed planet buster. I know I'd prefer not to leave a hornets nest like humanity brewing in any corner of my galaxy. No intelligence with a self-preservation process would.

We are a crippled duck, currently hidden in a vast swamp. Our only security being through obscurity. Why the hell do people insist on flailing around screaming for the hunters? Actually, that doesn't quite work. We are a crippled unknown creature, that appears to have the mindset of a ravaging beast, but lacking the ability. Which lives longer? The rabid dog spazzing out in broad daylight in th emiddle of the street or the rabid cat stalking the shadows?

Re:Naivete.... (1)

BlueLightning (442320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264535)

Well, turn it around then: if we received a signal from a distant alien race, don't you think we'd put our very best people onto decoding it the very same day it was received? You bet we would.

Your point about our safety is well made. However, what if early explorers decided it was too dangerous to go out? "Nah, there might be monsters in those hills, I think i'll stay home by the fire". Safe, but pretty dull when there might be interesting things to discover.

Re:Naivete.... (1, Insightful)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264715)

Assuming we recognised it as a coherent signal at any rate.

Previously explorers have gone out and been eaten. They haven't sent out messages saying "I'm here. Come and do what you will to me".

Previous explorers risked themselves, not their entire civilisations.
I'm not saying don't look. I'm just saying look cautiously, with a recognition that any intellignet life whose development we can comprehend will have evolved with (psychological) self-preservation and combat capabilities.

Previous explorers also tended to have defense capabilities equivalent to the task. Most civilisations capable of plucking a TV signal from the ether and decoding it completely (from scratch) will be so far beyond us that should they decide we're a danger (or even decide we're too noisy and likely to draw negative attention to this corner of the spiral) we'll never even know about it.

Re:Naivete.... (1)

Canordis (826884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264669)

Why do people continue to delude themselves that an alien intelligence will be able to comprehend communication as we consider it? And if they can that they'll be foolish enough to waste time on decoding, renderring and interpreting an unreachably distant point of light? And if they go that far, why the heck does anyone expect a usefull response? Because that's what we would do in their place.

Re:Naivete.... (2, Insightful)

noamsml (868075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264721)

Your immediate assumption might be that alien intelligence must be superior, but why would you assume that?

Re:Naivete.... (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264795)

The "Apes or Angels" concept.

Humanity in a form capable of doing anything useful with electromagnetic signals has existed for less than 50 years. We will (probably) exist in a vastly more powerfull state for a long time. (Sizable second and third possibilities of completely eradicating our species ourselves and resetting our society back to waiting for lightning to start a fire for us acknowledged).

Best guess : Whoever receives and decodes a TV signal like that won't have just started shoving EM-radiation around a mere 50 years ago. (Unless they see in the 54-72 MHz range and think in SECAM (which I reckon is just as likely as their existing in the 45 LY range).

Your planet has been blacklisted for pr0n-spamming (4, Funny)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264411)

Sincerely, The alien operators of FireWall@Dipper.Big

Re:Your planet has been blacklisted for pr0n-spamm (1)

mikek3332002 (912228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264487)

That's exactly what I was thinking. Your comment should be one of the 5+ funnies.

This is pointless (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264421)

They will already have seen episodes of Knight Rider and they will know that the Hoff rules the universe. Why would they bother with this crap?

Re:This is pointless (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264509)

They then saw Baywatch and after analysing the bouncing boobies for a while decided Hoff wasn't the ruler.
It was a silicone intelligence.

Futurama? (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264423)

Yeah, great idea! Let's beam out the first season of Lost and wait for the aliens to invade us because the finale gave them no answers and they got fed up with waiting for us to beam out the second season...

Re:Futurama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264495)

If J. J. Abrams pitched that show to ABC, they'd buy it.

Naked News (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264427)

The two naked hosts will present their own unclothed bodies as examples of our physical embodiments, and will tell about daily human existence.

Naked News has naked presenters telling about daily human existence, so this is old ;). If they just broadcast NN instead, I bet that'll get ET over here in a hurry though. [nakednews.com]

Re:Naked News (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264439)

Oops, missed a </a>, sorry. Was meant to be be like

Naked News [nakednews.com] has naked presenters telling about daily human existence, so this is old ;). If they just broadcast NN instead, I bet that'll get ET over here in a hurry though.

Re:Naked News (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264511)

I don't think that that would get ET here any more quickly.

Assuming that ET has an entirely different physiology, the would be aliens would have to be into humans through an extension of zoophilia or perhaps develop a form of xenophilia. (Is this the correct prefix when talking about ETs?)

Probability??? (1)

mahesh_gharat (633793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264435)

What are the chances that those aliens will be listening on those frequencies, if they are listening at all? What are the chances that we will be still using Television after 90 Years. Have they made proper provisions to schedule the listening activity after 90 years?

