Credit Bureau Phone Numbers
If there are intelligent beings on the planets of fairly nearby stars, could they know about us?
On another planet, the chances of finding another form of intelligence is rather high. However , the chances of finding beings who are physically very similar to us is near zero, because a different sequence of random processes applies making hereditary diversity and a different environment to select particular combinations of genes, very different from ours’.
They may have switching elements analogous to our neurons. But the neurons which operate their process of thinking may be very different. There may be planets where the intelligent beings have about the same neural connections, as we do. Perhaps they act as superconductors that work at very low temperatures rather than organic devices that work at room temperature, in which case their speed of thought will be thousands of times faster than ours and they will develop therefore faster.
Or let’s imagine a situation that may seem incredible, but can be very real: perhaps the equivalent of neurons in their brains would not be in direct physical contact but in radio communication so that a single intelligent being could be distributed among many different organisms, or even many different planets, each with a part of the intelligence of the whole, each contributing by radio to an intelligence much greater than itself.
In this case they will need neither phones, nor credit bureau phone numbers, as we need here on Earth.
In some sense such a radio integration of separate individuals is already beginning to happen on the planet Earth, with our system of communication
Places where the neural connections are immensely high… I wonder what they would know.
One conclusion is however evident: Because we inhabit the same universe, we and they must share some substantial information in common. If we could make contact, there is much in their brains that would be of great interest to ours. But the opposite is also true. Extraterrestrial intelligence – even beings substantially further evolved than we – will be interested in us, in what we know, how we think, what our brains are like, the course of our evolution, the prospects for our future.
Might they somehow have an inkling of the long evolutionary progression from genes to brains to libraries that has occurred on the obscure planet Earth?
They might not use our system of communications, their phones may be quite a mystery for us and their system of credit of phone numbers might seem bizarre, but if there are intelligent beings on the planets of fairly nearby stars, they are interested in us. But what they already know about the Earth?
Anyway, if the extraterrestrials stay at home, there are at least one way in which they might find out about us.
This way would be to listen with large radio telescopes. For billions of years they would have heard only weak and intermittent radio static caused by lighting and the trapped electrons and protons whistling within the Earth’s magnetic field. Then, less than a century ago, the radio waves leaving the Earth would become stronger, louder, less like noise and more like signals. The inhabitants of Earth had finally stumbled upon radio communication. Today there is a vast international telephone, radio, television, radar communications traffic. At some radio frequencies the Earth has become the brightest objet, the most powerful radio source, in the solar system – brighter than Jupiter, brighter than the Sun.
An extraterrestrial civilization monitoring the radio emission from Earth and receiving such signals could not fail to conclude that something interesting had been happening here lately.
Our inkling to acquire more and more phone numbers leads us to an eventually contact with alien civilisation! And we can’t change this psychology inherent to the human beings.
“The smartphone revolution is under-hyped, more people have access to phones than access to running water. We've never had anything like this before since the beginning of the planet.” (Marc Lowell Andreessen, an American entrepreneur, founder of Netscape). Photo: Kamioke Observatory, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, the University of Tokyo