Alien Crash Site

Alien Crash Site

A new InterPlanetary interview series from the Santa Fe Institute takes a page from the Strugatsky brothers' classic Soviet sci-fi novel, Roadside Picnic, to discuss a variety of transformative alien artifacts. Thirteen years ago, an alien civilization visited our planet, and left behind myriad, mysterious materials in their crash sites. These areas, Zones, behave very strangely, but the interplanetary items they contain could change the trajectory of our technological advancement. What appears as a hoop might actually be a perpetual-motion machine. What appears as a slime might alter space-time. Spend too much time in the Zone and your genes might mutate, your bones might dissolve, your body might be ground into meat. If you’re lucky enough to make it out alive, you’ll likely be imprisoned. But a successful trip in and out of the Zone could alter human history. Do you dare? And for what? Hosted by Caitlin McShea.

Episodes

December 24, 2021 55 min

Learn more about what was discussed in this Alien Crash Site episode by clicking through the links below:

  • Lindy’s homepage
  • Psyche Mission
  • ASU's InterPlanetary Initiative
  • Vesta
  • Kleopatra
  • Maxar
  • Henry Stone at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Voyager Mission - Gravity Assist
  • Lucy Mission
  • DART Mission
  • Psyche Inspired
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  • Gary’s homepage.
  • Unfettered journey
  • Dan Dennett
  • Eugene Wigner
  • Michael's Complexity Podcast interview with David Kinney
  • 2019 IPFest World Building panel discussion
  • Geoffrey West’s Scale
  • Hanson's Age of Em
  • SFI Symposium AI and the Barrier of Meaning
  • ACtioN Climate Change seminar - Complexity of Sustainability
  • Peter Turchin
  • Bob May's 1972 paper: "W...
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    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

    New School Policy and Design for Outer Space

    SFI’s InterPlanetary Project

    Aging, Adaptation, and the Arrow of Time - A James S. McDonnell Foundation funded research track on Complex Time

    Complex Time video playlist

    InterPlanetary 2019 panel on Complex Time, featuring Sean Carroll

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    To learn more about items mentioned in this podcast:

  • Natalie's homepage
  • Co-Ordination: On Time Between Worlds - An InterPlanetary Panel discussion on Complex Time
  • Chris Kempes's Alien Crash Site Interview on life detection
  • "Towards a more universal life detection strategy" as submitted to the Planetary and Astrobiology Decadal Survey
  • Arrival
  • Ted Chiang's "The Story of Your Life"
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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    For more information, visit this link and register FOR FREE. 

    Alien Crash Site returns after that with an interview with SFI Post-Doc Natalie Grefenstette.

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  • Generalized Stoichiometry and Biogeochemistry for Astrobiological Applications
  • Multiple Paths to Multiple Life
  • Watch Chris Kempes and David Krakauer discuss multiple life in episode 2 of "Andromeda Strain and the Meaning of Life"
  • Watch Sara Walker's critique of Multiple Life in episode 4 of "Andromeda Strain and the Meaning of Life"
  • Allometric scaling of production and life-history variation in vascular plants, by ...
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    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

  • Identifying Molecules as Biosignatures with Assembly Theory and Mass Spectrometry.
  • Generalized Stoichiometry and Biogeochemistry for Astrobiological Applications.
  • Time Team
  • Elemental Cycles
  • DNA has Four Bases. Some Viruses Swap in a Fifth
  • Bennu
  • Hayabusa Mission
  • Alien Crash Site Episode 015, with Cole Mathis on Assembly Theory.
  • Determination of Azimuth
  • Atlanti...
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    Learn more about things discussed in this episode, by clicking on the links below: 

  • Timiebi Aganaba's home page
  • And LinkedIn
  • And Twitter
  • Global Space Treaty
  • Artemis Accords
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University's InterPlanetary Project
  • And the Psyche Mission
  • The Court Case: Viasat, Inc (Appellant) Vs. Federal Communications Commission (Appellee) re: Space Exploration Holdings, LLC (Movant-In...
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  • Ryan’s website
  • Ryan on Twitter
  • The Carrington Event
  • Parker Solar Probe
  • Mars MAVEN
  • Ushering in a New Frontier in Geospace through Data Science 
  • Dictionary of Obscure sorrows
  • What is an Individual?
  • Jorge Luis Borges
  • “Talk on Indolence” by the Avett Brothers
  • "Machine Gun" by Jimi Hendrix
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    For more information on items mentioned in this interview, click through the links below.

