Dear Intelligent Life,

You must be out there. Greetings from the United States. If you do exist, I am not going to waste time sending you a Beatles song. We need help.

If you do exist, I concur with most scientists in that by the time you contact us, it will be detrimental to the human race.

You are probably so sophisticated that our lifestyles will not be compatible. For every instance in history in which cultures have clashed, the less advanced of the two has seen incredible damage.

So, if you’re gonna come and contact us, at least let us finish this season of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" before doing so.

When you do arrive, you will find that this world that is plagued by incredible problems.

For all our advances as a society, you may be shocked to learn that the problems that we have faced for 200 years are nowhere close to being solved. Institutional discrimination still exists and will continue to exist. We are still fighting with each other for the same things that we have been fighting over for years.

You will also find that power lies in the hands of the elite, while millions suffer.

The rich seem to only get richer, and the poor are left unable to escape cyclical poverty. Big corporations are ripping apart our earth and polluting our streams while we continue to live in an illusion that we will not be held accountable- but that’s a separate letter entirely.

You may be shocked to learn that trivial traits, such as the color of your skin, your gender, your sexual orientation, your socio-economic status, or your set of beliefs, could be a matter of life or death.

People will tell you that you are not wanted if you are not white.

Immigrants have been blamed for corrupting a society that has been broken long before they had arrived. Prejudice still exists, in our institutions and in our culture, and is electrified by our political climate.

Fascism is on the rise, and our President passively condemns racism- although he has created a safe space for bigotry. For a society that prides itself on being progressive, we still have fundamental problems that no one seems to confront, and in many ways, we are moving backward.

So, if you are out there, perhaps you can give us some friendly advice on how to fix our pale blue dot, from one amicable kind to another.

You have to believe that for all the terrible things that are happening, there are still people that are speaking up for what is right and for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Although the agenda of fascism may be loud, it is concentrated in a minority of the population. Those who support equality outnumber the voices of the malevolent. For all injustices against humanity, there are still people fighting the good fight.

You have to believe that there will always be people of the revolution. We were here a hundred years ago, we were here 50 years ago, and we’re here now.


Sydney Solon (Human at NYU)

P.S. If you’re going to reply, maybe contact a guy like Neil DeGrasse Tyson… he is exponentially more well-rounded than a girl with a MacBook who writes for Odyssey.