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(Scientific American)   Maybe we're just not that interesting   (scientificamerican.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Sun, Star, radio communication, Milky Way, search techniques, Proxima Centauri b, recording devices, standards of quantitative scientific evidence  
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889 clicks; posted to STEM » on 21 Jan 2021 at 4:34 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-01-21 4:18:33 PM  
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2021-01-21 4:33:32 PM  
The Earth
bbc.co.uk

Mostly Harmless
A small, blue-green world in one of the less fashionable sectors of the galaxy. It was demolished by the Vogons in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
 
2021-01-21 4:43:24 PM  
I got this one.


Q: Why Do We Assume Extraterrestrials Might Want to Visit Us?


A: becasue we know how dumb and technologically unevolved we are. Taking all our great resources like water and gold would be super easy for them. And we'd the hell be doing this if we could, so really what's the hold up whit them aliens not plundering our planet already?
 
2021-01-21 4:46:10 PM  
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2021-01-21 4:46:28 PM  
Or maybe we're interesting in the same way that a colony of rabid honey badgers would be interesting, more suited for a cartoon about nature's warning signs than a social call.
 
2021-01-21 4:47:38 PM  
Q: Why Do We Assume Extraterrestrials Might Want to Visit Us?

A: Benevolence.
 
2021-01-21 4:49:41 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


/one of my favorites
 
2021-01-21 5:07:01 PM  
Incredibly corrupt, short sighted and capable of amazing heights and depths of self-deception.

Yeah, they'd want us out in their empire.


Besides, it occurred to me.

We land on habitable planet A.  We have now introduced our biota to that planet.  Molds, virii, bacteria.  They're now invasive species, wrecking untold habit on the native species.  We have altered the genetic future of that planet forever.

And we've done the same to us and Earth.  Bacteria and other biological life is going to make it's way back to Earth and wreak havoc here. Changing evolutionary destiny of Earth species.

Now we go do it to planet B.  Which changes Earth and A.

At Star Trek levels of human colonization, we've destroyed the independent evolutionary future of hundreds of worlds and replaced them with Quasi-Earth Fusion.

Which then explains how convergent evolution then creates hundreds of forehead aliens and similar foods and fabrics hundreds of thousands of years later.


We enter into a galactic or regional empire (which I don't think any currently exist) and we're taking in all of their species on us and Earth, forever altering our biological destiny.
 
2021-01-21 5:08:44 PM  
We still believe in the materialistic view of space as the true nature of reality and they find that super depressing. Nobody wants to hang out with the sad emo kid with his head so far up his ass he thinks the whole world is brown.
 
2021-01-21 5:10:58 PM  
Human beings and animals stink. Objectively speaking the smell of various portions of planet Earth is horrible.
 
2021-01-21 5:13:14 PM  
"Most stars are billions of years older than ours. [...] some intelligent species may well be billions of years ahead of us in their technological development"

And most intelligent species may well be billions of years extinct.
 
2021-01-21 5:15:03 PM  

PvtStash: I got this one.


Q: Why Do We Assume Extraterrestrials Might Want to Visit Us?


A: becasue we know how dumb and technologically unevolved we are. Taking all our great resources like water and gold would be super easy for them. And we'd the hell be doing this if we could, so really what's the hold up whit them aliens not plundering our planet already?


With how prohibitive it likely is to move large masses across interstellar distances, there's no incentive for them to take our stuff.  If they come here and they want to take advantage of us, it's probably because they want to take our land, i.e. colonize.
 
2021-01-21 5:21:02 PM  
and perhaps to species that do not go extinct in the traditional sense, the technological singularity is universally unavoidable.  Maybe they inevitably "transcend" in some way that either makes outward (detectable by us) communication and behavior moot - their existence happens outside our ken.

Maybe dark matter and dark energy are just the only signs of the realm of the transcended.
 
2021-01-21 5:26:36 PM  

Ambitwistor: PvtStash: I got this one.


Q: Why Do We Assume Extraterrestrials Might Want to Visit Us?


A: becasue we know how dumb and technologically unevolved we are. Taking all our great resources like water and gold would be super easy for them. And we'd the hell be doing this if we could, so really what's the hold up whit them aliens not plundering our planet already?

With how prohibitive it likely is to move large masses across interstellar distances, there's no incentive for them to take our stuff.  If they come here and they want to take advantage of us, it's probably because they want to take our land, i.e. colonize.


Probably.  Because that's what we need to be working on doing, as a species.  The Article implies that civilizations could exist for billions of years... if we are to survive for more than just a few millennia more, we need to be thinking not about the unlikely Giant Asteroid 2024, but the highly probably Giant Asteroid 14273.  Or planning for the next Ice Age or Oven Earth, regardless of how it comes about.
 
