Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sci-Fi Communications Space

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial? 803

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-is-your-policy-on-death-rays dept.
The LA Times is running a story about Earth Speaks, a companion project to SETI, which focuses on how we would communicate with intelligent extraterrestrial life, should we happen to discover it. Far more effort has been devoted to searching for signals or a means to communicate than the question of what we might say once contact is established, and the folks at SETI have set up a website to gather opinions on what the best questions and statements are. "So far, the messages break down into a few distinct categories. Some people want to throw a block party to welcome the aliens to the neighborhood. Others, less trusting, would warn the aliens that we've got guns and know how to use them. Another group, possibly influenced by having seen too many movies, would have us hide under the bed until they go away. 'If we discover intelligent life beyond Earth, we should not reply — we should freeze and play dead,' wrote one contributor." What would you say first to an alien?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial?

Comments Filter:
  • I know (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:06PM (#28241707) Journal

    got any new porn we haven't seen yet ???

  • Squids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:08PM (#28241719) Homepage
    We can't even communicate in any meaningful way with squids, which are genetically far more closely related to us than any possible extraterestrials. What in the world makes us think that it would be any easier to communicate with extraterrestrials?
    • Re:Squids (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:16PM (#28241809)

      That assumption is that for communication, sharing intelligence is more important than sharing genetics.

      • Re:Squids (Score:4, Interesting)

        by goombah99 (560566) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:29PM (#28241945)

        That assumption is that for communication, sharing intelligence is more important than sharing genetics.

        One thing that all these discussions presume is that we would be able to quickly reach a way to communicate. More likely it would take a decade. But misunderstandings like say a the chimp biting your hand making someone angry would occur many times before that.

        On the otherhand if an aliaen did show up on our doorstep then it would be one of two cases:

        1) it was the first visit
        2) or it was the first open visit after many many other visits.

        in the first case the ship that arrived would likely be both of a technology far beyiond our own and at the same time extremely fragile it being at the limits of it's tenuous exitence after a long space journey.

        So it might have some nasty weapons but probably nothing we should really fear or that we could not destroy.

        Basically the vistitor would be here as our guest and at our mercy.

        in the second case, it would be the visitors setting the agenda,

        • Re:Squids (Score:5, Insightful)

          by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:47PM (#28242103)

          Why assume that if they find us, they must have sci-fi movie technology? Isn't it more likely, that they'd find us through their equivalent of a SETI project, or perhaps by saying "Hey, that planet over there looks like it might have some water on it. Maybe there's life there."

          In which case, we might find ourselves receiving a weak signal from them many years later, and perhaps an un-manned (un-aliened?) probe many years after that.

          No matter who finds who, it's likely that it'll take many years just to let the other know they've been found. Distances measured in light-years suck like that.

          • Re:Squids (Score:5, Interesting)

            by blincoln (592401) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @04:28PM (#28243791) Homepage Journal

            Why assume that if they find us, they must have sci-fi movie technology?

            Because statistically speaking, it's incredibly unlikely that an alien race would have developed technology at anything close to the same time that we did. So either they will be so far behind that they won't even have radio, or many thousands (if not millions) of years more advanced than us (technology-wise).

            This is why the "warn them that we have guns and know how to use them" and "hide under the bed" options are ridiculous. Any alien race we are able to communicate with will almost certainly have the technology to easily wipe us out if they want to, as well as being able to detect the radio waves we've been throwing out into space since the early 20th century.

            Imagine the humans of 1900 trying to pose a credible threat to or hide from the humans of 2009. Now imagine the same thing, but it's the Romans or Chinese or a few thousand years ago versus the humans of 2009. Then realize that even a few thousand years is nothing on cosmological scales, so even that vast gap of technology is an eyeblink compared to the differences in technology we would be likely to encounter with an alien race.

            • Re:Squids (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Requiem18th (742389) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:19PM (#28245567)

              Assuming there are no caps to technology, if you assume technology has some limits then as the parent says they are unlikely to have sci-fi movie technology.

              For instance everything seems to indicate that FTL travel an communications are really impossible, any alien visitor is likely to "leak" their presence in the form of TV broadcasting millions of years before we can actually contact them.

              Another possible cap is that civilizations inevitably destroy themselves at certain technological levels so that any alien visitor is necessarily technologically crippled in someway or otherwise they wouldn't have made it here alive, etc.

              There are also limits to the amount of energy that can be extracted from matter so it's unlikely that a single ship can take control of the entire earth (an army could but as what price?).

              Humans of 2009 would be eaten alive by the Romans without support from institutions of 2009 providing them with weapons, rations and medicines.

              In fact the more technologically advanced you are, the more dependent in your source civilization you are, an alien invasion fleet would not only be technologically advanced, but physically huge, which then forces you to consider the economics of an alien invasion, is the planet even worth the resources necessary to reach it and knock out the natives?

            • Re:Squids (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Requiem18th (742389) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:41PM (#28245755)

              Another point I forgot to mentions is what I call the "pioneer effect". We reached the moon many years having the technology to wipe out its inhabitants if there were any. It is likely any incoming alien vessel would be of the pioneer type, with just enough resources to reach the planet and maybe make it back but not much more.

        • Re:Squids (Score:5, Insightful)

          by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:35PM (#28243441) Journal

          So it might have some nasty weapons but probably nothing we should really fear or that we could not destroy.

          A little scientific knowledge doesn't occupy a lot of mass. For all we know, it might need nothing more than a captured human to extrapolate from, and then seed the planet from orbit with germ weapons.

