Dear Dr. Boli: Why are space aliens not visiting us? With all the stars in the galaxy and all the planets spinning around them, there have to be intelligent beings who have overcome the trivial difficulties of faster-than-light travel. Yet they never visit. They never even text me. Are they snobs or what? —Sincerely, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Dear Sir: It is true that the abundance of worlds in our galaxy makes it improbable that there are no other forms of life out there. They might consider it unwise, however, to get themselves mixed up with unpredictably primitive civilizations. It is likely, therefore, that something about our civilization strikes them as primitive. If we look at our planet from an outsider’s point of view, with an unbiased eye, what we notice immediately is that we still have weather. An extraterrestrial species evaluating our world for potential cultural exchange or commercial exploitation would seize on that detail as indicative of the state of our civilization as a whole. “They still have weather,” the scouts’ report would say. “Until they can get their act together and cooperate enough to implement some rudimentary meteorological planning, it is safe to assume that their planet is unprofitably and even dangerously disorganized; their culture has nothing to teach us, and a risk/benefit analysis of the commercial possibilities does not persuade us that this species could be profitably exploited.”

You should consider the possibility, however, that certain advanced extraterrestrial beings would be willing to meet suitably forward-thinking members of the human species on a private basis, subject of course to sensible non-disclosure agreements. Once you have considered that possibility thoroughly, you should show up at the Grandview Park bandstand at half past eleven tonight and bring a good Riesling. For some reason they are particularly fond of Riesling.


  1. The Shadow says:

    This sounds like a way for the advanced space aliens to empower us good and hard. I’ll pass, thanks.

  2. tom says:

    Why do they avoid us? One-word answer: Body Odor.

  3. von Hindenburg says:

    Clearly, they were on their way until NDT began emanating a vast field of Smug through our quadrant of the galaxy.

  4. KevinT says:

    The extraterrestrials were on their way nearly five decades ago, but were disabused of the notion of making contact when their instruments picked up emanations of disco music from Earth.

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