If aliens from another solar system visit Earth, they will probably not ask for water or trees or say we taste good, as some TV movie plots proposed. They will probably not want to take over the planet because theirs is dying. They would probably come here to study us for anthropology interests. They might study our science, music, and philosophy. They would probably not overtly contact us because that would impact our lives.

For science, they might be amused that Benjamin Franklin experimented with electricity and got it backwards. He thought that the current came out of what he called the plus side and traveled back into his battery on the negative side. Because of that, we say that electrons have a negative charge. When Jeff Goldblum hooked his laptop up to the network on the mother ship in the Independence Day movie, of course he used the Universal Serial Bus (USB port), but how did he have the correct polarity?

Would the aliens be impressed with the Rubik’s Cube?

Would the aliens appreciate our music? Would they have musical scales such as ours? Would they recognize the 12th root of 2 for the ratio between our notes in an octave to double the frequency between that same note in adjacent octaves? Would they enjoy our greatest composers?

Earth philosophy has many topics for the aliens to study. One concept they might study is “Hell”. They might see that Hell is a slack variable invented by the earthlings. When solving a system of simultaneous equations, we need equations, not inequalities such as 2x + 3y < 10. We transform such inequalities to an equation by adding a slack variable, to take up the “slack”. Our equation would be 2x + 3y + dummy = 10. The excess would be absorbed by the dummy variable.

This can be applied in human conflicts. Hell can be seen as a slack variable to take the place of revenge. We do not have to waste our time going after someone who offended us because we can trust that God will take care of them for us and we can get on with our lives. An example of wasting your life getting revenge is the Wright brothers, who invented the airplane (that is what they called the wing, the whole thing they called the flyer). They made no progress when they wasted all their time going after everyone who violated their patents. That is partially why the French took over a lot of aviation progress and we now use French words for nacelle, empennage, fuselage, helicopter, etc.

Perhaps the aliens could see that peaceful people are much more productive and happier than those who focus on vengeance.