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If ET Calls, Who Speaks For Humanity?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the your-call-is-very-important-to-us dept.

Communications 371

EagleHasLanded writes "Who speaks for humankind if ET calls on us? Paul Davies, chairman of the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, is a likely ambassador. But Allen Tough founded the Invitation to ETI Web site, which encourages ET to make contact via email (and also strongly discourages humans from impersonating ET). But an individual in the UK got over some of the hurdles designed to weed out hoaxers, before finally throwing in the towel."

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371 comments

I do. (0, Troll)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560460)

Next question, please.

Re:I do. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560464)

Nah, I think it's whatever random bacteria is in the colon of the random farmer they choose to probe.

Re:I do. (3, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560482)

Wouldn't this be a good slashdot poll? Maybe we should put kdawson in charge.

Re:I do. (3, Funny)

swuppet (1692080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560494)

I suggest we let ELIZA do the talking.

Re:I do. (4, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560700)

Not a slashdot poll but probably some sort of an online forum where people from around the world can vote on the questions to be asked would be a good start. Why does it have to be one person or a small group of people who speak for humanity when there is a way to let a large part of the humanity participate.

Re:I do. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560966)

OK, I vote for anyone but you. With your open mindedness and leanings toward "fair play" we'll all be doomed.

If we don't put forward a face of confidence and strength then they'll enslave us all. My vote is for Mr. Bean.

Re:I do. (4, Funny)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560714)

Nah, I think it should be a muppet, keep'em guessing is my advice. The drummer Animal might do well, or Kermit if we'd like to appear reasonable.

Re:I do. (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560944)

or Kermit if we'd like to appear reasonable.

And WEAK! Better to use the guy that throws the fishes. You know he means business.

Re:I do. (0, Troll)

stumblingblock (409645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560882)

I vote for moot.

Re:I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31561016)

Really? I thought we'd outsourced it to India?

Just in case... (5, Interesting)

Manax (41161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560488)

Just in case you, or someone you know turns out to be the first, everyone should read this [laboiteverte.fr]

It's not exactly rigorous, but it gets the main points across.

Re:Just in case... (5, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560616)

It's not exactly rigorous, but it gets the main points across.

It's a load of bunk. (Biggest bit: A knife fight today is the same as a knife fight 10,000 years ago. Technology advances, but only to physical limits. Oh, and not only does nobody remember the Indians that Columbus met, but most Native peoples don't date themselves as "Post-Columbian" and "Pre-Columbian.")

Anyway, if an alien shows up and decides to "make contact", they'll be in one of two situations.

1: They didn't plan it, and this is an emergency or an accident. Offer help if you can, but only if they accept it. Mostly, just stay the @#$ out of their way and try not to get killed. And for the love of god, don't kill them until they've killed one of us. (Yes, that probably means that "first contact bob" would be "first trophy bob." if they're here to hunt. Sucks to be bob.)

2; They did plan it, and made contact deliberately. It doesn't take more than a day to notice that the species creating buildings and machines and launching crap into space is sentient, and they'll learn a hell of a lot more about us by watching us for another day or two rather than picking one of us at random and watching us flail around. Greet them in your common habit and vernacular FIRST, and only resort to random flailings and scribbling on the floor if they don't respond.

Re:Just in case... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560810)

Ants and termites build cities, and beavers build dams, and we don't seem to care.

Re:Just in case... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560988)

Ants and termites build cities, and beavers build dams, and we don't seem to care.

That's because they don't build cities and damns. You show me an ant, termite or beaver who can build a damn and a city, and I'll show you something I'd like to give to the aliens.

Re:Just in case... (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560920)

Duncan Lunan from ASTRA [easynet.co.uk] wrote a couple of books on the subject in the early 1970s and basically fleshed out the possibilities you outlined, going through various permutations, including ones where we initiate contact, either inside our own solar system or outside. It was an interesting read but don't know if the books are accessible on the web yet.

Re:Just in case... (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560910)

"Not exactly rigorous"... it doesn't withstand two seconds of critical thought.

The aliens will be quite used to things flailing like crazy and trying to get away... They know this is what non-self-aware organisms do.

Well, except plants -- those stand still. So standing still or moving tells them nothing.

