If aliens are really out there, do we really want to wave a flag at them letting them know we’re here, especially when we haven’t yet created a global planetary defense system? More importantly, do we want to contact them in a way that will make them instantly hate us and want to vaporize us as quickly as possible? That’s what Seth Shostak, the director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, is proposing in The New York Times with a zany plan to beam the entire Internet into space.
“We could transmit the contents of the Internet [into outer space],” writes Shostak. “Such a large corpus — with its text, pictures, videos and sounds — would allow clever extraterrestrials to decipher much about our society, and even formulate questions that could be answered with the material in hand. Sending the web on its way would take months if a radio transmitter were used. A powerful laser, conveying bits much like an optical fiber, could launch these data in a few days.”
I’m sorry, but this is the absolute worst idea ever. Hopefully aliens will be as amused as we are with videos of cats riding Roombas. Maybe they will even be impressed with our obsession with felines, just as the ancient Egyptians were. We can only hope.
Enjoy some of our future communication with aliens in the video below.