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#1 2004-01-29 14:42:47

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Imagine that we have just established contact with an intelligent species fifty light years away. Now, it takes 50 years to send a message, and another 50 years for the ET to send a response (speed of light limit), what would be the one question you would ask (since it would be the only one you get to ask within your lifetime, for the sake of this exercise)

One question to an alien species, what would it be?  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#2 2004-01-29 17:06:50

~Eternal~
Member
Registered: 2003-09-25
Posts: 211

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#810541:post_uid0]How can we travel faster than light?
or Is there a God?[/color:post_uid0]


The MiniTruth passed its first act #001, comname: PATRIOT ACT on  October 26, 2001.

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#3 2004-01-29 22:38:52

Mundaka
Member
Registered: 2004-01-11
Posts: 322

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

neutral


Macte nova virtute, sic itur ad astra

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#4 2004-01-29 22:48:45

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I would opt to send several containers at nearly the speed of light full of information about us and a plea for a likewise response. smile[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#5 2004-01-29 23:58:47

Hazer
Member
From: Texas/Oklahoma
Registered: 2003-10-26
Posts: 173

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Well...the question assumes that we can communicate clearly with said ET's.[/color:post_uid0]


In the interests of my species
I am a firm supporter of stepping out into this great universe both armed and dangerous.

Bootprints in red dust, or bust!

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#6 2004-01-30 10:07:10

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Josh gets a point for creativity!  big_smile But he loses 2 points for not asking a question.  tongue

Eternal gets a point for trying an end run, but loses a point for trying to cheat! big_smile No cheating the laws of physics.

Mundaka get's two points for asking such a strange question, but loses them all for not asking if they taste like breast or leg.

And Hazer, assume that we can 'talk' with them. This isn't much of a discussion if we can't.   big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#7 2004-01-30 12:43:20

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Here's my question: Do you consider us to be equals?

B[/color:post_uid0]

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#8 2004-01-30 12:59:11

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid6]

Now, it takes 50 years to send a message, and another 50 years for the ET to send a response (speed of light limit),[/quote:post_uid6]
*100 years combined of course...our average life expectancy (Westerners) is about, what, 80 now?  Unless that gets "upped," will most of us still be alive to hear the reply (after we're old enough to articulate it in the first place)?

But okay...I'll play:

Do you look like Captain James Tiberius Kirk?

--Cindy[/color:post_uid6]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#9 2004-01-30 15:04:03

jadeheart
Member
From: barrow ak
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 134

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]My question:

What do you know?


Seems like that gives us the most bang for our interstellar buck.[/color:post_uid0]


You can stand on a mountaintop with your mouth open for a very long time before a roast duck flies into it.  -Chinese Proverb

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#10 2004-01-30 15:10:47

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]My question:

What do you know?


Seems like that gives us the most bang for our interstellar buck.[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Ha, that's a good one  smile

B[/color:post_uid0]

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#11 2004-01-30 15:58:32

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Byron, excellent question! 14 points. However, our judges feel that you are not being Politcally Correct enough, and have docked you all of your points for being insensitive to our new alien friends.

Cindy gets three points, mainly for knowing Kirk's full name, but loses four points for not asking about the true captain of Star Trek, Captain Pike.  big_smile

Jadeheart gets two points for coming up with the most effecient question so far, but loses four points for being to vague.

Keep up the good work, first place is still wide open!  :laugh:[/color:post_uid0]

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#12 2004-01-30 16:04:34

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid2]

Cindy gets three points, mainly for knowing Kirk's full name, but loses four points for not asking about the true captain of Star Trek, Captain Pike.  big_smile[/quote:post_uid2]
*Doesn't matter.

Captain Kirk was [b:post_uid2][i:post_uid2]cuter[/i:post_uid2][/b:post_uid2] than Captain Christopher Pike.  That's all that matters! 

(You think I'm gonna waste the 1 question on the less cute captain...hello?)

By the way, Clark...where is your answer to your own question?  Hmmmmmmm?

--Cindy[/color:post_uid2]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#13 2004-01-30 16:08:46

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Quisp? or Quake?[/color:post_uid0]

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#14 2004-01-30 16:25:27

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid10]

Quisp? or Quake?[/quote:post_uid10]
[b:post_uid10][i:post_uid10]ERRRRRRNNNNNNNTTTTTT!!!![/i:post_uid10][/b:post_uid10]

*That's two questions.  Disqualified.

--Cindy  :laugh: :;):[/color:post_uid10]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#15 2004-01-30 16:31:25

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Quisp? or Quake?[/quote:post_uid0]
[b:post_uid0][i:post_uid0]ERRRRRRNNNNNNNTTTTTT!!!![/i:post_uid0][/b:post_uid0]

*That's two questions.  Disqualified.

--Cindy  :laugh: :;):[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Sorry, try again.

Quisp or Quake?[/color:post_uid0]

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#16 2004-01-30 16:42:21

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Quisp or Quake?[/quote:post_uid0]

What kind of question is that?  Or I missing something here...??

B[/color:post_uid0]

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#17 2004-01-30 16:48:51

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Quisp or Quake?[/quote:post_uid0]

What kind of question is that?  Or I missing something here...??

B[/quote:post_uid0]
Its from a long ago childhood memory.