Re:Probability??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264537)

Presumably they will have a project like SETI to look for these signals.

proprietary junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264457)

So, looking at a random sampling of the uploaded messages, those aliens had better be running all the latest proprietary junk from microsoft. Either that, or be really good in reverse engineering. (And let's hope the DMCA does not reach all the way to Errai!)

90 years (3, Insightful)

Xemu (50595) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264459)

We will have to wait 90 years to learn whether or not some lifeform was listening.

But then the MPAA can still sue them for DCMA and copyright violations if they decoded the movie without a license and used parts of our broadcast in their reply!

Andromeda Strain (1)

Vexler (127353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264473)

In the book "Andromeda Strain", Michael Crichton discussed the various methods that an alien civilization might choose to contact us. Various manifestations of electromagnetic transmission, such as radio or television, are deemed to have too high a distance-to-expense ratio since signals fade in inverse square of the distance: Too little bang for too much buck.

An interesting solution was proposed whereby you would use biological organisms to spread the news of your existence. By spreading vast amounts of cheap, space-hardened spores that contain all the necessary ingredients to regenerate into a complete alien organism, you gain two advantages over EM transmissions: The "signal", in this case the regenerated organism, does not fade, and you can mass-produce these spores very cheaply. These organisms can then help whoever the recipient is to contact the home planet of the alien species.

I think it's safe to say that, barring a significant leap in our understanding of biology and biophysics, we are unfortunately still stuck at an intergalactic stone age when it comes to long-distance communication technologies.

Re:Andromeda Strain (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264569)

Well, once again, Crichton is full of shit.

Life, as we know, mutates, and any signal you try to send with it quickly runs out. And mass producing such organisms and sending them out into space is *not* cheap, especially not relative to the alternative of sending out EM signals. (How are you going to get the momentum changes to send these things certain places?) The real killer is that it's ridiculously slow.

And such spores will also fade in the inverse square ratio - in general, anything that sprays out in an arc around an object must do so. The only way to get out of the inverse square law is either to use coherent sources like lasers, which of course only works if you know what you are shooting at, or to use some sort of self-replicating robotic message. Biology, being based on messy chemistry, just isn't good enough.

Re:Andromeda Strain (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264597)

Yeah, but imagine the sheer number of geeks that would line up to have their semen shot into space! Erm, wait, on second thought, maybe that isn't such a pleasant scenario.....

Re:Andromeda Strain (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264655)

Yeah, but imagine the sheer number of geeks that would line up to have their semen shot into space!

Ah here it is. [phpsolvent.com]

Re:Andromeda Strain (1)

fritsd (924429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264603)

If the organisms are like the Descolada virus in Orson Scott Card's books, what message are we trying to send?

Uh, too late. (1, Insightful)

Guillaume Castel (1002740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264493)

That's just great. Yet another announcement for a past event. Thank you /.

Great.. Tell them (1)

Ricken (797341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264557)

Tell them we want Elvis back.

LRRR (1)

thhamm (764787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264581)

those aliens [earthlink.net] will be pissed we replaced their favorite show "single female lawyer" with two silly naked people.

we want McNeal!!!

DRM (2, Funny)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264599)

Too bad they will not be able to read the message when it gets there since they will not have the correct regional coding on their TV sets.

Their response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264605)

Dear Earthlings,
We received your last transmission, but being it DRMed we werent' able to make a recording to study it. Could you please send it again in unrestricted format? We will wait for the 90 years delay. Thanks.

Why do the aliens need... (1)

infolib (618234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264641)

..my full name, address and phone number? They don't even know what PLANET I'm on for Zarquons sake!

Not to mention the piss-poor interstellar data protection laws.

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264671)

If they broadcasted naked, the aliens will find out about the lower human horn!!

Won't somebody Think of the Children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264691)

How dare we broadcast this during early alien prime time?

All those alien children will still be up watching TV.

What if they tune in and see our [gasp!] nekked bodies?

Oh won't somebody Think Of The Alien Children?

great plan (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264741)

Uh, hello aliens. This is what we look like. See, we're soft and squishy on the outside and crunchy on the inside. We still use radio waves to communicate and we can barely reach out of our atmospheric envelope. Hey, wanna come over and play?

Re:great plan (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264823)

And in ninety years the aliens come over to play and notice that the information *might* be a bit out of date.

underwhelmed by the distance (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264751)

45 lightyears isn't that much IMHO. If there is someone that close who can pick up our signals, then there's a good chance that they already have a presence in this Solar System. And they probably would be aware of us since we've already been broadcasting for more than 45 years. Those signals are no where near as strong, but if they're listening on the radio spectrum, then that's most of the way to being able to hear the more feeble broadcasts of 45 years ago.

Even at a modest speed of 300 km/s (or 0.1% of the speed of light), something that can be achieved with nuclear propulsion or ion drives (especially if you use gravitation assists to get you up to speed), that would cover the distance in 45,000 years. We probably have the capability to do that now though obviously we don't have experience in keeping things intact for that long especially when exposed to cosmic rays.

