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jonobr1 (M, 32)
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    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.

    I took a quick look around and didn't see any discussion on this, however, I do think it pertains quite a bit to both the Polytopia project and Suitcase For the Future.

    What does Nostalgia for a past future mean to you?

    This poses an interesting twist on the same sort of topics breached by these other posts on the forum. This question comes about via OFFF, the International Festival for the Post-Digital Creation Culture. The Festival this year is held in Paris and has an open call for Catalogue Entries (presumably print based) under the theme Nostalgia for a past future. I'm thinking of entering, but I think beyond this I thought I'd share it with this particular community while I ponder the possibilities.
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    Fri, Aug 28, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: light, visuals, black, white, spectrum, loop, audio, space, void, solitude
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    As much as I try to seduce my code I always just get an echo back.

    So blind Tiresias gave to all who came
    Faultess and sure reply and far and wide
    Through all Boeotia’s cities spread his fame.
    To test his truth and trust the first who tried
    Was wave-blue water-nymph Liriope,
    Whom once Cephisus in his sinuous flow
    Embracing held and ravished. In due time
    The lovely sprite bore a fine infant boy,
    From birth adorable, and named her son
    Narcissus; and of him she asked the seer
    Would he long years and ripe old age enjoy,
    Who answered ‘If he shall himself not know’.
    For long his words seemed vain; what they concealed
    The lad’s strange death and stranger love revealed.

    Narcissus now had reached his sixteenth year
    And seemed both man and boy; and many a youth
    And many a girl desired him, but hard pride
    Ruled in that delicate frame, and never a youth
    And never a girl could touch his haughty heart.
    Once as he drove to nets the frightened deer
    A strange-voiced nymph observed him, who must speak
    If any other speak and cannot speak
    Unless another speak, resounding Echo.
    Echo was still a body, not a voice,
    But talkative as now, and with the same
    Power of speaking, only to repeat,
    As best she could, the last of many words.
    Juno had made her so; for many a time,
    When the great goddess might have caught the nymphs
    Lying with Jove upon the mountainside,
    Echo discreetly kept her talking till
    The nymphs had fled away; and when at last
    The goddess saw the truth, ‘Your tongue’, she said,
    ‘With which you tricked me, now its power shall lose,
    Your voice avail but for the briefest use.’
    The event confirmed the threat: when speaking ends,
    All she can do is double each last word,
    And echo back again the voice she’s heard.

    Now when she saw Narcissus wandering
    In the green byways, Echo’s heart was fired;
    And stealthily she followed, and the more
    She followed him, the nearer flamed her love,
    As when a torch is lit and from the tip
    The leaping sulphur grasps the offered flame.
    She longed to come to him with winning words,
    To urge soft pleas, but nature now opposed;
    She might not speak the first but – what she might –
    Waited for words her voice could say again.
    It chanced Narcissus, searching for his friends,
    Called ‘Anyone here?’ and Echo answered ‘Here!’
    Amazed he looked all round and, raising his voice,
    Called ‘Come this way!’ and Echo called ‘This way!’
    He looked behind and, no one coming, shouted
    ‘Why run away?’ and heard his words again.
    He stopped and, cheated by the answering voice,
    Called ‘Join me here!’ and she, never more glad
    To give her answer, answered ‘Join me here!’
    And graced her words and ran out from the wood
    To throw her longing arms around his neck.
    He bolted, shouting ‘Keep your arms from me!
    Be off! I’ll die before I yield to you.’
    And all she answered was ‘I yield to you’.
    Shamed and rejected in the woods she hides
    And has her dwelling in the lonely caves;
    Yet still her love endures and grows on grief,
    And weeping vigils waste her frame away;
    Her body shrivels, all its moisture dries;
    Only her voice and bones are left; at last
    Only her voice, her bones are turned to stone.
    So in the woods she hides and hills around,
    For all to hear, alive, but just a sound.



    Ovid Metamorphosis Book III Narcissus and Echo
    http://www.ee.qub.ac.uk/dsp/csp/Thesis/Stewart/MVS_AppendixD.pdf
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    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

    As one of the only projects to address the literal meaning of alien from the prompt I feel that we’ve placed our project in a very interesting situation. The project is a sort of median between a realistic scientific project and the next Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. The fascinating fork in the road that our project has arrived at is one of dichotomy. It reminds me of the advertising campaign for Transformers this past summer. It is an epic separation of humanity between skepticism and optimism.

