Aliens Found! News At 11

From Cosmic Variance:

I have no independent knowledge of the veracity of this report, but a local TV station in the Bay Area is reporting rumors that the SETI program running at the upgraded Arecibo radio telescope has detected an anomalous signal (or in the very high tech language of their reporting, a “mystery signal”).

And lost (again).

OK folks, nothing to see here.I talked with my buddy Seth Shostak, who is a Senior SETI astronomer, and he told me that this whole alien signal thing is a big misunderstanding on the part of the KTVU reporter.

Ah! So it’s a story about bad reporting. Dog bites man. Again.

What I found a tad more interesting was Julianne’s reaction to the idea that someone – anyone – might actively try to answer back.

The part that got my blood pressure going was the follow-up about what we should answer back. The idea that our backward, technologically impaired civilization should jump up and down and wave its arms around saying “LOOKY HERE!!!! LOOKY HERE!!!! PICK ME!!!!”, is,….what’s the word….oh….batshit crazy. History is not exactly awash in cases where the technologically less advanced civilization wound up the winner when two cultures collide. Usually, it gets rolled.In spite of this, some crazy optimists in Russia are actually beaming signals out to nearby stars, right now.

So it looks like our friend (an associate professor at the U. of Washington) has rather bought into the idea that yes, they are out there (lide most people have) and that they’re coming to eat us.

Ok, then. Now would anyone tell me why they’d bother to spend the energy?

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