2021-01-21 5:31:55 PM  
To the survival of our species, I think it behooves us to work on increasing our individual lifespans to 100s of years while retaining our cognitive abilities.  More time for knowledge, for seeing, understanding and preventing the unnecessary repeating of the less enlightened parts of our history.  Less pressure to procreate.
 
2021-01-21 5:36:03 PM  
Maybe they're shy because we're so awesome..
 
2021-01-21 5:37:04 PM  
I recall hearing that a major impediment to communicating with wild dolphins was first convincing the dolphins we have something interesting to say.
 
2021-01-21 5:41:54 PM  
Alien Wall From X-Files Season 11 Episode 4
Youtube T3AiWL-UHuY


X-files did it.
 
2021-01-21 5:43:37 PM  

SansNeural: "Most stars are billions of years older than ours. [...] some intelligent species may well be billions of years ahead of us in their technological development"

And most intelligent species may well be billions of years extinct.


I also came in to comment on that same paragraph. One thing that isn't taken in to account there is the activity level of things like GRB's, supernovas/hypernovas, and other large scale cosmic events that can sterilize whole regions of space. Those type of events were much, much more prevalent until relatively recently on the cosmic calendar.

So there are some scientists that think that while there may have been star systems with the opportunity to develop life before us, they may not have been able to develop complex life while being fairly regularly sterilized by large cosmic events. Only now that the galaxy has settled down was life able to survive long enough to develop into complex life.

Of course, that's touching on another issue - there's a strong suspicion that while the numbers almost guarantee life is out there in our galaxy somewhere, and probably a lot of places, it's entirely possible that it's all single celled life. For the vast majority of the time life has existed on Earth it's all been single celled. Once the leap to multicellular organisms occurred complexity rapidly exploded, but it took so long to get to that place that it may have indeed been a lucky fluke for us, and we're living in a galaxy full of planets bearing only microbes aside from Earth.
 
2021-01-21 5:50:34 PM  
They would visit for the LOLs?
 
Oak [BareFark]
2021-01-21 6:01:47 PM  

Hassan Ben Sobr: Maybe they're shy because we're so awesome..


We've got the HEMI
 
2021-01-21 6:05:44 PM  

KarmicDisaster: They would visit for the LOLs?


That'd be my guess. Earth doesn't have any resources aliens would be interested in that they wouldn't pass massive, staggering amounts of on the way here, so really the only thing interesting about Earth is just the life itself. I mean, like what, water? Heck of a lot more water even just in our own solar system than what exists on Earth - much of it without having to expend energy escaping from a planet's gravity well. And our solar system isn't unique, plenty of everything that makes up the matter on Earth is out among the stars - and in larger quantities.

If aliens were to visit that could suggest there's a lot more alien races out there, and life would have to be pretty commonplace. So I think it's most likely they'd be coming here for cultural reasons, providing a cultural exchange which would feed their curiosity/desire for new stimulus.
 
2021-01-21 6:29:17 PM  

Hassan Ben Sobr: Maybe they're shy because we're so awesome..


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-01-21 6:38:06 PM  

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: They're now invasive species, wrecking untold habit on the native species.


Assuming the human biota are the stronger ones. For all you know they get eradicated by the local biota in a matter of days.

SansNeural: To the survival of our species, I think it behooves us to work on increasing our individual lifespans to 100s of years while retaining our cognitive abilities.  More time for knowledge, for seeing, understanding and preventing the unnecessary repeating of the less enlightened parts of our history.  Less pressure to procreate.


It doesn't work like that. Change happens when the previous people die. Or do you think that people who can hold onto hating their children for being gay got 60 years will suddenly reach enlightenment at age 140? As for the procreating, we should go for a stable population. How old we get has very little to do with that. Whether there are 3 people living 150 years total with some overlap or 1 person living for 300 years makes little difference.
 
2021-01-21 6:57:52 PM  

DerAppie: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: They're now invasive species, wrecking untold habit on the native species.

Assuming the human biota are the stronger ones. For all you know they get eradicated by the local biota in a matter of days.

SansNeural: To the survival of our species, I think it behooves us to work on increasing our individual lifespans to 100s of years while retaining our cognitive abilities.  More time for knowledge, for seeing, understanding and preventing the unnecessary repeating of the less enlightened parts of our history.  Less pressure to procreate.

