reply to post by wayaboveitall
I suspect I might handle it relatively well, only because I've thought about it for some time already. But in general people just wouldn't know what
to think, because it would be so new to them. All kinds of wild conspiracy theories have popped up over the past few decades, and if alien contact was
made, nobody would know what was true anymore. (That's not to say that disclosure shouldn't happen. The longer it gets put off, the more wild
theories will take root.) So certainly there would be some degree of chaos. And some fringe groups would take it to the extreme, no doubt. Just look
at that cult of people who killed themselves simply because Halley's Comet was flying by.
The best thing would be to try to maintain steady and transparent contact with them and keep the people as informed as possible. The less information
they have, the more they are forced to rely on their imaginations. Of course some would always claim lies, but there's not much you can do about
What would the US Government do? I think it depends on where the power lies. If our government really is run by the President, and the alien contact
were enough of a public event, I think there would be some effort at diplomacy, to find some mutual understanding with these creatures. We would have
to be VERY careful, though. I'm sure all the military organizations would set to work to try to learn as much as possible about their technology, but
I don't think they would try anything hostile as long as they answer to the President.
On the other hand, if it's really a shadow government or some black paramilitary organization that's pulling the strings, my guess is that they
would just try to steal or shoot down an alien ship and try to learn the technology as quickly as possible. After all, a military organization is
supposed to try to know as much as possible about the fighting capabilities of other societies, in order to better preserve our own security. Getting
a hold of an alien ship, or better yet an alien ship with some captive / dead aliens in it, would be a gold mine to these people. It might provoke
this alien society which probably has the ability to instantly annihilate us, but unfortunately this would probably be worth the risk to such a
military-related group. This is just how they think. Always assume that everybody's out to get you. I don't know if this would result in some
horrible retaliation or if it would actually yield something "valuable." It depends on the aliens, I guess.
Anyway, as far as post-alien contact, I think that if we could somehow get on friendly terms with an advanced race, it would be incredible. Even if we
didn't trade any technology, it would be the dawn of a new era for anthropology and science in general, and I think as a species we would be greatly
inspired to try to reach a similar level of advancement. What kind of world did they come from? What kind of music would they have? Would they even
have any music? Would they have everything we have, only more advanced? Or would there be some aspects of human culture which are unique to us, and
help to define our civilization when compared to theirs?
And if we COULD trade technology, who knows what would be possible? Maybe a halt to the aging process (virtual immortality). The ability to travel
across the galaxy, or maybe even to OTHER galaxies. Entertainment systems that seem to transport you directly into the "movie" or "game"
environment. Maybe we could improve our own brains and become a more mentally capable species. I guess it would depend on what they're willing to
share with us, if anything.
[edit on 7-4-2010 by Magnus47]