Response to Is the plaque design right?
While the article has its tongue firmly in cheek, it does provide an opportunity to discuss an important point in creating meaningful communications.
Whenever we evaluate any form of communication, we need to consider the relevance to the audience. The fallacy in the article is that the intended audience is an as-yet unknown otherworldly intelligence. It is not. The likelihood that the plaque will ever encounter another being is exceedingly remote. And even if it does, the use of the primarily visual medium assumes that the extraterrestrial entity will be able to decode, interpret, and understand a two-dimensional message, or will even be of a physical size to make sense of the message. I doubt even Dr. Sagan thought this was a likely scenario.
No, the intended audience was, is, and will continue to be the United States taxpayer. And, with this audience in mind, the plaque meets its goal; it contains enough technical and non-technical information as is needed to convince those who ponied up the money that we have successfully sent a meaningful message to another world.
-- LJ Skaggs (email)