This story made for a fantastic (albeit slightly out of order) finale to my experience in this SETI class. Several different story lines are captured within this one brief encounter described in the story. I also love the first line – “the best is the enemy of the good” – and firmly believe that this is an important philosophy to keep in mind while doing science.
Beyond being an extremely entertaining story, the article touches on a fundamental theme of SETI: what seems obvious to us may not be universally so, and, no matter how we try, we are unable to decouple our thoughts and ideas from the human perspective. Try as we might to search for “obvious” signals of extraterrestrial origin, it is entirely possible that some extraterrestrial intelligence is, in their own way, screaming their greetings to us and we are simply blind to the significance of the signal.