One of my colleague forwarded me an article written by Dr. Michio Kaku, physicist and author, in an interview at KurzweilAI.net that ranges from the Multiverse to "The Matrix." (Equally entertaining in its own way is the classic geek
fight in the comments attached to the interview.)
When I read the below phrases regarding how we might be able to find/recognize/communicate with extra-terrestrial if we do ever meet them, it does makes perfect sense. Ever since I was a young boy (who was addicted to Star Wars and Star Trek), I always had similar questions because it doesn't always makes sense and not plausible to think that extra-terrestrial would every be in similar size, physical form, and/or in same spectrum of intelligence.
Many people believe that they would be some what recognizable... which I have no idea why would those people who would think such a thing. I believe most of the display of so called "aliens" are drawn in such a way for entertainment reasons as well as for people to be able to relate and recognize them. Think about it. If the aliens are indeed illumination form which are not recognized by any of the human senses and not interactive with people, think of how boring it would be. Human and aliens living together without even noticing each other. You cannot make a movie nor media material with such thing!
I personally think that SETI is looking in the wrong direction. If, for example, we're walking down a country road and we see an anthill, do we go down to the ant and say, "I bring you trinkets, I bring you beads, I bring you knowledge, I bring you medicine, I bring you nuclear technology, take me to your leader"? Or, do we simply step on them? Any civilization capable of reaching the planet Earth would be perhaps a Type III civilization. And the difference between you and the ant is comparable to the distance between you and a Type III civilization. Therefore, for the most part, a Type III civilization would operate with a completely different agenda and message than our civilization.
Let's say that a ten-lane superhighway is being built next to the anthill. The question is: would the ants even know what a ten-lane superhighway is, or what it's used for, or how to communicate with the workers who are just feet away? And the answer is no. One question that we sometimes ask is if there is a Type III civilization in our backyard, in the Milky Way galaxy, would we even know its presence? And if you think about it, you realize that there's a good chance that we, like ants in an anthill, would not understand or be able to make sense of a ten-lane superhighway next door.