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[SETI related paper] "Interstellar Comm. IX . Message Decontamination Is Impossible"

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
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This paper is written by Michael Hippke (Sonneberg Obsv.) and John G. Learned (Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Hawaii) as part of Michael's Interstellar Communication series.

ABSTRACT
A complex message from space may require the use of computers to display, analyze and understand.
Such a message cannot be decontaminated with certainty, and technical risks remain which can pose an existential threat. Complex messages would need to be destroyed in the risk averse case.

Full article can be read, there → https://arxiv.org/pdf/1802.02180.pdf

In the last paragraph of their conclusion they wrote:
It is always wise to understand the risks and chances beforehand, and make a conscious choice for, or against it, rather than blindly following a random path. Overall, we believe that the risk is very small (but not zero) (my comment: sounds like Spectre vulnerability doesn't it?), and the potential benefit very large, so that we strongly encourage to read an incoming message.
 

petrusbroder

Elite Member
Nov 28, 2004
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Interesting read of a somewhat superficial article. With a bit of time, one could argue a lot deeper ...
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
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I think what they did is compiling references to support their argument and as we still don't have any evidence of vicious hi-tech ETI out there, their paper is nothing more than "warning sign" for all of SETI scientists.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
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It would be a bit of a stretch to imagine that malicious alien code could even run on terrestrial hardware, wouldn't it?
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
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It would be a bit of a stretch to imagine that malicious alien code could even run on terrestrial hardware, wouldn't it?
Ah, forgot to reply this...
If you watched Transformers movie (2007), they had alien robots accessing US DoD hardware and eBay. In reality, well, it's nothing but speculation for now, at least.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,592
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Ah, forgot to reply this...
If you watched Transformers movie (2007), they had alien robots accessing US DoD hardware and eBay. In reality, well, it's nothing but speculation for now, at least.
Well, with a truly advanced alien technology, things beyond our understanding are surely possible. Alien knowledge of our computer languages would either imply close surveillance of our Internet, which is not broadcast at high power into space, or such advanced science that our most complex languages just appear like a series of simple on/off switches to the aliens.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,627
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Wouldn't our fears of what aliens might be like tell them who we really are? The fear of aliens to me seems absurd. What reward for consciousness can there be other than the satisfaction of curiosity, the experience one has in being? If you wipe out everything but the self there's only the self to experience. Seems to me that would be rather boring.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,592
1,491
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Wouldn't our fears of what aliens might be like tell them who we really are? The fear of aliens to me seems absurd. What reward for consciousness can there be other than the satisfaction of curiosity, the experience one has in being? If you wipe out everything but the self there's only the self to experience. Seems to me that would be rather boring.
Welcome to the DC forum, Moonbeam! Check out Seti@home, you can aid in the search for extraterrestrial life! There are other many worthy scientific causes that we contribute to also, like mapping the galaxy, determining the properties of asteroids, helping CERN smash atoms, refining climate predictions, and more.

Whether or not we ought to be afraid of aliens will remain in debate until we meet them. I hope we can remain cautiously optimistic, but we are just human, after all.
 

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