The fact that you're still alive will mean they're going to allow us to exist.

Tell that to any barnyard animal. Maybe they're not hungry yet?

I mean, I'll agree that fighting is probably futile, but you never know. We don't know how to defend against a nuke, but we do actually know about enough to visit other planets, if we were willing to expend the resources and wait the insane amonut of time.

They won't speak your language, and won't be able to mess with your thoughts.

No good reason to believe either of these. As for speaking our language, they may well have been listening to radio and watching television for decades. Certainly, if they're smart enough to figure out weapons that will obliterate us, they're smart enough to build a machine to facilitate vocal speech -- I mean, we're almost there ourselves.

And it's a lot easier to attempt verbal communication at first, if it works. If that fails, you can always try writing, or anything else.

The aliens won't know who Pythagoras was, but they'll sure as shit know his theorem.

Maybe. You'd have to study a bit to find out what parts of math are actually relevant. Technically speaking, every computer program is a mathematical expression, and thus a universal truth, but that doesn't mean they'll have discovered Windows.

So maybe they'll know the Pythagorean Theorem, or maybe they'll have arrived at it (though still true) through an entirely different method.

Since the aliens will, let's face it, probably be major math nerds...

What? Humans are major math nerds, but not all humans. There's no particular reason to assume that the people heading their expedition know any math.

They won't know the name Darwin, but they'll be familiar with natural selection.

Eh, maybe. Leaving aside the possibility that the aliens might be Creationists, they might well be at the point where natural selection isn't a driving force, and hasn't been for centuries. Thus, you're again talking about the kind of thing only an alien nerd would know, and you might not be talking to nerds.

They'll know mathematical operators, but they won't know +, -, =, etc.

They also might not know our mathematical syntax. Consider stack calculators.

Draw something like the picture on the left...

Probably, though we're again back to how we communicate with them. They may not be visual at all.

The rest of this is mostly opinion, which I mostly disagree with.

Do not tell them the universe was created for us...

Oh, I agree, but you'll want to get more sophisticated than that if you can.

Get dropped off in a major city

Only if your communication sucks at that point. You don't need actual latitude and longitude to help direct them towards wherever you actually live.

Involve the local news

After you've had your shower.

No pop culture references.

If you don't make them, someone else will.

You'll probably be killed.... you'll be the most important human on Earth, and no matter what you do, you'll be extremely controversial.... There isn't much you can do about this one, sorry.

Again depends how good your communication is at that point. Also depends if you absolutely insisted on taking all the credit yourself.

For instance, remember how ridiculously advanced the alien technology is. If any of them are sticking around, they can probably protect you. If they're not, you could offer to go to their home planet.

Reproduce as much as possible.

Meh. This is shifting more and more back to the selfish part, and away from the "don't fuck this up for us" part. In particular:

If the aliens are big into progeny, they might be designated some kind of ruling race in the future.

And if the aliens hate progeny? It might hasten your death.

Re:Just in case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560958)

A bunch of purpose build ICBM's, I mean, why take chances?

Its too late. (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560510)

Our TV broadcasts have already spoken for us, and it wasn't a good message.

Re:Its too late. (1)

Quixotic Raindrop (443129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560706)

Just because Buckner can't properly field a grounder doesn't mean the message isn't good ...

Re:Its too late. (3, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560750)

Our TV broadcasts have already spoken for us, and it wasn't a good message.

Isn't that in the eye of the beholder?

We're us - and though we do so with a lot of falling down and getting back up again, we generally strive to better ourselves and our fellow man all the time.

If that makes us unworthy of a casual visit, or more worthy of evaporation, by some alien civilization, so be it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6ya7ZRlrEo [youtube.com] - "My Way", Frank Sinatra.

As it stands - we don't know -what- a particular alien civilization might enjoy... perhaps they're big fans of WW2 and want to include us in an intergalactic battle. Or maybe they just love Britney Spears and will come over to abduct all of the * Got Talent, * Idol, * Factor show people. Or maybe they'll catch one of the many talks from Stephen Hawking from old broadcasts and think it would be a jolly good time to sit down and have a chat with him via their neural interface gadgetry. So there's no point in entertaining the thought of "What Would The Aliens Do?" any more than WWJD-shirts do.. just carry on doing what we're doing for our own (planet's) good.

