According to Adrian Kent of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, the universe’s safest civilizations — assuming that there are others besides ours — are the most inconspicuous ones, the ones who don’t advertise their existence. You know, the ones who don’t try to venture into space on a regular basis to explore other worlds, who don’t transmit radio waves desperately in every direction, who don’t send out space probes with directions to our home base and samples of our culture. So, how have we rowdy humans been surviving a possible violent alien attack if we’re doing something evolutionarily wrong? Too far away. Let’s just go with that, right? Yup. Too far away …
Kent says that an intergalactic search for resources would lead alien civilizations to other resource-rich planets that would be easy to conquer. However, planets that are less ambitious and/or developed and fly under the radar are doing just that — flying under the radar. They’re not drawing attention to their existence, and as a result, the evil invading aliens can’t find them.
But let’s look at Earth — We’ve done everything we can to explore the universe beyond our own atmosphere, and our expanding bubble of radio communications is reaching more than one hundred light years in radius. And even though we will always “come in peace,” would aliens hungry and desperate to take over our planet really care about the hospitality?
Well, now we’ve gone and done it. Made a spectacle of ourselves … and yet, still no alien attacks. Have we just been lucky? Or is there an imminent, large-scale, extra-terrestrial attack being planned as we speak? So, how do we save us from ourselves?
“If interstellar violence is possible, the bad news is that all societies are required to constrain their endeavors to activities that could never be detected at a distance,” says [alien hunter Seth] Shostak.
So, everyone SSSSHHHHHHHH.
While Kent says this scenario is entirely speculative, he does bring up the whole “we have tools in space that the aliens can use against us” thing. Like NASA’s Voyager probes, among the over 2,000 satellites floating around up there.
“The hyper-advanced aliens might not have to send their interstellar battle fleet to conquer Earth,” he notes. “It might only take three bored undergraduate aliens with borrowed lab equipment.”
So, how badly do we need satellite TV exactly?
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