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Mazon_Del806 karma

Hey BME team!

My mom is one of the helpers and one of her first times she got someone's that needed IT help as part of what they were seeing. My mom was unsuited to this task but I was in the area and helped out.

So my question is, have you given any thought into having a system that can specify something like "I can help with IT?" or other topics to try and narrow down a bit more who might be able to help?


Mazon_Del652 karma

If I had to guess, he is thinking about both our exponentially increasing (in terms of capability relative to cost) technological capability as well as cheaper access to space meaning that it will get easier and easier to make super telescopes.

For example, if we assume that SpaceX's BFR rolls out on schedule and is capable of manned flights within about 5-6 years, then by 2030, you could be seeing a several mile wide radio telescope begin construction on the dark side of the moon (nicely isolated from Earth based radio noise). Such a telescope would allow for more broad and precise searches then than ever before.

Mazon_Del402 karma

Something like this has been proposed as well.

In effect, we'd be much more likely to hear their signals if they were old style analogue radio signals. However, if we assume that aliens are like we are, they'd have a comparatively short time period where they used powerful analogue signals. (We only had such transmissions for ~80 years before the majority of powerful transmissions have switched to digital.)

Following onto that is the question of just what percent of those transmissions are something that can easily be decrypted? In the digital world this gets gnarly pretty fast. Let's say you personally received an analogue radio recording of a digital data packet that is detailing some of the text involved in a Alien Microsoft Word document. How could you possibly decode this into something sensible and readable?

In short, you cant.

What is largely assumed to be the case here, is that we might come across a digital data packet, some transmission that couldn't possibly be natural in origin due to its structure (even encrypted data is transmitted in a recognizable and decodable packet format). Once we do, then we point Arecibo at it and beam a radio signal 24/7/365 at them. This signal would start with easy to notice and very powerful analogue data that is mostly a "NOTICE ME SEMPAI!" in purpose. Part of the message would be "Btw, there's some high density digital data also being transmitted to you on a neighboring frequency. Here's the frequency and here's how to decode the data.". In effect, trying give them everything they could possibly need to send a message back to us that we'd immediately be able to understand and respond to. As in, hand them a complete English language primer pack bundled with highschool/college mathematics and science courses. Oversimplified, but you get the point.

Mazon_Del172 karma


Mazon_Del118 karma

If you dont make it, would you be willing to write a "How to Congressman" book explaining all the things you found out?

That could be immensely useful to other citizens that are thinking about the same thing.