Wireless Waffle - A whole spectrum of radio related rubbish
Hear no Alien, See no Alien, Speak no Aliensignal strength
Tuesday 18 April, 2017, 15:37 - Radio Randomness
Posted by Administrator
alien radio transmissionsHere at Wireless Waffle, we have taken quite an interest recently in deep space communication with Mars and Jupiter and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI), considering whether we are, for example, listening on the wrong frequency.

It seems, however, that even the professionals are having difficulty in detecting any signals from remote solar systems. The Guardian newspaper reports that 'the most ambitious alien search to date draws a blank'. The Breakthrough Listen project had found a number of promising signals, however despite innovative software and algorithms and $100 million of funding, all of these turned out to be terrestrial in origin.

At the same time, whilst we are listening, should we not also be attempting to transmit signals for others out in the great black beyond to receive. After all, no-one would know that we are here unless we shout about it.

Many fear the consequences of us raising awareness of our existence. They claim that if we were to announce to the universe that we are here, 'minds immeasurably superior to ours would regard our Earth with envious eyes' (to paraphrase HG Wells). The 2015 Hugo award winning novel The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu explores this precise issue (as well as providing a tantalising glance of a futuristic on-line game designed to route out only the most intelligent). Originally written in Chinese, the book picks up the story of a remote Chinese 'radar' station whose function is not quite as navigational as it seems. It's in the process of being made into a feature length movie too (albeit in Chinese).

It stands to reason, however, that if we shy away from transmitting the occasional signal to alert anyone that is listening that we are here, it would be logical to assume that any other intelligent civilisations may have taken the same cautious approach. Hence we will never hear from them and they will not hear from us. This doesn't mean we should give up, but it does question the logic of listening intently, whilst not speaking.

hear speak see no alien
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