Friday, January 18, 2008

Order in which planets are formed and the 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 - Scientists have determined that the planets in our Solar System were not always in the same order. The findings could have implications in understanding how the planets and our Solar System formed, and ultimately how it became habitable for life as we know it. See article.
g Message - In the absence of knowledge of physical and cultural clues, communication between two species can be almost impossible - almost. See article. Note: This article is from 1999.
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 the article's title: "Minds and Millennia: The Psychology of Interstellar Communication".

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