With the twenty noughties truly over and the twenty teens picking up steam. What will we call all these decades be best know for?
The noughties seem to have been the decade of the search engine and the brain scanner, the teens are shaping up to be the decade of the cloud and the robot. What happens after that. Scientific American and SETI founder Frank Drake are confidently predicting that Contact is only a few years away. He’s been saying that for about fifty years but it might finally be coming true. What can we expect?
- Within decades advances in computing power will allow astronomers to scan enough stars in our galaxy to have a reasonable chance at detecting a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization.
- News of the discovery of an extraterrestrial signal will reach the public almost immediately. A conspiracy to hide or suppress the evidence of alien intelligence would be all but impossible.
- The content of the signal may never be understood. The assumption that mathematics or physics could serve as a cosmic lingua franca among civilizations may be misguided.
- Would revealing our existence to the universe at large attract the attention of hostile aliens? Such fears are probably groundless, despite the warnings of some prominent scientists.
Personally, I want to believe. But that’s probably cos I’ve been on the pixie dust.