Roadside picnic

As they were announcing, a little while ago, that the Russian technology billionaire Yuri Milner  is planning a $100m project to search for extraterrestrial life, with professor Hawking on board, I was just finishing reading this book called Roadside picnic by the Russian Strugatki brothers, a SF story about a possible visit by aliens on earth and what happened after they left their mark in the so-called Zone. Besides that this is a MUST READ in a lifetime book,  here’s a small excerpt from the book, similar to what Stephen Hawking has to say about how aliens see our species ( “no more valuable than we see bacteria.”) :

“What do you think about the Visitation?….

Imagine a picnic… Picture a forest, a country road, a meadow. A car drives off the country road into the meadow, a group of young people get out of the car carrying bottles, baskets of food, transistor radios, and cameras. They light fires, pitch tents, turn on the music. In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Gas and oil spilled on the grass. Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around. Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind. Oil slicks on the pond. And of course, the usual mess — apple cores, candy wrappers, charred remains of the campfire, cans, bottles, somebody’s handkerchief, somebody’s penknife, torn newspapers, coins, faded flowers picked in another meadow.”

I see. A roadside picnic.

Precisely. A roadside picnic, on some road in the cosmos….

So does that mean they never even noticed us?”….