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#26 2004-09-08 09:11:11

Gennaro
Member
From: Eta Cassiopeiae (no, Sweden re
Registered: 2003-03-25
Posts: 591

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

What if intelligent life is fairly common but for whatever reason we're the most technologically advanced in this galaxy? What if we really are the oldest sentient species in the universe? Someone has to be first, and it would explain a few things.

Perhaps we are the invaders some other emerging civilization has nightmares about.[/quote:post_uid0]

I believe everyone has toyed with this thought at one time or another. After all, our star is no newcomer either. It's been around for over a third of the age of the universe and only now has it developed critical levels of intelligence.
But then again there are still places like this, twice our age and even more suited for life, at least in terms of heavy elements:

http://www.solstation.com/stars/dpavonis.htm

Frankly I think it's a mistake to assume other sentient beings elsewhere in the cosmos are as disgruntled and violent as humankind has tended to be.  It seems to also indicate a desire to justify our behaviors (ala "everyone else does it!").  Maybe the galaxy's psychos are right *here* (I'll exclude myself, though...thanks).[/quote:post_uid0]

Yeah, on the other hand it seems safe to assume that natural selection plays its part everywhere, which would imply that their background is about as violent as ours, give or take. It's all about whether the spirit at some point manages to break away from nature and its fundamental characteristic which is struggle.

Some more considerations on the 'impactor warfare' scenario, which in any event will require a huge energy investment. It's apparent it would only be useful against intelligence not yet having achieved starflight. Where are they to launch it from, the Kuiper Belt? We'll control it in the future, spot them and take action. If anything 'we cannot allow an impactor gap!' Do it against a medival society? They won't be dangerous for another thousand years and no foreign policy survives that long. In other words, cosmically speaking, the psychos will have to locate us within an terribly small time window.
In addition, if they are reasonably independent individuals, they would also need to muster the political will to do it. Maybe the interstellar equivalent of a neocon regime could be heartless enough to persuade its witless citizens of such a 'pre-emptive' monstrosity, but for how long would the regime remain in place?

Third. As sentience spreads out from a central point of origin, due to the immense distances and communication lags involved, political control will only extend so far. In regard to a central power at least, a policy of mandatory destruction of alien life seems quite impossible to maintain over lightyears and centuries, again provided we deal with individuals.
For instance, I entertain no expectation that humans on 82 Eridani will take any decisions based on Terran leadership. It simply takes too long for orders to get through, neither would they in a material sense depend upon Sol.

The Eridanians will have their own little empire for sure and be less integrated in the affairs of the greater humanity than a far off Corinthian colony or a medieval feudum.[/color:post_uid0]

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#27 2004-09-08 13:24:19

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Human evolution has taken a very long time.  I doubt that Star Trek is correct and that we are the ones with the most advanced technology in the galaxy.
[/quote:post_uid0]

Of coarse the hypothetical aliens have more advanced technology, if they did not, they would not be able to wipe out humanity.  The key is the rate of technological advancement.  Human technology has been advancing very quickly, and if left unchecked it may eventually surpass the technology level of the hypothetical aliens.

Some more considerations on the 'impactor warfare' scenario, which in any event will require a huge energy investment.[/quote:post_uid0]

Yes, but can you suggest a method of interstellar war that would require a smaller energy investment?

It's apparent it would only be useful against intelligence not yet having achieved starflight. Where are they to launch it from, the Kuiper Belt? We'll control it in the future, spot them and take action. If anything 'we cannot allow an impactor gap!' Do it against a medival society? They won't be dangerous for another thousand years and no foreign policy survives that long. In other words, cosmically speaking, the psychos will have to locate us within an terribly small time window.
[/quote:post_uid0]

They would launch the impactors directly from their home system (no need to slow down at the Kuiper belt).  As an additional finesse, they might use the galactic magnetic field for thrustless turning so that the impactors could not be traced back to the home system.  It should still be effective against civilizations with a basic interstellar travel capability.  The impactors would take decades or centuries to reach their targets, which is all the more reason to launch early, before the threat grows to large.  They could already be on their way.

I think that most likely there is not a doomsday missile headed for us right now, but it is not a possibility that can be completely discounted.[/color:post_uid0]

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#28 2005-03-10 22:34:55

Admiral_Ritt
Member
From: Imperial Capital of the Pacifi
Registered: 2005-03-09
Posts: 64

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Probability Assesment:

1) One Sentient-technological Species in our galaxy
co-existing with our w/simliar tech levels.  1%

2) One species is much older and mature and has no
use for humans, meaning they would not interact 19%

3)  A sentient Tech species that has a very slow rate of evolution and has a very conservative society.   And
a very stable & safe star-planet home.   This is the most likely
possibility for contact.   These beings would plan in terms of
centuries and ACT at the speed of millenia.  25%

4) probability that we currently alone in the Galaxy 55%

If aliens exist
Would they be hostile?  If they thought us a threat, Yes.[/color:post_uid0]

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#29 2005-03-11 15:25:58

Trebuchet
Member
From: Florida
Registered: 2004-04-26
Posts: 419

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The main mistake all of the "aliens will be peaceful/mature/whatever" side of the argument is making is that they seem to be assuming that ALL members of an alien species will not view it as beneficial to wipe out humanity. Whether the aliens as a whole are violent or not is entirely immaterial. All you need is an alien Osama or General Jack D. Ripper to unleash hell.

That makes

Third. As sentience spreads out from a central point of origin, due to the immense distances and communication lags involved, political control will only extend so far.[/quote:post_uid0]more a liability than any help. You only need *one* small group of aliens with vastly superior technology to annihilate large numbers of comparative primitives such as ourselves. Call it the Law of Cortez, because it's the main danger.