It doesn't work like that. Change happens when the previous people die. Or do you think that people who can hold onto hating their children for being gay got 60 years will suddenly reach enlightenment at age 140? As for the procreating, we should go for a stable population. How old we get has very little to do with that. Whether there are 3 people living 150 years total with some overlap or 1 person living for 300 years makes little difference.


You make sense, but my counter is that the meantime to both highly valuable education and experience is already greater than 1/3 of the average human lifespan - and the last 1/3 is spent in varying degrees of cognitive decline.

That leaves perhaps as much as 50% of a person's life available for productive output for the potential betterment of humanity, but probably less.  And most of us never reach a position to really better the human condition - the best we often can do is not make things worse, though too many of us do achieve *that*.
 
2021-01-21 7:05:25 PM  

DerAppie: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: They're now invasive species, wrecking untold habit on the native species.

Assuming the human biota are the stronger ones. For all you know they get eradicated by the local biota in a matter of days.


Right, but they're now also on and in the Humans who were there and eradicating them and their biota.  The digestive issues alone!  And coming home to Earth with them.
 
2021-01-21 7:12:55 PM  
The aliens could be among us already and we would have no way of knowing.

Any intellect advanced enough to bridge the gap between the stars would be so far beyond ours that we would have no more chance of recognizing it AS an intellect than apes do of comprehending modern human civilization.  And to them, we may not even be noticeable as intelligent or even living beings.
 
2021-01-21 7:17:11 PM  

Mouser: The aliens could be among us already and we would have no way of knowing.

Any intellect advanced enough to bridge the gap between the stars would be so far beyond ours that we would have no more chance of recognizing it AS an intellect than apes do of comprehending modern human civilization.  And to them, we may not even be noticeable as intelligent or even living beings.



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2021-01-21 7:17:54 PM  

SansNeural: DerAppie: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: They're now invasive species, wrecking untold habit on the native species.

Assuming the human biota are the stronger ones. For all you know they get eradicated by the local biota in a matter of days.

SansNeural: To the survival of our species, I think it behooves us to work on increasing our individual lifespans to 100s of years while retaining our cognitive abilities.  More time for knowledge, for seeing, understanding and preventing the unnecessary repeating of the less enlightened parts of our history.  Less pressure to procreate.

It doesn't work like that. Change happens when the previous people die. Or do you think that people who can hold onto hating their children for being gay got 60 years will suddenly reach enlightenment at age 140? As for the procreating, we should go for a stable population. How old we get has very little to do with that. Whether there are 3 people living 150 years total with some overlap or 1 person living for 300 years makes little difference.

You make sense, but my counter is that the meantime to both highly valuable education and experience is already greater than 1/3 of the average human lifespan - and the last 1/3 is spent in varying degrees of cognitive decline.

That leaves perhaps as much as 50% of a person's life available for productive output for the potential betterment of humanity, but probably less.  And most of us never reach a position to really better the human condition - the best we often can do is not make things worse, though too many of us do achieve *that*.


I understand where you're getting at, and I'm inclined to agree, but wonder if just extending lifespan would even be enough.

Let's say we turn off the molecular clock in our cells - without turning us all into giant tumors or anything else negative - how would the human brain even fare dealing with the information in a lifespan so much longer than it was designed to operate? Our brains aren't unlimited in capability - they are physical things and have finite limits. I suspect some sort of cybernetic brain enhancement would either also be needed or very, very, very desirable. Of course, if we're already tinkering with the genome to extend our lives we'll also be tinkering with it in other ways as well. Probably a good time to build in some cognitive advancements as well.

But I think that even with our current lifespans our species is pretty much doomed to self-extinction unless we are able to raise the average mental capability of the human species. We evolved to fill an ecological niche, not be a part of a global, technologically advanced industrial society. We're growing our technological capabilities, but doing very little to improve the human beings themselves which make up our systems. Sooner or later (and I think sooner) we'll be tinkering with things which are existentially dangerous and at some point the human race will go extinct just after someone says, "Oh shiat, oh shiat, oh shiat! We can't contain it/shut it down/etc." All because we, on average, don't have the intelligence to understand that technologically we're getting to a level that we really need to start thinking through some of our next technological steps BEFORE we take them, because some genies can't be put back in the bottle once they get out.
 
2021-01-21 7:26:09 PM  

Mouser: The aliens could be among us already and we would have no way of knowing.

Any intellect advanced enough to bridge the gap between the stars would be so far beyond ours that we would have no more chance of recognizing it AS an intellect than apes do of comprehending modern human civilization.


That would lead back to the premise of the article.

And to them, we may not even be noticeable as intelligent or even living beings.