    On the one side there are the optimists, us, who believe that we may in fact contact cosmic neighbors. This contact and construction of the project will result in a convergence of humanity. The other side of this spectrum is that the aliens will come and they will destroy all of humanity. What Rene Daalder pointed out in the critique, which was quite interesting, is that while these are two different types of reactions both are ultimately optimistic. The notion behind this is that while we may be destroyed, that leap of faith in conjunction with the actual re-ionization of Cosmic Background semi-permanently places a beacon around the earth. Even if Earth were to be destroyed the CBR would remain and intelligent life forms would be able to see a strange uniformity in a specific area.

    Another topic of critique that interested me was the idea of materiality. Now this I found really interesting because while other groups had particular messages our message was the material itself. This while being inherently neutral is also completely universal. As Professor Bratton said it is, “the most concrete of messages.” Initially, when we wanted the message to be absent it was the idea of passive communication. This inherently marks our vein, narcissistic nature, as well as avoiding the question of imperialism and colonialism which is inherent in any active itinerary. Because we had nothing to base our conjectures off of we referenced the past, which I don’t think seemed to be communicated that well in the presentation. The reference is based entirely on notions of new world in antiquity and the frontiers of the west. As a result I feel that our researching was lacking in how and why exactly the Lighthouse of Alexandria was created. We found out the implications of the construction, however, we never knew the intent of the builder. The issue inevitably came up in critiques of well how can you really sell someone on the idea of building a beacon in space and inevitably our answer was,, “Well it’s happened numerous times in the past, here are a few that actually have been constructed.” Our explanation could never go further than that. In history the Lighthouse of Alexandria had surprisingly positive results for its culture, however I feel we had trouble conveying that and we really couldn’t justify it beyond the fact that’s what happened so we can only trust that the Lighthouse Project will be the same. That was one of the biggest issues. This issue was directly tied to who was going to sponsor this and how were we going to tie this into some kind of narrative for the planet Earth and its dwellers.

    This leads to one of the next ideas that drove the project but never really came to fruition in the end of the project. The concept of curiosity was backed by references of scientific inventions as well as the inception of Internet web 2.0 and creative commons and was the idea of acting on the sake of curiosity. This idea drove the group for most of the quarter, but unfortunately was not really incorporated in the final presentation.

    Other concepts that I believe really pushed the idea of the project and motivated us that didn’t receive treatment in the presentation were: Deleuze, Collapse of Time/Space, Intergalactic Hub, rejuvenation. These issues were hot topics of debate in our group and while they didn’t get into the final pitch they are nonetheless worthy of note.

    Deleuzian ideas of affect were something that drove a foundation into our project. The basis to which the separation between space and the re-ionization of cosmic background radiation and Earth was unclear. How exactly do you connect the dwellers of earth to a beacon that really only relays earth itself, not the contents of earth? The connection was Deleuze. This was a key jump in realizing what kind of reaction we wanted people to feel and the route that we needed to take to realize that reaction. Along with this idea Teaching Assistant Zach Blas in conversing about the project brought about another idea that we were fond of, but weren’t aware of, the idea of collapsing space and time. This idea came about in describing what kind of feeling a person was to feel when they knew about this project going on and it was transcending a person into a planetary level. Often times it is difficult to fathom the ideas of light years, black holes, and galaxies because of their large unit measurement. This project was to realize a human as an earthling, to see themselves the same as any other object on earth and that these collections of contents make up Earth. It was supposed to give the feeling a cell phone does today, how a person can be thousands of miles away and feel like their within distance of you. The result of this feeling is inevitably comfort because the idea of remote is lessened. The next item, the intergalactic hub, was an interesting concept brought in the beginning of the class but was neglected because it made all the group members think of the cantina seen from Star Wars where Han Solo and Chewbacca, not cool. Finally, the concept of rejuvenation really stuck with Professor Mendez in the idea of starting with a fresh palette, the same way the big bang started the universe off with a fresh palette. This was because when we researched re-ionization the only thing that was happening to create difference in the cosmic background radiation was a reorienting of polarization in hydrogen plasma in space. This then went into the discussion of how everything is fucked up in the world today and that this project both physically and meta-physically had the capacity to rejuvenate everything. Make people get back to the basics. The problem with this is that it had too close of a tie with the Big Bang and we didn’t want people think that the universe was going to implode on itself or anything.

