In our vast and unknown Universe possibilities abound. More possibilities than particles when you think about it. You and I my dear reader are a highly complex, highly unlikely thing. On our ever so small planet, the spark of life directly or indirectly occurred. From cradle to grave we train our minds and perceptions to deal with our ever-changing environment. The causes and effects of the unperceived events of the Universe go by without any inkling or recognition. Most of what we call real is completely and utterly unknown to us. But we like to think we have a handle on the big picture. It is a kind of idealistic scholastic arrogance to claim to know the unknowable. It is a truism that a wise person knows that they know nothing. Nothing is hardly the correct simile. But our understanding of the Universe is so infinitesimal, so incomplete, and so full of human bias that this is an asymptote that approaches zero.
Humanities best effort in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is the S.E.T.I initiative. Using our best collective logic that some alien intelligence in a distant part of the Universe is going to communicate using radio waves like us. This is a folly and an insult to the grandness and diversity that infinity provides. Us humans have only been using radio as a communication medium for a little over 100+ years. Our use of radio waves has a finite future as better ways to communicate are discovered. Better ways to communicate faster, more directed, using less energy is the trend.
S.E.T.I is a folly, but don’t worry it has not had any public funding for over 20 years. I do agree with the search but NOT with the eyes, and expectations we are currently using to perform it. It really does defy even the most cursory analysis.
The Universe will present us with opportunities to encounter alien life that defies our senses and expectations. It will represent themselves in ways we can not imagine. In ways that highlight the fact that we are going to have a hard time getting past our hubris.
What follows is one of those possible infinities reaching out from the vast darkness. The first contact with the unknown will be stranger and more fascinating than we imagine or can imagine.
The Particle Tracings Enigma
A press release silently, stealthily, and wholly unexpectedly hits the news wires around the globe. No one could have possibly known its significance.
C.E.R.N. PRESS RELEASE
Location: Geneva, Switzerland, Large Hadron Collider
Division: Public Relations (US|UK|PAC)
Subject: Anomaly detected at 8.5 TeV on multiple experiments.
Unknown and never before seen particle interactions discovered. The discovery has been seen in the following experiments: ATLAS, CMS, LHCb at 8.5 TeV. News briefing to follow. TBD.
A few feted months pass as the Physics world investigates just what was discovered. It goes 24/7/365. The people that pay attention to this kind of thing wait patiently. Not really patiently. More like loud and proud all over social media. Speculation and discussion flood the alternative news channels. Lots of speculation and hot air spew forth. A real explanation is still pending. All we have are questions.
On day 134 of this discovery the other shoe drops.
The Chair of the CERN Council, Dr Tibor Blank makes an announcement in Geneva during a live news conference:
A new era in particle physics has been discovered… New high energy particle collision behaviour has been detected and verified to 6 sigma… Has no precedent in the history of Science… Primarily seen on collisions at 8.5 TeV, reason unknown. These behaviours have never been seen before at any energy level, reason unknown… As of this morning, reports have been coming in from other experiments around the world reporting similar unusual findings. The number of other colliders/accelerators reporting effect is 18/289… It appears that the effect turned on like a light switch at 16:20:36:54 GMT, reason unknown.
The world takes it time to digest this paradigm shaking discovery, but what does it mean? The best minds in physics take up the challenge to explain the mystery. Whiteboards around the globe hum.
It comes out that the anomaly changes geometric shape frequently. The distance the anomaly manifests from the collision point seems to obey the Golden Ratio (1.6180339). Distance appears to always be some multiple of the ratio. Do the distances have internal meaning? Something weirdly analogous to musical chords.
Paul Dean, a young brilliant investigator makes a connection that changes everything. Mr Dean scoured the millions of traces that were made publically available and noticed a connection to another mystery. Mr Dean documented that many of the trace anomalies are exact geometric matches to crop circles found in the UK. He found 1384 exact geometric matches. This is way beyond chance and proves beyond any doubt that there is a connection between the two phenomena. What could this connection mean?
The same geometric shapes that are manifesting in crop circles are manifesting in high-speed particle collision tracings. Whatever is causing this can control reality on the femtosecond timescales and within our normal perceptual range. That is a great span of temporal functionality which is currently beyond our own.
If this is a purely nonsentient natural phenomenon it is different than all others. Nature obeys the laws of thermodynamics. Over time a system will tend to go towards chaos. This one tends towards complexity. Some kind of information and energy is being injected and expressed. But why?
Is this communication from beyond the stars, beyond our Hubble volume, or beyond the Universe itself. What kind of mind could have developed this kind of energy manipulation at impossible distances? How would or could they formulate thoughts? Are thoughts the only form of mental organization? Are neurons the only way? Probably not.
If this is communication is it a broadcast or directed message? Is it a shout into the darkness hoping for a response from the great void. Or is it directed like a TCP/IP packet with a destination in mind? The intention of the sender clearly matters. Are the phenomena behind all this aware of us in some baffling alien way? If so what might they have to say, shout, or whisper?
If it is some kind of beacon broadcast should we raise our hand from the darkness and signal our presence? Is Professor Stephen Hawking right to warn of just this kind of thing? Could be safer to be anonymous in the Universe? We might also miss the transmission of the Encyclopedia Universalis.
“Nothing ventured nothing gained”…Right? But, it could also go like “nothing ventured… NOT being vivisected and anatomically inverted”.
Has the intention of the sender changed? Why are we just seeing this phenomenon now? Is the implied intelligence getting impatient and changing communication tactics? Have the stakes changed? We are so ignorant that we do not even know what questions to ask. Let alone how to understand the answers.
This intelligence may not be an intelligence as we know it. Causality and the laws of their realm will likely be different than our own depending on how disparate the differences in our consciousnesses and origins are. Other laws of nature in the more exotic of the possibilities thus other manifestations of life. One of these is reaching out of the dark to us. Do we fear the light or huddle in the darkness of ignorance and fear? All good questions.
In this hypothetical scenario, the world changes forever. When we consider First contact with an alien intelligence is going to be a high strange type event. The vastness of near infinite diversity guarantees that. There is no reason to assume that an otherworldly intelligence must appear in our lives driving a nice shiny UFO. That belief is one that is engrained deep in many people’s psyches. Thanks, unimaginative TV, and Movies.
We must try to unlearn our boundaries of perception and step out of our evolutionary programming if we ever stand a chance to have any sense of valid perspective on what we might encounter as we trundle forward through the 4th dimension. We must unlearn a lot of things we may take as prosaic.
After all, the answer to these enigmas might be impossible in every sense of the word to ever understand.
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