RE: SETI NIDS Press Release - "Day After Contact"

Clements, Robert (
Tue, 8 Jun 1999 11:38:46 +1000

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, i really wonder if the bulk of the mainstream public would do anything much if SETI was actually successfully? SETI doesn't really cure unemployment; or curee poverty; or prevent war; so the majority of people are likely to accept or reject the news based on their own particular worldview. (If one receives - & understands! - the equivalent of Encyclopaedia Galactica, this argument is much less convincing; but not completely dead) I know that assumptions of chaos & confusion post-contact are almost a theology in SF (indeed: i'm speculating here that the results obtained by the NIDS are actually reflections of what SF has told people will happen rather than individuals searching their souls to decide what _i_ would do under the circumstances); but the increasing flow of information that people have to digest seems to have substantially honed our censor-if-irrelevant-to-me-personally information-prioritising technology to an extraordinary extent. My guess is: the first news _will_ be news; but within a few weeks (& quite conceivably in the hiatus between the detection of a signal & the understanding of what the signal actually is) it will stop being a story & become some kind of background fact. Doesn't mean there won't be a few Heaven's Gates, of course; only that broadbased chaos & social disruption won't be on the agenda. >From a city still trying to work out how it hopes to deal with the chaos & confusion called the 2000 Olympics.... All the best, Robert Clements <> >---------- >From: Dr. Eric W. Davis[] >Reply To: >Sent: Monday, June 07, 1999 10:12 PM >To: >Subject: SETI NIDS Press Release - "Day After Contact" > >NIDS is pleased to announce today's Press Release on the following (excerpted >from the full release): > >PRESS RELEASE >June 7, 1999 > >HOW WOULD HUMANS REACT IF E.T. LANDED? >NASA and the scientific community are actively searching for evidence of >extraterrestrial life, but what if we were confronted with undeniable proof >that ETs exist and have been visiting Earth? A nationwide survey by the Roper >Organization has uncovered the following: > out of four Americans think most people would "totally freak out and >panic" if such evidence were confirmed. >...eighty percent of influential Americans think the US government would >classify or suppress evidence of extraterrestrial life. >

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