    In conclusion I feel that our group took thorough and accurate measures in achieving a literal answer to the very first question in class in communicating with aliens. Finally, I would like to note how discouraging this project has been at the same time. This is because we emailed about 20 or so professors from around the country concerning CBR and re-ionization and never got an answer. Aside from this the class was a great experience in group work and problem solving.

    Sat, Mar 22, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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    HOW DO WE FUND A BEACON IN SPACE?

    The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution that focuses on the visual arts in all their dimensions, recognizing their capacity to inspire and strengthen humanistic values. The Getty serves both the general public and a wide range of professional communities in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Through the work of the four Getty programs—the Museum, Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and Foundation—the Getty aims to further knowledge and nurture critical seeing through the growth and presentation of its collections and by advancing the understanding and preservation of the world's artistic heritage. The Getty pursues this mission with the conviction that cultural awareness, creativity, and aesthetic enjoyment are essential to a vital and civil society.


    This is the mission statement of the Getty Trust. Now, it being the largest art focused philanthropy (over 5 billion US$) makes the Getty Center an obvious outlet for such a heinously right-side-of-the-brain project (the beacon). But what are the implications on the world and for the Getty as a company? This post is to delve into the connotations of such a merger.


    endowment in billions


    THE PAST, PRESENT AND NOW FUTURE

    A concept that most certainly should be leveraged when thinking of the future in this way is to contextualize it in society. This metaphor works so well with the brand Getty as it physically exists on the two fronts necessary to contextualize the future, the past and present, the Getty Villa and the Getty Center respectively. In terms of a brand/identity for the Getty their next large physical manifestation should be something in space, like our beacon. It makes an easily traceable line from antiquity (the Getty Villa) to the present (uber modern Getty Center) to the future (beacon made of re-ionized radioactivity).


    Getty Amphitheater in the Getty Villa

    The functions of the two Getty's reflects this mentality of past and present. The Getty Villa houses a replica of a Roman Villa from Herculaneum, ancient southern Italy port town with content inside to boot. The Getty Center while housing past works, houses vast and various research facilities in all facets of the arts as well as scholarships, fellowships, and job opportunities to propagate art in the short term.


    Getty Center


    HONESTLY, WE ALL GO TO THE GETTY FOR THE ARCHITECTURE

    While in recent the Getty Center holding Courbet, Tim Hawkinson, and other superb artists, the content never had the same pizzaz and wow as LACMA, MOCA, MOMA (SF or NY). Why do people go there? The architecture. The villa is spectacle of ancient Roman architecture and the Getty Center is a marvel of contemporary architecture. Indeed our beacon is no different, as it aims to be as much spectacle as an Aurora Borealis.

    Further, our beacon aims not to contain a message, as the beacon is the message...identical in the practice of both the Getty Villa and the Getty Center by the public.


    The Getty in Space?


    NICE LEVERAGE, BUT WHERE DOES IT FALTER?

    While there are these really great alignments with the perception of the Getty the biggest issue has to do with the Getty's past. They're in deep sh*t with Greece and Italy for possibly illegally obtaining works of art and antique pieces from what is rightfully the nation's. Possessive quarrels don't look to well for a project that wants to project a collective voice/narrative. However, this new project could jettison these problems into oblivion, or at least to the point this negligence is overlooked because of such a magnificent feat in space! Or maybe not...good thing this is entirely theoretical...
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    I was at the UCLA Art Graduate Show this past weekend and saw a piece that an artist had of all different waters from all different places. It was pretty interesting talking to other people about the meaning, what bottle they were placed in, why, the size of the bottle and how that reinterprets the inclination of the artist putting the pacific ocean water into a bigger bottle than the lake tahoe water. Below are the pictures, thought it might be helpful for the water group.

    The Piece



    The title/The artist



    As a last note: the collection of all these different waters reminded me of the quote from No Country for Old Men about currency and how currency gets around.

