I was reading on the Internet today that Steven Hawkings warned against being friendly with aliens...
I can see his point, I've read tons of science fiction over the years, and the most realistic stories involving alien contact always ended up with human nature getting in the way and causing all sorts of problems. I saw District 9 last year, and it really tackled that question, it was an uncomfortable movie to watch, but it was riveting, that's for sure!
There's no reason to not assume that whatever 'alien nature' turns out to be, it could have a dark side that wouldn't bode well for the human race!
He compares humanity meeting an alien race to the coming of Columbus to North America... An exploitation of the resources with no regard for the people that are already in residence. If you stop and think about it, we've been getting this message quite a bit through the decades, in one form or another.... The problem here is that we can't step outside of ourselves and project our motivations onto the external. Meaning that we think aliens would react as we would react in a first contact situation, and human nature takes over and it's downhill from there.
I think Hawkings is right though, we do send out a lot of information, some on purpose, but the bulk of it isn't on purpose.
What would stop anything that was technologically advanced from tapping into our broadcasts? And the next question that comes to my mind is what kind of picture do we paint of ourselves with what is sitting on the airwaves?
Probably a pretty accurate one when you get right down to it. I hate to say that, but your character is always most exposed when you are unaware you have an audience. An even more accurate study into human nature at it's basest could be done when you are under stress, this would probably make 'Survivor' very educational for aliens! With all of the 'reality TV' that's popular programming now, it would definitely give them a widely diverse picture of humanity.
Mind you, if they swallowed our entertainment media as the truth, it could ultimately work in humanity's favour! Just think, we could seem to have paranormal powers, extremely advanced technology, and other way-out things that would make us intimidating to invade. Hopefully, it would scare them away and Hawkings would never be proved right!
Then we wouldn't be wiped out after all. Saved by the junk on TV, how ironic!
Art Images by Teresa Young:
1. Stained Glass Entity - Mar.2009, 2. Under The Surface - Jun.2009, 3. SF Girl - Jan.2008, 4. Force One - Jul.2001.