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So I was watching (without sound) clips from the new ABC show "V" and all the sudden I had a really interesting thought.
For those who are totally unaware of "V", it's a show where aliens suddenly reveal themselves to Earth, and say that they're friendly and we should all hang out. Obviously, they're lying, but that's not the point of this. From the clips I was watching I noticed the one attractive woman was the spokesperson of the aliens. She was doing the TV interviews, she was the giant face on the spaceship -- she was our first look at alien life.
And it made me think -- that's a huge deal. Now, I know (and if you'd like to know, you can look it up...) that on the show, she's not exactly what she seems, but this isn't a discussion about the show. Let's say these aliens DO look humanoid. How did they settle on the hot chick? Do they put that to the vote? Is she the leader, and they're just lucky they have a hot leader? What would humans think if the leader looked like former baseball player Otis Nixon, and his giant face was looking down at us from the sky? What if it was someone who looked like Janet Reno? What if it was the traditional grey looking alien?
Obviously humans were much more welcoming of the aliens because she was hot. She looked like us, and was attractive, so everything was cool. I'd be willing to be if she looked like a grey alien we would have shot her out of the sky instantly.
So this is what has led me to my question. It's not about how we'd react to different looking aliens - it's about what WE would do.
Let's say we've discovered a planet like Earth, with all these people living on it. These aliens look close enough to human that we could blend right in. We're going to say "hello" for the very first time, as Earth. Not the United States. Not England. Not China. But as Earth we've all decided to open dialogue and try to make this new planet - that is totally unaware of us - our friends.
Who do we send to give the first impression? What factors into that decision?
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