For the August/September 2017 issue of PSMagazine.com, Louis Fabiani wrote an article called “How to Make Friends in Outer Space.” She describes our naive attempt to present to an accessible, interactive and potentially friendly universe of intelligent beings our best nature and attractive presence.
In reality, those gold plates sent into space decades ago are well on their way to a space so vast we don’t seem able to comprehend it. What would we tell someone out there now? Who are we really? What is our best potential in spiritual terms? Why are we so full of rage, so capable of violence and neglectful of widespread despair? And yet so full of potential? And so capable of real wisdom? Do our current differing mind-sets mean that we could never agree on how to present ourselves to other intelligent beings in the universe?
Should we try again, anyway? It might be an useful exercise in self-awareness. We know now that we are most probably not alone in time and space. As of June 2017, we had found more than 3600 worlds orbiting other stars. A few of those planets may have spawned other kinds of life. Most likely they are carbon based, less likely complex and intelligent. Bacteria got started early here on Earth, and have filled every possible niche. It’s us complex critters that may be hard to come by.
For a moment, let’s hope someone is close enough, lucky, or savvy enough to read our next gold-plated attempt to represent ourselves. What would we choose to stick on such a plate? How could we explain our current mind-sets, when they seem to be so at odds? How explain our broken cities, our hungry children, our massive crowds of displaced people, our
massive difference in well-being and technology, and the accelerating rate of extinctions within our incredibly beautiful and diverse living populations?
We need to step back and rethink who we are. The idea of presenting ourselves to Others– though they be very remote and very unlikely to respond in meaningful ways–would challenge us to put down our defenses and find our common sense, the best of our shared humanity. On the other hand, there is a worry that we should not advertise our presence, so Big Bad Others can come here and do us in—or not.
What are the time, energy and practical limits to space travel? Given that those are huge, and taking a realistic view of what we may not know–our chances are tiny of ever making contact with Others, especially meaningful or harmful contact. Given the current state of Earth and its needs, given the huge amounts of time and space that isolate us from other mindful civilizations, I would urge us to concentrate on the here and now.
Author of The Archives of Varok
The View Beyond Earth (Book 1.)
The Webs of Varok (Book 2.)
Nautilus Silver Award 2013 YA
ForeWord IBPA finalist 2012 adult SF
The Alien Effect (Book 3.)
An Alien’s Quest (Book 4. Released Nov.21, 2016)
Excerpts, Synopses, Reviews, On Writing, Characters and More-
Reviews of significant books- www.goodreads.com/Cary_Neeper
How the Hen House Turns- www.ladailypost.com
Complexity, Bio, Bibliography and Links- caryneeper.com
Astrobiology– astronaut.com search:Who’s Out There
Cary's first novel and Webs of Varok prequel A Place Beyond Man was originally published in 1975 by Charles Scribner’s Sons, Dell, and Millington, London. Cary re-released A Place Beyond Man as an Author’s Guild Backinprint edition, now available from online booksellers. Its themes of sustainability and interspecies cooperation have now grown into new adventures for its human, elll and varok family as they travel the alternate 21st century Solar System in the five-volume Archives of Varok, coming from Penscript Publishing House in 2012–2014. Cary’s other works include two musical science fiction comedies “U.F.F.D.A.!” and “Petra and the Jay,” as well as newspaper and magazine articles, essays, short stories, and book reviews for The Christian Science Monitor.