Suppose we don't meet aliens. Might we satisfy our thirst for "otherness" anyway, by widening the range of who "we" are? The greatest discovery of recent, scientific civilization has been tolerance. Inclusion of all types, races, genders of people as full citizens, contributing fresh perspectives and wisdom. That task of expansion is not complete! But already we're discussing the next phases. Incorporating intelligences that are artificial, or human variants, or uplifted animals. What are the dangers and opportunities? Explore these Big Ideas along with David Brin's assumption-shattering talk at the Smithsonian, in May 2014.
These are just the slides! For the actual talk, see:
(Note: on slideshare, many of the multi-layer and animated slides don’t flow; you’ll just have to imagine! Or come see me speak in person, some time.)