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Parody 'Subgenius' Religion Wants to Crowdfund An Alien-Contacting Beacon (gofundme.com) 78

In 1979 the followers of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs founded a satirical religion called the Church of the Subgenius. (Slackware Linux reportedly drew its name from the "pursuit of Slack", a comfort-seeking tenet of the 38-year-old parody religion.) Combining UFOs and conspiracy theories with some social critiques (and a few H.P. Lovecraft characters), the strange group is now re-emerging online with an official Facebook page -- and a slick new video channel.

In "Adventures in the Forbidden Sciences," former church CEO K'taden Legume announces that in January of 2016, "the Subgenius Foundation received an overdue bill for a storage locker in the Pacific Northwest registered under the name J. R. Dobbs. Behind the steel door was a freight elevator leading deep underground to what was long considered to be a myth: The church's long-abandoned forbidden science laboratories. Hidden in a forgotten cavern, packed floor-to-ceiling with thousands of crates dating back to the mid-19th century." Eighteen months of experimentation lead to clues about a flying saucer arriving on "the Black Day" -- and one last chance at eternal salvation and everlasting Slack: the construction of an alien-contacting beacon. Legume calls it "our best last hope for getting off of this planet. We have the tech. We have the moxie to do this, but to finish the beacon -- we need your help."

"The Beacon will be constructed by a team of 'Forbidden Scientists' led by former church CEO Dr. K'taden Legume," writes new Slashdot reader Ktaden Legume, touting a new $25,000 campaign to crowdfund the beacon's construction.

So far it's raised $294.

Parody 'Subgenius' Religion Wants to Crowdfund An Alien-Contacting Beacon

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  • They'll ignore you because you're made out of meat. Sorry.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @10:07AM (#55330903)

    Contacting aliens will just get your inbox flooded with respondents claiming to be an alien princes who need you to wire them money.

    • It's much worse than that. The most common form of messages will be viruses - e,g ones which tell you to build a machine that sucks up all the resources from your planet or star and turns them into machines that send messages to other civilisations to build similar machines of their own.

      It'd work pretty well because uncontacted civilisations would be pleased as punch to be finally noticed and ill equipped to work out what a machine far beyond their level of technology to design would actually do when turne

      • Or you could imagine the other way around.

        Any civilisation more advanced than us is *bound* to be more pacifist than us, otherwise they would certainly not have been able to survive up to that point.
        It would be very unlikely for such an advanced civilisation to be nefarious to the point of taking opportunity to send "viruses" to us, because such a nefarious civilisation that also has access to such advanced technology would have had plenty of opportunity to obliterate it self before.

        Our history is filled wi

  • Broadcasting radio signals such as we are currently doing is a great way to test for intelligent life within the light bubble it creates, as a bonus the affected volume is increasing as a cube of the time passed. Also, if alien life behaves anything like earth life, and they somehow manage to get here, we will all likely get to go off planet - probably via some high powered energy beam weapon.
    • by hh4m ( 1549861 )

      SNR brah... After a certain distance, the signal gets lost in the noise.

    • if alien life behaves anything like earth life, and they somehow manage to get here, we will all likely get to go off planet - probably in a plush VIP cabin vaguely suggestive of a meat locker

    • by abies ( 607076 )

      It is also called destructive testing, because answer will come back in form of Sun turning into nova...

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      (Dark Forest theory)

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      So rather than focusing on the entirety of space, how about focusing on a particular area. Now you just can not focus on any area but you need to choose an area to target specifically, to catch that alien. Hmm, bait is the typical best method to get something to a location to find them. So what would be the best bait to attract a alien civilisation so that we can find them. I know, create a proto-galactic species, whose evolution and development would be of deep fascination to any advanced species, as all r

    • Also, if alien life behaves anything like earth life, and they somehow manage to get here, we will all likely get to go off planet - probably via some high powered energy beam weapon.

      On the other hand, if any contacted civilisation would have been that aggressive, chances are high that they will have had plenty of opportunities to blow themselves all up in the process of getting to that point on the Kardashev scale.
      Think of their historical equivalent of the Cuban missile taking the wrong (destructive non pacifist) turn. - Now think of it, but in the context of an advanced enough civilisation with enough technology and power to be capable of interstellar travel.
      A "wrong turn" of crisis

  • All that 19th century tech lacks processing power. I'll plead an unused router/firewall running Slackware 3.9 to provide that for the beacon.

  • Don't eat the pudding!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2017 @10:24AM (#55330961)

    you mean the others aren't?

  • Besides from the religion part?

    • I contend that we are all irrationally nonsensical. Atheists just believe in one fewer pieces of nonsense than you do.

    • Because its a parody religion whos members straight up say "If you believe this shit your a loony", and pretty much everything about it is designed to mock and confuse those of "Serious" religions.

      It IS kind of a cult, but in the same way trotskyites or Ayn rand followers are a cult. Nutty as shit, but not ACTUALLY religious, and unlike the trots and randoids, pretty openly have fun with it all.

