Yes, I would want to accept. But I would miss my family horribly. I would have a series of questions for them before I agreed to go:
- Find out if they have any books entitled “To Serve Man”
- Can they make sure my loved ones will be happy and taken care of after I leave? Can they make a better clone version of me? Can it have all of my memories and qualities my wife loves but not be a career-obsessed asshole so often? At a minimum, can it be exactly like me and my wife not notice?
- Can I have a clone of my family, at least in some super real simulation?
- Can you get updates on the progress and lives of loved ones back on Earth?
- Why me?
- Will I be able to help this civilization by providing some human insight or ability – or will I just be a vivisected lab rat?
- Can you explain any advanced knowledge on spirituality, consciousness, etc. as an aid in my decision?
- What will it be like socially for me there?
- What will change in me physically/mentally when I start eating and drinking differently? Am I going to live longer?
- Why can’t I come back?
- Er… sex? I mean, I am from a primitive species after all.
- Entertainment? Is there X-Box 8,000,000?
Start by realizing just how far beyond our wildest imagination a Level 3 civilization would be.
On the Kardashev scale, Level 1 is control over all the energy available on a particular planet, Level 2 is control over all the energy generated by a star, and Level 3 is energy on the scale of a galaxy. Level 3 is billions of times more than Level 2, which is billions of times more than Level 1, which is a stage we have not yet reached.
A level 3 civilization would be so far beyond our developmental level that anticipation of what was to be discovered is little more than speculation. The technology would have the quality of magic and the level of understanding that our neurology and psychology could bring to bear would be wholly insufficient.
Just the fact that such a civilization is giving you a choice tells you something about them. Unless of course, they are having a little joke. But apparently, they respect consciousness so profoundly that they will modify their own behaviour at the whim of someone who is bacterium-like in comparison to themselves.
When I say “bacterium-like,” I am of course exaggerating. The disparity will be exponentially greater. A human being is much closer to a bacterium than a Level 3 civilization would be to us. Remember, their energy consumption is billions of billions of times all the energy on earth. A culture manipulating those kinds of resources would have a reach covering about 100,000 light-years (the diameter of the Milky Way). For comparison, the distance from the earth to Pluto is about four light hours.
Imagine a mind, or a society, able to take actions across that distance, factoring in the time-shifts due to relative speeds, the multi-dimensional mechanics, the million-year lags in travel and communication times, etc, and you are starting to picture the kind of immensity a Level 3 culture would have to have. And then picture a representative of that society or whatever it is, that thing, stopping by to make you this offer. Even if you are genetically not all that different (no matter how infinitesimally small chance that is), it is still kind of amazing that they would bother. It might almost be easier for them just to take the entire earth and put it in their zoo, without us perhaps even noticing than to come here and have a conversation with you. And then to offer you the choice of going along or staying!
So with all that in mind, I think the right decision would be to ask them, what do you recommend?
I might expect to be paraded around like the first Africans and Native Americans brought back to Europe. Without all the overt racism of course. A prized member of the alien zoo. I would expect the aliens to go ooh and aah, wave their tentacles excitedly, and squirt icky juices whenever I showed up. I would try to get used to eating alien dishes that tasted like polyps and spiders, but I would also expect some of them to make the effort to learn and prepare food that earthlings like to eat. I would expect to be housed in palatial quarters, with an Olympic swimming pool, gym, sauna, bar, billiard lounge, bowling alley, conservatory, movie theatre, library, a staff to clean, cook, and do laundry, and the on-call massage services of expert tentacleers.
I would expect to take part in genetic and reproductive experiments, but only with my permission. If they wanted to modify me to breathe their foul atmosphere and live for several hundred years, that would be fine. If they succeeded in creating a human-alien hybrid that had two arms, two legs, 38 pairs of tentacles and a helmet-shaped head with a beak and 20 eyes, I might acknowledge paternity but I would tell everyone that it takes after my wife’s side of the family.
I would expect to have high-speed access to the Intergalactic Web, so I could catch up on stuff that happened on Earth 1300 years ago and check out the alien celebrity news, like when the Alien Queen laid a new batch of eggs or was spotted getting out of a low-slung transport saucer without undies on. I could get by with a direct feed of Discovery channel and Sci-Fi channel if I had to limit myself. I would insist on continuing to receive my monthly subscription to Scientific American.
It would be an impossibly strange lifestyle overall, and not without intense moments of loneliness and regret despite all the perks, but endlessly fascinating and full of discovery.
But who knows my primitive squishy brain may not be able to even conceptualize what it is like. Almost assuredly it would be beyond belief.
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