archiv~1: Re: SETI Off-topic Censorious Posts

Re: SETI Off-topic Censorious Posts
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 16:48:16 EST

In a message dated 11/16/98 4:34:01 PM Eastern Standard Time,

<< 1) SETI expects sophisticated broadband signals from planets orbiting
nearby stars, reflecting civilizations similar to our own which are still
in the phase where lightspeed RF transmissions are a favored form of

It makes no such assumption. Some people in SETI --hope-- that this assumption
is justified, but unless the galaxy is--infested--with intelligent life this
premise is clearly wrong. Once again, I strongly assert that optimization
studies FAVOR --narrowband-- RF for cosmic telecommunications. This is NOT a
reflection of what WE do, but what the physics of information theory and
telecommunications science tell us works best. These modes are, in fact,VERY
POOR for high data rate transmissions. DETECTION is not the same as
INFORMATION-RICH transmission.

<< However, note that an interstellar civilization must of
necessity have greater than lightspeed methods of travel and, thus, would
find radio transmission unsuitable to their purposes. >>

On what basis should I 'note ' this?

<<(To grapple with such
a possibility, we must assume that Einstein's "universal speed limit" can
be somehow overcome, and that some method of signal transmission is
possible at speeds vastly in excess of the speed of light. Without it, the
existence of an interstellar civilization would not be possible.) The
implication: if representatives of such a civilization are in our own solar
system and use radio transmission, the purpose is to communicate with a
backward population such as the one here on Earth. This means they would be
unlikely to be familiar with the nuances of such systems, just as we are
unfamiliar with the nuances of communication via smoke signal, or the
fashioning of flint arrowheads. And that, in turn, suggests that to argue
that they would not use a simple carrier wave type of signal is invalid. We
are likely to be more sophisticated than the ET's in the areas of primitive
technology, just as they are going to be more sophisticated than us in the
ar >>

These statements are asserted and not shown, and do not indicate any knowledge
of physics. They are just ideas, and bad ones. Why should one 'gravitate to
what one feels most drawn to' when its wrong? Can you understand what this is
like? For example; when I ask my students to solve some simultaneous equations
and they get 4 different answers for 'x', do I say;'hey, that's cool.'. NOT.
They try again and correct their mistakes.

There is a RIGHT and many WRONGS. One should not hold onto ignorance like
it's a sacred trust.