Commentary: Michio Kaku says that if extraterrestrials are smart, talking to us would be like us talking to squirrels.
Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.
We're all talk.
We think we know what we'd do in certain situations, but when those situations arise, we often react very differently.
If we were to encounter aliens, for example, we fancy we'd have a nice chat with them about sex and football.
Famed theoretical physicist Michio Kaku has another suggestion: Run.
In a recently released Big Think video, Kaku made a fetching analogy about our potential conversations with aliens.
"If you're in the forest, do you go around talking to squirrels?" he said.
Actually, I do. I find their alertness, their sprightliness and their ability to gather nuts quite fascinating.
"After a while, you get bored," insisted Kaku. "Because they don't talk back to you." They can't relate to our values and ideas, he says. Oh, I don't know. They're good savers. They like to have a good time.
Still, Kaku explained, "For the most part, the aliens are not going to be interested in us because we're so arrogant to believe that we have something to offer them."
Their technological abilities could be thousands or even millions of years ahead of ours, says Kaku. For them, we'd be just like squirrels are for us.
Kaku's solution is, therefore, that "we should not advertise our existence to alien life in outer space."
We should, instead, avoid aliens at all costs.
Will someone tell Elon Musk? He's sending a sports car up there, to show them how sexy we are.
Some have posited that extraterrestrials might be nasty, evil creatures. Stephen Hawking, for one. Kaku worries that the truth might be more mundane.
"They just may not care about us," he said, "and in the process, pave us over." Just like developers pave over land that deer like to inhabit.
His words might fall on ears that tune out such logic.
After all, there are those in, for example, Silicon Valley who believe that thanks to technology we'll soon be godlike. There are also those who are setting up churches in order to worship our (near) future robot overlords.
Isn't it likely, though, that if aliens do come and visit, they'll take one look at us and just laugh?
'Alexa, be more human': Inside Amazon's effort to make its voice assistant smarter, chattier and more like you.
Rebooting the Reef: CNET dives deep into how tech can help save Australia's Great Barrier Reef.