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(Live Science)   4 hostile alien civilizations may lurk in the Milky Way but it's those filthy neutrals we have to be on the lookout for   (livescience.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Extraterrestrial life, sole study author Alberto Caballero, Planetary habitability, Kardashev scale, SETI, evil alien civilizations, Europa, Extrasolar planet  
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890 clicks; posted to STEM » on 01 Jun 2022 at 3:25 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-06-01 1:11:19 AM  
A lot of very big assumptions in there.  Not least of which is that being capable of interstellar travel of one form or another, does not equate to being able to travel to any star in the galaxy.
 
2022-06-01 1:57:11 AM  
A paranoid alien species that is playing the long game might launch sterilization drones out into the galaxy with instructions to lay waste to any planet they encounter that has signs of life on it, to stifle competition.

A civilization like ours, to be able to do something like this, to invest tens of thousands of years in exploring space, requires a lot of cooperation.  That civilization can't be too crazy violent or it wouldn't have lasted long enough to develop sophisticated technology.

But a civilization based on some kind of hive behavior, like bees or ants ... well, we better hope they don't find Earth.

A more likely alien encounter would be stumbling across some alien machine whose only interest in us would be to add an entry to its encyclopedia of star systems before moving on.
 
2022-06-01 3:30:48 AM  

aleister_greynight: A lot of very big assumptions in there.  Not least of which is that being capable of interstellar travel of one form or another, does not equate to being able to travel to any star in the galaxy.


Not to mention relying heavily on correlation of human behaviors and motivations to that of aliens, when there is no possible evidence of any existing.
 
2022-06-01 3:35:16 AM  
All bullshjt, but perfectly methodical bullshjt.  I'll give him that.
 
2022-06-01 3:51:13 AM  
On the one hand, there are probably any number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. On the other hand, none of them seem to have developed a practical method of interstellar travel. If any one of them did, they would be here by now.
 
2022-06-01 3:55:18 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-01 3:57:11 AM  

Sgygus: A paranoid alien species that is playing the long game might launch sterilization drones out into the galaxy with instructions to lay waste to any planet they encounter that has signs of life on it, to stifle competition.

A civilization like ours, to be able to do something like this, to invest tens of thousands of years in exploring space, requires a lot of cooperation.  That civilization can't be too crazy violent or it wouldn't have lasted long enough to develop sophisticated technology.

But a civilization based on some kind of hive behavior, like bees or ants ... well, we better hope they don't find Earth.

A more likely alien encounter would be stumbling across some alien machine whose only interest in us would be to add an entry to its encyclopedia of star systems before moving on.


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2022-06-01 4:02:42 AM  

iToad: On the one hand, there are probably any number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. On the other hand, none of them seem to have developed a practical method of interstellar travel. If any one of them did, they would be here by now.


Why? Our system isn't really that interesting from a distance. There's no guarantee star-faring alien life would be attracted to our water planet. A nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere could be poisonous. Our system is just one of dozens within just 50 light years. Our star is even somewhat boring compared to the binaries that are the most common systems.

/ Douglas Adams had the best take -- if anything we'll be cleared for a new space bypass.
 
2022-06-01 4:06:55 AM  

CrazyCurt: iToad: On the one hand, there are probably any number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. On the other hand, none of them seem to have developed a practical method of interstellar travel. If any one of them did, they would be here by now.

Why? Our system isn't really that interesting from a distance. There's no guarantee star-faring alien life would be attracted to our water planet. A nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere could be poisonous. Our system is just one of dozens within just 50 light years. Our star is even somewhat boring compared to the binaries that are the most common systems.

/ Douglas Adams had the best take -- if anything we'll be cleared for a new space bypass.


What about our jerbs?
 
2022-06-01 4:19:26 AM  

iToad: they would be here by now.


I don't think we can know that. 100 billion stars in the Milky Way.  We can probably rule out the galaxy being infested with millions of interstellar civilizations, but if there's no more than few hundred?  They probably wouldn't be here by now.  Maybe if they were around a really long time and have been canvassing 200 ly diameter regions for planets with highly oxidative atmospheres for millions of years, they might have found us; otherwise unlikely.
 
