Why We Search (*Note to SETI: Get better PR)
It may not be obvious, it may not even occur to most, but we all wonder if we are alone in the Universe and deep down we all want to know. The video included here is off of Space.com and I love it because it at least suggests that we should be curious about what’s up there and why we should attempt to reach out. But in attempting to give others a reason for searching it sometimes falters with it’s apparent aged tech. The fact of Why We Search is obvious, but the message being put out there screams of crazy cult funding. And that gets under my Bigfoot believing skin.
The best answer to Why We Search and want to make contact is because isn’t it better to let them know we are like them and that we are going through this fledgling stage of technology? Best to make contact now and then pay for our ignorance later, right? Well, yes and no.
It’s concerning that the technology, for example the monitors in the background of this video, are 10+ years old. Not exactly encouraging, is it? We want to reach out and show intelligent life that we’re worth at least a coffee date and we’re using ancient tech to do it with. And that shot of black satellite dishes… my neighbor had one of those for satellite TV, 20 years ago. Do we really use those monsters still for tracking possible signs of alien life forms? Oy! It’s frustrating. It’s like saying, “I want to discover the secrets of the atom using this magnifying glass.” I get the video might be a wee bit old but for goodness sake, plan your old video with lots of foresight. Show your best graphics, remove your actual tech from the background, and put some money into PR, the ‘why we search’ is important.
Okay, that’s my frustration with the whole searching for life in the Universe, doesn’t seem like it’s organized well. I say if you want to get us to watch your summer blockbuster, in this case, it’s the ongoing narrative of why we search, then make it friggin’ exciting and not feeling like an out-dated Disney ride. Check out what Hollywood does with selling it’s movies, that’s what we need with ‘Why We Search’. Bigger and better promotion for looking for life. Give us the bells and whistles of your best tech and maybe only reveal how you’re looking if it’s a real jaw dropper. Example: “We are with noted galactic astrophysicist-engineer-geologist now who has created an inter-dimensional communication device. Here’s the machine and this is the message he’s just received from the other side of the Universe: We’re coming for you!”
Admittedly, I’m a bit of a cynic of how the message is delivered but I’m a real die-hard about why we search. But in order to get everyone on board with this, at least those who are important enough to make a difference in the search, we need better selling of ‘Why We Search’. My humble bit of advice for SETI is: You’re on to something, just try not to look like a conspiracy cult when pitching the idea. It’s exciting what you’re trying to do, so give it your best effort!