My next Random Thought’s posts will kind of build on each this one and the previous one, which can be found here, completing a three part series. I know I mostly talk about the same things, but I felt these next few ideas and philosophies all mostly go together. In my previous post I mostly talked about some of the ways we might encounter an alien civilization, well that is all well and good, but what happens to our psyche after we make contact or if we knew there was other life out there. I also got a response back from George, the writer of the article I posted last, and pasted the response at the bottom.
This is something that is hardly discussed when talking about aliens. The majority of the talk in this subject deals with how and or why we could and should be able to find them. No one is really talking about what would happen after.
As you know humans are irrational, paranoid, often times very dangers and unpredictable. When you factor in all those aspects it could make for a very scary announcement if and or when we make contact. It is near impossible to say how the population as a whole would react.
The worst case scenario could be a rise in terrorism for those who believe that the aliens are going to destroy us, or use the announcement as an excuse to do whatever they want. I would say that almost without a doubt there would be a rise in the paranoid fanatical groups that believe one conspiracy theory after another, you know the ones sitting in their basements wearing tin foil hats. Something also to consider would be to see how the major religions of the world handle our new cosmic neighbors. I would argue that something like ISIS could arise again using the contact with aliens as a selling point to rape a pillage. I also think there would be a rise in cults where leaders swindle weak minded people into joining and drinking the “cool aid.” On a lesser note you also have to think about now some radical regimes would handle the news. The president of Iran at one time believed that the Holocaust did not happen, so you have to wonder how the scientific verification of alien life would be handled in similar countries. There would be a plethora of individuals trying to profit and jockey for power if and or when this happens. One if not all of these are a real possibility in my opinion.
If I am trying to be more positive I think that maybe only one of the above scenarios come to fruition. Which if that happens I think it could be easily dealt with. If the reaction is less than expected after the announcement then I think that is a very good thing. I would like to think that most people have a sound rational mind but time and time again I have been proven wrong. I still think, and or hope, that the majority of the population would handle the news as more or less a non factor and go about their days as normal. That would be ideal, but not likely. I think some reaction would be good, the problem is overreaction, that is what we would not want.
There is a very small part of me that hopes that an announcement like this one would somehow bring our species together, unify us to achieve one common goal. Perhaps there would be a surge in global awareness to take better care of the planet, and I am not just talking about cheap talk. I would like to think this would bring the governments of the world together to act now, as I think time if very much of the essence. Then as a somewhat of a side project there could be a new found rejuvenation for space industry and exploration. This would be the best case, as the advancements of our species working together in the private and public sector could drive the innovation the space industry needs to propel us to the next level of a highly advanced technological civilization. Not only that but if we could work together to achieve a common goal, I think that would leave less time for terroristic activities and other malarkey that is less conducive to the advancement of the species.
If I am hopeful for the future, but I think something of this nature would have to occur to change our current trajectory. In other post I often talk about an event, catalyst or something that would completely change our way of life for the better or tear us apart. I think contact with an alien species could be on the list of things that has the power to do this. Perhaps this event will have the power to do both, bring us together, but also tear us apart, it could very easily bring out the worst in us, but also be the catalyst of change we need.
It is scary and exciting to think about and the scariest part is the human element involved. I would like to think we will make it and be able to handle something like this but I am very skeptical if you cannot tell.
Hey Spalding, I never said that aliens want to make contact with us. The issue is one of galactic colonization and the spread of machine intelligence to all parts of the Milky Way.