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    Branding the Species
    Background: Voyager’s Interstellar record is a disk with encoded information that was attached to two space probes currently making their...

    The Voyager update project
    Description has not yet been created.
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    CAMILE ORILLANEDA
    THE LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT : RETROSPECTION
    THE PROJECT / RESEARCH
    The Lighthouse Theory is a temporary name for this Voyager update project. In a nutshell we want to mark our territory. This post is
    sort of the social connotations and implications of this effort. Before I get into the specifics of the social contextualization, I want to
    first iterate why this idea of marking our territory is so compelling for us.
    Curiosity & Humility
    In thinking about why we want to communicate with an alien life form we realized that there is no way to really come up with anything
    practical. The alien could be in the spectrum of our imagination, but most likely is something outside of that limited bandwidth
    of the imaginary alien. This forces us to look within at our own Earth and Solar System.
    Aside from us not being able to imagine or comprehend what we could be communicating with. There are some humane implications
    that our group felt were worth considering. The first being that any sort of artifact blasted into space, particularly with contents
    from our earth (a la KEO and Voyager), could render whatever life form overwhelmed.
    A literary example would be Ice-Nine in Kurt Vonneguts’s Cat’s Cradle.
    A commonplace example would be the episode of the Simpsons where the Simpsons go to Australia. The last scene in the episode
    finds a Koala Bear on the plane that carries the Simpsons back to the United States. Subsequently the United States becomes overcome
    with Koala’s.
    The inclusion of these examples is to bring up the notion of colonialism. This overwhelming of an element or some other artifact
    from Earth could damage and possibly hurt the recipient of our message. This is something we do not want as we desire a friendly or
    at the very least platonic relationship with these aliens. The result is to look within and make our own planet the message.
    So, we’re not looking to pillage like Western Europe has for the few hundred years. Well not yet at least. However, this message
    isn’t intended to be so egotistical that we get stuck and stare at the pond like Narcissus. The contents of the message is still up in the
    air, and for the message itself is not as important as making some kind of connection. That is why the driving force behind our idea is
    curiosity. This is not like the 60’s where we were in hot pursuit of the moon to be better than Russia, this is an age of Web 2.0. This
    collective knowledge is a powerful symbol of humanity and the curiosity that drives this is what our group wants to harness for this
    project.
    Contextualization
    So what exactly is it that we’re doing? Well we’re marking our territory. More specifically, we want to create a lighthouse for the
    rest of the universe. A beacon stemming from our planet or solar system. We see this in many forms from a dog peeing on a fire hydrant,
    to pheromones, to the yellow stickers German Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.
    The Lighthouse of Alexandria
    This lighthouse describes our marking system the best. Not for its physical qualities, but for the social qualities it happened to
    exude. The Wikipedia article goes into further depth, but here are the main reasons for choosing this marking system.
    It was a navigational beacon.
    It was a resource silo.
    It notified other nations, specifically the Chinese in the 13th century AD, that these lands have been accounted for.
    Finally, it was a monument of spectacle.
    This is just our first iteration, so the marking system will undoubtedly change. We are currently talking about the feasibility of cosmic
    background radiation as the practical means of communication. But, figuratively this is the intent of the group.
    Cosmic Background Radiation: The Medium
    Cosmic Background Radiation is essentially a left over from the cooling of the universe. It originated 400,000 years after the big
    bang. This was the time of last scattering, which is when the universe had cooled enough that there wasn’t enough energy to keep electrons
    and protons apart. So the universe went from being a plasma to consisting of helium and hydrogen and the areas the were more
    dense with these kept attracting more and more matter around them and formed the galaxies.
    Our instrument of detecting CBR:
    The CMB photons scatter off free charges such as electrons that are not bound in atoms. In an ionized universe, such electrons have
    been liberated from neutral atoms by ionizing (ultraviolet) radiation. Today these free charges are at sufficiently low density in most
    of the volume of the Universe that they do not measurably affect the CMB. However, if the IGM was ionized at very early times when
    the universe was still denser, then there are two main effects on the CMB:
    1. Small scale anisotropies are erased (just as when looking at an object through fog, details of the object appear fuzzy).
    2. The physics of how photons scatter off free electrons (Thomson scattering) induces polarization anisotropies on large angular
    scales. This large angle polarization is correlated with the large angle temperature perturbation.
    So if we can ionize (removing charged particles such as electrons) parts of the CBR around us it will change the ripples (small scale
    anisotropies) in the areas around our galaxies
    There have already been machines built that have been able to do massive scale ionization on earth. This was done in the hopes of
    being able to control the weather and is called atmospheric ionization.
    RETROSPECTION
    During the development of this project, we had discussed different meanings of the Lighthouse Project. Two purposes had emerged:
    to create a beacon to potentially attract any potential intelligent life forms and to unite the people of earth and make them a part of the
    universe. Somewhere in the compilation of our final deck, we somehow suppressed the latter.
    The project transformed from an optimistic endeavor to an extremely optimistic one. Reaching the people of Earth was potentially
    possible; in theory, the Lighthouse was to project itself into near space, creating an achievement to inspire humans to see each other as
    Terrains instead of individual races separated by boundaries. Similar to other feats of mankind, the wonders, or even the first human
    to the moon, united everyone; the Americans did not make it to the moon, mankind did. The Lighthouse Project abandoned this as its
    main purpose, and, instead, opted for a ‘cool,’ ‘high-tech’, ‘communication with the unknown’ feel.
    On the day of the critique, an important point has been brought up about the project: the Lighthouse is a representation of the extreme
    optimism. There is, first, a very slight chance that there will even be intellectual life somewhere in the cosmos within a range close
    enough for communication let alone will it be able to have the technology or senses to receive our “message”. Second, if by chance
    there is some type of communication, the result can either be negative or positive. Like colonists arriving on a foreign piece of land,
    there has always been some kind of drive of domination, or a need to colonize the land, and to take over its resources and reproduce.
    The percentages of having aliens we can trade, communicate, and become allies with and having destructive invaders is 50-50.
    Some countries would be encouraging the project because they would want to dive into the unknown for potential resources and to
    prove the weight of mankind while some countries would withdrawal and protest on behalf of their cultural beliefs, religious standpoints
    and for the very same fear created in a large percentage of Hollywood science fictions films. Daadler had brought up an interesting
    point; some of the World War topics have revolved around power over another country, money, genocide, and the creation of
    destructive and threatening technology. This would be the first advancement in technology that does not harm or influence the human
    race or any specific country. This power-indulgent project to justify mankind’s advancement, to prove himself worthy of the universe,
    out of fear, would divide our countries and encourage a war of differences. YouTube videos, online articles, newspapers, preachers
    would encourage its followers to support or fight against the cause. Some groups would see this as a call for help from the extraterrestrials
    while some would see it as doom. I believe that there will be so much controversy if this were created. Instead of bringing people
    together with a common achievement as with the first purpose, it will tear it apart.
    PAST RECOLLECTIONS
    As a form of media art, we have debated the potential clients of¬¬¬¬¬ the Lighthouse Project. The main one, Dubai. If we had chosen
    Dubai, instead of trans-national companies, we would have transformed our ‘baby’ to something we had opted it not to be. It would
    truly be an power-indulgent project. “Why not? We have loads of money.” Though we have collectively agreed to not tread this route,
    it was brought up that this would have made a possibly true standpoint about society. Although there are many causes around the
    world that probably need a lot more money for necessities like food and water, making such a lavish project would probably be completed
    before even a percentage of the starving people in third world countries have enough food to survive. By executing the Dubai
    answer, we would have created a truth about society and emphasized the sad priorities of the rich. I must admit, I was a little disappointed
    we have not gone through this route, I would have found it fun to bash rich people, but oh well. I am happy with the outcome
    of our project.
    Tue, Mar 25, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: lighthouse
    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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    Research Approach:
    Beacon project aimed to creating a mechanism that brings the Earth and its inhabitants into the Universe, so that that Terrans feel as though they are not just part of the Earth, but as the Universe. They are no longer separated by race, but by planet, or even solar system.