2022-06-01 4:28:03 AM  

aerojockey: iToad: they would be here by now.

I don't think we can know that. 100 billion stars in the Milky Way.  We can probably rule out the galaxy being infested with millions of interstellar civilizations, but if there's no more than few hundred?  They probably wouldn't be here by now.  Maybe if they were around a really long time and have been canvassing 200 ly diameter regions for planets with highly oxidative atmospheres for millions of years, they might have found us; otherwise unlikely.


Don't forget the galactic habitable zone. It really lowers the numbers, still astronomically high, but the outer and inner galaxy is no place to maintain an atmosphere.
 
2022-06-01 4:33:33 AM  
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2022-06-01 4:49:00 AM  
Well, you tell those hostile alien civilizations that I'm an American and I have rights, so they can just go bother some other planet.
 
2022-06-01 6:10:56 AM  
I wonder what the other three are like.
 
2022-06-01 7:01:59 AM  
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2022-06-01 7:08:37 AM  
I'd like to be a space scientist where I get paid to come up with any old bullshiat that can't be disproven.

According to my figures, there may be *5* hostile alien species and 1 horny cat girl species desperately in need of male DNA in the Milky Way. Clearly I'm better than guy. 1 grant please.
 
2022-06-01 7:14:36 AM  
"The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life-another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod-there's only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people. An eternal threat that any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out. This is the picture of cosmic civilization. It's the explanation for the Fermi Paradox.
...
But in this dark forest, there's a stupid child called humanity, who has built a bonfire and is standing beside it shouting, 'Here I am! Here I am!'"
 
2022-06-01 7:20:13 AM  

MythDragon: I'd like to be a space scientist where I get paid to come up with any old bullshiat that can't be disproven.


Yeah, I hope this so-called study turns out to be one of those "look what these fools will publish" kind of pranks, because as described in TFA it is absolute unmitigated twaddle.
 
2022-06-01 7:20:27 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life-another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod-there's only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people. An eternal threat that any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out. This is the picture of cosmic civilization. It's the explanation for the Fermi Paradox.
...
But in this dark forest, there's a stupid child called humanity, who has built a bonfire and is standing beside it shouting, 'Here I am! Here I am!'"


Earth was the annoying teenager who went through the woods with the boom box blaring radio and TV racket all across the forest upsetting the neighbors till it went digital mostly but only after leaving a trail to itself.
 
2022-06-01 7:22:05 AM  

MythDragon: I'd like to be a space scientist where I get paid to come up with any old bullshiat that can't be disproven.



"To answer this, sole study author Alberto Caballero - a doctoral student in conflict resolution at the University of Vigo in Spain - began by looking back at human history before looking out to the stars."
 
2022-06-01 7:27:53 AM  
Like TFA pointed out it's an interesting little thought experiment but doesn't actually signify much. There's only two reasons for wars we currently know of: resources or ideology.

If you've mastered interstellar travel there are no resources down any significant gravity well that will interest you. Everything that's on Earth is enormously easier to get from asteroids, comets, or small moons.

That leaves ideology. And the reality is if, as a civilization, you've gotten smart and coordinated enough to master interstellar travel you probably aren't very war-like. Intrinsic in that fact is such a culture would have a vested interest in not allowing war-happy cultures like ours to advance to interstellar travel through either accident or artificial encouragement. The wisest recourse is to barely interact with non-interstellar cultures beyond cataloging and assessing them. Which, oddly enough is roughly what most of the UFO phenomena indicates.

That we haven't already been conquered is the best proof there is that 1) Interstellar travel is hard to achieve. 2) Interstellar species are not aggressive. 3) Interstellar species want nothing to do with us at our current stage of development.
 
2022-06-01 7:34:38 AM  

Nimbull: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life-another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod-there's only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people. An eternal threat that any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out. This is the picture of cosmic civilization. It's the explanation for the Fermi Paradox.
...
But in this dark forest, there's a stupid child called humanity, who has built a bonfire and is standing beside it shouting, 'Here I am! Here I am!'"

Earth was the annoying teenager who went through the woods with the boom box blaring radio and TV racket all across the forest upsetting the neighbors till it went digital mostly but only after leaving a trail to itself.


