modeling precise estimations assembling calibrated wisdom generating contingent forecasts aggregating predictive understanding composing definitive predictions mapping the future mapping precise contingencies crowdsourcing predictive futures mapping calibrated contingencies formulating definitive contingencies delivering intelligent futures composing predictive contingencies forecasting calibrated contingencies predicting probable estimations

Question

Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will any intelligent living being (human descendants, aliens, etc.) ever listen to the copy of Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night" on Voyager I's Golden Record?

Launched Mon, 05 Sept 1977 at 12:56:00 UTC, Voyager 1 has intrepidly made its way all the way to interstellar space. Wow. The probe carries with it mementos from Earth, including the so-called Golden Record. Per NASA, this phonograph is "a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth."

One of the most haunting, emotional pieces on that record is a wordless gospel blues song called "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" by the artist Blind Willie Johnson.

Voyager 1 is on track to fly by the star AC +79 3888 (currently nearly 18 light years from Earth) in 40,000 years, give or take a few. Odds are, the craft (and the record on it) will last billions of years or longer, possibly becoming one of the last remaining relics of humanity after the sun turns the Earth into a cinder in its Red Giant phase.

Will some sentient being ever collect this craft and listen to the Golden Record? This creature could be a genuine ET or a future descendent of humans. (XKCD digs into the physics of retrieving Voyager here.)

Note: this question is just for fun, as the resolve date is set to the year 3000, and won't resolve before then.

{{qctrl.predictionString()}}

Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.