          But it might not need to resort to direct weapons. It would, in a knowledge-based economy, be staggeringly wealthy. And humans have demonstrated themselves woefully subject to greed and credulity. It could side with one faction on Earth and have willing allies. Or it could behave as in the film "The Man Who Fell to Earth" where the alien in disguise establishes some basic patents and proceeds to build a massive business empire from there simply through its superior intellect (I really like the scene where he is watching six televisions at once). If you want non-knowledge based wealth, it presumably has mobility within our solar system and some decent analysis tools if it got here and found us. There are whole asteroids up there which are practically great lumps of valuable minerals. It could work with us to provide that wealth and the next thing you know, hyper-rich alien again and we're right back to playing the human race against itself. But the knowlede is the thing. If the alien is smarter and more knowledgable than us, that's a powerful weapon in itself if it chooses. As the main character in Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks remarks: "everything is a weapon."

          • Re:Squids (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @04:59PM (#28243971)

            Of course, all this assumes that aliens would want to be hostile to us for some reason anyway. If a civilization is advanced enough to travel here, they're probably advanced enough to not have any good reason to be hostile. The only reason for hostility would be that they want something we have, and that could really only be the planet. But while this planet is basically a paradise to us (compared to the other planets out there that we can see), that's because we evolved on it, and are suited for living on it: it has temperatures/climates we like, it has food growing/living on it that we like, etc. As aliens would have evolved on another planet, this planet and the life on it probably wouldn't be something they value that much; it could even be poisonous to them. The only other reason they'd want this planet is for the mineral resources, but if they can travel to other star systems, it seems like it would be pretty trivial for them to get mineral resources from all kinds of other lifeless asteroids and planets instead of having to fight for this one.

            Honestly, I can't imagine a decent reason why any alien visitors would be hostile to us. Some of their ways might seem hostile to some, but that would only be from insufficient communication I believe (like if they treated us as lab specimens to be experimented on for the purpose of science without attempting to communicate). I think the chances of aliens coming here to wipe us all out, like in Independence Day, are pretty much nil. If any aliens go to the effort of traveling here, they probably would be interested in either simply learning about us (without sending us all into panic), or communicating.

            • Re:Squids (Score:5, Insightful)

              by thasmudyan (460603) <udo.schroeter@gAUDENmail.com minus poet> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:17PM (#28244123) Homepage

              The only reason for hostility would be that they want something we have, and that could really only be the planet.

              Two other categories come to mind: the alien equivalent of religious fanaticism and some form of paranoia causing them to consider a pre-emptive strike against us. There may be many more reasons we can't fathom just yet. However, I don't disagree with you. We're probably of little interest to anyone out there, as we and our world are likely not compatible enough in any significant way.

            • If a civilization is advanced enough to travel here, they're probably advanced enough to not have any good reason to be hostile.

              If I decide to build a vacation house in the Everglades it might get a little rough for any alligators that happen to live on "my" lot. I'm not going to care if they've been there since sometime in the Mesozoic. I'm aware that alligators have some kind of intelligence, however I'm not that interested in it. They will never understand where I came from or how I got there, or w

          • Re:Squids (Score:4, Interesting)

            by mruizcamauer (551400) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:13PM (#28244631) Homepage
            In a popular sci - fi story from Argentina, "The Ethernaut", one of the guidelines used by the invading aliens was to never use a more sophisticated weapon than needed, or one that could pose a threat to themselves if we ever got a hold of it. The initial attack was a deadly snow from space, that killed 95% of people right off. The rest were to be turned into slave zombies via a control device inserted into your spine... This was a mid/70's story in the form of a comic.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Are you suggesting that the reason we can't communicate with squids is because scientists have been trying to make love to them all these years? Instead of sharing intelligence?

        Or did I misread something? Because that's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard. :)

      • by sznupi (719324) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:53PM (#28242633) Homepage

        But this assumption, that intelligence should be enough, relies on another - that those will be similar kinds of intelligence. Which might not be true.

        Look at the example with squid. Is it intelligent? Definitely. Does it help us humans in communicating with it? Not really.

        Notice that I've said "us humans". The burden of finding a viable channel for communication will almost certainly lie on the more intelligent species - simply because its modes of reasoning are totally out of grasp for "lesser" one. In case of squidshumans we, as a "higher" species, didn't really manage to figure out ways of communication. And it works for vast majority of species on Earth, except those which are very simple or those which are very similar to us (and it's still far from great in this case). And no, domesticated animals don't count - we bred proper responses into them.

        The intelligence we might get into contact with will be almost certainly quite different from ours - not necessarilly because of different modes of operation (hive mind for example), but also because it, most probably, had a different timescale to evolve, refine itself.

        Overall, it is likely it will be more intelligent than us. And somehow I doubt it will be very close to us, diminishing even further the chance of "close enough to find common ground". At the same time we're already quite advanced, so not exactly falling into "primitive enough".

        PS. As a personal sidenote: I think that, eventually, intelligence of our type, one that is well on its way to harness power over genes, is quite short, quite transitory stage towards intelligence that is fully aware, harnesses and embraces...memes. How it would think then? Here's the point - I am unable to comprehend. But we would look to it similarly like animals look to us - totally under influence of genes, not even realising next step.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by h4rm0ny (722443)

          I can't answer your last question for sure (of course), but I have long thought it likely that any extraterrestial intelligence we encounter / have encountered will not attempt to communicate with anyone per se, but with our culture or our species. The sheep dog doesn't care for the thought processes of a single sheep, it cares about the behaviour of the whole. Why lower yourself to talking to some "president" when you can talk to a culture through the introduction of new memes?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Patch86 (1465427)

          Overall, it is likely it will be more intelligent than us.

          Says who?

          Not saying they wouldn't be, but what evidence makes it "likely"?

          So far, in all of humanity's history, the most intelligent and capable animal we've ever discovered has been humans. There are billions of species, and there have been billions of years of history on this planet, but so far the only evidence of anything like "advanced" intelligence has been from homo sapiens and its close relatives.

          Bearing in mind that TFA is talking about making contact with aliens by broadcast over very long distanc

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mahmud (254877)

            And note that simply having been around longer doesn't denote higher intelligence- 21st century technology knocks Ancient Greek tech into a cocked hat, but I'm not about to claim that we're all far more intelligent than Socrates, Aristotle and Plato.

