Recently, the Russians have reportedly threatened to tell the world the truth about the existence of intelligent extraterrestial life with or without U.S. support. After a previous mention similar to this, the western press reported that Russia was “only joking”. The comments to that story give an interesting perspective on our life here on Earth. Best quote:
Your idea of perspective is important. Most of what we consider advanced technology has developed in the last fifty years, and most of our actual scientific knowledge has developed in the last hundred to hundred and fifty years.
We still have no coherent explanation for magnetism, and our theories of gravity are full of holes. Our idea of the extent of the “universe” stops at the speed of light, and cosmology is in a shambles that reminds me of the state of chemistry at the time of the Phlogiston Theory. We think of ourselves as advanced but that is a pure fantasy.
Our “civilization” is a joke. No society that has war, poverty, starvation, illiterate masses, “religions” based on unfounded belief in fairy tales, lousy health care, overpopulation, and a history of destructive abuse of its only planet can call itself civilized.
I am often reminded of a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, who when asked what he thought of Western Civilization, paused, and said, “I think it would be a good idea.”
Considering what our society and our technology may be like in just another thousand years is enough to give one a better perspective. Of course that depends on us finding a way to control the major result of our existence and “civilization” thus far – climate change. We may cook ourselves right out of a chance for that thousand years of development.
I wouldn’t worry one tiny bit about exploitation by an advanced civilization. We are doing that to ourselves just fine, thanks. If any advanced group decides to intervene in any way, it would be a great gift, pulling us out of our egotistical misapprehension of being civilized or advanced in any meaningful way at all. -JamesL (Disqus)