Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
I throw this one out to you. Only one person can speak for us, and the aliens have arrived. It has to be a living person. But who? There is somebody out there, man or woman, wandering the high plains, who is eminently qualified. Somebody who can explain the human condition, and speak for us. Unfortunately, I’m stuck here in my frame of reference. That will shape my recommendations.
So let's start by breaking it down; politician, elder statesman, a military leader, celebrity, scientists, philosopher or an artist?
Let’s be clear, none of the current batch of politicians appeals. Trump is unqualified by lacking grace or a unifying view. He’d insult the aliens; claim he’s got a bigger spaceship or ask can they regrow his hair.
Likewise, Putin is a cold-war warrior, who still operates in that mindset and Xi is an unknown quantity. Angela Merkel is no better. Teresa May, the UK Prime Minister can’t even represent Britain. Anyway, I’d be uncomfortable having a politician. They'd bring all sorts of complications to the process. You don’t want them ranting about their policies. Thus, for me, all politicians are off the list. Let’s move on.
If we are going with a former leader, Jimmy Carter ticks a few boxes. He’s grown in stature since stepping down as president and has a broad worldview. I wouldn’t cross him off my list.
Next up we have a religious figure. Again which one? The Pope and the Dalai Lama would each raise objections from certain quarters. Many see the Pope complicit in the suppression of women, and other nastiness. Religion can be a divisive subject. I doubt we’d get any consensus.
A celebrity or figure of renown may be a more compelling ambassador. Malala has the gravitas. She is wise beyond her years and strikes me as someone who enunciates well on the human condition. Morgan Freeman is likewise an option. He’s balanced in his worldview and a thoughtful man. Don’t forget he’s already played, God.
Prof. Stephen Hawkins asserts that we should avoid contact with aliens. He cites the lessons from human history. When the Europeans ventured to South America, it didn’t work out good for the indigenous population. In no time, diseases and warfare destroyed their societies. History records many similar happenings. Hence, we may want to send a military man. He could lay out our concerns, then make the appropriate threats “Bugger off.”
Assuming the aliens have landed with peaceful intent and had their shots, we should proceed with a conversation. In that case, I'm leaning towards an educated person of standing. A couple of people come to mind. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist, is wise, scientifically-literate and has a grasp of the challenges at hand. Moreover, he’s an excellent communicator.
David Attenborough is in the same league. While Tyson excels in the stuff in space, Attenborough is more earth-centric. Either would be a compelling choice.
Prof Christine Korsgaard, the moral philosopher, would be ideal if we seek to educate the aliens about our metaphysical views. Amongst other things she has contributed much thought to the status of animals and how we treat them. I’m guessing that the aliens may want to understand our relationship with other organisms. Korsgaard is well placed to explain that aspect.
If we are looking for someone to tell the human condition in all its vagaries, complexities and nuances, then I offer Prof Jordan Peterson. The Canadian clinical psychologist has such a broad understanding of our woes, and strengths, he’d be perfect. For warts and all picture, Peterson is your man. Of course, the SJWs would object because they don’t see the world through a rational lens.
Finally, could I be pursuing the wrong choices? Would any ordinary person be adequate for the role? After all, that’s what could happen. With a remote area landing, that first contact could be with anybody, including a moody adolescent or the village idiot. Which circles back to Trump.
Any thoughts on who it should be?
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.