  • Vanessa’s Website
  • InterPlanetary 2018 Festival panel "Intelligent Systems and Cognitive Assistance" featuring Vanessa, David Krakauer, Jonah Nolan, Graham Spencer & Kurt Squire.
  • Dan Sperber 
  • Norman Rockwell's painting "The Gossips
  • Giant dragonfly - Meganeura
  • Alien Crash Site interview with Tamara van der Does
  • Dune witches
  • Bue...
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    June 24, 2021 68 min

    Learn more about the items discussed in this conversation by clicking on the links below.

    The paper discussed: "Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry"

  • "Scientists develop new molecular tool to detect alien life" - news article
  • "Chemists design alien life detector" - news article
  • The essay discussed: ($$ paywall) "Art as a Product of Nature, as a work of Art" by...

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    June 10, 2021 50 min

    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:Herschel Moon History

  • Natalie Elliot’s Homepage
  • Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of Lock
  • Shakespeare’s
  • Julius Caesar
  • Hamlet
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Claudius Ptolemy
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Tycho Brahe
  • Aristophanes’s
  • Clouds
  • Birds
  • Fermilab Bison
  • Antikythera Mechanism
  • Origin Story” for Aeon
  • And two recently published papers on universal life detection that we are WAY TOO EXCITED abou...
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    May 28, 2021 50 min

    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

    InterPlanetary 2018 - Planetary Policy, Law & Regulation Panel

    Earth Juijitsu

    Environment Now

    Ecuador’s recognition of Pachamama

    Slavoj Zizek

    Santa Monica’s sustainability ordinance, protecting the aquifers

    Brown v. Board of Education

    US Space Act (1958)

    Outer Space Treaty (1966)

    Moon Agreement (1979)

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    May 13, 2021 45 min

    Learn more about the things we discuss in this episode by clicking through the links below:

     

    Honeybee Capital

    Ever-Widening Circles, by Rilke

    Zero sum game

    Tom Seeley's work on honeybees

    Suzanne Simard's work about tree communication networks

    Geoffrey West's lecture on Scaling

    I Dream a Highway - Gillian Welch

    Ode to Joy - Beethoven

    Final scene of Stalker

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    April 29, 2021 48 min

    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

    Van’s homepage

    UCLA-led team of scientists discovers why we need sleep

    Watch Van on the “Time Design” Panel from #IPFest2018

    Ted Chiang’s Seventy-Two Letters

    Liu Cixin’s Three Body Problem

    You’re So Cool” by Hans Zimmer

    Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis

    Welcome to the Jungle” and “You Could Be Mine

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    April 1, 2021 59 min

    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

    Michael’s webpage

    Lauren Ancel Meyers

    Carl Bergstrom’s Calling Bullshit

    Michael’s work on the Neandertal genome

    Information’s impact on fitness

    Michael, Sara Walker, Chris Kempes and Lee Cronin, herein the #OriginsOfLifeLeague

    Life Alive

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    March 18, 2021 54 min

    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

    Philosophy of Werner Herzog

    Adam and Eve

    Kant’s aesthetics

    Oedipus Rex

    Pandora Myth

    Beatrice Han-Pile

    Diego Velázquéz’s Las Meninas

    Rothko’s Tate Collection

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    March 4, 2021 54 min

     Tamara’s Website, Google Scholar Page & Twitter
    • InterPlanetary Festival Website
    • Alien Crash Site Podcast

    In 72 hours of sci-fi, postdocs transmit parental model of alien civilization [video]
    • Greetings from a Triparental Planet 72 Hours of Science Pre-Printby Gizem Bacaksizlar, Stefani Crabtree, Joshua Garland, Natalie Grefenstette, Albert Kao, David Kinney, Artemy Kolchinsky, Tyler Marghetis, Michael Price, Maria Riolo, Ha...

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    February 18, 2021 54 min

    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

    Theme song, "Stalker" by Tortilla

    The “Living in Space” InterPlanetary Panel from IP Fest 2018

    ChemCam and SuperCam

    Recap of Nina’s time in Antartica

    Bradbury Museum panel of LANL scientists discussing Today’s Perseverance landing

    Joerael Numina’s art (The image of the Curiosity Rover behind me is one example of his work)

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    February 4, 2021 52 min

    Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:

    Sasha’s website and work

    Sasha on “Visualization and Designing the Impossible” IPFest 2018 Panel

    Sasha at IPFest, on open-source space data

    Jet Propulsion Lab’s page of downloadable 360 and VR/AR videos

    Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    VITAL Ventilators

    Virtual tour of the Jet Propulsion Lab

    Kin Dza Dza

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