Is This Thing On?

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Is This Thing On? Empty Is This Thing On?

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:58 am

It’s been more than 50 years since astronomers carried out the first systematic attempt to hunt for radio signals from civilizations beyond our solar system—a quest known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI. During that time, our telescopes have heard only deafening silence—which has some scientists wondering if it’s time for Earthlings to start the conversation.

Proponents of “Active SETI” believe that, instead of just passively listening for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, we should be actively reaching out to our galactic neighbors—that is, we should be using our most powerful radio transmitters (like the giant dish-telescope at Arecibo, in Puerto Rico) to send messages in the direction of the nearest stars.

“In the past we’ve always assumed that any extraterrestrial civilization with the capacity to detect us will automatically take the initiative to make contact, sending us a powerful signal to let us know they exist,” says Douglas Vakoch of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, and a leading proponent of Active SETI. “But there may be civilizations out there that refuse to reveal their existence unless we make it clear that we want to make contact.”

Active SETI has always been a contentious issue. Back in 2006 the International Academy of Astronautics convened a committee on SETI—but when the group refused to push for a ban on proactive transmissions, two prominent members, John Billingham and Michael Michaud, resigned. Even the editorial board of the prestigious journal Nature has cautioned that “the risk posed by active SETI is real. … It is not obvious that all extraterrestrial civilizations will be benign—or that contact with even a benign one would not have serious repercussions for people here on Earth.”

The debate reignited in February at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in San Jose. Vakoch arranged for a symposium as well as a press briefing to discuss Active SETI at the conference; later that week, he convened an all-day workshop at the institute—and once again the discussion was heated.

What everyone agrees on—and it’s just about the only thing they agree on—is that any alien civilizations we find are likely to be much more advanced than our own. (It’s a simple matter of statistics: We’re only a few hundred years old as an advanced industrial species, while the galaxy has been here for some 13 billion years; any ETs we encounter are sure to be a lot older than us, and thus, presumably, a lot more advanced.) Fancier technology, greater risk.

Science fiction writer David Brin is an outspoken critic of Active SETI. He points to the history of our own planet, in which encounters between cultures of greatly differing technological sophistication rarely go well. “We have many examples where a technologically advanced civilization contacted a technologically less advanced civilization,” he says. (European colonizing efforts in Africa and the Americas come to mind.) “And in every one of those cases, there was pain. Even when both sides had the best of intentions.”

This pattern, Brin says, applies even when human beings aren’t involved. When plate tectonics brought the land masses that we now call North and South America together, about 3 million years ago, it enabled contact between the placental mammals of the north and the marsupial mammals of the south. “Within a million years, almost all of the marsupial mammals were extinct,” Brin says. “Contact between biomes had major extinction consequences every time it happened on Earth. I’m not claiming this is how things will go when we meet aliens—but it suggests that we should at least talk it over first.”

can we call collect ?


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Is This Thing On? Empty Re: Is This Thing On?

Post by veya_victaous on Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:23 am

this is a bad idea

I was gonna say the title is 'Famous last words' before reading the article and as one fo thje guys points out
we call someone over that actually has the capacity to travel too us and we can almost guarantee we are fucked, homo sapien may be Ultra violent but we are potentially pip squeaks compared to other life and if evolution on earth is anything to go by Violence and killing other species for little to no reason is the key to success. we may just be letting intergalactic predators know we are here, they may not even be smart just highly evolved giant bugs. (like starship troopers)

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