The Voyager Spacecraft carried with it a message to all the alien dudes that laid out what Earth people were all about. It was encoded on a gold-plated copper phonograph record and began with basic stuff like our number system, our ZIP code, and our plumbing. It goes on to provide a pictorial explanation of the theory of evolution (seen below) and diagrams that place the Earth’s age at 4.5 billion years, as well as n00dz that outline what human fertilization and reproduction look like. It also contains photos of human agriculture, architecture, art, and everyday human activity, and concludes with the music of Mozart, Chuck Berry and Blind Willie Johnson, among others.
Its Final Thought is a soaring and optimistic note from President Jimmah to our future overlords and bears the names of such staunch conservatives as Ted Stevens and Barry Goldwater, among other Congressional leaders. Congress actually let Carl Sagan chair the committee that selected its content.
This was in 1977.
This morning I was at the Coast Guard station signing my wife up for an ID card so she can get paid if I get blown up one day, and the TV was tuned to Fox News because of course it was. The “reporting” on the nomination of Jack Lew — a center-right Democrat like the rest of this administration whose resume is that of a high-profile union buster — put him just right of Marx.
I started thinking about the very existence of the Voyager record as a counterpoint to the stagnation and boorishness I see everywhere, and the likelihood of a contemporary Congress blasting a gold record (flash drive?) into space that acknowledges the smallness of the United States, Earth and humanity … takes the truths of Darwinism and continental drift for granted … makes absolutely no reference to Jeebus … as a message of peace to hypothetical beings beyond our galaxy.
full gallery: imgur