Neighbours. Everybody needs good NEIGHBOURS (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560824)

I consider that pretty fucking bad, but you know. It could be worse.

 

Re:Its too late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560836)

The old "I Love Lucy" shows are pretty damning.

ET Will Pick.. (2, Interesting)

wisesifu (1358043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560512)

Wouldn't ET pick the ones they wanted to initiate conversations with first? Possibly the ones less likely to point a gun at them?

Re:ET Will Pick.. (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560698)

Wouldn't ET pick the ones they wanted to initiate conversations with first? Possibly the ones less likely to point a gun at them?

What do they know?

I say we put them in the middle of a joint session of Congress. That should be enough to scare them right off the planet.

Re:ET Will Pick.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560884)

Who would scare them more, Democrats who want to grant the aliens immediate immunity from immigration law violations (they are aliens, after all), and then throw free health care and free education, but then subject the aliens to carbon taxes and income taxes through the roof?

Or would it be the Republicans, who take the male aliens to an airport bathroom, force the aliens to perform fellatio, and then repeatedly gang rape the aliens up whatever hole(s) these aliens might have?

Re:ET Will Pick.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560720)

I was just thinking about this the other day.

If I was ET I'd pick a country with:

* Population not prone to panics or conspiracy theories, or conditioned hatred towards some other population. Middle east is out.
* Uncomplicated geopolitical position. Russia, the US, China, Pakistan etc are out.
* Good communications and a media that still believes in relaying information.
* Languages are secondary, but if a lot of people are multi lingual, that would probably help the info getting out without too much distortion.

So, that pretty much leaves Canada, some countries in Europe and Scandinavia, possibly Australia.

Re:ET Will Pick.. (5, Funny)

melikamp (631205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560802)

Oh no no no. OBVIOUSLY, if aliens show up tomorrow, after having flown countless light years and having built a highly advanced macro-society the size of a galaxy, it is OBVIOUSLY humans who will be calling the shots. They may have bombs million times more powerful than a supernova and they may be able to derive their energy from teleporting, but surely we will be able to outsmart them, with all that we learned from Arnold movies and sitcoms.

Just say yes (5, Funny)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560514)

Just remember, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say, "YES!"

Clearly (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560520)

Jodie Foster!

This really needs to be a Slashdot poll... (0, Redundant)

Richard Fairhurst (900015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560524)

...with Cowboy Neal as the final option.

Re:This really needs to be a Slashdot poll... (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560596)

Cowboy Neal as the ONLY option!

Obama (1, Insightful)

quantumpineal (1724214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560534)

It would be Prez Obama, whether that's right or wrong who knows, but that's what would happen.

Re:Obama (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560626)

I think you've been watching too many movies where aliens land in the USA and act as if they don't even know that the rest of the world exists, i.e like Americans.

Re:Obama (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560686)

I dunno. Even the Brits think we'll make first contact, if Doctor Who is any indication. XD

Too late (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560538)

Any intelligence observing us will already have decided the bulk of what they need to by the time they bother to have a conversation with us.

I'm sure they've seen enough of our massive political systems to know that honesty is a dead virtue among the vast majority of right and powerful.

Re:Too late (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560712)

Perhaps ET will dress appropriately and drop himself in some backwater region and take up handyman work while talking to various local groups about stars and galaxies and destiny etc. if ET shows up, voluntarily or by force of accident.

It's just as likely that ET will have seen our broadcasts and decided this is not really the kind of neighborhood that they want to live in, never mind an occasional visit. Just the same, given mankind's penchant for xenophobia it's more likely than not that any ET who actually does visit will talk to the wrong person first. Many of us believe that wrong person will come from the very groups that claim the right to be the first person on the basis of national security.

ET may have already been here but was dismissed as the effects of salmonella or drugs creating a hallucination.

Whatever the case, there is a much higher probability that ET will not be happy with the local inhabitants on arrival than the probability that ET will arrive with a basket of goodies and a card welcoming Earth to the neighborhood.

obviously (3, Funny)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560540)

if et calls we should great them with the communication of the other animals on the planet (well some of them),first. Before grating them ourselfs.

this would show them that we can appreciate the communication of other life forms, and even put that communication before the communication of ourselfs.

