I'm an optimist at heart, and that heart is well covered with many layers of rusty cynicism at having lived a small time on this rock and understanding what my species is capable of doing and then watching them do the opposite because it's good for the year over year. The universe is vast; I will make an assumption similar in breadth to yours and say that there may be enough room for the lot of us, and this goes against all the wisdom my younger years of playing RTSs have taught me. We're talking about type 3 civilizations. Stars can power civilization via Dyson swarms of some such for billions of years. I don't see any need to conquer the sector or send out evil mustachio sporting Von Neumann probes.
Look at out own imaginings of our future from the past. Our own modern civilization would seem unimaginable to our relatives of only a few hundreds of years ago. We then presume that we can somehow extrapolate our motivations and technology to envision an advanced interstellar race? Alien life may be so alien that it is quite inconceivable, forms of energy differential may exist that we cannot conceive of in our perhaps infantile theory.
The difficult situation humans face, IMHO, is that we have risen above "lesser" animals, and therefore our survival strategies, in that we have achieved self referencing consciousness and the ability to act based on abstract and irrational values rather than only survival strategies, but still have knee-jerk habitual patterns of fear of other and hyper self preservation. Oh and the newfangled ability to construct WMD. Exactly as Einstein said, we've left the cave in terms of ability to manipulate the outer environment, but haven't caught up in our value systems nor our maturity. Whether we just cannot see the forest for the trees and therefore even our modern abstractions of values and worldviews are extensions of the original survival of the fittest trait generation is to be seen but is perhaps irrelevant in that we now are capable of a conscious choice, irrational or not.
To choose to act toward the benefit of all mankind or even all sentient life may not seem rational in a closed system.
Like the prisoners dilemma, the issue is that the power to destroy is within reach of those who still have the fight and horde reaction of our ancestry.
There are reprogramming techniques that you mention: it's called Religion, Spiritualism and Philosophy; or perhaps just a damn EDUCATION as to the suffrage of our past - things not so heavily respected in consumer culture, and unfortunately when mentioned, the majority of these seem to have been created with and populated by people driven with the same motivations that lead to short term gains at the cost of long term evolution. Just my 2 cents. I'll go back to doing whatever stereotypical behavior that will marginalize my opinion.
Actually, it depends on what tradition of Buddhism the practitioner follows, their personal path, his or her Guru or Teacher (if they have one), that guru's teaching style, and not least of all the individual's personality and life situation. I spent five years as a live-in volunteer at a Buddhist center where I practiced and received traditional training and met many Buddhists of many types, with and without cell phones; simple westerners that were ordained monks and Tibetan Rinpoches who drove Mercedes.
The idea that a Buddhist is some Vietnamese guy with saffron robes and a shaved head chanting "Ommm" all day is not quite in touch with reality. I am not directing this at you personally but at your posts blasé answer: I have found in my conversations that the majority of people who voice any opinion about Buddhism have gleaned their learning from pop culture and suffer greatly from the root cause of samsara: ignorance.
It seems like every day on the front page is another story of how some gov't or corporation or religious group is trying - and succeeding - to destroy free speech. I just can't grok how stupid and greedy people are that they will stifle one of the greatest ideals in the world because they are offended/moremoneymoremoney/think of the children! C'mon people, the more you can deal with reality the more you can grow and learn. Censorship breeds weak minded individuals.
I'm not trying to troll but I'm so damn tired of people that can't even imagine that they might be wrong and that their values might possibly not be The Supreme Laws of the One True God For Real Cuz He Told Me So. Freedom of speech and press is the only light keeping the dark of ideological slavery and hermetically sealed ignorance at bay.
I hope live to see the day that there is cheap spaceflight and the people that can deal with reality the opposite opinions without knee-jerk animistic reaction can go terraform of the Moon or Mars. I'll leave this planet to the ideologues to enslave and go practice free speech somewhere else.
/rant. It was a shitty day at the wage slave factory, so forgive me. Or not.