This is why things like SETI (and arecibo for finding ETs) make no sense. I compare it to using a telescope in 1850 to look for https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_semaphore in space. The technology we have to send signals today will look completely pathetic to us when we look back on them in 50 years. Why would we expect ETs to use technology that we ourselves will abandon completely in the relative blink of an eye?
-The technology that stems from attempting to answer the problem.
-The unforeseen consequences - i.e. Maybe someday we'll reach technology that can detect signals in a more advanced way than we can currently and, through recording data from the past, have captured a signal years before that technology exists.
-How many people buy into lotteries despite having awful odds? The odds may be bad, but it's non-zero.
the technology doesn't matter, either yesterday, today or tomorrow it will still be electromagnetic waves which is what SETI is analyzing.
Or we might have moved on to laser (highly directional) or something nobody has thought of yet. I promise you we won't be using some kind of nondirectional, multi trillion watt carrier-based radio contraption that we would have to be using to be spotted by something like SETI on alien world.
Good thing if these guys would be on approximately the same stage as we are, but chances are slim. An answer from someone who knows about radio for 1000 years in much more probable than from someone who knows it for 100 years, as we do.
Meeting the technologically more more advanced European expeditions did change the lives of the natives of the Americas, probably to the better, after a few centuries — if we ignore certain details.
There are ways to receive messages that don't require the recipient to have the tech. An uncontacted tribe in the Amazon can still be reached by megaphone, or plane.
Or better yet, stay radio silent.
I wonder, does SETI look for signs of alien nuclear wars?
What a universe!
Still better than our system no doubt.
(The start of photosynthesis by cyanobacteria nearly killed all life on the planet.)
I confess these are obvious questions. I had never considered them, though. Is crazy interesting to consider.
Isn't intelligence just one particular adaptation that helps reproductive success? I'm not sure why it would be more common than flight or warm-bloodedness.
And again, I concede that these are somewhat obvious questions. My main assertion at this point is just an affirmation that I find this topic really interesting.
My point: If technological civilizations were common, we'd probably expect to have seen a few pop up in Earth's long history of life. Since it's only us, it's not likely to be more common than "one for every 3.5 billion years of life", and there's no bound how much rarer it could be than that.
21st century sci-fi: Attack of the aliens from TRAPPIST-1