When I was a kid watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, I had a fascination about space and life on other worlds. Like many others, I ponder the existence of another civilization in the galaxy. Over time, that idea in my head has evolved to a more adult look on another civilization and our interaction if we do make contact. Many people around the world have a solution when the time arises when first contact is made. Government bodies and organizations have planned the eventual causality, however there are some speculation and bias on who does what when the situation arises.
Upon detection, I would assume people would check and double check the data to ensure it’s a genuine find. Then I would guess a message will be sent back. Of course a data transmission would be appropriate; data in terms of binary, mathematical equations, and the like followed by something human like a sample of our language in Morse code or a voice recording through the method of transmitting. Now we have the catalyst of couple questions. Who does the talking and what if they don’t respond in kind? It should be put responsibly to a handful of people comprised of men and women from all language backgrounds. If not all languages, then the most popularly spoken. Then depending on their response, then this is point where we expect the second best result and the worse possible scenario.
Media has provided us a few possibilities, both are peaceful or hostile to humanity. They’re here to enslave us, steal from us, or want to meet us. A part of me can safely assume peaceful intents; anything from a simple greeting, open diplomacy with another world and possibly material trade. The simple greeting would be the best for humanity at the moment. Considering all the current conflicts we human are still fighting, it would be best if they just said hello and left. Nobody should be meddling with the affairs of a people they know nothing about. Likely we will never see them again, it would give our society a talking point and possibly stir change to unify and be a homogenous culture. Trade would be interesting, how would be conduct trade assuming they value something we don’t? Assuming so, it’s likely we would be in a bartering position. If they are smart enough to know concepts of non-interference, they would trade for worldly goods or trinkets rather than technology that might be used to destroy ourselves. In return, we might be trading materials for making computers and ships as well as raw plentiful resources; examples being gold, platinum, aluminum, water, nitrogen, titanium. In the end we might receive something along the lines of lessons in fabricating better computers or even a cultural exchange. Diplomacy would be probably extremely top! We meet a new civilization and we start hob-nobbing with a species that has capabilities to take us to the stars. Kind of like the Vulcan-Human relationship in Star Trek. Even then, who is “Ambassador of Sol System”? I use that title because assuming we still want to travel to other planets and colonize them, it would not be fair to delegate an ambassador to each planet occupied in our system. The job title would not necessarily be for show after first contact, but there should be that person they will talk to on Earth. Though off record if they choose to decide a landing site out of reach of our ambassador, any of use is potentially the unofficial ambassador. Scares me slightly since some of us don’t represent good qualities of humanity. So best is to behave and when the time comes, behave like the world depends on you. However if contact is made and given a specific landing site, we could be seeing a very pomp and circumstance as well as our best linguistic technology tested for this occasion to communicate and understand them. For them it is likely the same if they don’t already possess linguistic translation technology well beyond our own.
However if there is no response, we could be seeing drone technology of an alien form. Considering our rate of robotic exploration, it’s inexpensive and does not require much space. So likely the first we could hope for is a robotic mission to us just to examine our system and planet. In which case, the ball is in our court. If they’re anything like us, it might be seen as an act of hostility to even touch the extraterrestial satellite. We should be ever so careful since they are observing from their corner of the galaxy.
If it is organic life, then likely we will receive a reply back. And if it’s not peaceful, we could be seeing something malicious. This would be difficult at first since cultural differences might misconstrue whether it is a hostile act or not. To us, it might be an act of force if you approach without provocation. If it is indeed this outcome, there will definitely be heightened security on both sides, might not be pointed at each other but they’re at the ready. If it is an invasion with casualties mounting, then it might be dangerous in populated areas where industrial complexes produce goods and materials for any armed resistance against them. After that, our technological achievements might be captured or destroyed. Captured only if they think it will serve their purpose. Likely this being power generation and nuclear energy followed by medical technology to help destroy us or enslave us. After humanity is without it’s comforts, I would assume all military organizations would try regain the situation. In all likelihood if their space faring technology can take them here, they may have weapons that are hundreds of years ahead of ours. So we could be expecting particle weapons an even weaponized lasers against would firearms. As well as offensive capabilities, they could possess better defensive capabilities such as advanced projectile resistant materials and even energy shielding. If they are anything like us, they want to minimize casualties as well; so weaponized drones with advance intelligence in this war of the worlds is probable as well. Now it’s just a question if humanity can resist right off the bat or are we going to have to fight small and steady. At the moment, we can assume there is research done with laser technology and robotics. So we too have capabilities of having laser guns and armed drones. However the size and availability would make them easy targets. So in all likelihood, we’re fighting this with the most common, advanced and experimental technology off the start considering a lot of nations would not stand for hostile acts by another group of people. However, we will have to “give up” and begin to plan out a resurrection. For the rebels, this will be easy since everyone would be on board to surviving if it is the extermination of a species. I don’t think anything would want to just give up and let them destroy humanity. If they’re here to just harvest resources, then it is a matter of if nations would refuse to fight the aliens and if that would result in resource wars while aliens lower our planetary stocks. In my opinion; this is my planet, there are many like it but this one is mine.
Whatever the outcome is when humans meet the galactic community, we have to change in terms the way we treat ourselves and our scientific endeavours. For they could cripple us and harm us in ways we yet see them, we must keep innovating and discovering while finding our way out of self annihilation if we are to complete great and impossible goals like surviving first contact.
Until the alien invasion (and next time), keep calm and discover on!