In Other News: Possible Evidence of Extraterrestrial IntelligenceFrom Deepstuff:
Ignore them. Do not wave back....
The question of whether there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe has been asked by people for many years.
But if we hear something, should we answer? In the absence of any signal from them, should we try to make our presence known?
One of those asking these questions is Stephen Hawking, the British cosmologist with many deep thoughts and a good sense of humour.
Unlike many celebrity scientists, Hawking’s provocative, news-grabbing statements almost always have some content worth pondering.
Hawking is part of a Breakthrough Listen project to develop more sensitive radio receivers and listen in on the alien civilisations of the cosmos.
There is another project called Breakthrough Message to design a digital message that could be transmitted from Earth to an extraterrestrial civilisation. The message should be “representative of humanity and planet Earth”.*And it's not even a proper spiral arm, just a blob of stars between two real spiral arms, the Perseus and Sagittarius arms:
The program pledges:
[…] not to transmit any message until there has been a global debate at high levels of science and politics on the risks and rewards of contacting advanced civilisations.But Hawking wants us to listen, and not to talk – use our ears, not our mouth. He wants us to eavesdrop but not join the conversation. He wants us to keep our head low.
That sounds like a reasonable idea. Better safe than sorry. But in the spectrum between, paranoia and unjustifiable fear on one side, and reasonable caution on the other, where does keeping your head low fit in?...MORE
-from Atlas of the Universe
**Apologies to Monty Python, I know they meant their song to be upbeat and uplifting but it just depresses me.