Also while I'd been away, the ship had sent a request on a postcard to the BBC's World Service, asking for 'Mr David Bowie's "Space Oddity" for the good ship Arbitrary and all who sail in her.' (This from a machine that could have swamped Earth's entire electro-magnetic spectrum with whatever the hell it wanted from some where beyond Betelgeuse.) It didn't get the request played. The ship thought this was hilarious.
Hi, we're Earth. We just got this fabulous new technology. Okay, it's kind of hacky, but we're showing it off by having this angry little dude throw out some speech before a ritualized competition which is more determined by a given organizational subunit's population (so as to have individuals further out on the bell curve) and their resources. Later on, this guy is going to be the figurehead of genocide, during which we're going to show off our fabulous new technology of efficiently killing our own species. It's less hacky than the TV thing. We might kill ourselves. We might kill you. We might kill ourselves before we get around to killing you. It's a crapshoot. We don't even know, and if we did, we wouldn't tell ourselves the truth, much less you. Hope to see you soon!
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