            Once we get implants and augmented intelligence to play around with, the average Joe will easily outsmart Plato & Co, not to mention the potential DNA modifications that will likely be used to produce "faster" brains, with better analytical capabilities, thus making people "wiser" overall.

            If aliens have had millions of years to perfect themselves, it's not hard to imagine them leaving their early forms behind, and having merged with space itself.

            Humanity is still very young, and 8000+ years of semi-k

          • Intelligence doesn't have to be measured in physical inventions (but I likely think it would manifest that way). Maybe the squids have the most awesome philosophy, stories, poems, songs, dance whatever.

            Intelligence species don't necessarily have to care about other species - humans can't put on a good chemi-lumescent light show for beans, and maybe that makes us look F-ing retarded and boring to them - get the idea?

            Other lifeforms might be so weird and alien to us, that we may never communicate effectively

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209)
      I don't think genetic kinship matters, instead it would hinge on the aliens' intelligence (more specifically, capacity for information processing). If the aliens are just at the level of fungus, it would be hard to discover them in the first place, moreover their existence wouldn't matter much anyways.
      • Re:Squids (Score:4, Funny)

        by lawpoop (604919) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:48PM (#28244897) Homepage Journal

        If the aliens are just at the level of fungus, it would be hard to discover them in the first place, moreover their existence wouldn't matter much anyways.

        Terrence McKenna makes the claim [futurehi.net] that psilocybin mushrooms are actually an intelligent network of beings, and can communicate with humans because of the psilocybin molecule's ability to mimic human neurotransmitters. It's fairly weird stuff, but if you look at it as science fiction ( or psychedelic fiction? ), you being to understand the difficulty of communicating with an intelligence vastly different than yourself. We are just beginning to understand that dolphins understand grammar, yet we have no idea the mechanics of their communication. They can spontaneously invent sophisticated, synchronized, two-dolphin performances for a research scientist, so it's fairly obvious that they are capable of having complex conversations about aquatic acrobatics, at least.

        Anyway, here's Terrence, channeling the mycelia network: "Though I have been on earth for ages I am from the stars. My home is no one planet, for many worlds scattered through the shining disc of the galaxy have conditions which allow my spores an opportunity for life. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body given to sex thrills and sun bathing, my true body is a fine network of fibers growing through the soil. These networks may cover acres and may have far more connections that the number in a human brain. My mycelial network is nearly immortal, only the sudden toxification of a planet or the explosion of its parent star can wipe me out. By means impossible to explain because of certain misconceptions in your model of reality all my mycelial networks in the galaxy are in hyperlight communication across space and time. The mycelial body is as fragile as a spider's web but the collective hypermind and memory is a vast historical archive of the career of evolving intelligence on many worlds in our spiral star swarm. Space, you see, is a vast ocean to those hardy life forms that have the ability to reproduce from spores, for spores are covered with the hardest organic substance known. Across the aeons of time and space drift many spore-forming life-forms in suspended animation for millions of years until contact is made with a suitable environment. Few such species are minded, only myself and my recently evolved near relatives have achieved the hyper-communication mode and memory capacity that makes us leading members in the community of galactic intelligence. How the hypercommunication mode operates is a secret which will not be lightly given to man. But the means should be obvious: it is the occurrence of psilocybin and psilocin in the biosynthetic pathways of my living body that opens for me and my symbiots the vision screens to many worlds. You as an individual and man as a species are on the brink of the formation of a symbiotic relationship with my genetic material that will eventually carry humanity and earth into the galactic mainstream of the higher civilizations.

        Since it is not easy for you to recognize other varieties of intelligence around you, your most advanced theories of politics and society have advanced only as far as the notion of collectivism. But beyond the cohesion of the members of a species into a single social organism there lie richer and even more baroque evolutionary possibilities. Symbiosis is one of these. Symbiosis is a relation of mutual dependence and positive benefits for both of the species involved. Symbiotic relationships between myself and civilized forms of higher animals have been established many times and in many places throughout the long ages of my development. These relationships have been mutually useful; within my memory is the knowledge of hyperlight drive ships and how to build them. I will trade this knowledge for a free ticket to new worlds around suns younger and more stable than your own. To secure an eternal existence down the lo

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ColdWetDog (752185)

      We can't even communicate in any meaningful way with squids, which are genetically far more closely related to us than any possible extraterestrials. What in the world makes us think that it would be any easier to communicate with extraterrestrials?

      Apparently you are unaware of Japanese tentacle porn. We've got that angle covered, thankyouverymuch.

      Next.

    • Re:Squids (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:21PM (#28241869) Journal
      It would indeed be difficult, and I suspect that the "communication" that would be possible would not really look much like the common use of the word. However, there are certain reasons for optimism:

      Unless the laws of physics are a good deal weirder than we think, we already know a great deal about what math aliens would have to know to talk to us. We could also reasonably suspect some knowledge of physics, astronomy(adjusted for their location of course) and similar knowledge. It still would be far from easy; but if you are talking to somebody across interstellar space, you can make a decent number of assumptions about what they know, unlike the squid case.

      I'm not expecting any heart-to-primary circulatory nodule chats with green babes, of course.
      • Re:Squids (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:37PM (#28242519)

        We could also reasonably suspect some knowledge of physics, astronomy(adjusted for their location of course) and similar knowledge

        Physics gets pretty hard to discuss beyond F=ma without a common frame of technological reference and there are huge mathematical syntax issues.

        Chemistry would work the best since there are so many obvious constants. ionization constant of pure water. All the orbitals of an iron atom. A benzene ring is ubiquitous. Curie temperatures. Melting and boiling points. "shelf stable" chemical propellants are pretty much constant across the universe, for a given temperature range. Permanent magnet technology. Even an old fashioned steam pressure/temp table (or other useful engineering liquids, like some hydrocarbons, or refrigerants) would be the same.

