"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
In the world of Altered Carbon, it is possible to completely record the unique electrical pattern of your mental self, store it and then download it into a suitable body.
The radio and television transmissions we are used to are literally "broadcast" in all directions. It takes a lot of energy to send a usable signal in all directions. If you wanted to send a transmission to a specific distant planet, the most energy efficient way would be to transmit in a single, specific direction - a "needlecast", a very slender beam.
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