Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Interstellar Message Composition

The linked article is headlined "NASA sponsors course on how to talk to aliens" but that's not quite accurate. The creative writing course is partly financed from funds taken from NASA's Wyoming Space Grant Consortium.

At the University of Wyoming, English students can take a creative writing course called Interstellar Message Composition. The idea is to get people thinking about what we might say once we make contact with ET. Advising the course is Douglas Vakoch, director of interstellar message composition for the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in California. Now, I'm all for the SETI effort, but I'm somewhat dubious about this class.

Among questions tackled in Prof Lockwood’s class is how aliens might communicate, whether they would be able to translate human language, and whether they would be able to see or hear.

One student, Dixie Thoman, created a poem about menstruation with syllables arranged in a mathematically harmonious order, known as the Fibonacci sequence.

Your tax dollars at work. If this is what we're beaming to the stars, it's no wonder we've gotten no response.

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