We have finally found aliens!

From what we can observe, they are much more advanced than us (they probably have evolved millions of years before us!).

From our point of view, this experience is one of the things that we have longed for. There is so much that we want to learn from them!

The problem is, they are much more advanced than us. They probably have found us first, but they didn't try and communicate.

What is the reason that they did not want to communicate with us. And why would they want to communicate now?

We know very little about the aliens. We can send them a message, and safely assume that they would understand it. However, we do not know what to say!

Is there anything we could say or do to make aliens more interested in us?


closed as primarily opinion-based by wetcircuit, Josh King, Bellerophon, rek, nzaman Feb 4 '18 at 18:03

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What did humans do to get the attention of "gods"? Sacrifice innocent lives in mass ceremonies, build huge alters and monuments, change their diet, cut off the tip of every boy's penis…. There is nothing humans WON'T do, but whether or not the aliens become interested because of it is not answerable since it involves the opinions of aliens who by definition we don't know much about…. $\endgroup$ – wetcircuit Feb 4 '18 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ Hi user47431, I'm flagging this question as off-topic as it seems to be more about a story element than world building (please see How to ask). Additionally, this question is extremely opinion based - this question asks why would hypothetical, non-detailed aliens wouldn't be interested in humans and how can humans change this. If you can, please share more details on the aliens and describe how will you decide which answer is better - without that, almost any answer is equally valid, and that doesn't work well for this site. $\endgroup$ – G0BLiN Feb 4 '18 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Finally, this question is really two different questions (#1: aliens' lack of interest and #2: how to change that) - so if they can be edited to match this site criteria, it'll probably be best to split this question to two different questions. $\endgroup$ – G0BLiN Feb 4 '18 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ For some reason, this question sounds vaguely stalkerish $\endgroup$ – nzaman Feb 4 '18 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ You can offer cookies $\endgroup$ – atayenel Feb 4 '18 at 20:59

Is there anything we could say or do to make aliens more interested in us?

Starting from a first series of hypotheses that (a) there are aliens and (b) they are aware of us,

  • Step 1: determine why they don't seem to be interested in us.

  • Step 2: try changing that.

  • Step 3: wait a suitable time, which depends on alien deployment, communication technology, etc.

  • Repeat if necessary

Step 1: Yeah, why don't they seem interested in us?

Hypothesis 1: they really aren't interested in us. This might be due to any number of reasons, apart from the hypotheses being wrong (e.g. there is no interest because there are no aliens nearby, or they are not aware of us, unlikely as it may seem given all the electromagnetic and maybe neutrino squawking of the last decades).

  • they're so advanced that they're to us as we are to ants; we study ants and yet we don't try to communicate. We actually should be relieved they don't seem to be experimenting on us. To change this: we need to evolve. Already happening, but it will take time.
  • they don't believe in communication; they might be cosmic misanthropes (they're not maybe anthropoi, but we are). We would need to make us interesting, without becoming nuisances or pests better exterminated. Not knowing where the boundary is, this is a risky proposition.
  • we might not fit in their vision of the Universe. Again, we should be relieved they've not solved their cognitive dissonance the easy, genocidal way... yet. We would need to either change ourselves - if it's even possible - or change their way of thinking (see above under 'pests').

Hypothesis 2: they are interested, they just don't show that. This is in short the "Prime Directive" hypothesis.

  • they might be waiting for us to climb high enough on the Kardashev scale that contacting us won't mire them in a Fifth World assistance programs. Their leader got elected on a "Sirius First!" platform and they aren't ready to deal with, literally, illegal aliens. We need to evolve and progress, and hope they don't at that point see us as a rival or a menace.
  • they might want to see whether we survive Fermi's Great Pothole, which we dimly suspect might be there but haven't discovered yet.
  • they might be waiting for us to give way to our posthuman replacements, and believe the humane thing to do is not to tell us (this is Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End).
  • they fear to do to us what contact with more advanced polities did to too many primitive people on Earth.

Hypothesis 3: they are interested and they have shown that interest. We didn't notice.

  • they might have replied and their message hasn't arrived yet. Relativity sucks sometimes.
  • they have replied but the message wasn't tuned to us. Humpback whales are significantly pissed, though.
  • they are investigating us to determine how to contact us (do we live on the brown-green areas of the planet, or in the blue areas? Are we, too, collective plant intelligences, and if so should they help in getting rid of what seems a pesky mammal infestation? Do we produce tofacco?)
  • they have landed a boatload of nanite replicants that are actively mapping everything for archival purposes. Once they believed they really understand us, they started duplicating small portions of the Earth and simulating possible contact scenarios to determine how best to go on. This simply takes time.

Best long-term strategy

Become a united, peaceful - but not defenseless, just in case - world. Start cautiously exploring. Even if this doesn't move them to contact us, it's still a profitable and worthwhile endeavour.

  • $\begingroup$ What if hypothesis 1 is correct. Is there anything we could say (or do) to change their minds? after all this could be a huge benefit to us. But I can't think of any reason from their perspective . $\endgroup$ – user47431 Feb 4 '18 at 12:20

We respect their decision

We don't try and contact them. There are so many reasons that contact could be harmful - to them as well as us. We can't know the specific reason that they have not contacted us, but we can trust them enough to believe that there is a good reason.

Space is really, really big. There is plenty of room for us both to do our own thing.

In a few hundred thousand years - still a cosmic eye-blink - they might change their mind.

If we know they exist, and respect their decision not to form contact - we have already taken the first steps. We have looked each other in the eye, then gone back to our cell phones. Best not to appear to eager, y'know?


I would say: no. They know about us, they are clearly not interested.

If it is about their awareness about us: we are crying out loud at quite many radio frequences the last 100 years now. They would have noticed. Further, as we know, they are out there, we probably have sent some kind of a space probe that found them. If we have seen them, they would have seen us, with their advanced tech and what not. So, they know about us and they don't care.


They already are interested

In the vastness of space these aliens sought out and found humanity, the chance of this being accidental is rather low. Though their being interested and their interfering are two different matters.

In the same way that we would have a moral dilemma if faced with finding a less advanced species, do we interfere and turn their society and culture on its head quicker than any society can be expected to adapt to cleanly. Or do we sit back and observe.

Perhaps the aliens are not interested in disturbing a whole society but, possibly, they do take a few humans to study, to introduce to their society. Individuals could adapt and be returned only to sound like they've lost their minds. Perhaps these raving abductees are, in fact, slowly introducing ideas and comforts about alien life into out society so it won't be such an upheaval when they reveal themselves.

All this is to say, if your aliens are more advanced, they are in control of when they start a line of communication and we cannot make them do it. That is not, however, to say they don't want to.


A message showing that we've found them.

So far, human efforts in searching for and communicating with aliens have been a random search combined with shouting in all directions. Nothing screams immature child quite like directionless shouting. The aliens know that we exist, and might chose not to contact us to avoid interfering with our civilisation. Let the kids have their childhood.

The aliens however, might not know that we know them. They might have found us during the stone age and placed a tracker here to alert them once we reach certain technological milestones, which we for now haven't. Just because they know we're here, doesn't mean they care and are actively monitoring us. We are not a threat and they do not wish to interfere.

So we show them that we know that they know. This way the whole no-interfering-with-minor-players-idea goes out the window. Their mere existence will interfere with us no matter what, so they might as well start talking.

Or not. But it's worth a shot.


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