Reply All: #95 The Silence in the Sky
April 27, 2017 11:10 AM - Subscribe

A group of elite scientists prepare for the last conversation humans might ever have. Plus, we meet a corporate attorney who mediates family Thanksgivings.
posted by radioamy (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I felt very dissatisfied by the main part of the episode. It was interesting, but felt unfinished.

I liked the second part a lot, however. Also, if you're not listening to the very end of recent episodes, you're missing out.
posted by radioamy at 11:11 AM on April 27, 2017

I feel like a recent Reply All trend has been "Here's a neat thing we found ..."

"Pretty cool huh?"

"...moving on!"

I'm not clear what point the alien story was trying to make. It started off great but just fizzled out.
posted by Tevin at 11:18 AM on April 27, 2017

I agree, the first story was kind of a dud but the second one was good.
posted by primethyme at 7:20 PM on April 27, 2017

A racist ass Doritos commercial! In space!

...I was not feeling the first half.
posted by clavicle at 8:38 PM on April 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

• I loved the way that the very end of the second segment called back to the first segment. Subtly, artfully done.
• It seemed a bit strange to me that they had a content warning for the second segment, but then included a description of sexual assault that was considerably more detailed than what was necessary to the story.
• No reference to the 1974 Arecibo message?
• The bit about the Beatles song made me wonder - is it plausible that an alien civilization, in receipt of an MP3 file, could deduce the compression and encoding scheme sufficiently to play back the file? I suspect the answer is no - that the file format relies too much on existing knowledge - but I'm curious.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 1:03 PM on April 28, 2017

99% Invisible did an episode recently where each producer presented a story that they really liked but couldn't flesh out into a full episode. Maybe Reply All should have done that with this story and a few other disappointing episodes.
posted by radioamy at 8:14 AM on April 29, 2017

I love science. I love science fiction. Listening to scientists talk about science fiction ideas is almost always cringe-worthy. I've said dumb things on the spur of the moment too, but "the message might contain a virus?" Yikes. I am glad, however, that they mentioned Davis' vaginal contraction broadcast, which is surely one of the very few examples of science-related art that isn't both trivial and humorless. Perhaps when our alien conquerors arrive and judge our worthiness as a species, it will make up for the Beetles thing.

The second feature was. . . odd. The woman was thoughtful and had an interesting perspective, but everything else about it was really bizarre. Offering your services as an amateur moderator to a podcast call for stories about email is supremely strange. But, it's less strange than the guy himself, who was dripping with shell-game con-artist vibes. I'd hesitate before buying vegetables from him just based on his radio voice. Asking him to reply to sexual assault victims seems like the worst possible idea for a show one could invent. (Which, perhaps, is part of why it didn't actually happen.)
posted by eotvos at 7:55 AM on April 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

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