While the world seems to be slowly tearing itself apart, largely the result of petty politicians and While the world seems to be slowly tearing itself apart, largely the result of petty politicians and our misguided pursuit of material wealth, it is easy to think we are alone. Or, at the very least, it is easy to think we need not worry what lays beyond the clutches of Earth’s gravity, for it seems any threat from beyond would pale in comparison to what is happening right now on our planet.
This approach is simply foolish. Not only is it simple common sense to think there are other life forms out there—the universe, of which we know only a small fraction, is infinite—but there is a plethora of evidence suggesting extraterrestrials have already found us and have landed on Earth.
Up until now, contact from alien life forms has been largely passive. Individuals have snapped photos or recorded videos, but public denial and unclear footage leave this evidence largely unaccepted by the general population.
This behavior can lead us to only a few conclusions:
1) The aliens that make their way to Earth are rogue and have no connection to the civilization from which they came.
2) They are part of some reconnaissance team here to study us, find our strengths and weaknesses, and report back to their home planet to help develop an effective strategy for conquest. If they were interested in making friends, why would they hide.
We all like to think any interaction with extra-terrestrials would be peaceful, but we need to be prepared. Like the adage says, “Plan for the worst and hope for the best.” As such, it is important to look at what tools we have that could help us defend ourselves.
The internet has revolutionized human civilization. Thirty years ago it was a thing of science fiction. Today, it is practically essential for life, and few can imagine a future without it. Because
of its prominence in modern civilization, a logical question to ask is: Is the internet our best weapon against an alien threat?
The Argument for the Internet
The internet offers us a few things which could prove invaluable should we find ourselves under alien attack. Data can be stored remotely, information can be shared instantly and en masse, and people can communicate virtually anywhere.
These three things could perhaps be our best bet against aliens. Considering invaders from outer space will likely use technologies we cannot even fathom, we will have to spread out around the globe in hiding. Any attempt at retaliation will need to be coordinated across wide expanses of territories to people with vastly different forms of communication. With the internet, one could easily draft an action plan, translate it to any language and share it across the globe to organize a defensive initiative.
For this to be successful, though, we’d have to have a strong and reliable leadership network around which we could rally. Currently, the chances of this happening seem slim, but hopefully the threat of conquest or annihilation would allow humans to put aside their differences and join for a common cause.
The information sharing facilitated by the internet would also allow us to inform others of threats, spread knowledge learned about our invaders, assist people in finding shelter or resources, and much more.
While the internet could be an invaluable tool in surviving an alien threat, it’s not clear it is our best weapon. There are two key disadvantages: infrastructure and security. Although many of us might not be sure exactly how the internet works, and many more of us are aware it is not a series of tubes, it is clear the internet does not work by magic. There is a vast infrastructure in place supporting the internet, and it is more than logical aliens—who have likely been observing us for some time—would be keen to destroy this infrastructure and render it useless.
By knocking out satellites, power plants and data centers, extraterrestrial invaders could wipe out what we consider to be one of our most important resources. Fortunately, the internet depends on a wide variety of systems and is not based in just one country, so there is hope. Yet it is far from invincible. Relying on it might not be the best idea.
The next issue is security. The recent NHS attacks and the constant news about hacks into private corporations’ databases and government surveillance should remind us just how vulnerable what we do online is. Information, from browsing history to location and much more, is constantly being tracked and recorded. The response to this nowadays is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide your IP address and access the internet anonymously. Yet for this strategy to work in an alien attack, these services would need to be upgraded significantly and adopted universally — a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
When considering internet security during an alien attack, the picture looks bleak. If a species has the technology to reach us from the other side of the galaxy, they will likely have the technology to hack our web services. But humans are inventive and can adapt—just because it might be hard doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Plus, perhaps the foreign species is so advanced or has developed in such a way that they do not need an internet (they communicate telepathically, for example). In this scenario, the internet could level the playing field and help make survival that much more likely.
To summarize, the internet might just be our best weapon against an alien threat, but this depends a bit on what threat we are facing. A species drastically more advanced than our own would likely take care of us no matter what, but the internet is a powerful tool that could help us diversify our defenses and band together to fight back. However, our best weapon is probably our common human identity and our inventiveness and adaptability. Without these, no amount of communications technology will save us.
What do you think? Is the internet a valuable weapon against an alien threat? Or is it a weakness that could be easily exploited to bring about our destruction? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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- Is the Internet Our Best Weapon Against an Alien Threat? - July 20, 2017