        Now what would be fun would be figuring out the "new" stuff on each side. Just think of what has been developed here over the last couple decades... What is this 60 atom carbon molecule they find so entertaining? Why do they want us to stick this weird mostly rare earth ceramic in liquid nitrogen with wires hooked up to either side? WTF you claim you can polymerize fluorine? Then there's "helpful" advice, like don't accumulate too many atoms with a weight of 235 hydronium nuclei in one place or else!

        • Re:Chemistry (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ScottForbes (528679) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:54PM (#28242643) Homepage

          Chemistry would work the best since there are so many obvious constants.

          Rather than spoil the ending of the classic sci-fi short story Omnilingual [gutenberg.org] by H. Beam Piper, I'll just post a link - it's a short read, like the label says. (A team of explorers on Mars find a dead civilization, complete with an utterly untranslatable library of books....)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by monoqlith (610041)

      You bring up a good point. Monkeys and chimps share up to 90% of their DNA with humans, and yet the last time I tried to teach my capuchin sign language, I got beaned with a fecal fast-ball.

      Yeah, I think it's that 10% responsible for our neocortex that's going to make a difference here...

    • Re:Squids (Score:5, Funny)

      by TropicalCoder (898500) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:54PM (#28242139) Homepage Journal

      Well what do you expect? Maybe if we stopped eating them and showed them more respect, they might talk to us. Like, if we banned fishing them for food, and instead establish bilateral talks with them, that could be a new beginning for man-squid relations. Then perhaps we could go on to establish trade links - like - we could trade them sardines and anchovies for ink and cuttle fish bone, to begin with. From there, perhaps we could get them to represent our interests with the octopus... When you begin treating others with respect, all kinds of possibilities begin to present themselves, as Obama has demonstrated in his recent speech in Egypt.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm not sure, but we are capable of communicating with squids just as good as squids are communicating with each other. It would just take time until we learn how to speak to them. Communication with other animals at the same level, however, has been achieved. Or so it seems. So if the extraterrestrials can communicate with us almost as good as we communicate with each other, it wouldn't matter much to us. Probably they would be a little frustrated, as much as some people would get if they had to "talk" wit

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Planesdragon (210349)

      What in the world makes us think that it would be any easier to communicate with extraterrestrials?

      Squids are intelligent tool-users with a high-order language capable of expressing abstract thoughts like "we shouldn't eat all those fish now; doing so will leave us more for tomorrow."?

      I doubt we'll be mating with the squids, but most intelligent minds I've met don't need to fuck someone to communicate. (Hell, fucking tends to diminish communication...)

  • by ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:08PM (#28241721)
    ...do you actually have any green women in bikinis?
  • by scsirob (246572) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:08PM (#28241725)

    We should definitely show them that we are rational, well behaved lifeforms, with broad interests and predictable interaction

    For starters we can offer them a free subscription and RSS feed to /.

    Oh wait...

  • Welcome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by devman (1163205) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:10PM (#28241753)
    I, for one, would welcome our new alien overlords.
    • Re:Welcome! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TeamSPAM (166583) <flynnmj.email@com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:16PM (#28241811) Homepage

      This is probably one of the few threads where this meme is on topic. To put this in perspective we are probably the native american indians greeting the european explorers. And we know how well that turned out for them.

      • Re:Welcome! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:26PM (#28241915)

        To put this in perspective we are probably the native american indians greeting the european explorers. And we know how well that turned out for them.

        Woo! We get to run the intergalactic casinos!

      • Re:Welcome! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sibko (1036168) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:49PM (#28242613)

        This is probably one of the few threads where this meme is on topic. To put this in perspective we are probably the native american indians greeting the european explorers. And we know how well that turned out for them.

        That's assuming they're more advanced than us. But if they're more advanced then us, than in all likelyhood it wouldn't be like indians meeting europeans at all! If we're exceptionally lucky it'd be like our present day society meeting the cro-magnum.

        Sir Arthur C. Clarke made a famous observation about space explorers discovering aliens. If one considers the millions of years of pre-history, and the rapid technological advancement occurring now, if you apply that to a hypothetical alien race, one can figure the probabilities of how advanced the explorers will find them. The conclusion is "we will find apes or angels, but not men."

        Why? Consider the history of Planet Earth. Let the height of the Empire State building represent the 5 billion year life of Terra. The height of a one-foot ruler perched on top would represent the million years of Man's existence. The thickness of a dime will represent the ten thousand years of Man's civilization. And the thickness of a postage stamp will represent the 300 years of Man's technological civilization. An unknown portion above represents "pre-Singularity Man", the period up to the point where mankind hits the Singularity/evolves into a higher form/turns into angels. Say another dime. Above that would be another Empire State building, representing the latter 5 billion years of Terra's lifespan.

        If you picked a millimeter of this tower at random, what would you most likely hit? One of the Empire State buildings, of course.


        http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3aa.html#apesorangels [projectrho.com]

        • Re:Welcome! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by lawpoop (604919) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @07:09PM (#28245075) Homepage Journal

          Sir Arthur C. Clarke made a famous observation about space explorers discovering aliens. If one considers the millions of years of pre-history, and the rapid technological advancement occurring now, if you apply that to a hypothetical alien race, one can figure the probabilities of how advanced the explorers will find them. The conclusion is "we will find apes or angels, but not men."

          This kind of thinking relies on two notions ancient to western thought: the Great Chain of Being, and linear progress.

          The Great Chain of Being [wikipedia.org] is an idea that we inherited from Christian times. It describes a hierarchy of matter and life forms, with rocks at the bottom, then plants, animals, humans, and above them, angels, and finally, God at the top. Each spot is 'better' than the one below it. So we see know why Clarke posits we will only find "Apes or Angels": he's placing aliens in the Great Chain of Being. Contrast that with, say, a more Japanese notion of life forms, where robots and humans and talking animals all inhabit and live in a world, sometimes in conflict, sometimes in peace, with each having their own niche of adaptation and way of making a living. It's a world-view you may have seen in a Miyazaki film.

