Google this for a view of the Crab nebula. The link is not always active.
Just imagine (we can't integrate it any other way) that when this huge star explodes and spreads its matter out, isn't it remarkable that from the deepest residue, a signal transmits across light years and reaches Earth?
When I was a young girl, a huge radio telescope facility was built in my home state of West Virginia to listen: Simply to listen to space. Over time, the huge radio telescopes were damaged, rebuilt and upgraded. They still listen for signals from space -- like the pulsar from this collapsed star, like other kinds of energy, hoping for repeated patterns, hoping for signals from other life forms, listening, hoping, opening our civilization to possibilities that listening brings.
And here on Earth, do we hear ourselves? What we transmit? Are we sending out more than ignorance, fear, naivete, empty rhetoric, twisted viewpoints, hubris, arrogance, narcissism, or the smallness of mankind's confusing world view?
We continue to build radio telescopes all around the world to listen for sounds from space but do we really listen to what we as a civilization transmit? As Willie's little play says, do we merely transmit "sound and fury, signifying nothing"?
We listen for other civilizations but here on Earth, do we only hear the sound of our own voices? I have to hope that some of what we transmit, some of what we send out into the vast universe is like the pulsars deep inside exploded stars. The pulsars transmit the essence of the star into the universe, into the lens of the Hubble, and into the radio telescopes around our planet. I hope that the essence of our civilization that goes out beyond our atmosphere is worthwhile, isn't it?