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(io9)   Hey, aliens, come and eat us. We are delicious, and juicy   (io9.com) divider line 76
    More: Obvious, David Brin, Seth Shostak, communications satellites, light-years, long peppers, risk assessments, colonizations, radio waves  
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3950 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 May 2013 at 1:21 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-07 11:51:16 PM
i245.photobucket.com

Well, we already know not to fall for the ol "cookbook" trick.
 
2013-05-08 12:00:54 AM
In fairness, the Kzin would make fun LOLratzenkatzen...

lh3.googleusercontent.com
 
2013-05-08 01:06:51 AM
I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.
 
2013-05-08 01:25:56 AM
Juicy? More like "ugly bags of mostly water".
 
2013-05-08 01:31:22 AM
"Historical documents," right?

i759.photobucket.com
 
2013-05-08 01:35:44 AM
I've seen these aliens, they can barely get to their Mün.
 
2013-05-08 01:36:38 AM
Many alien races have already checked us out, and most of them are extremely peaceful. If there are any really warlike ones, we aren't worth their time or energy. We always like to think we're so important, but it's like a group of monkeys thinking we humans would try to conquer them. Instead we're just utterly indifferent to less advanced species.
 
2013-05-08 01:37:29 AM

Ghastly: I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.


We would be an excellent source of hydrogen.
 
2013-05-08 01:41:37 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-05-08 01:46:29 AM
They are actually really grossed out that we are made of meat.
 
2013-05-08 01:48:34 AM

Ghastly: I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.


If they like nickel-iron, breaking up our planet into easy to carry pieces would give them a nice supply of the stuff. They just have to remove the thin layer of slag from the surface.
 
2013-05-08 01:52:34 AM
On the other hand, those broadcasts also make it clear that this place is a pretty boring muddy lump of iron infested by a bunch of psychopathic motherf*ckers who figured out thermonuclear weapons.  Maybe we're the interstellar equivalent of a hornets' nest -- useless, annoying, and not truly dangerous, but nasty enough that we're not worth screwing with.
 
2013-05-08 01:52:40 AM
You'd better pray that they're just ordinary 4D ETs from nearby. If they happen to be Eldritch Abominations from the space-between-spaces, we will have a serious prob--OH MY GOD! The ANGLES! THE ANGLES! MY EYES! IIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee...
 
2013-05-08 01:55:49 AM
"He tole me"?
 
2013-05-08 01:56:46 AM

wildsnowllama: Ghastly: I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.

We would be an excellent source of hydrogen.


Yeah, Hydrogen is really, really tough to find in the universe.
 
2013-05-08 01:57:41 AM
www.principiadialectica.co.uk

/Genius?!!?
 
2013-05-08 01:59:51 AM

Ghastly: It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.


But if they're sufficiently advanced, they might have found a way to reify metaphysical concepts into tangible entities. In which case one of them could develop an engine which runs on bullsh*t, which would likely make us the cosmic equivalent of "them thar hills" in 1849.
 
2013-05-08 02:00:22 AM

WelldeadLink: If they like nickel-iron, breaking up our planet into easy to carry pieces would give them a nice supply of the stuff. They just have to remove the thin layer of slag from the surface.


i38.servimg.com
Why bother, critters burn good!
 
2013-05-08 02:06:41 AM

GentlemanJ: You'd better pray that they're just ordinary 4D ETs from nearby. If they happen to be Eldritch Abominations from the space-between-spaces, we will have a serious prob--OH MY GOD! The ANGLES! THE ANGLES! MY EYES! IIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee...


Oh fark you so much. I just got over my jumpy behavior from reading The Hounds of Tindalos several years ago. Now I'm not going to be able to look calmly at the corners of a room for months. Asshole.
 
2013-05-08 02:09:18 AM
There is no resource on Earth that cannot be more easily acquired elsewhere in the Solar System.  Earth is the largest gravity well in the Solar System outside the Gas Planets, so literally every other planet and asteroid would be a better choice for raw materials.

And as far as humans would be useful in a malicious manner, any civilization capable of interstellar travel would have achieved a level of advancement at least similar to our own and robots would perform any task which humans could perform.  So no slavery.  As for other levels of maliciousness?   It's pointless to speculate beyond that which we know.
 
2013-05-08 02:22:16 AM

Ghastly: I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.



Maybe they've exhausted their solar systems metals.  It would be a lot easier to harvest them from the surface than to build mines and refineries...
 
2013-05-08 02:24:50 AM
By the time those slow-moving radio signals travel far enough to be received by any intelligent life, our sun will have collapsed and this planet will already be toast.  Our strongest equipment hasn't detected a single inhabited planet yet, so if there is other life out there, it's not close enough to get here in any hurry.
 