          The second Old Idea that Clark's prognostication rests on is linear progress. That there is a one-dimensional measure of 'goodness' or 'progress', and as time goes on, the value always goes up. In other words, things are always getting better -- we know more, we have more things, society advances. Contrast that with an idea of cycles of good and bad times, like you might see in Hindu thought, or of balance and homeostatis, like you might find in Greek or Native American thought. So, Clarke says we are either going to find Angels or Apes. Humans are right in the middle int he Great Chain of Being, and because of linear progress, we will become more 'angelic', sooner or later. Well, what about finding jellyfish? Jellyfish have been around the Earth's oceans for millions of years, and their basic body plan and way of making a living hasn't changed that much. Sounds like a fairly successful homeostasis, if you ask me. I'll bet there will be jellyfish as long as there are temperate oceans on Earth.

          So I think if you put this reasoning in light of those two ideas, it becomes apparent that even one of our greatest 'science'-fiction minds is unaware that they are rooted in very old, religious cosmologies that are culturally based. We in the west are still in the Dark Ages of imagination, living under the tyranny of ancient, jealous, despotic Gods.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ChrisMaple (607946)

            The claim that Clarke's prediction is based on mysticism is baseless. Not regarding humans as the best of creatures is foolish.

            The claim that it is based on linear progress is contrary to Clarke's prediction, which implies a very nonlinear progress: very slow until recently, fast now and at least until we progress beyond what we might reasonably recognize as human. The part up to now is history. The rest is speculation.

            Statis is not a good thing, unless you regard pain and early death as good.

  • by oneirophrenos (1500619) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:11PM (#28241757)
    So we've got guns. I wonder how intimidated a civilization that has the technology to traverse light-years through space would be of our bullets and bombs. If they wished to annihilate us, I wager they'd be able to do it without even giving us a chance to react. If an alien race should contact Earth, I think our best bet would be to at least assume that they have peaceful intentions.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)

      >If they wished to annihilate us, I wager they'd be able to do it without even giving us a chance to react.

      It would be trivial. ET is not a signatory on any of our international laws and treaties. They could concoct a biological weapon that doesnt require any more advanced science than we already know. They could bombard the planet with these weapons, kill only humans, and keep the planet for themselves. I think the hawks need to realize how delicate human life is and the weaponry to destroy all human l

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by amorsen (7485)

        They could concoct a biological weapon that doesnt require any more advanced science than we already know.

        We couldn't kill all humans with a biological weapon with our current level of technology. Maybe 90%, maybe 99% because society breaks down, but there would be survivors. Nuclear is the only option right now. In the relatively near future, an asteroid or comet strike might become an option, but that's pretty much it for now.

        Well we could of course cause runaway greenhouse effect and boil the oceans, but that would be a really big project and take a long time.

    • by RsG (809189) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:43PM (#28242053)

      So we've got guns. I wonder how intimidated a civilization that has the technology to traverse light-years through space would be of our bullets and bombs. If they wished to annihilate us, I wager they'd be able to do it without even giving us a chance to react. If an alien race should contact Earth, I think our best bet would be to at least assume that they have peaceful intentions.

      ^ What he said ^

      Seriously, people. Whoever it was from TFA who suggested "we've got guns and know how to use them" as a response was clueless.

      If an extraterrestrial species is remotely close to human beings technologically, then there is no way for them to reach us anymore than we can reach them. Interstellar space is a wonderfully effective buffer. If we're communicating with a neighbouring species via radio, with no chance of visitation, then we needn't worry about hostilities. Try to imagine fighting a war between North America and Australia without ships, missiles or aircraft. And that analogy vastly understates the distances involved.

      If they can reach us, and we can't reach them, then threats or hostility is a non-starter. Any spacecraft capable of crossing the gulf between stars is very likely so far ahead of us that we'd be unable to scratch the finish. And any craft able to cross that distance at a significant fraction of the speed of light is, by definition, able to render this entire planet sterile by way of a RKV. Think muskets vs. nukes here.

      • by keraneuology (760918) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:45PM (#28242585) Journal
        Unless interstellar travel is nothing but a single "duh" moment away - maybe we're just missing something that will make everything simple and easy to understand. Like pipes or the wonderbra.
      • by glueball (232492) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:12PM (#28242795)

        Perhaps the intention with saying "we have guns" is we could annihilate ourselves if we thought it was in our best interest. Game theory intergalactic style.

        Game type #1:
        So imagine you are an alien, all peaceful and loving and just wanting to love a new species. Everything would work out, right? These would be the aliens like ET or Cocoon. Sure, we'd be labeled the North Koreans on the galactic block but at least we have a new place to visit. Maybe they have an intergalactic Dr. Phil who can help establish some trust.

        Game type #2
        Now what if you were a not so peaceful alien. You want to live on earth, but wow. Those humans are bat-shit crazy enough to destroy the planet. We better treat them kindly because if we fuck with them, they'll torch the place. These would be the aliens from Predator or Transformers.

        Game type #3
        The third possibility is that they will annihilate us no matter what our response. If we can quickly convey that we are crazy and will salt the earth, at least we might have a dog in the fight. The weapons might be ineffective on the aliens but we know they'll work on earth itself. These would be the Independence Day aliens. Not everyone can place a virus into the mother ship, but there's a reason that the Independence Day aliens chose earth and not Mars.

        Being nice will leave you only +1 to the peaceful aliens. Being crazy will leave you +2 or +3.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jamstar7 (694492)

          These would be the Independence Day aliens. Not everyone can place a virus into the mother ship, but there's a reason that the Independence Day aliens chose earth and not Mars.

          Yeah, it's called a plot hook. If the aliens took over Mars & the asteroid belt, it would have been a completely different (and most likely, boring as hell) movie.

