Sunday, November 14, 2010

SETI Reboot: Project Dorothy & Watching Outer Space TV Broadcasts

Everyone has heard of SETI. This project aimed at scanning distant stars for radio signals that could be held as evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligent life. Today, I learned that Project Dorothy will start re-scanning distant stars that have already been scanned by project SETI as a renewed effort to try and find intelligent life outside of our planet. I can't help but wonder how fascinating and at the same time odd it would be if we were to find evidence that we are not alone in the universe.
Let's be optimistic and imagine we were to receive and decode radio-signals such as audio-video signals emanating from a distant planet. Assuming intelligent life and the tendency to become a couch potato are related, let's go even one step further and imagine these observed intelligent beings had some kind of TV equivalent and that we were able to watch their TV broadcasts coming directly from outer space. Wouldn't it be cool to flip channels and watch soap operas from the other side of the galaxy featuring 4-legged aliens and being able to understand them thanks to instant YouTube/Google translations? Outer space channels would surely be a hit! Discovering an alien world through its TV broadcasts would change everything in our world and in the way we perceive the universe.
If the broadcast came from a a very distant star, direct communication wouldn't be possible due to the limitations of our current understanding of physics and namely the speed of light barrier. We would, however, be able to watch a time-projected broadcast of their maybe-extinct culture, learning something new on a daily-basis or looking forward to the release of the next outer space blockbuster.
My main concern would be: how frustrated would it be not to be able to buy whatever would be featured in outer space commercials such as Double Space Burgers?
If we look at things the other way around, imagine if aliens were to receive and watch our current TV broadcasts? Shouldn't we be ashamed of the image of our world that we are sending everywhere in the Universe?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that sound good