Re: Re. SETI (was something else...)

Freeman Craig Presson (
Mon, 12 Jul 1999 08:10:50 -0500

On 12 Jul 99, at 2:14, wrote: [...]
> I'm not bashing SETI; far from it. But the "SEMANTICS" light on my
> monitor starts blinking when I read words that seem to insinuate an
> earthly monetary system on a nonterrestrial civilization.

Economics =/= money, necessarily. Substitute energy for money, make no assumptions whatever about the rest of the economic systems out there, and there's still something to the argument in favor of ETIs floating at home with a hot quarkbrew petting the family noogle while the computer crunches EMF data looking for replies to their laser-mediated personals ad that's sweeping the galaxy, either instead of or in advance of a probe or expedition.

Maybe they're shy, and don't want to touch fronds until they've been properly introduced. Maybe they only care about information. Or maybe what they sent out was a notice of intent to build a structure using all the matter in their observable universe, and they want to make sure there's no one out there advanced enough to stop them. In that case, their skeptics are probably saying that the fact that they haven't been disassembled into the leading edge of someone else's construct means that Universe is empty except for a few bands of savages who aren't using the space anyway, so it's Outward Ho! and Manifest Destiny ... just be sure to pack the trade beads, and if those don't work there's always the nanopox blankets.

Or maybe they'll answer if we send them some of Natasha's pictures :-)