      • by hax0r_this (1073148) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:56PM (#28243133)
        I keep seeing people posting about how much more advanced than us a species would have to be to reach earth. I simply don't see why thats true. To my knowledge we have at least general knowledge of every major technology we would need to travel between stars, and thats with NASA never having had a budget over about $34B 2007 dollars, and currently closer to half of that [wikipedia.org]. If we spent less time and money on killing each other and bailing each other out, and maybe cared about something other than our own social problems, there's no reason we couldn't have people on other planets as we speak.

        Consider this:
        For about $135B 2005 dollars [wikipedia.org] we effectively went from flying propeller planes to repeatedly placing men on the moon.
        Since 2001 we have spent about $865B [costofwar.com] in Iraq and Afghanistan.
        Since Fall of 2008 we have committed about $12.2 Trillion Dollars [nytimes.com] to "Economic Recovery" plans


        The barrier between us and the stars is not some insurmountable technology one, its a matter of money and willpower. The only hope I see is that private interests (including SpaceX and other companies) will pursue these technologies (considering that hundreds [forbes.com] of companies have higher revenue than NASA) otherwise I'm afraid we may never get off this miserable rock before we kill ourselves off. You wouldn't bet the uptime of a moderately important website on a single webserver, yet we continue to bet the survival of our species on a single rock floating in space.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:02PM (#28244543)

          The barrier between us and the stars is not some insurmountable technology one, its a matter of money and willpower.

          You sir, are confused.

          The fastest man-made item http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/spacecraft/q0109c.shtml [aerospaceweb.org] reached 150,000 mph (41.67 mi/sec). Voyager 1, launched in 1977, is going only 38,500 mph as it leaves our solar system. The closest star to our solar system is about 4 light years away (5,800,000,000,000,000 miles away).

          That works out to about 3,941 years to travel there at 150,000 mi/hr.

          We definitely do not have the technology to accomplish or even begin that goal. We'd need a multi-generational ship, capable of growing food without sunlight. It would need to survive longer than any culture or nation has by far.

          So perhaps you understand why we aren't planning to visit other stars at all now?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MrKaos (858439)

            We definitely do not have the technology to accomplish or even begin that goal. We'd need a multi-generational ship, capable of growing food without sunlight. It would need to survive longer than any culture or nation has by far.

            And how much do you think it will cost to invest in the technologies for us to get to that point.

            You have completely missed his point, which is spot on.

        • by cbhacking (979169) <<moc.oohay> <ta> ... isiurc_tuo_neeb>> on Monday June 08, 2009 @01:30AM (#28247373) Homepage Journal

          To my knowledge we have at least general knowledge of every major technology we would need to travel between stars

          No offense, but WHAT?? There are so many problems with interstellar travel... lets consider a few, from the perspectives of spacecraft and tech available today.

          Spacecraft range: The biggest single problem. Space is big. Really, really, REALLY big. The fastest spacecraft we currently posess would take centuries to reach Alpha Centauri (the next-closest star, a mere 4 light-years or so away). In theory, an ion-drive spacecraft could get up to a noticeable fraction of c, given enough fuel, but we can't currently provide that (ion drives are amazingly efficient, but they still need two resources - reaction mass and power). Ramscoops aren't currently possible, if they'll even work (we're not sure they would). Our best reactors have a lifetime of decades, but those are Earth-based installations - current long-range spacecraft are powered by radioactive thermal decay, which can't produce enough power over a long enough time - we would need to use fission, at a minimum.

          Solar sails might be usable, but they're currently pure sci-fi. Also, at least some of the things they theoretically could do - "tack" toward a star, for example - just don't work. Sailboats can tack for two reasons: air pressure sufficient to make airfoils work, and water viscosity being much greater than air viscosity. It's possible - I don't know the math - that an "airfoil" could work in solar wind, but I rather doubt it. However, the thrust vector of an airfoil is perpendicular to the wind direction. Sailboats have keels for two reasons - to keep them from flipping over, and to force them to move only forward and backward (meaning that the airfoil thrust need only be slightly forward of 90 degrees to get forward motion). Without something to "grip" like that, even a 100% efficient solar-foil could only orbit a star at constant distance.

          Warp drive... now we're out of even the realm of things we can begin to experimentally prove. There is a theoretical mathematical model that, *if* our understanding of relativity is correct, permits moving faster than light (actually, moving at any arbitrary speed, given enough power). In short form, it consists of compressing space in front of the ship, and expanding it behind - the space in the middle, where the ship is, technically doesn't move at all. Now, the problems:
          We can't really compress space. In essense, we're talking gravity control here. In theory, with enough energy (or mass, they're related after all), it's possible. We dont' know how, though.
          We do not know how to expand space. Negative energy - not the same as anti-matter, but akin to anti-gravity - has been theorized and *maybe* observed, but we can't produce it at will, certainly not over any useful distance or magnitude.
          The theoretical power output required to be useful is, at minimum, far more than our entire race can produce. It might be more than the rest energy of the entire universe.
          You can't see where you're going. Anything that hits the "bow wave" gets compressed into a burst of gamma radiation. This includes photons.
          I trust I don't need to continue? Look it up if you want - it's a cool theiretical model - but I doubt we'll even know if it's possible within my lifetime.

          Ok, how about spacecraft durability? At any kind of decent speed, a micrometeorite, even a spec of dust, could do incredible damage. Making the spacecraft more durable generally means adding mass, which decreases its acceleration and therefore max speed for a given amount of fuel. We don't currently have any kind of shield or navigational deflector that could block a rock of the size you use to skip stones - easily large enough to utterly destroy a spacecraft (if it is anything at all like what we can build today) travelling at the pitiful speed 0.01 c.

          Finally, consider longevity. This is related to range, but worth its own discussion. Power, fuel, and durability have already been co

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by kklein (900361)

            God bless you. We need to get these ridiculous 1950s ideas out of our heads. When I was a child (in the 70s), I was told, in all sincerity, that I'd probably be able to go to the moon when I grew up.

            Ain't gonna happen. Not now, not ever in my lifetime.

