Yesterday's big news was all about Stephen Hawking's warning against seeking out aliens. Why? Because they're likely to turn out to be Space-Vikings intent on stealing our land and pillaging our women! Or something like that.

Click the image to see the story.

The opposite view is that any species advanced enough to travel interstellar distances will have needed to learn cooperation on a massive scale, would have survived internal conflicts long enough to do so, and would have likely passed through the technological Singularity. What do you think?

[Poll #1556972]


From: [identity profile]

It's ripe for speculation...

.. for while it is true that they would need to know cooperation on a massive scale--it's also probably true that this cooperation was probably massively employed to dominate their own planet and all other species on it to a level that we've not achieved.

So.. are we going to be pets or pests?

Personally--if they show up--and they don't like us.. we're boned. They will just drop rocks on us from space and wait for us to die off.. then colonize and mop up any remaining pesky hairless apes.

From: [identity profile]

Re: It's ripe for speculation...

I suspect that most ecology-dominating species rose to the top via winning the survival competition game. And the most-intelligent species are usually predators versus gentle herd animals....

From: [identity profile]


.. that's my general view..

Overall--I'm surprised/pissed off that we haven't had more honest movies about alien encounters where they just drop rocks ont he planet.

I mean, it seems like a really fucking simple thing to do. You have the technology to travel between stars--but cannot grab 100 ton asteroides and put them in your mass driver???

I call lack-of-imagination-bullshit...

From: [identity profile]

Re: yes...

The nice thing about this scenario (from an invader's POV) is that the rocks will use up the natives' long-range weapons and slowly degrade their capability for unified resistance.

*is creeped out*

From: [identity profile]


.. and, in addition, they can be used strategically to set off various fault lines--thereby causing more initial damage to the pesky hairless apes, while also removing these threats from the invaders worries for a while after they move in....

From: [identity profile]

Space Jehovah's Witnesses. Just as obnoxious but MUCH harder tog et off your doorstep.

From: [identity profile]


If we are lucky.. otherwise they'll just see us as tetrapod roaches...

From: [identity profile]

...and they can't leave until everyone on Earth tells them to go.

From: [identity profile]

I can see his point about being cautious. I'd rather veer on the side of caution than tell everyone where the homeland is and they end up being something nasty. I wouldn't presume to describe what exactly an alien species would be like, however.

From: [identity profile]

Being cautious and even preparing would have side-benefits, too, like being able to deal with biosphere-killing asteroids.

From: [identity profile]

The only true first-contact model we have is ourselves--and look how things turned out for the Native Americans. Sure, aliens will show up pretending to be our buds, and then they'll exile us all to...New Jersey. Calcutta. Siberia. Someplace like that. It's not looking good, is all I can say.

I kinda hate to think of it that way, especially given my hopes for peaceful and mutually beneficial contact, but skepticism is probably more called for on this matter. ::sad::

From: [identity profile]

Exactly. I wrote a book about this (one I hope to revise one day...), because we're quite a model for how we interact with aliens: In every single case throughout history, the aliens and natives end up fighting, and it's usually the natives who lose.

From: [identity profile]

You forgot the other options:

They are already here and living among us.

They stopped by eons ago and found us uninteresting and our planet of no use. They might come back once we've finished off all this pesky carbon-based life form garbage and each other.

They made us, and this is just one big lab experiment.

From: [identity profile]

All these scenarios are just as likely, I'd say! In fact, your last suggestion fits well with ancient myths and religions.

From: [identity profile]

Yep, I'm a fan of Zecharia Sitchen's books.

Edit. sp error
Edited Date: 2010-04-27 05:42 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile]

I'd guess that given the range of environments in which creatures can survive on this planet, it's entirely possible that creatures from other solar systems wouldn't be able to survive on Earth, even with massive life support--too hot or cold or windy or wrong atmosphere or gravity or whatever. I rather like John Christopher's Tripod trilogy, but I always wondered why the Masters wanted to go to all that trouble of "terra"forming Earth to their specifications, as the planet was otherwise completely unsuitable.

From: [identity profile]

Oh, I hear you. I think Hawking was talking about resources more than anything else: Take our stuff and move on. Like the Vikings, only more nomadic.

From: [identity profile]

Who knows what the aliens will find useful? They're alien. For all we know, they'll want carbon dioxide or PCBs or tetraethyl lead and we'll end up with a repaired ozone layer and clean Great Lakes.

From: [identity profile]

Ticky boxes: Good.

Complaint box: good.

Lack of cats: very bad, as they will be our salvation from the alien menace. Or they are the aliens.

From: [identity profile]

How could I have forgotten?

Forgive your humble servant, oh Cat in Excelsis Deo!

From: [identity profile]

Let us assume that there is an alien intelligence that doesn't choke on its own pollution, nuke itself out of existance, or get bogged down in a war of all against all even before reaching nuke stage of technology because it has no self-control. Or maybe just didn't spend so much money on their military that their major industrial powers went broke.

Let us then assume that these aliens don't go the other extreme and become a bunch of peaceful Bhuddists and Taoists sitting around meditating or fishing.

Let us then assume that they aren't hit by an asteroid or wiped out by some other natural disaster because they were too short-sighted to take precautions.

And that they have found ways to bridge interstellar space in a scientifically and economically viable fashion and yet lack the technology to make their own world sustainable.

Thus, while I find the idea of any alien species fitting this description highly unlikely, if they make it here, they are probably smarter and more peaceful than we are, and they probably came out of curiousty rather than need, there is one more thing to consider.

Most of the resources they might need from Earth, such as water, fuel, atmospheres, can be found or processed from raw materials found on Saturn, Titan, Jupiter, the Jovian moons... they wouldn't have to bother fighting or even bargaining with us at all.

From: [identity profile]

This is pretty much my point of view, and I hope it's true!

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