speising wrote:Going at this from the other side, imagine we were the interstellar culture and we send such a test drone into an inhabited system.
How should we react if it gets shot down immediately? Should we retreat and leave them to their own devices, or should we go in and sterilize the system as a precautionary measure?
Nuke the entire site from orbit - it’s the only way to be sure..?
Ideally, we'd know what we were looking at before they know we're looking at them, at least so that we knew that they weren't lookin back (backwash rockets on the insertion orbit might flare, but if we've sent some more passive fly-bys by and seen insufficient sophistication, we might be able to get away with it).
Do a Helliconia upon them, stand off and study, and if we want to be
there then we can work out a way to seem innocuous enough in whatever form of close(r) encounter we choose. (But remember the little finger!
What'd be worrying is if we turned up, saw nothing more than a neolithic civilisation, cautiously approached them, then suddenly one of the 'neoliths' appeared on the command deck, and spoke to us in English to tell us how amusing our databanks were to rifle through, once he'd worked out how to use the inefficient storage arrays... and it appears we didn't we know this
handy method for trivially factorising semiprimes, BTW... Is it therefore possible that we
might so outplay our visitors? Well, we know that alien Megasaucers Of Death are susceptible to a simple MacBook-based handshaking hack, but they knew
we could see them (blowing up just enough key cultural items of architecture, worldwide, to make it obvious they were attacking - unless it waa a really weird
attempt at saying hello)... Imagine something of a visiting race that we could see, comprehend and outcompete, but apparently it had no idea we were there. Well, except for something like a trivial space-bug, but then we're talking a vastly different level of consciousness.
(BTW: I'm firmly with the "low likelihood of a 100% cooperating alien species, both within itself and between itself and other species" camp. So low that one has to assume that any (hypothetical) visiting race that seems to be this has some deep, dark secret behind its apparent nature. Maybe it always
acts nice to its future food-source (wouldn't want to taint the proteins with stress homones!) or they're only the diplomatic corps (later on, the 'recruiters' to shanghai us into the ongoing galactic war will activate the neurosuppressors that turn us into the mindless cannonfodder they intended us to be all along). Or perhaps we are
different, at least in isolation, but how on (or off) Earth we could find a utopian symbiosis as normal state of affairs
is too mysterious to accept as likely. Or even vaguely possible.)