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Art

Signs of life

Something inspired by the great short story “The Great Silence” by Ted Chiang, from his most recent collection of short stories: Exhalation. Also, this is my first time using a Pigma Brush pen I picked up in Amsterdam.

Every parrot has a unique call that it uses to identify itself; biologists refer to this as the parrot’s “contact call”.

In 1974, astronomers used Arecibo to broadcast a message into outerspace indended to demonstrate human intelligence. That was humanities contact call.

In the wild, parrots address each other by name. One bird imitates another’s contact call to get the other bird’s attention.

If humans ever detect the Arecibo message being sent back to Earth, they will know someone is trying to get their attention.

– from The Great Silence by Ted Chiang

I had to look this up and per Wikipedia: The Arecibo message is a 1974 interstellar radio message carrying basic information about humanity and Earth sent to globular star cluster M13. It was meant as a demonstration of human technological achievement, rather than a real attempt to enter into a conversation with extraterrestrials.

This is a demonstration of the message with color added to highlight its separate parts. The binary transmission sent carried no color information.