Astrophysicists Warn of Aliens Hacking Earth’s Infrastructure
There is a contentious, ongoing debate over whether attempts to contact extraterrestrial civilizations are a good idea or not. For those who believe there’s already an extraterrestrial presence on Earth the argument may seem silly, but for researchers at SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, the debate over the safety of interstellar messaging is a relevant one.
A recent paper published by astrophysicists, Michael Hippke and John Learned, explores hypothetical contact scenarios with a highly advanced extraterrestrial race, providing a warning that should be heeded in the event we do make contact.
The two focus on the possibility of a hyper-advanced civilization that deploys a Bracewell probe – an autonomous interstellar probe meant to find life in the universe.
In their paper, Hippke and Learned imagine an extraterrestrial race contacts us with a probe containing artificial intelligence, a ‘galactic library,’ and the ability to learn our language. In their scenario, the existence of this AI messenger is only known to a small group of people, i.e. some government, that keeps it on the moon surrounded by remotely-controlled explosives, in the event it needs to be destroyed to prevent it from contaminating Earth.
The authors warn of the possibility the AI would be clever enough to manipulate humans to bring it to Earth and allow it greater computing capacity by offering us something we desperately desire, like a cure for cancer. It might ask for 10 percent greater bandwidth in exchange, and from there it would continue to hack into our electronic infrastructure and eventually… take over the world.
Hippke and Learned make the very prescient point that for any civilization bent on conquering Earth, this would be a far cheaper solution than sending battleships and heavy artillery.
This somewhat humorous, but entirely possible scenario is hypothetical, but it provides another reason why we should tread softly when attempting to contact civilizations with intentions entirely unknown to us. The idea of making contact with a benevolent extraterrestrial civilization has been romanticized, but if we look at our own species and our predilections for war and imperialism, would we trust us?
Searching for Life in the Cosmos
Anunnaki 101: The Ancient Gods of Sumer
Who were the Anunnaki and why do we care? The short answer is: The Anunnaki were the deity pantheon of the ancient Sumerians. And interest in the Sumerian culture has been active and persistent since it was discovered in the 19th century — for several reasons.
Who were the Sumerians?
The Sumerians appear on the archaeological record beginning around 4,500 BCE. Located in present-day Iraq, the region, a.k.a. Mesopotamia has long been referred to as “the cradle of civilization.” Sumer was a handful of city-states initially ruled by priests, each organized around a city and temple now called a “ziggurat.” The ziggurats, dedicated to Anunnaki worship, were layered pyramids with flat tops. These communities were considered to be “servant-slave” populations dedicated to serving the temple gods, the Anunnaki. Over time, priesthood rulership gave way to kings.
The Sumerians were skilled trade merchants and acquired lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, cedar from Lebanon, and gold from the Indus Valley. Their agrarian culture gave us the plow as well as “time” — the 24-hour day and 60-minute hour.