[ExI] fermi question alive and well

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Mar 27 15:07:46 UTC 2019



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Dylan Distasio
Subject: Re: [ExI] fermi question alive and well


>…I fear the answer is that the probability of intelligent life evolving and getting to the space exploration level more than once in overlapping time frames is exceedingly low, which I hope is not the case.  I would love for this hypothesis and the other pessimistic ones that explain the radio silence to be proven wrong of course…



Perhaps so, but your comment gave me an idea.  Start with the pessimistic assumption that the intelligence span of humanity and any intelligent species is limited and short (perhaps a few hundred years of ability to send out signal beacons at 21 cm, detectable from far away.)


Your mission: design a completely autonomous system which would send out some easily-recognizable signal at 21 cm that would continue to do so for say tens of thousands of years without human intervention.  We can use Sagan’s idea from Contact, of bopping out the first few prime numbers in base 1. Sending out the signal a coupla times a day would be sufficient perhaps, or suggest a time interval.  Where would you put it?  Hasta be robust enough to survive the EMP humanity will likely pop ourselves with repeatedly in the reasonably foreseeable.


I am imagining something on the moon’s limb, inside a crater out of view of the Earth, collecting solar energy and transmitting with that when it is available for a coupla weeks a month.  What I don’t know is the long-term reliability of that kind of system and how much mass it would take.  But if we can do this, we can still signal We Are Here messages long after we aren’t anymore.


Reasoning: if we humans are asking Are We Alone, the other guy out there is asking the same question too.  This way we give that guy hope, even if he is (in reality) alone, it would convince him that he isn’t.  This way, he has reason to believe intelligence can survive itself long term, even if we didn’t.







On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 10:00 AM <spike at rainier66.com <mailto:spike at rainier66.com> > wrote:

This question has been front and center in my mind for most of my life:


I am no closer to an answer now than I was in my misspent youth.


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