Ready to Meet Aliens [Tattoo]

voyager-hydrogen.jpgBob, a software architect, writes, “The diagram is part of the key used on the Pioneer 10 and 11 plaques and the Voyager 1 and 2 records.  It represents the spin-flip transition of neutral atomic hydrogen, and so provides a universal physical constant, a measure of length and of time, by virtue of the photon it emits. These are the base units on those plaques and records, where we attempt to communicate very precise information without any shared language or other common assumptions.  This diagram is part of the ultimate ‘message in a bottle.'”

Carl: More on the spin-flip diagram at Wikipedia.

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0 thoughts on “Ready to Meet Aliens [Tattoo]

  1. I wonder if alien life just coincidentally happens to also map structural relational representations in their heads through a convoluted transformation onto flat two-dimensional surface alterations in reflectivity like we do? I wonder if the paradigm of representing objects by the shorthand notion of simply rendering an outline shape (eg, in cartoons – people don’t actually have thick black lines around their perimeter) is truly universal? I wonder if they have heads?

  2. Great! I was thinking about this after seeing some images from the series. I actually just closed a bunch of tabs on which I had loaded pages on stuff like the Arecibo message, Contact the novel, CosmicOS, and other related topics 🙂 Good to see someone thought about the same concept and actually materialized it!

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