Late one night a directed high-powered modulated signal is detected by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. It lasted for 922 seconds and repeated 9 times. After the astrophysicical jubilation and excitement they discover that it can be converted into a 2-dimensional representation. (Above Image). Knowing that this could be the first chapter of the Encyclopedia Galactica they release the information and the graphical representation to the world. So no one country or organization can co-opt it. The world is free to decode it.
First, we have to acknowledge that the sign of intelligence is NOT how complicated you can make an image that represents your desire to communicate with beings of which you are unsure of their level of technology. Intelligence is when you take the effort to learn how they would normally receive such messages, and then insert your own into it, but in a way that it would be complicated, and yet not impossible to decipher. That way you would not get the government scientists involved, as they would not perceive the challenge, and thus would not be able to raise the grant money to fool with it. And if it did not look like it contained anything that could be remotely construed as having military value, the govt would also ignore it. Next, there are odd forms of direction – some bidirectional as well, which speaks of more than one language being encoded. This tells us that it may have represented something like the gold disc that we sent into space – with math symbols and dot codes, but representing the language and culture of more than one group on Earth.
So in that respect, it begins to look like a better candidate. There are quite a few repetitions of characters, which would make the cryptographers happy.
It is an octal system, not hexadecimal. The number syntax is positional, as ours, but from right to left positioning of digits. This is weird since the reading direction is left to right.
The first panel defines the numerals, the positioning syntax, the equal and unequal sign.
The second panel defines addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, the negative sign, the true and false sign, and the logical negation which is equal to the negative sign. Subtraction and division are reversed in the syntax, in the sense of subtrahend-minuend, and divisor-dividend. 2 nd panel also defines their octal-mark to separate integer of fraction parts. There also appears to be a division by zero, which result in a different symbol, possibly representing infinite, which is interesting.
Third block is also mathematics: the small arrow is exponentiation (and rooting). The small “c”-like sign defines what to us would be scientific notation.
The last line of panel 3 is apparently an exercise to check whether or not you have comprehended the stuff so far. The answer is 42… meaning of life? (Kidding)
How would you my good reader interpret this? Post your opinions… Thanks.
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