Sunday, October 29, 2006

When Earth got sick, “Where the Winds Sleep” and “Psychology of Interstellar Communication”

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; Career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Abodes - What caused the Permian-Triassic extinction, the largest mass extinction in Earth's history? The most likely explanation for the disappearance of up to 90 percent of species 250 million years ago, said David Bottjer of the University of Southern California, is that "the earth got sick." See article.
g Cosmicus - Book alert: If you would like to take a nostalgic trip back to what many people thought might have happened if the pace of Apollo was maintained - and expanded, getting a copy of "Where The Winds Sleep - Man's Future on the Moon: a Projected History" written in 1969 by Neil Ruzic is worth the effort.
g Aftermath - If we establish communication with a civilization even as close as 100 light years from Earth, the round-trip time for a message and its reply is 200 years. What will be the psychology of a civilization that can engage in a meaningful conversation with this sort of delay? How is such a conversation to be established? What should the content of such a conversation be? These are the questions which motivate this article’s title: "Minds and Millennia: The Psychology of Interstellar Communication." See article.