How Would You Message An Alien Race? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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How Would You Message An Alien Race?


Imagine you were hired to send messages out into deep space in an attempt to make contact with an alien civilisation. You have nothing to work with regarding the aliens. No clues about their language, cultures, intelligence, or anything else. What would your message contain? Let's assume you are allowed to send any non-living thing along with the message. What would you send?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 05:31 AM
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To start with it has to be something universal but not naturally occurring.

I think people often say we should send prime numbers or something.

The answer should also be something similar (universal, not natural).

Not sure where to go from there though

---

EDIT

somewhat related. This low budget movie was sort of interesting. This thread reminded me of it:


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 09:19 AM
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Stranded here on planet earth
It's not much but it could be worse


And I will wait for you
Until the sky is blue
And I will wait for you
What else can I do?


I might give a serious answer later.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT8zoNNiSLk

Stranded here on planet earth
It's not much but it could be worse


And I will wait for you
Until the sky is blue
And I will wait for you
What else can I do?


I might give a serious answer later.
First answers are set in stone!

I'm kidding. Please do share your thoughts.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 10:58 AM
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I would say **** you and send a bomb

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 03:40 PM
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 04:51 PM
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Language doesn't work without a shared context, so pictures are the way to go. They're likely to have eyes, because the electromagnetic spectrum is universal and quite useful unless you're an underwater creature (which may be the vast majority of intelligent life, living inside moons like Europa, but they wouldn't develop spaceships so presumably we're not talking to them). Voyager's golden record is a low-tech solution, but you can also digitize it if it doesn't have to last billions of years.

Every technological alien civilization will know about electricity and will have at least passed through a period of binary computing. Use the simplest algorithms, and the aliens will stumble onto the right one after a few tries -- because they'll expect us to make it simple and there are only so many simple ways to approach the problem. By trial and error they'll be able to tell when they're getting something that looks like pictures -- we'd start with universally recognizable things, like a photo of our planet from space.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-20-2020, 03:38 AM
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i would send myself


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believe in urself
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-20-2020, 03:47 AM
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-20-2020, 12:37 PM
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-20-2020, 11:43 PM
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 01:09 AM
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Some interesting and amusing posts so far.

I have some vague thoughts on what this thought-experiment highlights about shared experiences, meaning, and cultural education. But they are too vague to formulate into something coherent.

I think Wittgenstein's point about language and meaning being embedded in a "form of life" is quite relevant to the question. An alien civilisation that possibly share nothing in common with us in any meaningful sense could perhaps be "unreachable" in communication terms. Stanislaw Lem's Solaris explores this sort of idea in a beautiful way.

Maybe after some more reflection, and thought-provoking contributions from others, I'll be able to expand a bit more on what I mean by the above.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 12:37 PM
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I would send the picture of a fat blue-haired feminist. That would cancel any plans of invasion for generations to come. And who knows, it might even prompt them to nuke us from orbit. It's the only way they'd be sure.

What is a man?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrub-Zero View Post
I would send the picture of a fat blue-haired feminist. That would cancel any plans of invasion for generations to come. And who knows, it might even prompt them to nuke us from orbit. It's the only way they'd be sure.
Hang in there. You'll find love one day.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-24-2020, 12:45 PM
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I would communicate in mathematics/binary
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-01-2020, 10:00 AM
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Well they are among us so I'm sure they know about Facebook and Twitter.

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