2013-05-08 02:26:36 AM
Don't worry, the noisy AW planet
media.tumblr.com
 
2013-05-08 02:37:36 AM
I'm only about a third of the way through the article at the moment, but wow you'd have to be a pretty arrogant moron to think that sending out a signal is somehow dangerous.
 
2013-05-08 02:44:27 AM
Unless aliens have a biochemistry identical to ours, which is unlikely (not just made out of the same elements, but the same protein structures and everything), they'd find us indigestible at best and poisonous at worst. I wouldn't worry about getting eaten if I were you.
 
2013-05-08 03:33:06 AM

TheWizard: There is no resource on Earth that cannot be more easily acquired elsewhere in the Solar System.  Earth is the largest gravity well in the Solar System outside the Gas Planets, so literally every other planet and asteroid would be a better choice for raw materials.

And as far as humans would be useful in a malicious manner, any civilization capable of interstellar travel would have achieved a level of advancement at least similar to our own and robots would perform any task which humans could perform.  So no slavery.  As for other levels of maliciousness?   It's pointless to speculate beyond that which we know.


We could be useful as soldiers. We evolved to be xenophobes, with advanced stone-throwing coprocessors. Depending on what evolutionary niche our theoretical aliens' ancestors occupied, they may need us to defeat their enemies. All they have to do is supply us with more advanced stones and spears to throw.
Or they may just need more episodes of Ally McBeal.
 
2013-05-08 03:37:13 AM
The inverse square law should keep us pretty safe - if they were close enough to detect us, they would have done so years ago.

For a more pro-active way of keeping us safe, I propose a large fleet of FTl interstellar warship. All we need to do is to conquer all life bearing planets before our radio waves reach them... as an added bonus, Hollywood has shown us that aliens are hot, horny and more than willing to engage in a bit of inter-species horizontal one-legged polka with humans - in between trying to exterminate us, off course.
 
2013-05-08 03:38:02 AM
That should be FTL... silly caps key.
 
2013-05-08 03:41:00 AM
I guess the author from TFA isnt aware that humans will have either perished or evolved beyond our human state by the time any of our radio signals actually reach anywhere of any significance.... IN THEORY... in reality the signals will have dissipated their energy and been lost to the intergalactic background noise by then as well.

Its a cold, lonely universe.
 
2013-05-08 04:07:53 AM
Why wouldn't our signals be drowned out by the Sun?  When we look for planets outside the Sol system, we can barely detect planets, if at all, by noticing planets occluding their star.  Why would a signal from a dinky little satellite dish be visible against the light from the star?

Unless we find a mass relay on Charon, there's not much hope for humanity finding anyone else out there.  Or for them finding us.
 
2013-05-08 04:34:55 AM

WelldeadLink: Ghastly: I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.

If they like nickel-iron, breaking up our planet into easy to carry pieces would give them a nice supply of the stuff. They just have to remove the thin layer of slag from the surface.


There would be billions of uninhabited planets out there they could harvest resources from. There's really no reason a species capable of interstellar flight would need to invade an inhabited planet.
 
2013-05-08 04:44:38 AM
I figured out the 'visiting aliens would be monumentally more advanced than us' thing when I was 12 years old. The suddenly some bloke in a wheelchair says it 25 year later and it's news
 
2013-05-08 05:30:33 AM

Ghastly: WelldeadLink: Ghastly: I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.

If they like nickel-iron, breaking up our planet into easy to carry pieces would give them a nice supply of the stuff. They just have to remove the thin layer of slag from the surface.

There would be billions of uninhabited planets out there they could harvest resources from. There's really no reason a species capable of interstellar flight would need to invade an inhabited planet.


If you presuppose some aliens which can travel to Earth, surely you can think of at least one scenario which would lead them to invade it? Maybe they got lost and ran out of gas.
 
2013-05-08 05:48:31 AM

wildsnowllama: We would be an excellent source of hydrogen.

 
2013-05-08 05:49:42 AM

crab66: wildsnowllama: We would be an excellent source of hydrogen.


So would everything else in the universe.
 
2013-05-08 06:01:27 AM
I should plan my route to meet up with the 2nd Mass.
 
2013-05-08 06:36:08 AM

sxacho: If you presuppose some aliens which can travel to Earth, surely you can think of at least one scenario which would lead them to invade it? Maybe they got lost and ran out of gas.


And there would be easier ways to get new fuel than to piss of a species with atomic weapons. They could try and trade for it instead of bursting in weapons blazing. Or go the sneaky route and infiltrate the relevant installations and steal it. Sending a message that they need X amount of material Y or they blow up mayor cities is a good way to get every weapon on earth pointed at them. Not really, chances are we'll simply give it to them but if they simply started shooting without any demands then all bets are off.
 
2013-05-08 06:46:42 AM
sxacho:
If you presuppose some aliens which can travel to Earth, surely you can think of at least one scenario which would lead them to invade it? Maybe they got lost and ran out of gas.

