SETI Re: Sagan: NIDS Press Release - "Day After Contact"

Larry Klaes (
Wed, 09 Jun 1999 12:11:51 -0400

At 06:02 PM 06/08/1999 CST6CDT,4,1, Cecchini, Ron wrote: >> From: NewSpace[] >> >> Again, we still have problems accepting each other when it comes to skin >> color and birthplace! How, as a race, could we possibly expect to take on >> the responsibility of even attempting to communicate with an alien >> civilization? They would probably have to treat us like children! > >Good point about the racism ... but i can't help but think >that we'd band together as a People (or that that the like- >lihood that we'd band together would be increased) after >encountering an "external" intelligence. > >i'm not talking about the, say, _Independence Day_ -type >idea that it would take an external *hostile* *threat* to >make us band together. When Europeans began colonizing the Americas, the native populations did not act as one unit. Some tried to be friends, some tried to run, others fought back. You know the results. Expect the same behavior from a direct ETI encounter, hostile or not. >Just the idea that there's something *beyond* us. > >Sort of like what astronauts must feel when they see the >Earth from orbit ... suspended on nothing. Just that blue >orb in a vast "nothingness". > >i'm not an astronaut (just a "space cadet"), but i get that >feeling just from looking at the photos, or the HST photos >i have hanging on my walls. Have you read Frank White's book, The Overview Effect? Originally published in 1987 and just revised. Frank White also wrote a book titled The SETI Factor (1990), where he said that humanity's reaction to ETI, from "Eh" to global changes, will depend on what kind of contact is made, ranging from a basic signal to their landing on the White House lawn. White includes an interview with Carl Sagan. >Maybe that's what we need to do w/ world "leaders": > >Load 'em all up on a shuttle & send 'em into orbit until >"they get it". Now there would be an interesting test. And if they still don't get it, we can always leave 'me up there anyway. Or perhaps an accidental detour into the Sun. Oops! :^) :^) Ah, we'd just get a new batch in their place. Remember Woody Allen's 1973 film, Sleeper: "In six months, we'll be stealing Erno's nose." ETI intervention worked in 2010 (turning Jupiter into a Sun so that the life forms on Europa could develop), but I wonder what it would take in reality to make our leaders look past their next elections? Larry

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