      • It IS kind of a cult, but in the same way trotskyites or Ayn rand followers are a cult. Nutty as shit, but not ACTUALLY religious, and unlike the trots and randoids, pretty openly have fun with it all.

        It is kind of NOT A CULT because you are free to leave any time you want, Reverend Stang does not encourage the faithful to cut themselves off from their friends and family and give ALL of their money to him, and he does not encourage us to take up arms against an imaginary threat from the outside world and constantly remind us how lucky we are to have him to give us the sole truth and the only truth while he fucks all the women followers.

        Mainly he keeps us up to date on changes in postage fees.

  • Slack Beacons (Score:5, Informative)

    by electroblood ( 728875 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @10:31AM (#55330991)
    Slack Beacons do not follow normal light-speed laws of the universe. The Department of Forbidden Science, who's activities were though to be limited to giving haircuts to bums, has discovered that Slack travels much like Tachyons do. Low energy slack actually travels further than High energy slack and exists at all points along the route simultaneously. The Slack beacon will run on these solid principles of Forbidden Science.
  • Trump tweets aren't enough for you?

    • Trump tweets aren't enough for you?

      No. Not enough. Nowhere near enough. That's like setting out to contact the Asgard from SG-1 and ending up talking to the Wunch from "Accelerando".

      Incidentally, I've seen partial video of the first attempt to get this device going, and I think one of the components was a potato, so I think there's a good chance this will work.

  • by boudie2 ( 1134233 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @11:04AM (#55331109)
    Perhaps the money would be better spent building a truck stop with a bunch of flying saucers in the parking lot. Surely it's universally understood that if the parking lot is full it must be a good place to stop. Maybe have a sign offering discounts for aliens. Rather than a beacon. That's just stupid.
    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

      Or they could, you know, donate it to SETI.

      While poking fun at the whole idea (and themselves) provides a good laugh for everyone, building a sufficiently powerful beacon is something that should be given a fair amount of thought. You only have to research Beserker Theory, or read Cixin Liu's Three Body Problem (particularly 'Dark Forest') to see why. There exists a non-zero chance the reason we don't see the galaxy teeming with extraterrestrial life is that an advanced civilization simply comes along and d

      • Won't be much of a party if some "malevolent force" crashes it. But if it makes some old hippies happy count me in.
      • Or maybe the galaxy is full of civilisations who never manage to achieve interstellar travel (because it's really, really hard) and are all wondering why they can't detect anyone else.

        Perhaps we should build a beacon - not for mankind, but for all the others, so that they might know they are not alone.

        Plus once the replies come back we can start swapping cultural archives. Always good to have an off-site backup.

        It'd have to be one hell of a beacon, though, to get picked up at such distance.

      • There exists a non-zero chance the reason we don't see the galaxy teeming with extraterrestrial life is that an advanced civilization simply comes along and destroys all other civilizations once they make themselves known.

        And that advanced civilization could be US, if we work at it.

        How's that for a goal in life?

      • There exists a non-zero chance the reason we don't see the galaxy teeming with extraterrestrial life is that an advanced civilization simply comes along and destroys all other civilizations once they make themselves known. They do this simply because...why put your own civilization at risk on the chance the new civilization is or becomes malevolent? {..} Then 200 years later the Sun is obliterated.

        It could also go the other way around.
        Any civilisation that has is that much advance, that high on the kardashev scale, absolutely *MUST* evolve to be pacifist and non-aggressive.
        Otherwise they would have had a too high risks of destroying themselves in the process of advancing (it's one thing to be aggressive, when the worst that could happen is that your primitive tribes club each other to death while other tribe in the neighbouring valley don't even notice. It's an entirely other thing to have trigger-ha

  • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @11:35AM (#55331213)

    Y'all need to find Bob, these comments are full of bobbies and pinks seriously lacking in slack.
    Remember, it's never a setback or failure. Only Involuntary Slack forced upon you by the great Bob Dobbs.

  • What frequency will this broadcast at? How will they afford the licensing and construction with a mere $25k
  • by ChoGGi ( 522069 )

    a comfort-seeking tenet of the 38-year-old parody

    Yeah... That ain't how slack works buddy (unless that's how it works for you).

    the strange group is now re-emerging online

    subgenius.com doesn't count?

  • I think it's supposed to be "bacon", not "beacon".

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    28-31 (1C hex-1F hex) are 4 pieces that form the image of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs from the satirical Church of the SubGenius, a rarely used easter egg.

  • Seriously, after reading that book I would seriously consider the death penalty for anyone who uses radio broadcasts for any reason let alone trying to contact NHIs.

  • Any alien that is still capable of listening on primitive radio would be too far away to receive the transmission, if it's even noticed to begin with. Aliens capable of responding to us would be using a means of communication that uses quantum entanglement, probably using quantum computer components. Also, even if they wanted to respond over radio it would probably be very illegal for them to do so, I mean look at humanity...

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