June 2, 2009

Eh, We Won't Be Here Anyway (Or: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!)

Earth's expiration date has been extended by a billion years, hooray for the whales. Those prescient beings evacuated land lickety-split once they realized the ocean is where real stability lies...I suspect they're waiting patiently for homo sapien to self-destruct so they can enjoy an extra million millenia with echolocation sans sonar interference, ocean water with revived oxygen levels, and--who knows--reclaim the land they vacated once nature wins the war against detritus. From an interstellar perspective, the fact that earth could remain temperate for an extra billion years is a boon to the potential of extraterrestrial life (if the extension can be extended to other planets with biospheres, it could double the percentage of time that planets could be inhabited), though the possibility of other intelligent beings connecting with any Earthlings becomes remote post-humanity, since "Across the Universe" will decompose into static after one or two light years without people to broadcast it. But, once the airwaves are clear, maybe the FM pulsing of whales' sweet, sweet song is the aural mating call aliens have been waiting for all this time...

In any case, music does seem to hold the key to interspecies (if not interstellar) communication; David Rothenberg expounds on this idea in Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound.

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