Within the last few decades we’ve gone from wondering if other stars have planets to knowing that most stars have more than one. We’ve also learned that life can exist under far harsher conditions than we imagined. Put the two together and come up with a much higher possibility of finding extra-terrestrial intelligent life. We listen for them, and haven’t heard anything. Should we be more proactive and blast out a message saying, “We’re here!”?

Blasting out a message may shorten the search, but our ignorance means we don’t know whether we’ll contact someone we’ll wish we hadn’t. After it’s sent, the message can’t be stopped. We may find that we’ve irrevocably revealed ourselves too soon.

And yet, we wonder.

“IS This Thing On?” – Slate


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