I am an interstellar talent scout of the Castor Moving Group Network. You may call me Glorbalorbl. My home is in the Zubenelgenubi system, a multi-star neighborhood which lies conveniently close to your home system’s ecliptic plane. As a result of this geometric convenience, us Zubenelgenubians have long been capable of analyzing your home planet using techniques like the TTV method familiar to you, and we are even fully capable of direct spectroscopic analysis of your atmosphere, but even if we were limited to your primitive methods, or limited to one star system, we would still have known about your biosphere since long before your particular species showed up on the scene, because we are a much older civilization that has migrated into the area from elsewhere in the galaxy.
We have occasionally glanced your way in curiosity since before the first campfires began dotting the dark side of your planet. Upon observing your behaviors as you developed your unique identity among the lifeforms of your world, we quickly knew that you showed a lot of promise, but also possessed many problematic qualities. As for these troublesome characteristics, you seemed apparently unable or unwilling to recognize and remedy them in as timely of a manner as we have come to expect from most species that we consider to be developing toward true intelligence.
We have long wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, noting that your home planet is as dynamic as it is beautiful. The challenges faced by the evolution of life on your world presented you with many harsh realities and many long threads of intergenerational trauma. We get it, you grew up in a tough neighborhood. You did not have the benefit of growing up slowly on a fully-stable paradise planet orbiting neatly in a flare-free band of space around a fully-convective star with an extremely long main-sequence lifespan, like my species originally did… or, in fact, like most of the intelligent species in the galaxy did.
Nonetheless, it was frustrating enough watching the constant setbacks that resulted from your stubbornly persistent myopia that we decided to stop paying much attention to what was going on over here. The last time anyone in our network took a serious peek must have been a few hundred Earth orbits ago. Upon reflection, I must say this appears to have been a significant oversight on our behalf, as you have experienced a surprising amount of change in that time interval.
During a normal shift break on a routine research mission through the local void, my colleagues and I were recreationally surfing the plasma veil on the edge of your Sun’s magnetic field when we happened upon a small craft of yours containing some cute cartoons and a record that appears to be titled “THE SOUNDS OF EARTH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLANET EARTH” – as lovers of music and recording arts ourselves, we immediately threw that shit onto the decks and put the needle down. While the sound was a little bit primitive and mostly contained what seemed to our sensibilities like under-produced source material captured from a single linear timeline, we had to admit it had some pretty good tracks on it. Even Greglorbalor the Horrible was delightedly clapping his digits at times.
As the resident talent scout on our mission, it was incumbent upon me to reach out to you. Our team quickly analyzed the current state of your common languages and colloquialisms, as well as the state of your science. Using that information I was able to write you this message, and even select a few anthems of my alien nation to share with you, which I hope you will enjoy. My home system, after all, is renowned for pumping out the phattest beats in the Orion Arm.
Now, to get more serious. Some of the things I say may feel to you like harsh criticisms, but I want you to keep in mind that if I didn’t see potential in you, I would not bother to send you this message. With that in mind, there are some things I would like you to consider. In order to apply for galactic citizenship and be liberated from your current state of quarantined containment, you are going to need to meet the following requirements:
1) You must cease your habitual engagement in avoidable conflict. This includes conflict within your own species as well as conflict between your civilization and its environment. Amongst nearly all enlightened interstellar civilizations, this is the primary measure by which the relative intelligence of a life form is established. Any civilization with a tendency toward violence, duplicity, sabotage, and ill-will is simply not considered mature enough to populate beyond their native star system. As long as you avoid making the breathtakingly obvious decision to work in harmony with the world you are a part of, then I must woefully inform you that you and your music will not be welcome at any of our public parks, or on any of our relativistic highways, or in any of our universally-acclaimed utopian garden-metropolis sanctuaries, or at any of our Galactic Music Awards ceremonies.
2) You must eliminate poverty. Mismanagement of resources is generally considered a bad sign when analyzing the inhabitants of any world. By our standards, as long as any one member of your civilization is involuntarily unable to meet their basic needs, including access to food, shelter, information, and care, the title of “intelligent” will continue to elude your species.
3) You must transmit a new collection of your best music in the direction of my home system, the star system you know as Alpha Librae, from between the longitude you call 100°W and 110°W, at the time you call 12:08 AM, on the date you call June 21, 2038. I repeat: new mixtape, right ascension 14h 52m 07.6s, declination 16°08’06.0″, at the moment of the solstice closest to your aphelion, sixteen orbits from the time of this message, and from the part of your planet facing most directly away from your Sun at the time. This isn’t an intelligence test like the other two items I have listed, I simply want a more up-to-date demo from you. We will have a receiver/transmitter in position to then distribute your message rapidly to the Zubenelgenubi system and, from there, to my colleagues in the Castor Moving Group Network.
To put it lightly, a good demo is a great first step toward building your rapport with the rest of us, and would make your application for galactic citizenship much more likely to be approved. If your demo is good, and you’ve met the other two requirements I mentioned, then we might be able to finally invite you to the party. If your application is indeed approved, you will then have access to the collective knowledge of the various networks tangling their way around the Milky Way. That includes an abundance of helpful information about travel, communication, computation, longevity, and spacetime itself, to name a few points of interest.
Good luck, Earth People.
[music by Erothyme]