The concept of Altruism conveys certain assumptions. The first is that altruism -- a selfless imperative to assist others without expectation of reward -- is likely to be a valued attribute among advanced technological civilizations. Moreover, it implies that humanity should strive to display this attribute in communicating with extraterrestrial life forms that may be 1E8 to1E9 years ahead of us in development. Finally, the overall topic under discussion in this series of workshops -- how to craft and send a deliberate message from Earth into space -- is based on the supposition that we can dismiss any substantial likelihood that transmitting will exposed humanity and our world to danger.
Are these assumptions warranted? Or do they reflect the personal inclinations and wishes of a narrow group, arising from a particular culture and era? Given the potentially overwhelming implications of Contact, we may be wise to reflect upon the full range of possible outcomes, not only those we yearn for. I, for one, would feel more confident in the inevitability of alien altruism if that beneficent trait appeared more often in nature.