            The thing is that the moon missions were batshit crazy. We were locking people up into tin cans and shooting them at the moon for no reason other than to say we did it. Yeah, it worked, but it was insanely dangerous and resulted in virtually nothing.

            I a

    • If resources are plentiful then there isn't much of a problem.

       

      • by RsG (809189) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:24PM (#28242405)

        Wandering slightly offtopic...

        What would an alien civilization able to travel to earth consider a "resource"?

        For our purposes, we'd count fossil fuels, electricity, metals, arable land, industrial and commercial infrastructure, livestock, water, building materials, manufactured items, people... All things which are finite and useful.

        If a species has the tech to cross a few dozen light years, they won't need some of the above. Water, for example, is easy to come by even in our own star system. Electrical generating capacity would be far in advance of our own, given the amount of energy needed to move a spacecraft over such distances. Fossil fuels and uranium would very likely be useless to a species far ahead of us technologically.

        On the other hand, things we don't consider to be resources might be valuable to aliens. For example, we don't yet need He3 for anything, but we might want it some day as fuel. There are likely isotopes of elements we don't yet know the uses for, but an alien might.

        The point I'm getting at is that we don't know what an alien civilization considers a "resource", or what scarcity they'd have.

        However, I strongly suspect that there's no profit in travelling interstellar distances to get resources. The energy requirements for such a trip are too large; that same technology could almost certainly be put to use to acquire or synthesize resources much more easily.

  • by The_Chicken_205 (723443) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:12PM (#28241763) Homepage
    Roll for initiative... :D
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:12PM (#28241769)

    ...any alien that lands on planet Earth will likely be pale-skinned, dressed in strange clothing & only grunt monosyllabically at you having been sat in front of a console screen for the past 50 years - so just practice your alien communication skills on the average British teenager...

  • by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:12PM (#28241773) Journal

    Please fill out these entry visa papers or we'll have to ask you to leave...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:13PM (#28241787)

    Citing that evidence suggests that they have been monitoring earth broadcasts, and that their planet is not within the distribution zone of the earth's intellectual property, and that royalties must be paid immediately for the past 50-100 years of received carrier wave based entertainment that they have received free of cost.

    Further, a gag order is hereby issued forbidding the aliens to discuss either this suit or the entertainment materials (hereto fore "content") with any other audience, known or unknown to the residents of earth, until after trial or settlement has been concluded,

    Yadda yadda yadda

    Give us all your money,

    Signed, the MPAA and RIAA industries.

  • Read FootFall (Score:5, Informative)

    by RichMan (8097) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:16PM (#28241813)

    Anyone thinking about how we greet aliens should realize several things
          a) anyone in orbit is in a very powerful position. Essentially the ultimate higher attack position.
          b) anyone arriving in orbit has very advanced technology
          c) kinetic energy

    Read Footfall, it posits aliens with the barest of interstellar travel capabilities arriving
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footfall [wikipedia.org]

  • by johannesg (664142) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:17PM (#28241821)

    Freeze and play dead? Someone really should have thought of that _before_ we started broadcasting radio and TV and a planet-wide basis. Those waves really don't stop when they hit the outer atmosphere you know... By now we should be fairly well-known in our galactic neighbourhood.

    As for talking about our guns, whoever shows up here has already demonstrated massively superior technology to ours (we are not showing up on _their_ doorstep are we?) so antagonizing them might not be such a great idea either.

    So yeah, by all means let's throw a party and hope it isn't us that ends up on the barbecue...

    • Freeze and play dead? Someone really should have thought of that _before_ we started broadcasting radio and TV and a planet-wide basis. Those waves really don't stop when they hit the outer atmosphere you know... By now we should be fairly well-known in our galactic neighbourhood.


      TV and radio braodcast are not detectable after a few dozen AU, at msot 1 light year (nearest solar system is 4 LY and galaxy width is measured in tens of thousand of LY to give you an idea). The reason for that is that the sign
  • Don't play dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pinckney (1098477) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:21PM (#28241863)

    If we are actually noticed, the problem with the "freeze and play dead" suggestion is that it if it works, we risk convincing them that we are mostly harmless, unintelligent creatures. Earth then begins to look like a habitable, unoccupied planet ripe for colonizing.

    While a display of martial might would serve to make the earth look less available, it also risks making us appear savage and again, unintelligent. It might make them feel justified in subjugating us and colonizing earth.

    Safest is probably a policy of partial isolation. We should greet others firmly, while revealing little of our own cultures and history. Be respectful, and allow visitors to see a strictly controlled show. Given time, this can be relaxed. If they do seem interested in colonization, prepare for war. Demand commitments to peace and respect for our territory that, if broken deliberately, will give us moral high-ground in counterattacking. But if this should occur, act quickly to establish laws of war--display an aura of civility and discipline. Conversely, if they are interested in an exchange of knowledge, be open and willing--say nothing of atrocities and wars, and let the borders be opened slowly. Control their perception of us, so that we may appear to be a mixture of cultures that they could ally themselves with, rather than merely subjugate.

  • by heptapod (243146) <heptapod@gmail.com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:23PM (#28241895) Journal

    Eight forms of human language remain uncracked by modern linguists [newscientist.com]. Surely trying to speak Ventaxian and understand their communication will be nigh impossible. Heck I don't think their characters have been encoded into unicode.
    Let alone knowing how their transmissions are encoded or even if they have a concept of DRM. If we don't know their codecs then those broadcasts will simply fall into the cosmic background radiation and remain lost to us until these aliens do something as gross as landing on the White House lawn and actually share their technology via their universal translator.
    Who's to say they're even going to be interested in humanity at all. They may decide that ants have a far older and more interesting worldwide civilization which fits their xenothropic principle rather than appealing to our hubris that nigh-hairless primates are the pinnacle of culture and society upon this ball of mud.
    On the bright side this guy says it'd be easy to figure out the grammar of a living alien language [telegraph.co.uk] but there's still the problem of idiom which would only serve the muddy the waters of communication and possibly precipitate conflict.

