Daily Archives: November 1st, 2007

SETI, Alien Contact and the Everyman

From OddThings :

There’s some interesting discussions going on between Mac Tonnies and Paul Kimball about the possible effects of disclosure, and/or contact with beings from elsewhere in the universe. Much of which was probably spurred by a post by Stuart Miller on his blog.I think what would happen here on Earth would be likely to be widely varied based on what kind of contact, and where on the planet you were. For instance, as I’ve said elsewhere, if there were simply a confirmed signal from SETI, it was deemed harmless and too far away for conventional travel, I think most people would forget about it within a couple of weeks. While many of us would debate the ins and outs of it forever, probably, I can’t imagine many of the people I work with, for instance, thinking about it for more than 24 hours, at best.

If actual contact were disclosed, either via the government or some other way, I think the reaction would be more severe. People would worry, assign each and every conspiracy in the world to “them” and would probably even assign their own behavior towards “mind control” or from listening to the alien contact in their heads, etc. I think in many cases paranoia would take over.

If ETs came and landed on the White House lawn, I think in most cases the reaction might actually be panic in many cases. Particularly if it were seen that they had something to gain from us, by either taking us over or by other means. However, I think many people would realize that if a technologically advanced society wanted to take us over, making open contact probably wouldn’t be the first choice of how to do that. Simply doing it would be. Many people wouldn’t stop to think, though, I’m sure. The world as they knew it would completely and totally change, and many would assume that the change was not for better.

As I see events unfold in America and the world, the idea of alien contact, be it radio signal or actual physical presence would change humanity forever. Unfortunately, I would agree more with Paul Kimball intellectually, but my heart wants to agree with Mac Tonnies more optimistic dissertation.

Both Dustin and Stuart Miller mention on their blogs that the form of contact would make a difference. A confirmable radio transmission is much more non-threatening than physically meeting aliens. But I don’t agree as Dustin points out that, “… I think most people would forget about it within a couple of weeks. While many of us would debate the ins and outs of it forever, probably, I can’t imagine many of the people I work with, for instance, thinking about it for more than 24 hours, at best…”. I think it would take longer than a day to forget about alien contact by radio telescope. I would give it a week anyways! LOL!

I noticed nobody mentioned contact with an alien bracewell probe. In my humble opinion, such a device would be perfect for contact. And economical as well. Bracewell probes could be programmed AI nanobots propelled by electromagnetic wavelines at .9 c (90% lightspeed) to its destination and orbit the target star in the systems Oort Cloud or Kuiper Belt for centuries until a radio or whatever kind of electromagnetic signal was detected from the inner system. The AI would determine when and if the time was right to make contact with the suspected intelligences.

A little known piece of trivia concerning a possible contact signal from an alien bracewell probe during the 1920s has been quietly shoved into a drawer of history. Signals received by a Dutch ham radio operator in 1927 seemed like “pings” or “echoes” of radio signals in the L4 and L5 points of the Moon’s orbit. Duncan Lunan first wrote about it in 1928 and Chris Boyce wrote a treatise about it in 1999. Could an alien probe be sharing the Moon’s orbit and has the world’s governments been communicating with said object? World leaders aren’t kissing and telling apparently.

For lack of hard evidence, I will assume that there is no alien bracewell probe at this moment in time circling the Earth sending radio signals. My assumptions generally are wrong, so don’t take my word for it. And if we, meaning human beings, have thought of the concept of sending AI interstellar probes for purposes of exploration or contact, chances are other intelligences have also and actually employed the idea.

The possibility is both frightening and exciting!

OddThings post

Stuart Miller post

Chris Boyce SETI article

Epsilon Bootes probe star-map