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Alien Contact and Diplomacy
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Ever wondered what to do when E.T. phones and asks awkward questions? Ever de-constructed the motives of a visiting UFO that is thousands of light years from home? To understand how Aliens sees us, we first have to understand our own history of exploration, contact and diplomacy, between Old World civilisations and the New World tribes. Earth history is littered with cruel jokes on unwitting peoples, where the collision of East meets West ended with one party screwed over, or just wiped out of existence. Why should Earth's destiny among other races of the universe be any different? Fortunately we have history to advise us on the implications of mixing with advanced alien cultures, yet what if Aliens of questionable intent rocked up into Earth's lower orbit in fancy Star Cruisers and rather than answer the calls from world leaders, communicated only through our social networks? Technology has shifted the means by which alien contact and diplomacy will integrate with our digital world. The responsibility for contact has moved from military elites and those in the know, to the wider, connected public. We have to be prepared to face our past in order to face the future: Soon, now, or a day in the far future, we will make real alien contact and our diplomacy will either have us subjugated and naively enslaved, or equipped with knowledge and technology that enables us to explore the stars. We are responsible for our past and the future - alien contact and diplomacy is in our hands and our descendants' hands, so that one day they'll explore new worlds, and know how to drive a bargain, make a deal and survive, when they get there.
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