[BEEEEEEP] “Hi! We’re busy devolving into morlock-like vault-dwelling nocturnal predators deep beneath the post-apocalyptic hellscape of future Earth, but if you leave us a message, we’ll grunt and hoot in an inchoate mix of rage, envy and hunger.”
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The basic principle behind the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is that we’re better off hearing from extraterrestrial intelligence than we are not hearing from extraterrestrial intelligence, but—even assuming we don’t catastrophically screw up first contact (and we may)—we have no guarantee that the alien civilization we reach will share any of our history, values, or priorities.
But there’s one alien civilization we can count on to share at least some traits in common with us: the Earth of the future. And having learned of Cambridge physicist Luke Butcher’s discovery this week that Casimir energy may be able to keep a wormhole open long enough to send photons back in time, I have one question: why the heck would we want to do that?