Review: Archeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication

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If we were to receive an  signal from an extraterrestrial intelligence would we be smart enough to understand it?


This book addresses a field that has been “dominated by astronomers, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists”  and raises challenging questions about the ease of establishing meaningful communication with an extraterrestrial intelligence. The contributors to this work draw on contemporary archaeology and anthropology, and suggest these tools will enable us to be prepared for contact with an extraterrestrial civilization.


The authors propose drawing on our rich knowledge of human use of symbols and information artifacts to communicate rather than the signal processing and information theoretic approaches employed in the majority of current SETI efforts. This idea has broader implications, for example, in the field of artificial intelligence. Chapters Five, Six, and Seven will be of interest to researchers in language understanding, text processing and general computational linguistics.

As it delves into our ability to understand complex messages with unknown meanings, the book also touches on ideas of interest to anyone that dabbles in cryptography and steganography. The discussion of extra-terrestrial evolution was also interesting as it might also be considered a map of potential post human forms and instantiations. Also of  particular interest to transhumanists will be the discussion of potential alternate forms of alien cognition and in particular the all too brief section discussing distributed cognition at the end of the book.

Get this book.

The book is available for download for FREE in three different formats.

› Kindle readers: MOBI [2.8 MB]

› All other eBook readers: EPUB [3.8 MB]

› Fixed layout: PDF [1.7 MB]

Note: NASA servers were down yesterday but are apparently back up today.


Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication ebook


1 Response

  1. This is so far the best review I’ve read, thank you for your intelligent review. Most blogs seem to be jumping to conclusions on this book’s intentions. NASA is not admitting or even claiming that they’re communicating with extraterrestrials. Honestly, I felt that this book was another tool that SETI is using in concert with NASA to allow SETI to stay funded.

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