    CANDIDATE #1:
    Prince Al-Walid bin Talal bin abdul Aziz Al Saud
    (March 7, 1955)
    commonly known as Prince Al-Walid

    _member of the Saudi Royal Family, entrepreneur and international investor
    _net worth is estimated at $29.5 billion

    __CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES

    _heavily involved in charitable activities across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, donates more than $100 million annually to charity
    _much of this expenditure is in the field of educational initiatives to bridge gaps between Western and Islamic communities by funding centers of American studies and research in universities in the Middle East and centers of Islamic studies in American universities
    _donated $20 million each to Harvard University and Georgetown University to finance the "Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding"
    _donated $10 million to the Weill Medical College of Cornell University to study complex genomic an dcellular systems as they relate to medicine and biology by using mathematical models, physics, and high-speed computing
    _donated $20 million to the Louvre Museum, largest gift ever to the world's largest museum

    _not part of the ruling executive within the House of Saud and has generally kept out of politics, openly criticized the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco
    _vocal about women's rights and hired the first female airline pilot in Saudi Arabia
    _notable pro-American stance, backed up by $10 million financing of American study programmes at the American University in Cairo

    __WHY PRINCE AL-WALID?
    _high income, philanthropist interested in the bridging of cultural understanding between Islam and other countries
    _donated billions to educational institutes, including the fields of sciences and humanities

    //////////
    CANDIDATE #2:
    Oprah Gail Winfry
    (January 29, 1954)
    _Oprah Winfry Show- highest-rated talk show in television history
    _book critic, Academy Award-nominated actress, magazine publisher
    _ranked the richest African American of the 20th century- the most philanthropic African American of all time, world's only black billionaire for three straight years
    -by the mid 1990's, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement and spirituality
    _she often interviews celebrities on issues that directly involve them in some way (cancer, charity work, substance abuse)

