December 19, 2007


ET too bored by Earth transmissions to respond
(Tom Simonite, 12/18/07, New Scientist)

Messages sent into space directed at extraterrestrials may have been too boring to earn a reply, say two astrophysicists trying to improve on their previous alien chat lines.

Humans have so far sent four messages into space intended for alien listeners.

As John Updike explained, "Gods do not answer letters."

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 19, 2007 6:58 AM

A lot of assumptions there: there are aliens, they are technologically advanced, they know it is a message, they can make sense out of the message, they are close enough to have received the message already...

Posted by: Mikey at December 19, 2007 8:36 AM

Messages sent into space directed at extraterrestrials

Think of them as billboards along the interstate. You stop in only when you are really hungry or in need of fuel and have no other alternative. Otherwise, ewww, stay away.

A lot of assumptions there...

That we said something worthy of a response.

(Actually, it's surprising how unimaginative these self-proclaimed SETI experts can be. Anyone who read SF magazines in the '70s or '80s (before the D&D crowd took over) can come up with all sorts of better explanations, or attention getting methods...)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 19, 2007 9:38 AM

Another critical point: if the aliens exist, and they're listening, did you aim the signal at them?

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 19, 2007 2:43 PM

I find it amusing that the SETI folks now have to invoke alien ennui to explain their failure to detect anything.

Posted by: jd watson at December 19, 2007 4:23 PM

jd - "alien ennui" - I love it.

Posted by: erp at December 19, 2007 5:57 PM