  • by glwtta (532858) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:30PM (#28241947) Homepage
    DAVIS: We are a benign species, opposed to interplanetary conflict, and believe in equal opportunity for all beings, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or planet of origin
    STAN: That's nice. Look, let me start over, OK? I want you to tell me what the people on your planet are gonna do to make Stanley H Tweedle a happier man
    DAVIS: Is this right?
    PRINCE: Stick to the cards, Mr President. All possibilities have been anticipated. Do not deviate from the cards
    DAVIS: Congratulations on your birthday!
  • by allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:33PM (#28241977) Homepage Journal
    What if they were to arrive in our solar system and not care about us? I mean, what if they didn't care about lifeforms? It's a huge assumption that they are looking for others like them. That's a drive that seems to be uniquely human. As far as I know, no animal on earth goes around comparing surrounding species to themselves. I use the earth animal example because we have no other species to compare in the vicinity of our solar system. But back to the point, What if they arrive and simply ignore us?
  • by CaptainOfSpray (1229754) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:36PM (#28241995)
    Didn't any of you know? You say, "Gnorts, Mr Alien". Back in the 60's, NASA realised that the Apollo might encounter aliens on the Moon, so they named the leader of the expedition appropriately (in an anagram, to demonstrate our intelligence and puzzle-setting ability).
  • by kheldan (1460303) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:36PM (#28242001) Journal
    I propose a dynamic approach: learn as much as possible about them first. We may decide it would be disasterous to attempt contact, and that "playing dead" is the way to go. In any case we might discover that one approach will be better received than another; first impressions may make or break the situation.
    All that being said, I don't think the human race is anywhere near the point where we SHOULD make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization AT ALL. We're still just slightly smarter animals at heart, once you strip away the thin veneer of technology and what we laughingly call "civilization". We can't even get along with OURSELVES and our own differences let alone a race that didn't evolve here. We're bigoted, racist, and sexist: We can't decide, AS A RACE, whether we owe our existence to one supernatural being or another, or did we evolve? We make war on our neighbors over resources and things that matter even less than that. We treat people differently, sometimes even ATTACKING them, because their skin is a different color. We treat our females as second-class citizens. Furthermore we mistreat and mismanage the biosphere we live in, poisoning it with our industrial wastes, destroying parts of it out of ignorance or greed, or because it suits us to do so, and damn the consequences.
    Never mind US contacting THEM! I say that if they're out there, they're AVOIDING and IGNORING us, because we're not worth knowing yet! Can't blame them if that's the case.
    Oh, and go ahead and mod me down to "-1, Troll"; I'll understand because there is no "-1, Uncomfortable Truth" button to use.
  • Math. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by solios (53048) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:41PM (#28242033) Homepage

    It'll be the one thing we have in common, no matter what. However they conceptualize it, unless our first contact is some kind of space manatee that communicates in radio waves, whatever we make contact with will have to have developed transmission/reception capability. Language would be a big puzzle to crack, and probably a really frustrating one... but 2+2=4 everywhere you go.

  • by Gax (196168) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:47PM (#28242097)

    ba weep gra na weep nini bon

  • Humans (Score:5, Funny)

    by stox (131684) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:49PM (#28242113) Homepage

    A convenient snack on those long journeys across the galaxy.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:49PM (#28242117)
    and so long as it still exists the next day, we can take they're friendly.

    If they turn out to be hostile, just beam them the rules of cricket - if that doesn't act as an interplanteary virus, they'll think we're all crazy and won't want to come anywhere close, in case it's catching.

  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:01PM (#28242197) Homepage

    If we encounter a civilization of vastly superior technology, the idea that we would possess any capacity to negotiate is more or less absurd. Hiding doesn't work either. Assuming it's them discovering us and not vice versa, the encounter cannot possibly be far from our highly-immobile civilization, and even if we immediately turned off all the power plants and went dark, it's not like there is such an abundance of life-supporting planets nearby that earth could hope to slip through the cracks. It may not even be wise to try and be all buddy-buddy with them, as who knows what sort of culture and religion they follow. ("you dare bow to us? we will surely annihilate you for the insult of that most obscene gesture!")

    The simplest and wisest thing to do is let them call all the shots. Speak when spoken to; otherwise, be silent. Look for opportunities to reciprocate any kindness. Any technology they can be convinced to offer is guaranteed to exceed the value of any riches we bring as tribute (which should have value by virtue of uniqueness even if their culture does not experience the same rarity of materials).

    If our visitors are demanding and unreasonable human being will almost certainly have to postpone any major rebellion until they are in a position to acquire some of their oppressors' technological resources.

  • My greeting... (Score:3, Informative)

    by tekiegreg (674773) * <tekieg1-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:04PM (#28242227) Homepage Journal
    Hi, Beer's in the Fridge, bathroom's over there, enjoy your stay...
  • Dear Aliens (Score:5, Funny)

    by will_die (586523) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:07PM (#28243231) Homepage
    Dear Friends,

    I am Prince Fayad Musa H. Bolkiah, the eldest son of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, former Finance Minister of Earth, the tiny fuel-rich planet on the outer realms.

    Due to problems with a trading guild I was advised to evacuate my immediate family outside the sultanate to avoid further prosecution from them. Before I could do that I was placed under house arrest.

    Before my Incaseration, I went ahead to dispatch large sum of fuel with the assistance of friend in a galaxy far away. The fuel has now been deposited as valuables into different private security and trust company for safe keeping.

    In order to get the fuel I will need large quantities of the following chemical products, the mineral Be3Al2(SiO3)6,) and the chemical lement with atomic number of 79, details about this follow.

    For your assistance i will compensate you with 25% of the total fuel and another 5% shall be set aside to defray any expenses that may arise.

    Please I count on your absolute confidentiality, transparency and trust while looking forward to your prompt response towards a swift conclusion of this business transaction

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

Working...