Grandfather, Fermi and Newcomb

I'm forming a frictionless craterous mine
For species born after us later to find
I've ordered the land to be demolished quite deep
The sides will be perfectly polished and steep.
Its contrast intense in all wavelengths of light
Will blast out a signal so intense at night...

That telescopes distant will see it and send
Their alien spaceships to search out and bend
A wormhole or two to come back to my time
And meet me right now near the front of this mine.
They'll teach me techniques from the ages elapsed
On how to defend from our planet's collapse.

But what if their wisdom tells me to desist,
From building the crater? The signal is missed,
So alien spaceships won't descend from the sky:
Then nothing will tell me to stop so will I
Continue to build? Do they come? Do we end?
A superposition of die and defend?

Or what if it works like a kind of reward?
They stash up some tech for our planet's restore,
And then add a box filled with nanotech goo;
If asked for just one, they will give us the two;
If asked for them both, then the goo self-destructs.
They'll know what we said and encode its constructs.

So maybe it's best if I don't start the mine,
And never let out any signal or sign?
Deciding and guessing what trials we will face
From data that's taken from only one race
Short circuits our neurons and saps us of will
To spread ourselves spacewards. Still, so we stay. Still.

Greg Baker 29.May.2015

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