Adam Hoffman Posted over 2 years ago Seth Shostak: ET is (probably) out there -- get ready I would just like to bring to light a point that the speaker failed to observe: should we actually observe a signal from another civilization, even if they are far more advanced than we are, that signal will have traveled thousands or millions of years before it reaches us. This means that any civilization we might find will probably be long gone before we "make contact." The communication is inherently one-way; we're not going to find our alien buddies out in Alpha Centauri or L'Asteroid B612. There's also the distinct but pessimistic possibility that the Atlantis scenario is inevitable; that is, that once a society becomes sufficiently advanced, it inevitably collapses upon itself, thereby leaving no radio waves that happen to be observable by some planet many light-years away. Maybe the speaker is counting on not living another 24 years, so he won't have to buy a couple billion cups of coffee. To be fair, I do agree that there is value in inspiring the next generation of scientists and alien hunters. And if our pale blue dot houses the only life in a universe as big as ours, it does seem like an awful waste of space.