Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

Do you think Aliens will really be able to decipher this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pioneer_plaque.svg

Perhaps if the discovery is so exciting that they have their best minds working on it. I really don't know why the felt that - on a multi million dollar space craft, on a craft designed to potentially be our first contact with extra terrestrial life, that we'd limit ourselves to less than a half dozen obscure symbols with no context.

The Voyager Gold Record is even worse.

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec.html
Permalink Send private email Сергей РахманиноB 
April 11th, 2007 7:10am
That Voyager Gold record has greetings in dozens of languages.  I can't think of a better way to confuse the crap out of the aliens than to present them with not one, but many different modes of communication.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
April 11th, 2007 7:14am
Sergei, I've been meaning to ask you. Is that a common surname?
Permalink Send private email (100 + 85)/2 
April 11th, 2007 7:40am
That's what happens when you design something by committee. What I don't get is why they felt the need to constrain themselves to just one sheet of gold, or such low resolution details. A 3-dimensional model of man & woman would have been much more useful. Some basic knowledge of science and our physiology too - I know I would be seriously disappointed if a space ship crash landed on earth and all it had were some astronomical squiggles and a line drawing of aliens.

I might go as far to do a 'powers of 10' style presentation that went from the atomic level to the cosmic, doubling the scale each time. That way you could convey some real information.

What we sent was crap.
Permalink Send private email Сергей РахманиноB 
April 11th, 2007 7:41am
http://goldenrecord.org/

A fairly cool site.
Permalink  
April 11th, 2007 7:58am
They have a track with greetings that alternate from left to right and then underneath it they have whale songs?

What were those NASA guys smoking?
Permalink Send private email Сергей РахманиноB 
April 11th, 2007 8:02am
they'd been listening to HHGTTG. They figured the aliens ARE whales ...
Permalink $-- 
April 11th, 2007 8:04am
>> Is that a common surname?

Common enough. I suppose googling for me would be easier if the forum let me put a cyrillic "в" in the name field.
Permalink Send private email Сергей РахманиноB 
April 11th, 2007 8:12am
Sheesh.  Perfectionists.

The goal was not to "send a message", the goal was to "send a sensor platform".  The record was an after-thought by people who'd been reading a lot of science fiction.

Quite frankly, it's amazing they were willing to give up any weight at all to put the record on the craft.  It's also possible billions and billions of years from now, that will be the only artifact of humanity still in existence.  If they'd waited before it was perfect, it wouldn't have gone.

It's done.  It's WAY too far out there to be retrieved.  If you think you can do better, Burt Rutan is just down the block (in Arizona or something).  Get HIM to build you a launch vehicle and go for it.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 11th, 2007 9:22am
Didn't you ever see "Raiders of the lost ark"?  There's a scene in there where the bad guy shows Indy a watch -- worthless, $10 in the market place.

But bury it for thousands of years, and it becomes priceless.  The same with the Pioneer record.  Who cares if it's crap, it's there.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 11th, 2007 9:23am
Fuck, STH, don't you get it. If we screw this up, some alien civilization will come back to Earth to steal our whales or some such thing. Don't you watch Star Trek?
Permalink Send private email Сергей РахманиноB 
April 11th, 2007 9:42am
Could have been worse.  The engineers could have sent out a record with William Shatner singing.
Permalink xampl 
April 11th, 2007 9:45am
They would have recognized his voice from the reruns though. Whales don't go into syndication.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
April 11th, 2007 10:00am
My fear is due to some weird sensitivity to initial conditions Hitler's broadcast will not be the first to be viewed by the aliens, but Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech. Imagine that! Not only our technonology, even our capacity of violence will be laughed at. Scary!
Permalink Send private email (100 + 85)/2 
April 11th, 2007 10:30am
"Could have been worse.  The engineers could have sent out a record with William Shatner singing."

I think that sounds like the perfect place to put it.
Permalink Lurk Machine 
April 11th, 2007 10:58am

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