If we are to communicate we need to demonstrate empathy, since the only thing we know about them is that they can communicate, empathy via appreciation of the communication of other life forms on our own planet may demonstrate we can empathize with them.

This should reduce fear and hostility towards us, and aid in good relations. in respect they may attempt to empathise with us a little more.

Re:obviously (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560666)

Dear God man, they're aliens, not hippies or PETA members. A good firm handshake and slap on the back. Sheesh.

Re:obviously (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560732)

wouldn't you smile before a good firm handshake and slap on the back.

Re:obviously (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560818)

for those of you who aren't autistic spectrum.

a smile make you appear friendly, being friendly is appreciating and empathizing.

a smile show this because it induces a sense of warmth and pleasure in someone else.

it demonstrates appreciation though empathy.

you may or may not have relised that (EDIII seemed to over look it), but try it next time your on a date, or going for a job.

Re:obviously (4, Insightful)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560918)

But in other cases, baring your teeth is a sign that you're planning to bite down on their neck.

Humans smile to relax each other. Some animals use it are a threat. We wouldn't know what showing teeth means in an alien's culture.

Re:obviously (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560858)

wouldn't you smile before a good firm handshake and slap on the back.

Oh yeah, bear your teeth, seize their forelimb, then strike them between the main arm joints. That'll give them a warm reception. Or make them shit right on the landing ramp...

Re:obviously (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560922)

wouldn't you smile before a good firm handshake and slap on the back.

The creature bared its teeth at me, grabbed me, and then struck me. There can be no doubt: we are at war with them.

Re:obviously (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560974)

but do we as a species really have empathy?

This is a nonsense (5, Funny)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560546)

Aliens are already here and do not recognize SETI or any human government or group organization. They deal with and judge each human being on their individual merits and faults. For more information, see http://www.alliesofhumanity.org/ [alliesofhumanity.org]

Re:This is a nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560730)

No, YOU are the nonsense.

that's obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560550)

4chan

what I'd like to know is... (1)

aliddell (1716018) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560554)

..who speaks for ET?

Re:what I'd like to know is... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560680)

Drew Barrymore?

Re:what I'd like to know is... (2, Informative)

aliddell (1716018) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560742)

Pat Welsh [wikipedia.org] , apparently.

Re:what I'd like to know is... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560746)

SpokesET. Union rules.

Bin Laden (1)

Aviate-X-14 (1772474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560564)

Scare them into submission before they kill us all.

Re:Bin Laden (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560800)

That won't work, waggling that silly finger in the air will be a dead giveaway the guy is whack-job. If you really want to scare them, how about Ronald MacDonald, he should give anyone the heebie-jeebies. But if you really want to wind them up, I vote for Alan Greenspan. One look at what he "accomplished" and they won't dare send anyone near here lest the financial contagion wipes out their entire economy. If you think quantum mechanics is weird, you ain't seen nothing like the havoc entangled econotrons can wreak.

Re:Bin Laden (1)

Aviate-X-14 (1772474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560916)

How about....Mickey Mouse!! I wonder, has anyone considered that maybe ET won't have a telephone? and if he does, then, hows the wire going to stretch from his to our planet? Skype! i hear you cry, but, then, isn't who answers in ET's hands, not ours?

Seriously.... (1)

truthful cynic (525883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560566)

It'll be the entity with the return number on the caller id......

I know the answer to this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560584)

Captain Kirk should speak on behalf of humanity

Re:I know the answer to this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560628)

But... what... if the... aliens... get... sick of... waiting?

Do not accept High Beyond protocol packets (2, Funny)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560588)

I've read my sci-fi and I know how dangerous alien email can be.

Aliens have fax machines...? (1)

donoteat01 (1391811) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560604)

Seriously?

Hopefully no one. (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560614)

All "rational economic actors" in this universe (say [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience_Quotient]SQ>11[/url]) own themselves.

I vote for.... (2, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560644)

Morgan Freeman.

Re:I vote for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560946)

"I wish I could tell you that humanity was a good, enlightened and peace loving race. I wish I could tell you that, but Earth is no fairy-tale world."

Re:I vote for.... (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560956)

Morgan Freeman.