    Anton Chigurh: What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss.
    Gas Station Proprietor: Sir?
    Anton Chigurh: The most. You ever lost. On a coin toss.
    Gas Station Proprietor: I don't know. I couldn't say.
    [Chigurh flips a quarter from the change on the counter and covers it with his hand]
    Anton Chigurh: Call it.
    Gas Station Proprietor: Call it?
    Anton Chigurh: Yes.
    Gas Station Proprietor: For what?
    Anton Chigurh: Just call it.
    Gas Station Proprietor: Well, we need to know what we're calling it for here.
    Anton Chigurh: You need to call it. I can't call it for you. It wouldn't be fair.
    Gas Station Proprietor: I didn't put nothin' up.
    Anton Chigurh: Yes, you did. You've been putting it up your whole life you just didn't know it. You know what date is on this coin?
    Gas Station Proprietor: No.
    Anton Chigurh: 1958. It's been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it's here. And it's either heads or tails. And you have to say. Call it.
    Gas Station Proprietor: Look, I need to know what I stand to win.
    Anton Chigurh: Everything.
    Gas Station Proprietor: How's that?
    Anton Chigurh: You stand to win everything. Call it.
    Gas Station Proprietor: Alright. Heads then.
    [Chigurh removes his hand, revealing the coin is indeed heads]
    Anton Chigurh: Well done.
    [the gas station proprietor nervously takes the quarter with the small pile of change he's apparently won while Chigurh starts out]
    Anton Chigurh: Don't put it in your pocket, sir. Don't put it in your pocket. It's your lucky quarter.
    Gas Station Proprietor: Where do you want me to put it?
    Anton Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Where it'll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.
    [Chigurh leaves and the gas station proprietor stares at him as he walks out]


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    I was given the task to look into other types of marker's/beacon's based on the notion that the lighthouse wasn't quite the best analogy for our project. Below are some other types of markers of which utilize different tactics of interaction and communication.


    THE AVIATION MARKER BEACON
    Similar to the Lighthouse in that it tells incoming planes that they are close to a tower. However, it differs in that it's a two way signal so that people on the tower learn about such interactions as much as the people on the plane.

    OBELISK
    From ancient Egyptian culture (similar to the Lighthouse of Alexandria). The purpose of an obelisk was to demarcate the entrance to a temple with various hyroglyphics telling stories and other narrations of the temple and the gods worshiped in that temple.

    PHEROMONE
    alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones
    Jacobson's Organ



    AGGREGATION PHEROMONES
    Produced by one of the other sex, attracting both sexes
    ALARM PHEROMONES
    Reease volatile substance when attacked by a predator that can trigger fight or aggression in members of the same species (BEE SWARMING)
    EPIDEICTIC PHEROMONES
    In instects, these pheromones are different from territory pheromones. "Females who lay their eggs in these fruits deposit these mysterious substances in the vicinity to their clutch to signal to other females of the same species so that they will clutch elsewhere." Fabre
    RELEASER PHEROMONES
    Powerful attractant molecules that some organisms may use to attract mates from a distance of 2 miles or more.
    PRIMER PHEROMONES
    These pheromones trigger a change of developmental events.
    TERRITORIAL PHEROMONES
    Laid down in the enviornment, these pheromones mark the boundaries of an organisms territory. In dogs, these hormones are present in the urine which they deposit on landmarks serving to mark the perimeter of the claimed territory.
    TRAIL PHEROMONES
    Commin in social insects. Ants mark their paths with these which are non volatile hydrocarbons. Trail attracts other ants as the ant returns to the nest. Evaporates quickly, but renewed each time a new ant uses it
    SEX PHEROMONE
    In animals, indicate availability of the female for breeding. Male animals may also emit pheromones that convey information about their species.



    STIGMERGY
    decentralized method of communication seen through ants (similar to trail pheromones and utilizes pheromones as the means to communication)



    AURORA BOREALIS
    natural different colored light displays, which are usually observed in the night sky particularly in the polar zone. Formed by the earth's magnetism and dependent on Solar Wind and Magnetosphere



    METADATA
    DATA THAT DESCRIBES DATA. Internet that is not viewed by the user, but is utilized by engines and other technological resources to expose the content of the website before the viewer sees it.

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    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 ferramones, 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.

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