I have been both elated and humbled by the experiences of the last eight weeks. To date, Lone Signal has had visitors from over 12,000 cities and 163 countries speaking 50 languages. We are officially the longest running targeted METI experiment in history, effectively creating a time capsule traveling at the speed of light into deep space.
Your messages constitute an important documentation of our times, full of both the beautiful and the controversial. Lone Signal is harnessing science to do the bidding of passion, and that is a wondrous thing.
While we have a lot to be proud of, Lone Signal has also made strategic errors that have threatened our ability to contact new targets and continue funding this amazing experiment. At the core of our problems is the fact that the revenue from our site barely covers a quarter of our electric bill.
During our intense efforts to secure new funding to keep Lone Signal running, we failed to reach out to the multitude of people who belong in our core community and we failed to keep you informed of our complex and costly technical challenges at Jamesburg Earth Station. Our financial shortfalls led us to reluctantly reduce our transmission schedule, and, now, our latest blow has been software issues that have all but halted transmission over the last two weeks.
Needless to say, the future of Lone Signal seems uncertain at this time.
We are hoping our server will be fully functional by the time we start tracking Gliese 526 on Tuesday. In the event this doesn’t happen, we have created the following backup plan to get all queued messages sent out:
We have manually archived all queued beams to be directly ported to the Jamesburg comm block in the event our messaging system of Lonesignal.com is not operating properly by transmission time, 2:15 PM EDT.
We humbly apologize for any disappointment or inconvenience you might have experienced due to our website issues. We are at a crossroads here at Lone Signal and we want more than anything to continue offering our service to the world. To make sure your beams are sent out this week, I highly encourage you to use your beam credits by 1 AM EDT WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28th, as we must hand process each one by end of transmission.
Long overdue, we have created a free FORUM where we wish to communicate directly to you, our intrepid following. Please come and engage in our forum to ask questions and read other beamers’ queries about the Lone Signal Project.
We will also be communicating major updates via our FACEBOOK page while giving our latest information on TWITTER.
CEO & Co-founder of Lone Signal
Copyright © 2013 Lone Signal, All rights reserved.
Join us from the comfort of your computer Friday, July 12th at 2PM EDT for our first ever Google+ #MADEhangout that explores Fashion & Technology with our very own CMO, Ernesto Qualizza, a representative from NASA, Jeffrey Marlow from Wired, Mary Huang from The Creators Project, an expert from FashioningTech.com, and Laura Ellner from OnTheRacks!
Get the lowdown on how fashion and technology fit hand-in-hand, why some designers are so inspired by space-age concepts, how groundbreaking technology is allowing you to potentially communicate with alternate lifeforms (via #LoneSignal), and so much more!
Want to weigh in on the conversation? Tweet us @madefw using our #MADEhangout hashtag!
To tune into our #MADEhangout Friday July 12th at 2PM here
Human explorers in science fiction often find themselves encountering new worlds or alien species. Television series such as Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica as well as films such as Star Wars and Alien have created a diverse cast of alien forms—big, small, with and without antennae, adapted to different climates—in an attempt to characterize the diversity of creatures in a galactic empire. In spite of this visual diversity, many of the explorers of early science fiction found that they could communicate quite easily with extraterrestrial beings in their own native language of English! While this is partly a storytelling device to keep audiences entertained, it is worth asking ourselves: if we do beam messages into space, will the aliens understand?
Any extraterrestrial civilization that is actively searching for radio signals is at least as old, and probably much older, than humanity. In all likelihood, any extraterrestrial beings that we could conceivably contact will be much more advanced than us. Perhaps the aliens are really so much smarter than us that they can learn any languages of Earth with ease. If they do receive our messages—or someday welcome one of our astronauts—maybe they could learn English without breaking a sweat (if in fact they do sweat). Or perhaps they wear a universal translator device that allows them to understand any and all languages in the galaxy. If the galaxy is teeming with an empire of sorts, then perhaps this sort of translation technology is necessary for typical interstellar travelers. Maybe, just maybe, extraterrestrial beings could be able learn to speak like us.
The tricky part would be making sense of all the irrationalities, emotions, and cultural references that form the basis of all Earth languages. Aliens could be excellent mathematicians and could even have an uncanny ability to learn syntax and grammar rules. But would they be able to understand human concepts such as love, hope, anger, beauty, jealousy, or happiness? How would they make sense of words that describe the things of our world—cats, cars, carnivals, and kaleidoscopes—that may be entirely foreign to them? Would extraterrestrial beings even use language? Perhaps they have no sense of hearing at all and communicate in entirely different ways! We can never know for sure, at least until we make first contact. But in the meantime, thinking about the universality of language is at least a first step toward thinking like an alien.
Copyright 2013, Lone Signal