There are only two main reasons anyone would bother to contact us: curiosity, or as a prelude to invasion. Given the not inconsiderable chances of the second (if you can communicate FTL, you can probably travel that way too...) I think Gordon Freeman would be a better choice.

Bruce Campbell (2, Funny)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560652)

Bruce Campbell. No matter what happens, he's seen it all before.

Whoever answers the phone? (4, Insightful)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560660)

;-)

  Obviously, there's no good answer to this question. No matter who was picked, by whatever process, some group on the planet would resent it.

  Personally I think Sagan had it right - we pick someone who doesn't have a religious or political agenda, is broadly educated especially in sciences, and
would be willing to perform the task.*

  (Hmm... Richard Dawkins? *g*)

  * No, really:

  1) No religious agenda - doesn't matter whether or not the aliens have religion. If they don't, they'll likely think us backward. If they do, it's possible they will be offended by our version(s) - and it's certain that picking anyone who professes one major religion would piss off the other major religions.

  2) No political agenda. I doubt I need to explain this one; the person will be speaking for ALL HUMANITY.

  3) Broadly educated - in trying to understand a totally alien viewpoint, experience in many different fields would be essential.

  4) ... especially in the sciences - because it's likely anyone who *could* contact us would be extremely far along in the sciences. Unless they're doing it with telepathy...

  5) Volunteer, of course.

SB

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560770)

Science? Are you kidding me? We need someone well trained in diplomacy to speak on our behalf. Someone who's only trained in science won't have the requisite background in deal making, understanding different points of view, and convincing others more powerful than we not to wipe us out. Honestly, I wouldn't trust a pure scientist on any of that.

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560842)

A diplomat? Are you kidding me? On the more enlightened planets, all diplomats and marketing droids were wiped out millenia ago. They'd nuke us from orbit, just to be safe.

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560976)

Judging from how we treat animals that are less mentally and technologically developed than ourselves, I would argue that a very, very cute person would be the best option.

That is if ET has a sense of cuteness. Otherwise I would guess that we are what scientists technically refer to as "fucked".

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (4, Insightful)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561004)

requisite background in deal making, understanding different points of view, and convincing others more powerful than we not to wipe us out

  Sure they do. Nearly all scientists are familiar with the grant application process ;-)

SB

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (1)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561012)

No. Diplomats have preconceived notions that predicate on their experience negotiating between assholes with human agendas. You're almost suggesting to assign a psychologist to speak on our behalf. Shadowbearer's list of qualifications has a heavy basis in neutrality. We want that. A person who simply represents us as an average. Let the aliens who dragged themselves all this way decide if they like what we are.

No diplomats "spinning" things to make us look better than we are. I would really prefer to not get caught in a lie or a lie by omission when Kruul shows up.

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560786)

hey that's me!

pick me pick me !!

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (0, Flamebait)

khrath (782494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560864)

I hear that France has already preemptively surrendered to ET because of this article.

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560890)

and it's certain that picking anyone who professes one major religion would piss off the other major religions.

And picking an atheist would piss off all of them.

You can't please everyone.

Re:Whoever answers the phone? (1)

largesnike (762544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560982)

(Hmm... Richard Dawkins? *g*)

well, only if we *know* that the aliens are miliant athiests, RD seems to annoy just about everybody else.

Randall Marsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560694)

South Park,
Colorado

chuck norris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560718)

Aliens do exist, they just know better than to visit the planet chuck norris is on.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560728)

I vote for AC!

sloar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560782)

America's favorite broadcast rodeo clown, Glenn Beck, of course.

Davies, ORLY? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560798)

Paul Davies, chairman of the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, is a likely ambassador.

Why would we want a religious philosopher to speak to aliens on our behalf?

Re:Davies, ORLY? (0, Flamebait)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560934)

Paul Davies, chairman of the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, is a likely ambassador.

Why would we want a religious philosopher to speak to aliens on our behalf?

So, you assume that atheists are correct and that aliens, assuming they even exist would be atheists? Are you trying to make an ass out of u and me? If aliens exist, you have no way of knowing how they view the universe. It is possible that our scientists could be mostly wrong about everything.

Who would you suggest? An obnoxious pompous prick like Dawkins? He could potentially ignite an interstellar war if the aliens were offended by either what he said or his attitude. That guy is way too full of himself.

