Timothy Ferris
Professor (Emeritus): University of California Berkeley 
Fellow: Guggenheim, AAAS 
Producer: Life Beyond Earth (PBS); Voyager Golden Record (NASA)
Author: Coming of Age in the Milky Way (Morrow & Co.)

How will humanity first discover ET Life?
Best guess: Biosignatures (but can’t really say with any assurance) 
Future life detection possibilities include (biosignatures):
Under the surface of Mars
In the oceans of the Jovian moons
In the spectrum of distant transiting exoplanets
Time scale: guess: 10 – 20 years

Life is cosmically commonplace
Intelligent life seems rare, but it is difficult to assess post-hoc odds estimates with only one example (humanity)
Fermi Paradox: If aliens visited Earth in the past it is unlikely that we would know 
More likely to detect artifacts of intelligence as these would endure longer
Examples: Dyson spheres or planetary-scale engineering 

Networking of Interstellar Communications
If several Galactic civilizations existed, self-replicating probes might efficiently build a Galactic Internet
Published by Ferris in 1975 (before our terrestrial Internet!) 
10 (say) probes (moving at 0.1 c, say) set up 10 stations and each then builds ten more probes, etc.
Communications and reconnaissance network of a billion nodes can be created in only 100,000 years
Civilizations can upload their histories when then become aware of the network
Might be more efficient for humanity to find our local node than try to recreate everything ourselves

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