Appearing on the new Discovery Channel series, Hawking darkly cautioned:
"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all of the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach...."
Hawking's words don't get any cheerier:
"If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans." (Nor for a lot of other people we have read about, either.)
Meantime, a Republican congressional candidate in Iowa has a fail-safe scientific solution to keeping track of of illegal aliens. Microchips. Dr. Pat Bertroche, a psychiatrist who has more experience brainstorming humans than I, should be the one to explain his weird idea:
"I think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going. I actually support micro-chipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I micro-chip an illegal?"
Sorry, but that's not the newest of ideas. The nation's right-wingers have long suspected that there are shifty-looking people on the federal payroll lurking in dark alleys who have reasonable doubt about a person's legal existence and are ready to implant the magic chip.
Indeed, cybernetics might easily come into play if you observe some of those suspicious folks rising for their moments of robotic oratory in the Senate. Frank Luntz, the GOP librettist and Big Brother, has already seen to that. We will always know who you are - and where you are.