Greetings From Planet Earth
Well this is just grand:
In fact, if these globular clusters do have planets, they’re probably extremely close together. That means those planets could communicate much easier with one another than with Earth. “We call it the ‘globular cluster opportunity,'” DiStefano said on Wednesday. “Sending a broadcast between the stars wouldn’t take any longer than a letter from the U.S. to Europe in the 18th century.”
So there could be a chance that Earth is missing out on a huge game of galactic Telephone that’s being played on the edge of the Milky Way, with intelligent societies working together to noticeably expand farther into the universe. But according to Robin Hanson, a research associate at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, that would’ve happened by now.
“If there were life thousands of light years away, it could’ve been around for millions or billions of years,” he told Mic. “If someone is alive out there, they would’ve long since developed as much as they can. If they didn’t spread out [to Earth], it means they’re stuck. And just being near other civilizations [in the globular cluster] doesn’t make them any less stuck, no matter how much they developed economically and socially.”
That doesn’t mean we couldn’t communicate. The issue is that communication is a two-way street. Two civilizations need to look for each other at the same time, know exactly where the other one is and know how to contact it.
“If everyone is looking in random directions, the chance of coordinating communication is small,” Hanson told Mic. “You have to find another coordination structure.”
Hanson told Mic about a theory for sending a signal to an alien race, as long as that race has a particular human tendency. It involves really, really bright lights — in this case, a supernova.
The author closes with this:
So if you read Mic, aliens, please pick up some of our galactic slack and say hi — we promise we won’t try to kill off your entire species.
Yeah, that’s not the dynamic I’m seeing.
Hello out there! We communicate from a completely inhabitable planet and the weather here is nice!
Oh, also, we have almost no planetary union and cooperation, which would put us at a disadvantage if it ever came to interplanetary war. So don’t worry about us going to war or anything, because you would likely defeat us in any war. Any war at all. Just thought you should know.
We bring peace, though. Disregard the amount of war we are waging with one another despite being of the same species. There is less war than there used to be. Our track record on xenophobia isn’t great, but I’m sure that we could have you over for some interstellar conference. Totally. What could go wrong?
It also seems like we’re pretty out of the way. That could give any of your cultures that cannot get along with anybody a place to hang out where nobody could harass them. I mean, we assume that if you can’t get along with anybody, the problem is everybody else and we’ll get along just fine.
Completely disregarding our own history on this planet with people from a technologically superior but very different culture, this is going to just be great.
Anyway, we just wanted to say “Hi! Here we are!” And that the weather and climate are comparatively nice. For now. But seriously, no hurry.
PS. Do you have any good geo-engineering technology? If it’s pretty good, we could use that. Not that we’d have any way of compensating you. If it’s terraforming good, there’s some real estate on the next planet over. I’m sure that’s a much more attractive prospect than our already-inhabitable planet. Right? Right? Hello?