Apr. 26th, 2010

doodlesthegreat: (Psy-Hazard)
I'm assuming by now that many of us have heard of scientist Stephen Hawking's words of caution on contact with extraterrestrial beings. I've spent a bit of time checking on this and while I agree with his premise that such contact would be fraught with problems, specifically the interstellar diaspora that would occur upon contact with a new race with an entirely differing culture. But I reject the idea that such a race would be looking to "colonize and conquer" another planet. I honestly believe that once you've gotten out in space, the resources needed to survive will be available much more easily from asteroid belts and cometary bodies than expending the energy to move them from a planetary gravity well. And even if you do have to go to planets, you are less likely to have to deal with trouble if you grab it off worlds not infested with life forms with primitive weapons like thermonuclear bombs that might make things a little less pleasant.

No, I expect that any such contact is going to have a purely cultural need, which is why Hawking's Christopher Columbus analogy is a lot closer to the truth than he realizes. It wasn't so much Columbus as the missionaries that followed that really fucked the Indians over, at least in Mexico and lands south. They thought they were doing God's work when they wiped out whole civilizations with nary a thought so they could create a land of Jesus Junkies. So maybe aliens would be the equivalent of cosmic Jehovah's Witnesses.

What really scares me is if they were to come upon our world and get the main transmissions from the Fox News network. You see, we've been sending signals out for decades now, and if they follow the trail of signals we've been leaving, they'll start with things like "Playhouse 90" and end with "The O'Riley Factor," Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh. By the time they arrive, they'll think a disease has struck that makes us all stupid and annihilate the planet out of mercy.

I might actually thank them, too...

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