One Time Jimmy Carter Sent A Note For Aliens Into Space


Jimmy Carter is a multifaceted gentleman. By day he practiced his trade of peanut farming or, alternatively, presidency. By night he gazed upon the stars, wondering who or what was gazing back, and wishing he could be pen pals with whoever roamed the cosmos far above. This fascination was rooted in an extraterrestrial sighting Jimmy experienced outside a Georgia restaurant in 1969. He described the spectacle as “the darndest thing” he had ever seen, and that man had seen some darnded things – this was not an incident he took lightly. In fact, the 39th president of the United States vowed on his campaign trail that if elected, he would share all of the country’s deepest darkest alien secrets with the public. He did get elected, probably on that claim alone, and in practice he did the country an even bigger solid: he sent the aliens a thoughtful, well worded love letter on behalf of the human race. Via Slate:

In the summer of 1977, he penned a three-paragraph letter to accompany the Voyager spacecraft. Today, that letter is traveling beyond our Solar System at speeds of eleven miles a second. It is the first letter in history to reach extrasolar space.

Carter was not the only human to send a message on Voyager—the “Golden Record” stowed onboard contained greetings in languages ranging from Sumerian to Welsh, as well as short speeches from UN delegates interwoven with whale sounds.

That’s right, whale sounds. I can only assume the logic behind the whale sounds overdub was “that sounds badass and aliens will appreciate how balls to the wall badass this is.” Carter’s letter, however, is a bit less pseudo-supernatural. In fact, it is profoundly human. Although the assumption that the aliens would have an understanding of written English shows maybe some slight hubris, the letter reads as a hopeful statement of humankind’s inevitable arc for peace, unity, and understanding.


Attribution

Slate


Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!



Trending on The Airspace