Good Vibes

The year I graduated from high school, the USA sent Pioneer 10 into space along with directions for finding us, should any aliens want to meet us. Assuming that aliens could tell that the naked creatures waving from the picture were the ones who made the craft bearing the message, we hoped that they might friend us and send back pictures of themselves — or maybe even visit.

Back in 1972 we were pretty much open to anything, except for people over thirty, whom we did not trust. The Peace Movement and the Summer of Love had left a sticky imprint on our national consciousness. We grew up to be Boomers, who don’t trust anyone under thirty. Though we are now lawyers and doctors and conservative talk show hosts, at heart we still believe that if we would all just make love, not war, everything would be groovy.

Stephen Hawking is enough older than me that he evidently never experienced Peace, Love and Understanding. Obviously he never turned on, tuned in or dropped out. In his uptight grown-up mind, humans are not naturally peaceful and full of good vibes. He has said, “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”

As for transmitting good vibes to aliens, he thinks we’re asking for trouble. More

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