[extropy-chat] FW: The Drake Equation and Spatial Proximity

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Oct 23 20:23:16 UTC 2006

On Sun, Oct 22, 2006 at 07:23:12PM -0700, spike wrote:

> If intelligent life in the cosmos were communicating, they would likely use
> lasers as opposed to radiating the signals spherically.  With typical lasers

I wouldn't use lasers, I would use relativistic matter pellet streams.
You just can't beat the bandwidth, and the latency is almost as good
as photons.

> we already have, the signals could be beamed with several thousand fold less
> power than trying to radiate the signal.  Secondly, the signal energy
> requirement is proportional to the frequency of the carrier.  So good chance
> the signals would be very low frequency and would be sent only to those

There's no point in low-bandwidth links. Whatever it is, it has
bits standing on each other's toes.

> stars which the smart stars already knew someone was there listening.  The

We're radio bright only for less than a century. We should become relativistic
travellers in about that time frame. If you were watching us from the distance,
there would be no point to sending us anything. We would be arriving
before your signal had time to reach us. I would also wonder why
you would send anything, if you would just receive intelligence from your
own expanding wavefront. That way you wouldn't miss anyone, even dumb slime.
The advantage is that you're not looking at dumb signals, but a tentacle
of the real thing, right in location.

> cosmic neighborhood does not yet know we have evolved electromagnetic ears,
> so they would not be beaming us signals, so the fact that we have seen no
> signals is not paradoxical.
> To find out if someone is listening, I expect an intelligent civilization
> would send out a very low information content message that only says "we are
> here."  Sagan's notion of a base-one list of the first few prime numbers is
> one I find compelling.  So I would propose we scan the very low frequencies
> for signals, and in the mean time send out a base-one message of the first
> six primes.

Why send primes when you can come in person as easily?

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
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