Tuesday, June 17, 2008


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.


dolphintornsea said...

And indifference! Don't forget the mighty forces of inertia and lethargy, which have the power to leave millions unmoved!

Kendall said...

the desire to pass more laws


Also, some people simply wouldn't believe it no matter what (or at least, not without being close enough to touch an alien).

bluesman mike lindner said...

How they've connected with us, though...

Was it antique radio, at poor old light-speed, or a direct link of ?--"Hello! 3.14159! Whom do you call God? Music? Reproduction? Love? Pity?"

g d townshende said...

Instead of Pi, they might spit 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc, at us. Not Prime Numbers, obviously. It's the Fibonacci Sequence, which some in mediaeval times thought to be proof of God's existence.