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Looking at the Stars for Answers

10 Mar 2023 SD

It requires a telescopic lens to peer into worlds beyond.

A relatively small amount of glass and metal can be all you need to see things in a new light.

What is an insignificant dot of light in someone else’s field of view is one of my Suns. I feel its warmth and appreciate the light it has provided me. It illuminated things I didn’t know were there. It is sad to know there are worlds where my Suns are seen as insignificant and not even worth a glance, or never seen at all.

Oh, if only I could send them a message containing it’s fully glory to show them what they are missing. Some sort of modulated wave. A radio wave? A light wave? Perhaps both. Who knows what sort of technological and engineering wonder it would take to achieve such a feat? Commanding a wave? Sending encoded signals between distant worlds as fast as physics will allow? Just the thought of its possibility boggles the mind. What a wondrous world that would be.

But alas, suppose a distant alien does receive a signal from me: why should they pay it any attention? Certainly, such an alien communication must be treated with suspicion. How is it encoded? What language is the message expressed in? Who is the sender exactly? What do they want? Why did they send this message? Are they even in their right mind? Is it an intelligent, deliberate signal at all? Or is it unintelligble, chatoic gibberish?

All is unknown. If they wish to know, and that’s a precarious “if”, they must spend time investigating. They must collect and analyze not just one, but multiple signals from this alien. And ultimately, they must decode the alien language, attempt two-way communication, and hope the alien is willing to do the same.

An awful lot of effort. What are the odds of that? 8 billion to 1? Hmm, perhaps not even then. In this hypothetical thought experiment, why should I even wish to send a message if my reasoning tells me it is so unlikely to be received? What good is it to be able to send a message at the speed of light if it will never be seen?

Can a world even be said to exist if it has only a single observer? There is no other to verify. Can one trust one’s own senses? One’s own thoughts? One would have to answer yes to have any hope of preserving one’s world.

But to share it? It may be impossible. It would require that at some time, in some place, across an unfathomable distance of spacetime, the perceptive field of an other would finally intersect with the path of the wave and be able to interpret its full meaning. A ridiculously unlikely event if there ever was one.

But what else could one do? The desire to share the warmth of a Sun is not extinguished, even long after its own flames have.

I am relieved to not be living in such a world. I live close to other observers; communicating over short distances by typical means. We bask in the warmth of our Suns together, and lay and point out shooting stars to one another to pass the time.

If ever a being does find themselves in such a strange world where they can scream as loud as possible and never be heard, I hope that they could somehow hear my thoughts.

Assuming “I” am still “alive” in the region of 4-volume (or n-volume! Ford only knows how deep this rabbit hole goes!) where such a technology exists, I would somehow transcribe my thoughts, encode them in modulated waves, and offer a universal message to those without anyone to share their light with:

I love you. I see it too.

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