It's human nature to unconsciously assume that individuals in a foreign culture act as a monolithic mass. We've largely managed to remember this isn't true - on Earth - but we really need to remember that aliens will be just as contentious a lot, and have their own factions, internal struggles, religious disputes/fundies, and the like.[/color:post_uid0]

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#30 2005-03-15 08:39:25

Gennaro
Member
From: Eta Cassiopeiae (no, Sweden re
Registered: 2003-03-25
Posts: 591

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

All you need is an alien Osama or General Jack D. Ripper to unleash hell.[/quote:post_uid0]

Or a President Bush? :;):

I agree. Nature is competition, evolution is conflict, this must be the same everywhere.

In order not to destroy themselves, the hope for mankind and all sentient species must consequently exist in eventually overcoming and distancing themselves from nature and natural evolution, yes?
Which of course is not the same as being blind to the existential limits set up by nature, failing to accomodate oneself to it or being victims of false presumptions about the 'nature of nature'. One such false meme is one of the main reasons why western civilisation is currently going down in flames, in my opinion - namely the idea that if only processes are natural, they are somehow 'good'.

Or as "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" once put it: all civilisations go through three distinct phases marked by three fundamental questions: "what to eat?", "why do we eat?" and "where should we have lunch?".

The current shift from western civilisation to a afro-muslim one could be viewed as a natural process could it not? A weaker race being defeated by a stronger competitor breaking in and taking over control of resources, this time thanks to a fundamental lack of collective psychological immunal resistance. Maybe two thousand years after the white man has ceased to exist, the triumphant part of humanity will have changed enough to make another attempt at the stars? Or maybe it will not.

Hopefully, the Sino-Japanese will endure when we become extinct.[/color:post_uid0]

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#31 2005-03-15 12:50:15

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#810541:post_uid6]*Why worry about hostile aliens from outer space?  And the time it takes for radio transmissions to travel over those very long, very vast distances? 

200,000 light years is "near," cosmologically speaking.  If it takes just that long for a radio (or other) transmission to reach a planet populated with intelligent species we [b:post_uid6]might[/b:post_uid6] have a worry on our hands.

Then there's the issue of:

a) Did they understand that this is a transmission from intelligent beings from another system
b) Do they have space-travel capability?

Mankind has possessed intelligence for a lot longer than we've had spaceflight capabilities.

This is, IMO, akin to fear of ghosts, cemetaries, monsters, etc.  Why do we fear those things when, besides acts of nature, the only truly inimical threat to ourselves is...[b:post_uid6]ourselves[/b:post_uid6]?

That's why the human mind has created phantoms, invisible menaces and monsters, IMO:  It's projection (of blame/intent) and denial:  "We can't be [i:post_uid6]that[/i:post_uid6] bad, it must be something else."  Sure, go tell that to the Holocaust victims.

And by the time a radio transmission might be intercepted, decoded and responded to (here they come), the human race might have died off naturally or have moved elsewhere in the cosmos by then.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid6]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#32 2005-03-15 14:14:48

Alexander Sheppard
Member
Registered: 2001-09-23
Posts: 178

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Well, a number of basic points here I think are worthy of consideration about aliens. Its very difficult to know what kind of form an alien intelligence would take. This is because any time a group of life forms becomes aware of its enviornment and itself and the laws of physics and so on, a short time later, assuming they haven't destroyed themselves, they'll gain the capability to modify their own intelligences. Intelligence is very complicated, but it isn't so complicated nobody can ever hope to understand it.

Now, once you start modifying intelligence, and I think humans will begin doing this within the next twenty years due to neuropharmacology and so on [though that is a low level of modification], then in a time that is pretty quick compared with the lifetime of the civilization, it gets transformed into something extremely different. Nobody has too much idea what. But chances are it would look nothing like ET. You might find that the natural sizes of the "individuals" in such a system would be very large, so you would have one "person" operating huge numbers of bodies doing all sorts of tasks at the same time. Its very hard to tell what these "people" would be like. Guessing is probably sort of like a chimpanzee trying to guess human motives, perhaps about bananas.

I tend to think that aliens would be so far advanced that any attempt to disguise ourselves would fail utterly [although being cautious is not a bad idea anyhow]. If I was an alien civilization, the first thing I'd probably do with my huge resources is build a truly enormous telescope using interferometry and start mapping the universe to see what was going on.[/color:post_uid0]

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#33 2005-03-15 15:08:54

Gennaro
Member
From: Eta Cassiopeiae (no, Sweden re
Registered: 2003-03-25
Posts: 591

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

That's why the human mind has created phantoms, invisible menaces and monsters, IMO:  It's projection (of blame/intent) and denial:  "We can't be that bad, it must be something else."  Sure, go tell that to the Holocaust victims.[/quote:post_uid0]

Well, that's precisely the point. Since we come from the same place they will be no strangers to genocide.

However, it won't be important for them in relation to us, since they need not compete with us for mating opportunities or material resources (space is big, blah, blah, blah...). This in addition to not having been able to get that far had they not entered a post-darwinst stage in the first place.

Alexander Sheppard, thought provoking post. Multiple bodies per individual, hm...
smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#34 2005-03-25 07:09:47

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Prudent or Paranoid ? - Have radio transmissions doomed Man ?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Ok. Now we have concluded that the Roswell Grey is evolved from a species of rat, on account that the human race will wipe itself out and only the rats will be left to move up the evolutionary ladder, how can we discount the possibility that the monsters that the mind sees are real?
Science may yet do things to the human race that are beyond our reasoning or comprehension. If I turned you inside out from a dimensional perspective and you somehow survived, how would you look? Would my mind be screaming at the sight of something functioning in inverse dimensions because all I could see were monsters.[/color:post_uid0]

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