Sean Jordan: Sounds of Earth
April 11, 2018
This Sunday, InConcert Sierra is presenting a performance from the group WindSync and they have a unique piece that has piqued my interest.
I am a huge science nerd and one piece WindSync arranged is based off the Voyager Golden Records, which was originally curated by a NASA committee led by astrophysicist Carl Sagan, according to a release.
Voyager Golden Records was created as a kind of time capsule in 1977 in hopes that if there is extraterrestrial life out there, it would give whatever found the record an idea of what life is like on Earth.
The records contained sounds of animals, natural sounds — wind, oceans and thunder — spoken greetings of 55 Earth-languages, songs from various composers throughout history and images of life on Earth.
As Carl Sagan noted, "The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet."
Can you imagine what it would be like to get a record encompassing an entire planet's history of a completely different civilization?
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To me, that would be like finding the holy grail. To learn about an entirely new species and their history would shatter everything we know today and alter life as we know it.
Thinking about what could be possible in other worlds that may not be possible in our own is a thought that intrigues me.
I believe sci-fi shows and movies also share this thought. Movies like "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" push the boundaries of what we think is possible and apply how we would react in those scenarios. Granted, some of the things in those movies and shows are the creators' imagination at work, but if you look at the original "Star Trek" and compare the time it was originally released to now, you will find cell phones and artificial intelligence aren't sci-fi anymore — it's a part of our daily life.
So it's not entirely crazy to imagine that kind of possibility.
I get a kick out of wondering what life could be if we found out we are not alone. I lean on the side of we are not alone. I think it's naive to think we're the only species that can exist on a planet, when we haven't had the chance to even visit another planet outside our own solar system, let alone our galaxy.
Plus, I think it would be kind of disheartening to learn there's nothing else out in the cosmos.
To think this — a place where we are divided on almost every issue and things like war and poverty plague us as a species — is all there is, is not the end game I would want for anyone or any species.
But, on the off chance that is the case, and we are alone, maybe we can figure out some of those issues. One can only hope.
I guess I'll sit back and enjoy the music while we figure it out.
Contact Prospector Editor Sean Jordan at 530-477-4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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