Eh, more like we're waving around a flashlight with half-dead batteries.

Fark user imageView Full Size

The extent of us "announcing" ourselves is the blue dot in the expanded square there. https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/news/a27934/galaxy-map-human-radio-broadcasts/

It's a great big universe and we're all really puny.
 
2022-06-01 7:50:11 AM  
The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.
 
2022-06-01 7:59:13 AM  

Boudyro: Nimbull: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life-another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod-there's only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people. An eternal threat that any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out. This is the picture of cosmic civilization. It's the explanation for the Fermi Paradox.
...
But in this dark forest, there's a stupid child called humanity, who has built a bonfire and is standing beside it shouting, 'Here I am! Here I am!'"

Earth was the annoying teenager who went through the woods with the boom box blaring radio and TV racket all across the forest upsetting the neighbors till it went digital mostly but only after leaving a trail to itself.

Eh, more like we're waving around a flashlight with half-dead batteries.

[Fark user image 425x425]
The extent of us "announcing" ourselves is the blue dot in the expanded square there. https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/news/a27934/galaxy-map-human-radio-broadcasts/

It's a great big universe and we're all really puny.


Any neighborhood is small in the sense that there's a lot that *isn't* in it, but whether it is small for practical purposes is more about what *is* in it. In this case we have announced to something on the order of ten thousand stars that we need annihilating, and specifically to the ten thousand which are best placed to do something about it.
 
2022-06-01 8:18:01 AM  

LewDux: MythDragon: I'd like to be a space scientist where I get paid to come up with any old bullshiat that can't be disproven.


"To answer this, sole study author Alberto Caballero - a doctoral student in conflict resolution at the University of Vigo in Spain - began by looking back at human history before looking out to the stars."


Our Founder.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-01 8:25:55 AM  
According to this model, the current odds of humans invading another inhabited planet are 0.028%. However, Caballero wrote, that probability refers to the current state of human civilization - and humans aren't currently capable of interstellar travel.

Well, it's good to know that even without interstellar travel, we still have a chance to invade and subjugate the dirty Centaurians.
 
2022-06-01 8:26:27 AM  

Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.


The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.
 
2022-06-01 8:39:51 AM  

spiralscratch: aleister_greynight: A lot of very big assumptions in there.  Not least of which is that being capable of interstellar travel of one form or another, does not equate to being able to travel to any star in the galaxy.

Not to mention relying heavily on correlation of human behaviors and motivations to that of aliens, when there is no possible evidence of any existing.


If the aliens are evolved life, then they probably have many of the same motivations as humans. For example, look at the rest of the (alien to us) animal kingdom here on Earth. Evolution will work the same elsewhere.
 
2022-06-01 8:41:40 AM  

iToad: On the one hand, there are probably any number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. On the other hand, none of them seem to have developed a practical method of interstellar travel. If any one of them did, they would be here by now.


Why? It's a big galaxy. When you are driving around, exploring, do you stop at every small town you go near?
 
2022-06-01 8:47:59 AM  
I like how, before even concluding anyone's out there to any degree at all, we start by assuming they're as screwed up as we are.


/Fair, I suppose. We only have one reference point.
 
2022-06-01 8:59:54 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.

The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.


Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.

Your grim necessity is dependent on a earth based understanding of competition over limited resources and space. However, when you bring the scale of interstellar space into play the sheer amount of available resources and space render competition pointless.

In fact, under such a scenario the only truly limited resource becomes knowledge, and other civilizations would be a valuable source of new knowledge. Blowing up another civilization would be like blowing up a gold mine here on earth.

The whole dark forest theory is based on earth bound thinking on competition over resources that becomes irrelevant on an interstellar scale.
 
2022-06-01 9:02:25 AM  

Copperbelly watersnake: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.

The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.

Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.

Your grim necessity is dependent on a earth based understanding of competition over limited resources and space. However, when you bring the scale of interstellar space into play the sheer amount of available resources and space render competition pointless.

In fact, under such a scenario the only truly limited resource becomes knowledge, and other civilizations would be a valuable source of new knowledge. Blowing up another civilization would be like blowing up a gold mine here on earth.

