No, I haven't read Murmurs of Earth.
They did cover a wide variety of subjects with their imagery - I only knew about the plate with the naked people and the basic model of our solar system.. Realistically of course you can't include everything. If there was enough worldwide interest there could be a submission process followed by a voting process - what better way is there? Britney Spears, iPod nano, and [insert other popular thing here], here we come.
I'm sure we'd have a christian bible, and a buddhist statuette, and [insert other religious artefact here], too, and anything of any moderate popularity.
I still say put the stuff on only if there's extra weight that can't be used on another instrument or more fuel (is more fuel ever not useful?). By the time the probe reaches the edge of the solar system, everything on it will be terribly unfashionable and when the aliens mock us for our afros and polyester suits, we'll feel like jerks - I know it sounds like I'm joking, but that's what will happen - "Oh, you thought we all still only had TWO arms? We can have as many as want now, of course.. Our ancestors just weren't very smart back then.." "Oh, you thought that tube-shaped metal thing with the giant flat bars and jets was our best mode of transportation? Oh, you thought that dinky probe wasn't outdated 1,000,000,000 years ago?"
I like data, being sent back, lots of data.
But really, it does seem a shame to not send out something - how about every 5 probes or so they send out a larger than usual batch of terribly outdated photos and movies and books, and we can be embarassed at the 1,000,000-year reunion - along with everyone else.
If nothing else it would be good for PR (eventually everyone could get a chunk), and it would give us a snapshot of what life was like when the probe was launched.
Another way of looking at it is what sort of alien probe would I want slamming into the ground at my feet - I would much rather have a probe packed with advanced technology than one with pictures of variously-cultured people dancing, climbing mountains, etc., and even a picture of an advanced alien craft wouldn't be much use - detailed plans would be nice, though (Contact, anyone).. but it would be interesting to see how the guys who built it looked, how they talked (or flashed, or transmitted). And realistically a larger portion of people would enjoy that, and who knows, bah.
I return to my original assertion that we have no idea what result any particular probe will generate, and that personally I want to know what's beyond the glow of our sun, so instruments for me, cultural stuff later, maybe. And if you think I rambled too much, IT'S CULTURE, BABY