    __PHILANTHROPY
    _1998 , Oprah's Angel Network- a charity aimed at encouraging people around the world to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged otehrs
    _behind the scenes, Winfry personally donates more of her own money to charity than any other show-business celebrity in American
    _one of America's top 50 most generous philanthropists

    __WHY OPRAH WINFRY?
    _high income, philanthropist interested in drawing people together, others helping the underprivileged. Perhaps be interested in the idea that we are the Earth as a collective whole.
    _has the power to draw corporations to donate money
    _known has a mother of many, idea of drawing people together as one family/whole

    //////////

    CANDIDATE #3:
    Texas Instruments
    (splitting from the Philanthropic interest)
    _better known in the electronics industry, renowned for developing and commercializing semiconductor and computer technology
    _No.3 manufacturer of semiconductors worldwide after Intel and Samsun, top supplier of chips for cellular handsets, No. 1 producer of digital signal processors, others include broadband modems, PC peripherals, digital consumer devices, telecommunication infrastructure, Radio Frequency Identification

    __WHY TEXAS INSTRUMENTS?
    _leader in a range of technology/ industry leader in radio frequency identification technology

    Wed, Feb 13, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: lighthouse
    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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    COMMUNICATION IS:
    The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs (dictionary.com).
    ... interchange of information.

    WE WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH:
    Any being capable of looking beyond themselves in the Universe.

    WHY WOULD DIFFERENT SPECIES WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER?
    To warn, to attract, to display their ability, to protect themselves, to repel, and to inform another of something they want to do.

    ***COMMUNICATION OF DIFFERENT SPECIES:
    //VISUALLY
    _Snakes, Poison tree frogs, spiders
    Snakes are brightly colored with intricate or contrasting bands of red, yellow, black, white etc. This coloration serves as a warning signal to enemies. It can also confuse predators as to which direction the snake is moving, since different colors blend at high speed.
    _Growling
    is a low, guttural vocalization produced by predatory animals as a warning to others, as a sign of aggression, or to express anger.
    _Peacocks
    _Flowers (shape and color)
    _Dogs
    Fur stands up when in fear or unsure. Makes them look bigger and robust to deter a fight.
    _Ungulates
    Pursuit-deterrent signals occur when prey indicates to a predator that pursuit would be unprofitable because the signaler is prepared to escape- they hop in such a way that shows that they are capable of running away. Such signals can advertise prey’s ability to escape, and reflect phenotypic condition (quality advertisement), or can advertise that the prey has detected the predator (perception advertisement).

    //SMELLS
    Many mammals, in particular, have glands that generate distinctive and long-lasting smells, and have corresponding behaviours that leave these smells in places where they have been. Often the scented substance is introduced into urine or feces
    _Skunks
    Muscles located next to the scent glands allow them to spray with high accuracy as far as 2 to 5 metres (7 to 15 ft). The smell aside, the spray can cause irritation and even temporary blindness, and is sufficiently powerful to be detected by even an insensitive human nose anywhere up to a mile downwind. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk)

    //TOUCH
    Defense mechanisms that provide a warning visually and also have a painful repercussion if messed with.
    _Turtle
    _Porcupines
    Porcupine quills are as sharp as needles, detach very easily, and will remain embedded in an attacker. Unlike needles, however, the quills of New World porcupines have microscopic, backwards-facing barbs on the tip that catch on the skin making them difficult and painful to extract. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porcupine)
    _Prickly Pears/ cacti

    //TASTE
    _Corpse plant
    _Fruit

    //HEARING

    _Growling
    _RattleSnake


    Good Explanation of Animal Warnings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_communication)
    Some other important notes:
    Animal communication is largely by instinct, while human communication is cultural. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-animal_communication)


    HUMAN-ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

    A dog being scolded does not need to understand every word of its admonishment, but is able to grasp the message by interpreting cues such as the owner's stance, tone of voice, and body language.

    Mon, Feb 4, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: lighthouse
    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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    Proposal:
    To 'mark our territory' as a planet in the universe to mark our existence and to possibly attract any intelligent life forms who may be curious of other extraterrestrials.

    Passive vs. Active:
    'Active' implies methods of contacting extraterrestrials by sending a probe to a chosen location. With this method, a specific message must be made and the designer must take into consideration the type of species the probe may or may not encounter. Once the probe is sent, it cannot be altered.
    'Passive' implies methods of contacting extraterrestrials by sending a continuous message. The message we are proposing will be simple, just enough to draw the attention of other life forms. It doe snot require the knowledge of extra solar.

    Ideas on How to Create a Signal:
    _Background radiation, the background radiation from the creation of the universe is uniform.
    _Sun, while the Earth is not visible from large distances, the Sun is.
    _Nanotechnology
    _Hitchhiker, 'tag' a comet, information will be attached and will be carried wherever it goes.

    Parallels with the Lighthouse of Alexandria:
    Beacon of the Greeks, erected in 300 BC, and served as a navigation marker. In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the Chinese encountered the lighthouse. It served as a (representation) location of meeting cultures.
    Mon, Feb 4, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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