I have been doing a lot of interviews, both on-line and by phone, as a result of the efforts of Tachyon's terrific publicist, Matt Stagg. Paul Raven, of Futurismic, sent me some unusually interesting questions, one of which I'm stealing (with my answer) to post here. I'm not sure any other answer is possible. The issue is, some of the "people" I refer to will hold considerably more power (political, economic, nuclear) than most of us.
Q: How do you think we would react as a species to a sudden resolution of the Fermi Paradox, in the form of an unambiguous signal or sign of live from another civilisation?
A: The reactions, it seems to me, would be as varied as human beings. There would be no “reaction as a species.” Instead, various people (some of them influential political leaders) might feel: joy, fear, shock & awe, anger (“Get out! It’s our planet!”), expediency (“What have they got that we can trade for?”), caution, curiosity, proof of God, proof of no God, xenophobia, xenophilia, panic, the missionary impulse, inferiority, and the desire to pass more laws.