“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

So.. where are the aliens?

Check out: Encryption might be the reason we’ve never heard from aliens, says Snowden



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  • distinguish – recognize or treat (someone or something) as different
  • random – made, done, or happening without method or conscious decision
  • indistinguishable – not able to be identified as different or distinct
  • enlightened – having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • What is the Fermi paradox?
  • What does Snowden suggest about communications?
  • What do all societies realise over time?
  • What does Snowden say about cosmic microwave background radiation in the context of looking for alien communications?
  • What does Snowden say about alien politics?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

“When you look ________ encrypted communications, if they ________ properly encrypted, there is ________ real way to tell that they are encrypted. You can’t distinguish ________ properly encrypted communication, at least in the theoretical sense, ________ random noise,” says Snowden. He suggests that over time all societies realize ________ encryption is a necessity. “So if you have an alien civilization trying to listen for other civilizations, or our civilization trying to listen for aliens, there’s only one small period ________ the development of their society where all of their communications will be sent ________ the most primitive and most unprotected means.”


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