Saturday, January 12, 2008

Suppose they answer?

"Who Speaks for Earth?" is a fascinating Seed magazine article that asks whether "active SETI" -- broadcasting our existence to the theoretical extraterrestrial intelligences that theoretically could be listening -- is a good idea.

Serious scientists are beginning to sound like the narrators of Lovecraft stories, speaking openly about "the potential for alerting dangerous or malevolent entities to our presence."

My favorite quote, from a former U.S. State Department officer: "Active SETI is not science; it's diplomacy."


Lex said...

We've been sending radio signals into space for more than a century now. God alone knows what any intelligent life that receives them might make of them.

Also, I thought SETI was primarily about LISTENING for radio signals. I didn't know we were broadcasting intentionally. What would we send? "24" reruns? Pi?

Did you ever see the movie "Contact" with Jodie Foster?

S.Ong said...

ah yes...diplomacy...from a government that doesn't officially believe in aliens :)