They've intercepted out anime and have come for our cybernetic feline dick girls.
 
2013-05-08 06:56:45 AM

HotWingAgenda: By the time those slow-moving radio signals travel far enough to be received by any intelligent life, our sun will have collapsed and this planet will already be toast.  Our strongest equipment hasn't detected a single inhabited planet yet, so if there is other life out there, it's not close enough to get here in any hurry.


This is a point that the article seems to miss. While a signal might be detectable at the ranges shown and the conditions listed (which ignore the important condition of TIME), radio is still limited by the speed of light, so no one would be able to detect any signals from Earth at a distance farther than the number of years we have been transmitting. Even if you include very early inductive transmission experiments (which would have been incredibly weak and aren't really considered "radio"), we have only been transmitting for 125 years or so, which puts a 125 light-year limit on how far anyone could be picking us up, regardless of what equipment they are using.
 
2013-05-08 07:14:17 AM

Ivo Shandor: [i.imgur.com image 200x302]


Came for this.
 
2013-05-08 07:32:25 AM
If someone had a square-kilometer array (roughly where we're hoping to be in a decade), pointed it in exactly the right location, and integrated the signal over a year, we could say that there was something not-quite-right about the signal... mostly the military radars... from thousands of light-years out.   We wouldn't necessarily be drowned out by the sun (which has fairly distinct emission lines).  However, we're not talking about aliens watching first-run episodes of I Love Lucy in clear modulation, either.

As it stands with current tech, there could be a civilization exactly like our own in terms of development within 10 light-years of here, and we just aren't in a position to know about it.
 
2013-05-08 07:41:46 AM
They'll learn too late that man is a feeling creature, and because of it, the greatest in the universe.
 
2013-05-08 08:04:46 AM

Myria: Why wouldn't our signals be drowned out by the Sun?  When we look for planets outside the Sol system, we can barely detect planets, if at all, by noticing planets occluding their star.  Why would a signal from a dinky little satellite dish be visible against the light from the star?


Our sun is quite dim at a number of radio frequencies (and standard lasers can easily outshine the sun at interstellar distances -- if you happen to be in JUST THE RIGHT SPOT).  That was the point of the original 1959 paper by Cocconi and Morrison -- 1950's radio technology made it possible to send and receive intelligent signals between planets at nearly-galactic distances.

Also... David Brin is a SETI expert? (I really haven't been keeping up, apparently)
 
2013-05-08 08:26:27 AM

Lawnchair: If someone had a square-kilometer array (roughly where we're hoping to be in a decade), pointed it in exactly the right location, and integrated the signal over a year, we could say that there was something not-quite-right about the signal... mostly the military radars... from thousands of light-years out.   We wouldn't necessarily be drowned out by the sun (which has fairly distinct emission lines).  However, we're not talking about aliens watching first-run episodes of I Love Lucy in clear modulation, either.


Since military RADAR has only been transmitting for 78 years, that is as far as anyone would be able to receive it from Earth. Even though it may be capable of being recieved thousands of light years out, it can only travel as far as the speed of light allows it to in the time since it was sent - something people often overlook.


As it stands with current tech, there could be a civilization exactly like our own in terms of development within 10 light-years of here, and we just aren't in a position to know about it.

A good point that is often overlooked - very possibly we could soon discover someone else transmitting and still have no contact with them, since we do not have the technology to get to them in a reasonable amount of time, or even reply to a message. Using your example, if we heard from them today, they wouldn't get our replay for 10 years, and we wouldn't be aware that they had received it for 20 years. We may very well have neighbors who are aware of us, but haven't been able to let us know....
 
2013-05-08 08:26:58 AM

Subdue their bellies: They'll learn too late that man is a feeling creature, and because of it, the greatest in the universe.


Per Kevin Murphy circa 1997, that speech should be in the constitution. (loved that episode and loved that Murphy and Mallon knew exactly what I was talking about when I asked them)
 
2013-05-08 08:29:20 AM
that would be, "reply" for 10 years... been a long night shift.
 
2013-05-08 08:32:51 AM
Are we screwing ourselves by transmitting radio signals into space?

No.
 
2013-05-08 08:51:09 AM
Of all the ways we are screwing ourselves this is not one of them.
 
2013-05-08 09:06:09 AM
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

WE HAVE COME FOR MACNEIL
 
2013-05-08 09:31:53 AM

Ghastly: I just can't imagine anything a species capable of interstellar flight would want on our planet that they wouldn't be able to just as easily obtain elsewhere. It's not like interstellar space ships are going to run on fossil fuels.


They don't want anything that we have. However an advanced species that has lasted for a while will certainly have a self preservation instinct. We are not a threat to them now, but what about in the future, if their civilization declines and ours rises. Best to weed the garden while you canand the weeds are small before the weeds take over. They will come and remove us as soon as we are detected for their own safety.
 
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