Video - Is "Active SETI" really a good idea?

Should we try to contact aliens or wait for extraterrestrials to contact us?

David Brin - scientist and best-selling author - recently criticized the decision to change SETI policy, from listening for signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence to actively transmitting a message into space. "In the past we've always assumed that any extraterrestrial civilization with the capacity to detect us will automatically take the initiative to make contact, sending us a powerful signal to let us know they exist, but there may be civilizations out there that refuse to reveal their existence, unless we make it clear that we want to make contact," said Douglas Vakoch of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, and a leading proponent of "Active SETI". So, should we use our most powerful radio transmitters to send messages in the direction of the nearest stars? According to physicist Stephen Hawking, the signals could attract the "bad" kind of aliens. He imagines that our first contact with extraterrestrials could be like the Native Americans' first contact with Europeans... "which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans," in Hawking's words.
The 1,000 ft (305 m) Arecibo radio telescope, in Puerto Rico, is the world's largest single-dish radio telescope. It was made famous by Hollywood films like GoldenEye and Contact. Should we really be shouting at the Cosmos with this bad boy?
David Brin agrees with this vision, and thinks that it's better to lie low. Maybe the reason we haven't been hearing radio traffic from aliens is because "they know something we don't know." He also wants a wider discussion of the potential risks and benefits with this new SETI policy. And no, it is not too late to stay silent: even military radars and television signals appear to dissipate below interstellar noise levels within just a few light years, as proved in a recent scientific paper. They would certainly be far less visible than a directed beam from any of Earth's radio telescopes, and by many orders of magnitude. Brin agrees that the SETI scientific listening program is important and worthwhile... but transmitting? Do check out the video below!