Can You Hear Me Now?

“If you believe that these broadcasts have a plausible chance of making contact with an alien intelligence, the choice to send them must rank as one of the most important decisions we will ever make as a species. Are we going to be galactic introverts, huddled behind the door and merely listening for signs of life outside? Or are we going to be extroverts, conversation-starters? And if it’s the latter, what should we say?” The always interesting Steven Johnson provides an update on our latest efforts to make contact with other life forms across the universe; and considers an important question: What if they hear us? Maybe they’ll want to communicate back and create a planetary alliance. Or maybe they’ll destroy us. Think about it. What are the odds that aliens will like humans? We don’t even like each other. From the NYT Mag, Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.)

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