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A New Title on Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Just a quick note for today as I finish up tomorrow’s long post. But I did want you to be aware of this new title, Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Academic and Societal Implications, which has connections with recent topics and will again tomorrow, when we discuss a new paper from Jason Wright and SETI colleagues on technosignatures. As with the recent biography of John von Neumann, I haven’t had the chance to read this yet, but it’s certainly going on the list. The book is out of Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Here’s the publisher’s description:

What are the implications for human society, and for our institutions of higher learning, of the discovery of a sophisticated extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) operating on and around Earth? This book explores this timely question from a multidisciplinary perspective. It considers scientific, philosophical, theological, and interdisciplinary ways of thinking about the question, and it represents all viewpoints on how likely it is that an ETI is already operating here on Earth. The book’s contributors represent a wide range of academic disciplines in their formal training and later vocations, and, upon reflection on the book’s topic, they articulate a diverse range of insights into how ETI will impact humankind. It is safe to say that any contact or communication with ETI will not merely be a game changer for human society, but will also be a paradigm changer. This means that it makes sense for human beings to prepare themselves now for this important transition.

Important indeed, but how demoralizing to see another title at a stiff tariff: £63.99 (that’s about $84 US). I will spare you my thoughts on the academic side of publishing, and in the meantime see if I can get a review copy, as I assume most Centauri Dreams readers aren’t going to want to pony up this amount for a book they know little about (although if you live near a good academic library, this one should turn up there).

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