Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication
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Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication

By Douglas A. Vakoch
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Book Description

Addressing a field that has been dominated by astronomers, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists, the contributors to this collection raise questions that may have been overlooked by physical scientists about the ease of establishing meaningful communication with an extraterrestrial intelligence. These scholars are grappling with some of the enormous challenges that will face humanity if an information-rich signal emanating from another world is detected. By drawing on issues at the core of contemporary archaeology and anthropology, we can be much better prepared for contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, should that day ever come.


Watch Doug Vakoch's talk at TEDxNashville on "What would you say to an extraterrestrial"

Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Figures
  • Introduction: Reconstructing Distant Civilizations and Encountering Alien Cultures
  • Chapter One: SETI: The NASA Years
  • Chapter Two: A Political History of NASA’s SETI Program
  • Chapter Three: The Role of Anthropology in SETI
  • Chapter Four: A Tale of Two Analogues
  • Chapter Five: Beyond Linear B
  • Chapter Six: Learning To Read
  • Chapter Seven: Inferring Intelligence
  • Chapter Eight: Anthropology at a Distance
  • Chapter Nine: Contact Considerations
  • Chapter Ten: Culture and Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Chapter Eleven: Speaking for Earth
  • Chapter Twelve: The Evolution of Extraterrestrials
  • Chapter Thirteen: Biocultural Prerequisites for the Development of Interstellar Communication
  • Chapter Fourteen: Ethology, Ethnology, and Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Chapter Fifteen: Constraints on Message Construction for Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Epilogue: Mirrors of Our Assumptions
  • About the Authors
  • The NASA History Series
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