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(SeattlePI)   'Please help' and the 8 other things Earthlings want to say to extraterrestrials ... Turns out, we're a fairly self-obsessed bunch   (blog.seattlepi.com) divider line 120
    More: Interesting, earthlings, SETI Institute, Tim Lower, University of Alaska  
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5351 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2013 at 12:17 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-10 01:28:41 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-10 01:32:05 PM  

miniflea: Almost every time one human culture encounters another, the more technologically advanced one destroys the less technologically advanced one.  If we encounter aliens similar enough to us to allow us to communicate or even have any common frame of reference (unlikely) and the aliens are the ones visiting us instead of the other way around, well.... there's no reason to believe that it won't happen to us.


That would only happen if we, or the earth itself, had something that they needed. Otherwise they would just do a flyby and determine we are too primitive to even be of any interest to them. To me, I think the latter would be the case most of the time, since mastering interstellar travel is far more difficult than harvesting resources.
 
2013-04-10 01:33:31 PM  
Don't panic.
 
2013-04-10 01:38:05 PM  
Turns out your moms a fairly obsessed bunch
 
2013-04-10 01:38:44 PM  
Bring a towel.
 
2013-04-10 01:39:03 PM  

Cymbal: miniflea: Almost every time one human culture encounters another, the more technologically advanced one destroys the less technologically advanced one.  If we encounter aliens similar enough to us to allow us to communicate or even have any common frame of reference (unlikely) and the aliens are the ones visiting us instead of the other way around, well.... there's no reason to believe that it won't happen to us.

That would only happen if we, or the earth itself, had something that they needed. Otherwise they would just do a flyby and determine we are too primitive to even be of any interest to them. To me, I think the latter would be the case most of the time, since mastering interstellar travel is far more difficult than harvesting resources.


This assumes they are rational.  But yes, I think that is more likely than the very human idea of conquest.
 
2013-04-10 01:42:22 PM  

Cymbal: miniflea: Almost every time one human culture encounters another, the more technologically advanced one destroys the less technologically advanced one.  If we encounter aliens similar enough to us to allow us to communicate or even have any common frame of reference (unlikely) and the aliens are the ones visiting us instead of the other way around, well.... there's no reason to believe that it won't happen to us.

That would only happen if we, or the earth itself, had something that they needed. Otherwise they would just do a flyby and determine we are too primitive to even be of any interest to them. To me, I think the latter would be the case most of the time, since mastering interstellar travel is far more difficult than harvesting resources.


who knows, to them it would be like stomping an ant colony
 
2013-04-10 01:42:43 PM  
Done in one.

/sadly but realistically
 
2013-04-10 01:45:17 PM  
Also, have you read Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's novel Footfall?  In it, a race of aliens attacks the earth.  There are two factions among them, the sleepers and the spaceborn.  The sleepers have been in cryogenic sleep and were born and lived on the surface of their home planet.  The spaceborn were, wait for it, born in space and have never lived on a planet, and remained awake during the several generations of their journey.  The sleepers are in control, but as the attempted conquest of earth goes on, the spaceborn increasingly question the need for a planet when all the resources they need can be found in the asteroids and whatnot.
 
2013-04-10 01:48:01 PM  

brantgoose: SF short stories seem to be firmly in the moralizing, predictable "idea" line established well before The Twilight Zone and its emulators.


that's why a writer would choose to employ science fiction.  science fiction is a proper vehicle to explore philosophical issues of etymology, metaphysics, certain ethics, etc.  it allows the writer to avoid certain obstacles to his vision by simply ignoring modern constraints on communication, technology, etc.  they get to jump straight to the bottom of the slippery slope and slosh around with impunity.

similar, but contrasted to fantasy, which is much more frequently dealing with ethical concerns about good and evil.  because the vehicle makes those concerns easily identifiable and polarizing.

keep in mind, the little world created is the least important thing.  it's the writing that matters.  now, for you, they have failed because you cannot suspend your disbelief.  that's fine.  that's why a lot of people think fantasy and sci-fi are simple forms of expression, because they remove the real concerns of existence to expose only those limited things the writer wants to deal with.  others think this very fact makes sci-fi and fantasy a superior expression for being concise and exploratory, like the philosopher's thought experiment.  why deal with reality when a hypothetical creates a much more addressable metaphor.

ultimately, some artist's depiction of aliens is immaterial to the story.  now, it may have had an effect on disbelief, interest, and other things, like our notions of what fictional aliens looks like, but that's like arguing whether hobbits have hairy toes or not.  not very interesting, aesthetically.

why do you think homer let odysseus go all crazy out there in fantasy land?  it let the poet address specifically issues of horrible nature (cyclops), drug abuse (lotus eaters), sexual issues (calypso), post traumatic stress disorder (the homecoming party), without having to get as touchy feely as he had to in the Iliad.
 