What you need in an ambassador is humility. Davies seems to be keen on learning how the universe works, ie. real science, rather than trying to prove the non-existence of god.

ME (1)

dirty_ghost (1673990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560812)

i for one, welcome me.

Anybody but the British! (4, Funny)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560820)

Please hope the Brits don't make first contact with ET, their track record [wikipedia.org] isn't so hot when it comes to handling these things...

Phone, FAX, Email??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560826)

An Alien first need to understand our tcp/ip packets. Imagine if they have their own computer system. They need to decode our internet traffic. Okey it's only a bunch of zeros and ones. But how is disposed here on Earth is completely different what is disposed for an Alien system. So is necessary to convert our tcp/ip to a protocol understand for the aliens. Then the IANA didn't allocate any ipv4 for UFOS. So, the only possibility is hack some ISP to join the internet, open an Gmail ou any free email account for sending a message. That's will not be easy because they need to understand and study our language. The satellites are there transmitting all kind of TV programs still in a analogic. If an alian decode it, they will study and learn any earth language.

Any way if they send a email, our researches will think that is a hoax. I think that the best way is fly to a TV station and shows everyone that they are there. So there will be no doubt about intelligence outside our solar system.

easy answer (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560830)

The politician who can exert the greatest political power in the country where they land. Which in most cases won't be someone from that country, but from the US, China, Russia, etc.

The answer is... Steve Jobs (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560832)

And if the aliens look like they're going to attack, his buddy Woz can hack the spaceship.

Rick Astley (2, Funny)

largesnike (762544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560840)

...though they might declare war on us...

Who do they encounter first is the real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560846)

When one technologically advanced people explored new territories, who spoke for the people they encountered on their travels? The first people they came across of course. The first people who are encountered by the aliens are most likely to direct the aliens to our 'leader' so depending what part of the world this happens in, it could be one of thousands of people.

Nobody (3, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560862)

Why do we need someone to speak for humanity as a whole? Why do we assume the aliens will have a single government? Why can't we communicate nation-to-nation?

Don't we already have someone appropriate? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560866)

I mean... we have the UN right? so wouldnt' Ban Kyi Moon be the appropriate choice?

Obligatory Gary Larson (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560880)

Hilarious as always. [hubpages.com]

Contact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560888)

Whoever controls the contact point will choose someone.

applying a human solution to an alien problem (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560894)

It is human arrogance and ignorance that lead us to these 'answers'. Do we have to have a figurehead to speak for all of us? What if the aliens want to talk to the 'everyman'. It is a human concept that we need an alpha to speak for all of us, and folly imho.

No one (3, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560906)

No one speaks for "humanity." Everyone speaks for themselves. But, I suppose that won't stop some sleazebag politician from claiming to speak for a few million or billion other people...

It depends who you ask: (1)

el chief (1768752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560948)

Hollywood: POTUS
Economists: The person willing to pay the most
Computer Scientists: A random person
Tibetans/Hipsters: Dali Lama
Meritocrats: The guy that put in the most work on SETI
Unions: The most senior guy
Democrats: The winner of a free election
Me: Me

McConaughey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560954)

I thought we already agreed it would be Matthew McConaughey?

Already contacted (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560970)

My UID is below 10,000 so I have been around Slashdot for a while. Also that is the reason i am posting anon.

My younger sister and I have been taken since we were very young aboard various ships. We were usually taken by benevolent beings but every once in a while a race would take us that had little feeling and would prick our skin with sharp items and check us out physically.

The sky is literally teeming with life but the frequency of light is skewed around the crafts making then invisible to radar, sighting, and etc. and thus the skies look empty.

Why my sister and i were taken is still not known. Why not the kid down the road or someone else for a change, but it was always us. My older sister and my younger brother would see us taken but never get taken themselves.

I know that there will be a million jokes and sarcastic comments but the story i have just relayed is truth as I know it.

If you have a question about being "abducted" then i will attempt to answer it.
 

John Cleese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560972)

John Cleese will.

Only one person? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560990)

Why would only one person be able to speak for humanity? Is there a rulebook somewhere no one told me about?

Miss Universe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560998)

...of course!

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