a reply to: eriktheawful
I know you know it's Human centric, and really being Humans it's obviously what we'd base our assumptions about any extra-solar life on, but really, i
don't think any sufficiently advanced ET society would have any concept of money or costings, in the same way we have anyway.
If they are proper space faring, as opposed to our tiny forays at present, they would have no need of finance or money, as nothing would be
unavailable to their society...no resource would be exhaustible, just mine an asteroid belt or resource rich planet or moon and take the resources
they'd need to produce whatever they wanted to.
Again, assuming they were sufficiently more advanced than we currently are, they probably don't have a labour force as we would understand it
either...nanotechnology / atomic / sub-atomic scale engineering, probably automated and powered by sentient AI systems could feature heavily in their
societal make-up...again, no need for finances of any kind.
If we achieve a level of social and technological sophistication similar to this, and we decided we wanted to ensure our species would survive into
perpetuity, i don't think our descendants would stop at terraforming and the colonisation of other worlds and moons...i think we'd begin to construct
automated, replicable and semi-sentient 'DNA seed probes', millions, perhaps billions of them (or more perhaps..) and send them in all directions
towards the billions of Earth type planets and systems we could identify, to seed and develop according to our design and wishes.
(who knows...perhaps we here on Earth are the result of such an exercise performed millions of years ago)
That way, we'd be assured of our survival, at least the survival of our genetics.
That adds a new twist to your OP really doesn't it?
What would we do, if we discovered that the probe(s) heading for our planet were not interested in communicating or trading knowledge, resources,
culture...but was in fact a single minded automaton with a million year old mission plan of seeding this planet with it's creators genetics, and
possessed highly advanced technology to create the first generations based on it's creators genetics, that would be fully developed in days...or
(think H.G. Well's red Martian weed, crawling over the land at a rapid pace colonising and usurping all Earth based life)
I think we'd take action pretty quickly to rid the Earth of all traces if we could.