2013-04-10 01:49:58 PM  

pute kisses like a man: etymology


whoops, epistemology.
 
2013-04-10 01:50:54 PM  

s2s2s2: Yeah, but we made up religion so atheists would have something to blame besides human nature!


And now we are writing hopeful little requests for intervention, help and guidance to powerful "aliens" in the sky that don't exist.

Just another side of the same coin.
 
2013-04-10 01:52:44 PM  

pute kisses like a man: brantgoose: SF short stories seem to be firmly in the moralizing, predictable "idea" line established well before The Twilight Zone and its emulators.

that's why a writer would choose to employ science fiction.  science fiction is a proper vehicle to explore philosophical issues of etymology, metaphysics, certain ethics, etc.  it allows the writer to avoid certain obstacles to his vision by simply ignoring modern constraints on communication, technology, etc.  they get to jump straight to the bottom of the slippery slope and slosh around with impunity.

similar, but contrasted to fantasy, which is much more frequently dealing with ethical concerns about good and evil.  because the vehicle makes those concerns easily identifiable and polarizing.

keep in mind, the little world created is the least important thing.  it's the writing that matters.  now, for you, they have failed because you cannot suspend your disbelief.  that's fine.  that's why a lot of people think fantasy and sci-fi are simple forms of expression, because they remove the real concerns of existence to expose only those limited things the writer wants to deal with.  others think this very fact makes sci-fi and fantasy a superior expression for being concise and exploratory, like the philosopher's thought experiment.  why deal with reality when a hypothetical creates a much more addressable metaphor.

ultimately, some artist's depiction of aliens is immaterial to the story.  now, it may have had an effect on disbelief, interest, and other things, like our notions of what fictional aliens looks like, but that's like arguing whether hobbits have hairy toes or not.  not very interesting, aesthetically.

why do you think homer let odysseus go all crazy out there in fantasy land?  it let the poet address specifically issues of horrible nature (cyclops), drug abuse (lotus eaters), sexual issues (calypso), post traumatic stress disorder (the homecoming party), without having to get as touchy feely as he had ...


That was extremely well written, sir or madam.

+Smart for you
 
2013-04-10 01:54:34 PM  
brantgoose:

It annoys me that fictional aliens are too human, but there's nothing to be done about it except read the better sort of SF literature and ignore the space soaps on TV and in the mo ...

There is the case where current humans are just version 12.3.4 in some on going experiment that keeps adding different alien DNAs to what was originally a bunch of ape-like things that could swim and use tools. Thus humans are just becoming more alien like.
 
2013-04-10 02:04:59 PM  

brantgoose: FloydA: Why do all you aliens look like humans with rubber crap glued to your foreheads and ears?

This is one of my pet peeves. I've often thought of founding a Society for Real Aliens on the basic model of the movement for "Real" Ale.



I'm going to laugh so, so hard when we meet our first alien species and they turn out to be amazingly, alarmingly like sci-fi humanoids, right down to the Star Trek decorative forehead vaginas.

Actually, I figure it's more likely that once we're able to actually get out and explore the universe, we're going to have a hard time finding anything that's as advanced as we are.

Life is now thought by some to have begun only a couple hundred million years after the earth coalesced (cool early earth theory) and it still took 4.3 billion years to come up with anything capable of doing more than banging two rocks together--and this on a planet that almost seems purpose-built to be a species factory, and even then only through an almost impossible series of evolutionary and environmental coincidences. And out of the thousands of human cultures that have arisen, only a handful ever developed advanced mathematics, and of those, only the Western Europeans and Chinese advanced far enough on their own to achieve high technology (and we still ended up dragging the Chinese kicking and screaming into the 20th century).

