A flag for the presence of intelligent life-forms

In the second edition of Where is Everybody? I discuss what Gerard Foschini calls the canonical artefact (TCA) — a flag for the presence of an advanced intelligent life-form.

I don’t propose to discuss the details of TCA in this post — you can read the book if you’re interested — but I do want to provide an update. I was fairly sure that no-one had constructed an example of TCA, but yesterday Foschini emailed me a photo of it: he built it out of coin stacks with black rubber test tube stoppers as separators. Below, shown with gratitude, is Foschini’s TCA.

The canonical artefact, constructed by Jerry Foschini from coins and rubber stoppers. (Credit: Gerald Foschini)

The canonical artefact, constructed by Jerry Foschini from coins and rubber stoppers. (Credit: Gerard Foschini)