If alien life exists, we have probably weirded it out by now

From Arecibo, to the sound of vaginal contractions, to an ad for Doritos—a short history of Earthlings' attempts to communicate with the cosmos. The vaginal sounds recording reached Epsilon Eridani and Tau Ceti in the late 1990s. New Scientist says, "It is unclear what sort of reply we should expect."

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  1. Deliberate messages sent out by powerful instruments like the ones listed may be the only things extra-terrestrial life may ever receive. It used to be believed that our radio waves, beamed out to space and could be received far far away, and they would hear the 1932 Olypmics or whatever.

    I read an article recently that discounted this, saying that space and time distort the radio waves. By the time they reach something ‘intelligent’ it may just be cosmic debris.

    Perhaps the same could be said of the more powerful attempts listed here.

  2. >If alien life exists, we have probably weirded it out by now

    We’ll eventually travel to planets orbiting neighboring stars, and discover cities completely abandoned, the people who built these civilizations nowhere to be seen. And we’ll conclude that they all, long ago, committed to fleeing outward, away from us — a supernova-like pattern of evacuation, with us being the expanding bubble of pursuit. Our battle cry: “Will you be my friend?”

    1. That will heretofore by my battle cry. I so swear.

      “Now to catch the end of a thousand year old Leno monologue.” You guys know it’s slated for another season, right?

  3. “It is unclear what sort of reply we should expect.”

    I’d be listening for a distinctive “Schwing!”

  4. Truth:

    I sent a morse code pulse train of neutrinos in the general direction of Polaris in the late 80s, using the Fermilab accelerator neutrino line on a midnight shift. It took about 14 minutes to transmit the message.

    My message was “Dinner is served”.

  5. Aliens, by now, probably look at us like the total stranger on Facebook who keeps poking you despite having nothing useful- or coherent- to say.

    “Ignore”

  6. Imagine if they receive transmissions of “Jersey Shore”. They might deem it universally responsible to destroy our planet. Yikes!

  7. What if the sound of those contractions translated into some horrible insult in an alien dialect?

    Awkward!

  8. “Imagine if they receive transmissions of “Jersey Shore”. They might deem it universally responsible to destroy our planet. Yikes!”

    We’re safe as long as they keep getting episodes of “Single Female Lawyer”.

  9. “Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us” – Bill Watterson

  10. @Chuck “they all, long ago, committed to fleeing outward, away from us”

    Ah yes, much like white flight, our galaxy will have the “grey away”, and all of the aliens will move to gated solar systems.

  11. Maybe all the radio noise out there is because of the limitless other civilizations, all broadcasting their re-runs of I Love Rael.

  12. What flashed through my mind was a bizarro Muppets sketch called “Queefs in Spaaaaaace.”

    Not pretty.

  13. Wouldn’t an advanced intelligence be subject to the same “rules” of evolutionary psychology as humans? IF you could solve complicated engineering problems involved in long distance space travel wouldn’t the maintenance of your home planet be a piece of cake? Scientific progress needs a relatively liberal political environment. Dictatorships in the twentieth century didn’t last long compared to those existing in past centuries. Little green anarchists maybe?????

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