Combine this with what we know about the history of stellar evolution (only Population I stars have good odds of producing an industrial civilization; older stars were too hot, died too young, or just lacked enough of the necessary heavy elements in their stellar nurseries), and I'd say the picture is pretty bleak for bumping into the Vorlons. Our whole galaxy might have only produced a handful of advanced cultures preceding us, and who knows if they even still exist? If they do, they might have turned inward after reaching their own version of the singularity, and never advanced much beyond integrating themselves into some kind of Matrix reality. The universe is most likely teeming with life, but it won't be the kind of life we're hoping for. I think it's nothing more than a misplaced religious impulse that leads people to believe alien life will be godlike visitors; I think we've got better odds of finding planets full of cavemen.

TL;DR: The Kardashev scale is overly optimistic.
 
2013-04-10 02:08:57 PM  
"Please help."

/slats

Leaving disappointed.
You slackers.
 
2013-04-10 02:11:52 PM  

pute kisses like a man: keep in mind, the little world created is the least important thing.  it's the writing that matters.


Mmm, I think you've neglected that there is a whole subset of SF literature where the world-building is considered more important than some kind of philosophical message.
 
2013-04-10 02:12:18 PM  
"One way ticket, next departing flight, window seat, no luggage."

/ Planet full of crazy people.
 
2013-04-10 02:14:33 PM  
Subby, have I told you lately what a good job you're doing? You are!

/obscure?
 
2013-04-10 02:18:57 PM  
Nuke us from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
 
2013-04-10 02:20:00 PM  
An alien would probably tell earthlings that getting here is easier than navigating the seattlepi website.
 
2013-04-10 02:21:46 PM  
"I call this next one: Ode To A Small Lump Of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning"
 
2013-04-10 02:24:10 PM  

Cymbal: I don't know, I think we would bore ourselves pretty quickly. If all our needs are taken care of by alien technology what the hell would we do with our lives besides sex/drugs and posting drunken snarky comments on websites? Not saying that's a bad thing, but I think eventually even that would get boring.

\

Hasnt gotten boring yet.

/and World of Warcraft...
 
2013-04-10 02:33:16 PM  
 
2013-04-10 02:34:29 PM  
*sigh* I'm having a bad day. I don't want to talk about it. Anyway, how many star-systems can you name that don't have the letter "c" in them. Also, here's a picture of what I had for breakfast this morning.
 
2013-04-10 02:37:34 PM  

brantgoose: Odoriferous Queef: Can I take your ship for a quick spin to Pluto and back?
That's the 0 - 60 time on that baby?
Would you help me retro fit that engine to my '65 GTO?

/Sorry
//Too much Top Gear.

Reminds me of a cartoon from Punch magazine of two aliens meeting two humans and offering them a go in their space ship in exchange for a go in the human craft. Unfortunately for the future of a deal, the human "space ship" is a Dutch windmill. Chances are, however, humans being what they are, the Dutch couple made off with the space ship, leaving the aliens stranded with the windmill. A good cartoon very often tells a story that extends beyond the panel or panels of the cartoon proper (or improper).

Judging from the number of cartoons by different cartoonists, joy riding in an alien space craft is a fairly common human fantasy. One cartoon shows the aliens and humans getting drunking together while the "King" of the humans has a go in the alien spacecraft. The humans are hobos and their King is clearly drunk out of his skull judging from his erratic flight path.


Drinking certainly makes driving a piddly internal combustion powered vehicle more fun. Can't imagine the rule would be any different for a multi-ton FTL spacecraft with a reactionless drive.
 
2013-04-10 02:40:16 PM  

brantgoose: Judging from the number of cartoons by different cartoonists, joy riding in an alien space craft is a fairly common human fantasy. One cartoon shows the aliens and humans getting drunking together while the "King" of the humans has a go in the alien spacecraft. The humans are hobos and their King is clearly drunk out of his skull judging from his erratic flight path.


And sometimes, the Earthling is a lucky bastard...
 
2013-04-10 02:44:20 PM  
"What's your distance on the Kessel Run?"
 
2013-04-10 02:45:16 PM  
To serve Man? Sure. Get me a glass of water.
 
2013-04-10 02:45:32 PM  

Ned Stark: Drinking certainly makes driving a piddly internal combustion powered vehicle more fun. Can't imagine the rule would be any different for a multi-ton FTL spacecraft with a reactionless drive.


Or on plutonian nyborg.
 
2013-04-10 02:45:47 PM  
Klaatu barada nikto
 
2013-04-10 02:57:42 PM  
The "We are afraid of our propensity for violence" should have been accompanied with "Please save us from ourselves."
 