Ah, now you're going somewhere.  Like gods: not only immune to worship, but they may not know nor care that we exist.  There is a hypothesis out there that consciousness is a product not of the compute power of our brains, but of the brain's ability to somehow interact with and manage quantum particles/states that *themselves* give rise to consciousness.

And if a human can exist in a quantum volume the size of our skulls, perhaps another kind of consciousness can inhabit a tree, a pond, an ocean or even the core of Earth or Sol.
 
2021-01-21 7:35:31 PM  

mongbiohazard: some genies can't be put back in the bottle once they get out.


I share your doubts.  We're the type of organism that, having seen the destructive power of fire after a lightning bolt in a forest, decided "yeah, I *want* that!"  And we're just the type that given just enough know-how to genetically increase neural capacity, will destroy the species with a tweak for fuller lips.
 
2021-01-21 8:10:16 PM  

PvtStash: Taking all our great resources like water and gold would be super easy for them.


We don't know know if the same crap is important to them. Also, there's plenty of water and gold and asteroids and comets. Why even bother coming further into the solar system? Maybe they took a look at us and said, "Let's come back in 10,000 years and see if they have any technology to trade by then."
 
2021-01-21 8:24:36 PM  
Just because humans slow down to look at a wreck, doesn't mean aliens want to.
 
2021-01-21 8:44:26 PM  
Aliens haven't visited us because we're too far away.
 
2021-01-22 3:01:45 AM  
Life is most likely very common. Intelligent life less so. Intelligent life capable of building a civilization, even less so. Even H.sapeinn has been been around for about 300k years but it's only in the last 10K years we've been building civilizations. Civilizations are pretty fragile too and it wouldn't take much to knock us back to the stone age again and we've pretty much blown through all the easily accessible carbon so we might never be able to rebuild if we did.

Add to that the fact that our galaxy only settled down enough to allow life to thrive without getting fried by gamma rays not much before our sun was born and it could be very possible that we're the most technologically advanced civilization in the universe. We might be first born.
 
2021-01-22 3:22:31 AM  

morg: PvtStash: Taking all our great resources like water and gold would be super easy for them.

We don't know know if the same crap is important to them. Also, there's plenty of water and gold and asteroids and comets. Why even bother coming further into the solar system? Maybe they took a look at us and said, "Let's come back in 10,000 years and see if they have any technology to trade by then."


That's what I was thinking. If you can mine that stuff from asteroids and small moons, why go through the effort of entering an atmosphere and then having to escape from a gravity well?
 
2021-01-22 3:32:25 AM  

Mouser: The aliens could be among us already and we would have no way of knowing.

Any intellect advanced enough to bridge the gap between the stars would be so far beyond ours that we would have no more chance of recognizing it AS an intellect than apes do of comprehending modern human civilization.  And to them, we may not even be noticeable as intelligent or even living beings.


As primitive probably, but then seeing a car or a nuclear power plant and going "yeah, they aren't intelligent" is just inconceivable.
 
2021-01-22 6:24:53 AM  

PvtStash: I got this one.


Q: Why Do We Assume Extraterrestrials Might Want to Visit Us?


A: becasue we know how dumb and technologically unevolved we are. Taking all our great resources like water and gold would be super easy for them. And we'd the hell be doing this if we could, so really what's the hold up whit them aliens not plundering our planet already?


Why wouldn't they bother about those resources? Because water is found everywhere in our solar system, and gold is for sycophants.
 
2021-01-22 7:39:27 AM  
They've been here and lotsa folks have had Close Encounters. Nobody believes them or the countless books allegedly dictated by aliens. Their message is consistent: stop killing your planet and each other if you wanna join The Federation
 
2021-01-22 10:15:10 AM  

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Incredibly corrupt, short sighted and capable of amazing heights and depths of self-deception.

Yeah, they'd want us out in their empire.


Besides, it occurred to me.

We land on habitable planet A.  We have now introduced our biota to that planet.  Molds, virii, bacteria.  They're now invasive species, wrecking untold habit on the native species.  We have altered the genetic future of that planet forever.

And we've done the same to us and Earth.  Bacteria and other biological life is going to make it's way back to Earth and wreak havoc here. Changing evolutionary destiny of Earth species.

Now we go do it to planet B.  Which changes Earth and A.

At Star Trek levels of human colonization, we've destroyed the independent evolutionary future of hundreds of worlds and replaced them with Quasi-Earth Fusion.

Which then explains how convergent evolution then creates hundreds of forehead aliens and similar foods and fabrics hundreds of thousands of years later.


We enter into a galactic or regional empire (which I don't think any currently exist) and we're taking in all of their species on us and Earth, forever altering our biological destiny.


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We do have a small talent for war
 
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