How should we communicate with aliens? Should we communicate?

SelfAwarePatterns

The array of telescopes atop Mauna Kea (Hawaii) The array of telescopes atop Mauna Kea (Hawaii) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seth Shostak has a post up at HuffPost asking what we should say if we ever find ourselves in conversation with aliens.  Apparently this was the topic of a recent conference at the SETI institute.

Before commenting on Shostak’s main thesis, I think he makes an assertion that deserves scrutiny.

A decade of research by astronomers now suggests that a trillion planets dot the Milky Way. It takes a real Debbie Downer to believe that they’re all as dead as the Equal Rights Amendment.  Unless Earth is special beyond reason, you can confidently assume there are plenty of societies out there.

I’ve got no problem with this statement, until the last sentence, where Shostak takes a logical leap.  (Albeit an understandable one being he’s a member of SETI.)  Certainly, unless Earth is “special beyond reason”, we can…

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