2013-04-10 03:05:11 PM  
Race/Sex/Star location?
 
2013-04-10 03:21:43 PM  
All the "oh lord, if they're hostile we're doomed" talk is getting the side eyes. Sure or own history is full of Best Toys Win, but there's also a whole mess of Biggest Bastard Wins. And when it comes to being unbelievable bastards, you should always bet on man.
 
2013-04-10 03:25:59 PM  
I will trade you a pint of absinthe for a thermos full of Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.
 
2013-04-10 03:51:58 PM  

Caffandtranqs: The "We are afraid of our propensity for violence" should have been accompanied with "Please save us from ourselves."


We have a Small Talent for War
 
2013-04-10 03:53:42 PM  

rkiller1: Klaatu barada n..*COUGH*......


Or some "N" word....

/Definately an "n" word!!!
 
2013-04-10 03:59:15 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Hey aliens, you go the same stuff we do?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 790x450]


Naaw. Lots of Unobtainium, and a little Dilithium. Wanna trade?
 
2013-04-10 04:01:29 PM  

The Irresponsible Captain: Quantum Apostrophe: Hey aliens, you go the same stuff we do?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 790x450]

Naaw. Lots of Unobtainium, and a little Dilithium. Wanna trade?


images.figure.fm

/Crap. Hate it when I lose the image.
 
2013-04-10 04:01:58 PM  

dittybopper: Ned Stark: Drinking certainly makes driving a piddly internal combustion powered vehicle more fun. Can't imagine the rule would be any different for a multi-ton FTL spacecraft with a reactionless drive.

Or on plutonian nyborg.


The trick to flying interstellar space craft while stoned is to just let your hands work the controls as if you are sober....
 
2013-04-10 04:03:31 PM  
I just hope they bring a cure for this burning sensation they left me with from their last visit.

/still wondering why they all spoke mexican
 
2013-04-10 04:07:57 PM  
Welcome to Earth. May I take your order?
 
2013-04-10 04:16:53 PM  
Hey, thanks for submitting and greenlighting this news article.  That's me being interviewed in it.  People having difficulties seeing the themes in the news article might be interested in the chapter and journal article we wrote on this project.  We list the top themes in those, as well.
 
2013-04-10 04:17:39 PM  
We'll make great pets.......
 
2013-04-10 04:29:52 PM  

bim1154: Cymbal: bim1154: Cymbal: Problem with aliens helping us out is we wouldn't know when to say stop. We'd like their space travel technology for sure, but most of their other technology would make our jobs, and therefore our lives, obsolete.

I would guess that any civilization advanced enough to overcome the problems to travel in the universe have also overcome the problems we face every day.  Other than being probed in the ears and ass with a sharp instrument or being used as food, I think we'd be better off in the long run.

I don't know, I think we would bore ourselves pretty quickly. If all our needs are taken care of by alien technology what the hell would we do with our lives besides sex/drugs and posting drunken snarky comments on websites? Not saying that's a bad thing, but I think eventually even that would get boring.

I'd sure give it a try.


Wait.... you mean we aren't doing that now? Did I start too soon?
 
2013-04-10 04:37:12 PM  
Bring back Elvis, please take Eminem.
 
2013-04-10 04:57:32 PM  
blog.seattlepi.com

Starbuck being raped by a zombie? What sort of message are we trying to send these aliens?
 
2013-04-10 05:07:43 PM  
I'm not sure we should say anything.
1. They are at or near our technological level: If they are close enough to build some kind of multi-generational ship there is a danger that they might see us as a threat and decide to 'exterminate' us just in case.

2. They are way beyond our technological level: Even if they're not close they could still see us as a threat or pest and decide to exterminate us.

I would hope technology would make a species more peaceful and intelligent but there is a chance that aliens might retain something like religion (superstition) which would make them emotionally unstable.

It would be interesting to see if, as a species learns more, it could handle the meaningless of life without going 'insane'. Right now the struggle for survival keeps us busy enough not to have to dwell on it. But, what happens when all our needs and even our desires are met? Can we find a reason to keep going? And if so, will it be a rational reason or a batshiat crazy religious/superstitious reason?
 
2013-04-10 05:07:51 PM  

Snarfangel: STOP WITH THE ANAL PROBING! Seriously, it is not funny!


I am sure the Great Leader is some sort of twisted a** freak.

/Kids in the Hall
 
2013-04-10 05:21:42 PM  
 
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