How much technology would it require to maintain a network of self-replicating von Neuman machines around each and every planemo around each and every star in the galaxy? My take is not that much. Anyone sufficiently curious that they'll pick up TV signals would IMHO be capable of that within a few thousand years.

This article prompts two questions: (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264755)

Two important questions:

1. Is contact with aliens going to signal the end of humanity as we know it at the hands of our new alien overlords?
2. Are the presenters hot, and can I get a copy?

Obligatory gag (0)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264767)

"I for one welcome our new pervy overlords"

Attention Europeans! (1)

Netsplitter (983360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264811)

Ok, which one of you have a big, big antenna and a spare room?

they would arrive before the signal is sent.... (2, Funny)

BrentRJones (68067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264825)

because they would be able to travel faster than light AND back in time

In fact, the reason that so many UFOs were sighted in the early 50s was Earth TV was so interesting that many galaxies sent talent scouts. Of course, the reason we were never invited to the Universal Television Network was we only produced boring programming. (They made one exception and aired the first 5 seasons of Saturday Night Live.)

But was it sent in PAL or NTSC? (1)

Timo_UK (762705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264839)

How are the aliens meant to receive this???

Where's David Tennant when you really need him? (1)

Prototerm (762512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264887)

This is a really bad idea! Hasn't anyone there been watching Doctor Who? Sheesh, talk about putting us all at risk from giant reptilian pr0n collectors.

Super Advanced Alien TIVOs? (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264931)

Personally, I wouldn't allow my works to be sent to them aliens as they may have super advanced alien TIVOs and abuse my copyrights.

Then again, my copyrights will have run out by the time they see my works... Or will they still be in effect...

All except my BY-SA and GPL and other Free works that is.

all the best,

drew
http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=(creator%3 A%22drew%20Roberts%22)%20OR%20(collection%3A(ourme dia)%20AND%20%2Fmetadata%2Fauthor%3A(drew%20Robert s)) [archive.org]

Be young, please (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264983)

Ok, but if you don't want the aliens running away screaming, make sure they're hot! The last thing aliens need to see is some old guy talking about how great earth is. Speaking of which, how can someone recieve this broadcast?

Paid or Ad based? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16264995)

Will the aliens have to pay for this service or will it be ad supported? If its free, I'm going to get really pissed! Here, in the good ol' USA, we have to pay $35 a month for low end cable TV, and if I want to see naked people, thats adds a LOT $$$ extra!!! The tv program they are talking about has 2 naked hosts, and its free!!! How cool is that? While on the subject of aliens, will this "intergalactic" tv be acciessibele to the aliens that crosses the border illegally as well? I have to say its good to be an alien (intergalactic or not) these days ;-)

Alien senses (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16265011)

One of the other problems that might occur is the possibility that the recieving aliens don't have the same sensory organs/functions that we do. Even if they found a satelite of ours with an audio recording, what good would it do if they didn't have the ability to detect/interpet sound waves the same way we do? The same could be said for visual recordings. They might not 'see' the same spectrums of light that we do and not be able to see anything on a screen. For all we know, they could only hear magnetic waves and only see sound waves.

Its funny how arrogant mankind is in thinking that any alien species would be anything like him.

First contact will most likely come without any warning and huge communication and culture barriers will occur.

Hopefully both parties will have the patience and understanding to make it work.

This is cute but you don't need to look so far awy (0)

chro57 (593073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16265059)

But the visitors not from the earth are already here, studying our civilisations.
How do I know ?
I interacted with one. It showed me three time it's existence and abilities.

They are not made of the same material than us, and do not obey our physical laws.
When they interact us, it is like when you put your hands in a water pool : they
are not from our univers, but from an hyperdimensional univers from which ours
is only a created part. And the body that appears to us is just a projection.
Their intelligence is not human, and they can create very intriguing art and
artifacts. For example ET encounters... UFO that defy laws of physic... Objects that
moves, or appears or disappears...

Angels... from "God" ?

We are just fish in a jar. We really live in a "Matrix".
And our life is just a test.
And planet Earth and our univers is an experiment.

The only information I got from the "outside" of our univers, is that it was structured like an incredibly powerful brain. And that our univers is just a creation of the mind of this brain, like we create numbers, mathematics, and imaginate virtual machines. But of that I have had no proof, apart from dreams that were very detailed and rich.

Pray the living God, study the bible, the coran, and the stories of people who saw "supernaturals" things.

Now I wish you good dreams, and lot of humility, and care, and courage in the hard time.

Absolutely stupid assholes (1)

tdavie (872370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16265075)

We should be comvincing anything that is out there of our overwhelming military superiority, and out unwavering willingness to destroy anything that does not submit to our demands. Anything less is courting disaster. Tom
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