Kudos to anyone who can explain without following the link. smile

Another link.

Since Quisp is the space alien, I predict clark's aliens would answer Quisp, which you can still buy today.[/color:post_uid0]

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#18 2004-01-30 16:51:35

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Cindy gets a point returned to her via judge review, bringing her to a total of zero points. Way to go!  big_smile

Bill would have received 6 points if we understood what he was asking, so he gets penalized 6 points instead.   tongue

Byron seems to be confused about who he is supposed to be questioning, putting him in the hole with minus 2 points!

As for my question?  big_smile

Do you kill one another?[/color:post_uid0]

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#19 2004-01-30 16:56:21

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Do you kill one another?[/quote:post_uid0]

Suppose we received that question. How should we answer?
Is truth telling mandatory in such conversations?[/color:post_uid0]

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#20 2004-01-30 16:57:37

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Suppose we received that question. How should we answer?
[/quote:post_uid0]

EXACTLY!  :;):

Edit:

Upon further review, Bill's question receives a bonus of 6 points for the nostalgia factor. However, he is further penalized 1 point for dating himself.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#21 2004-01-30 17:51:57

~Eternal~
Member
Registered: 2003-09-25
Posts: 211

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#810541:post_uid0]Perhaps we should ask them the meaning of life and see if they've come up with an answer yet  tongue .[/color:post_uid0]


The MiniTruth passed its first act #001, comname: PATRIOT ACT on  October 26, 2001.

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#22 2004-01-30 21:58:57

Mad Grad Student
Member
From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
Website

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]*100 years combined of course...our average life expectancy (Westerners) is about, what, 80 now?[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Sorry this is the first time I've been able to post in the last couple of days, mostly been doing other things. To answer your statement/question, I believe that here in the States average life expectancy is about 72 for men and 77 for women. Do I get points for a politically-incorrect joke in edgwise? Because here goes: "Do you ever wonder why women live longer than men? It takes them longer to get ready!" :laugh:  Apolgies if I've offended any feminists around here.

For some reason ALE (Isn't making up acronyms great?) is higher in countires like Japan, France, and Sweeden. Maybe this has something to do with that these guys allow stem cell research? Thank you, George Bush :angry: .

You know, how come I only get to ask one question? I'd figure we could ask as many as we wanted, with the 100 years conversational delay, of course. I'll play along anyway, but assume that at least a thousand or so other scientists get to ask their questions, so I'll be a little different.

"Do you believe in God?"

They might be more advanced than us. This would mean that either they are still believers on the most part, have socially moved beyond theism, or are just plain wrong on whatever their view is. Perhaps getting another race's view on religion would help us put ours in perspective, and allow us to see if the idea of theism is universal. Can I include a statement along with this question? Seems reasonable, if I could I'd say something like:

"We live on a terrestrial planet with a large rocky moon one sixth the size of our planet." Just to see what they think of that improbable and if they'd even belive me. Hey, maybe these guys from Chara (Nice little star system 49 ly's from Sol) came up under even weider circumstances. More than that and I'd start griping about the Apollo program (Or lack replacement of), if NASA would let me. Bring on the points! big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#23 2004-01-31 18:55:35

Mundaka
Member
Registered: 2004-01-11
Posts: 322

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

neutral


Macte nova virtute, sic itur ad astra

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#24 2004-02-02 09:05:08

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Eternal gets 5 points but loses them all for not asking in the form of a question, so instead, he has been docked 5 points, and is now forced to where the dunce hat until he can make a proper showing!  big_smile  tongue

Mad Grad Student scores a first, a double negative 2 point shot! It being a double negative though, he stays steady with zero points.

My question has a couple parts to it, which is why I chose it. How we answer, how they might answer- it has significant meaning. You can take a look and see some of your own reactions to get an inkling of what I am pointing out.  big_smile

Now, another aspect to think about is communicating to this alien people. Facts and such can be transmitted pretty simply- a mathmatical formula here, binary to represent 'yes' or 'no' or even unknown. But how do you properly [b:post_uid0]explain[/b:post_uid0] the fuzziness of life?

Do you kill one another? Sometimes. How do you properly explain the 'sometimes' to an alien? I imagine it's a bit like trying to explain a meaning in a foreign lanhguage that can't properly express it. Those who speak more than one language will get the drift.

Then there is answering the follow up to any fuzzy question, the 'why's'. Why do you kill one another, sometimes? Why? Self defense- sure, but always? Well, no. But mostly.

This one question, answered either way, or any way, allows us to also find a common thread, or a vantage point to reappraise ourselves as a species. Is this natual, or otherwise? Is this common, or are we an abberation. Is there a chance for something else, or is this a universal constant too?

And you only get to ask one question because that's the only way to cut through the noise of your own head.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#25 2004-02-02 10:12:31

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The question I proposed was everthing about them. smile

This would allow us to answer every useful question there would be to ask. The point of this is that such a thing is so profund, it would require providing everything about us to forumlate our question; that is, the question about everything of them.

20 years from now we'll be able to compress every piece of media known to man (this includes historical media like stone tablets, etc) into a chip the size of a sugar cube. Do so, and send that chip out at nearly the speed of light (requiring comparatively little energy to do so in the process).[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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