Thursday, January 28, 2010

First contact: we're cool with that

From the Royal Society 2 day conference on SETI, commentary on the most likely response to news of LGM ...
Even if we found aliens, how would we communicate? -
News, TV & Radio - The Independent

... If we do detect signals of extraterrestrial intelligence, one question posed by scientist attending the conference is how to cope with the public response. Will it result in fear, mass panic and riots?

Professor Albert Harrison of the University of California, Davis, believes this is unlikely, based on what he calls “historical prototypes”. In any case, social policies could be used to ease humanity into the “postcontact” era, he said.

“Many people already believe that extraterrestrial intelligence exists and are confident of their own ability to withstand the discovery but doubt other peoples’ abilities to cope,” Professor Harrison said.

“It is easy to imagine scenarios resulting in widespread psychological disintegration and social chaos, but historical prototypes, reactions to false alarms and survey results suggest that the predominant response to the discovery of microwave transmission from light years away is likely to be equanimity, perhaps even delight,” he said....
Hear that Zorgonian containment module 34141434? You can turn off the signal scrambler system now ...

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