And judging from so much of what goes on around us, their ain’t much altruism here on earth.
I could go on and on – foot binding, suicide bombers, The Darfur genocide, child pornography, the destruction of the environment, human trafficking, evil multinational corporations, famine, animal abuse, zombies, Fox News, and Tom Cruise’s ego – but it’s super depressing, so why bother recounting the endless list of our shortcomings as a species? You know what they are.
Regardless, the title of this post got me thinking. It came from this article I read entitled, “Scientist: Alien Life Could Already Be On Earth,” which wasn’t nearly as exciting nor fulfilling as one might’ve hoped. But I digress.
After suggesting the rather ho-hum premise that things such as organisms that live in hot springs (or my hot tub?) could have alien origin, he then digressed into a reflection about how our chances of having more exciting alien life show up are dwindling. You see, our former din of analog TV noise is disappearing as we switch to digital broadcasting, and we will soon become undetectable to other worlds. So not only is Comcast running an extortion scam on every last one of us, they’re ruining our chances of getting rescued off this rock and taken to a land where HBO is free.
Anyway, due to this looming lack of SOS, the scientists at SETI were excited by the possibility of using lasers to send super-bright flashes of light into space for a tiny fraction of a second and which could theoretically be seen by an advanced civilization up to 1,000 light years away. The issue, in the end, isn’t the signal so much as would any alien civilization would want anything to do with us in the first place?
“For this to work … There has to be altruism in the universe.”
And not only altruism, but a complete and total lack of access to our media.
That or technological advancement combined with a stunning inability to judge character. Because, as we darn well know, unless they’ve come to blow us up, alien life would be best served to make a right turn at Jupiter and keep on going because we are one nasty and greedy plague.
Have you noticed that there are less and less true monster movies, and more and more ‘humans as monsters” movies. Where even the bad guys (aliens, vampires, vicious wild animals) in the end are the good guys when squared off with human beings? And don’t even get me started on all that “Saw” stuff.
I’m not saying it’s not all plausible, it’s just depressing.
Like District 9? I was despeartely hoping for the aliens to get out of South Africa and get away from us.
And Avatar made me wish I could move to Pandora, instead of walking outside to once again mingle with the kind of jerks that blow up and strip mine a beautiful and magical world in order to get at something they could sell for money.
I think what makes those plots so uncomfortable for me is that it’s not just feasible…it’s likely. It’s stuff we do every day to our own species and our own home. And it makes me wish the Navi existed and would be open to adopting me. Or even the District 9 ‘Prawns.’ They’re not much to look at, but I could adjust.
So what am I talking about?
I have no idea.
Maybe just that there probably is alien life out there, and they’ve gotten our Hitler broadcasts and Ku Klux Klan footage and listened to five minutes of The Howard Stern Show and realized we are not worth their time.
And perhaps our only hope is the fact that we’ve finally started to realize it and maybe can learn to collectively change our ways.
Or does that kind of stuff only happen in the movies?