The whole dark forest theory is based on earth bound thinking on competition over resources that becomes irrelevant on an interstellar scale.


Except we have more than enough resources to go around just here on earth. We choose to live this way, which tells me that even if we were capable of interstellar travel we would still treat alien species with hostility because they might have resources too, and we can't allow that.
 
2022-06-01 9:04:49 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.

The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.


We get it. You're scared. Happens when you don't think things through.

You seem to be oblivious to the fact that civilizations who adhere to destructive tendencies always self-destruct.

It's almost as though raw animalistic Darwinsim will always lose out to evolved Darwinism where intelligence can overrule crabs-in-a-pot animalism in favor of cooperation.

You also don't seem to understand how high technology is developed. An interstellar engine is not going to be invented by a mad scientist in his garage using old washing machines and a '69 Beetle. If it's possible at all, it will take a melding of many different sciences and vast resources.

TFA got one thing right in that we are probably at least hundreds of years away from developing interstellar travel. Because if it's possible it's probably going to take the resources of a solar (not planetary) civilization to get it done. And you can't have a solar civilization if significant portions of your population will stab another's eye out just because they have an extra one.

Just look at how diverse the human race is as a planetary civilization, now consider how weird shiat is gonna get after we've become a solar civilization. There's a natural pressure to become tolerant of extreme variety, and we know what happens when that tolerance is not in place.

Stop living in the "ooga booga aliens" mindset of the 1950s.
 
2022-06-01 9:04:50 AM  
That theory is severely flawed. All it takes is an existential threat and any civilization is capable of doing horrific things in order to ensure it's survival. Homeworld overpopulation, homeworld climate catastrophe due to overpopulation, pollution, and/or difficulty maintaining a habitable homeworld climate due to excess CO2 from an earlier development stage or an aging star getting too hot would dramatically increase those odds. If an inhabited planet's climate is comparable, conquest of a less advanced civilization would be a far easier than terraforming an uninhabited one, especially if the aggressor civilization is in such a bad way that their civilization in on the brink of collapse. In other words, Darwin still reigns supreme, even on an interstellar scale.
 
2022-06-01 9:06:24 AM  

Copperbelly watersnake: Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.


Now you are assuming only "logical" reasons count. For all we know they are the sole remaining faction of a planetary multi-generation ideological war that almost wiped the species out. It is very logical for them to wipe out competing ideologies with a sneak attack in order to prevent more of those wars.

/Maybe we will find a species of spacecow at some point
//And they taste delicious
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2022-06-01 9:14:06 AM  

iToad: On the one hand, there are probably any number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. On the other hand, none of them seem to have developed a practical method of interstellar travel. If any one of them did, they would be here by now.


You're being ridiculous. Between TSA and flight cancellations, they'd be here next week at the earliest. And that's assuming they can afford the gas.
 
2022-06-01 9:16:13 AM  

DerAppie: Copperbelly watersnake: Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.

Now you are assuming only "logical" reasons count. For all we know they are the sole remaining faction of a planetary multi-generation ideological war that almost wiped the species out. It is very logical for them to wipe out competing ideologies with a sneak attack in order to prevent more of those wars.

/Maybe we will find a species of spacecow at some point
//And they taste delicious


Logical might have been the wrong word to use, but again I'm not arguing altruistic here. The best possible benefit for an interstellar civilization when meeting another civilization would be to trade for new technologies, ideas, and genetic adaptations (and no I'm not talking Kirk type trading).

It's a big galaxy and anything is possible, but going back to my original point, the most likely outcome for any civilization that xenophobic and violent is that they would have wiped themselves out before attaining interstellar travel.
 
2022-06-01 9:30:17 AM  

AdmirableSnackbar: Copperbelly watersnake: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.

The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.

Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.

Your grim necessity is dependent on a earth based understanding of competition over limited resources and space. However, when you bring the scale of interstellar space into play the sheer amount of available resources and space render competition pointless.

In fact, under such a scenario the only truly limited resource becomes knowledge, and other civilizations would be a valuable source of new knowledge. Blowing up another civilization would be like blowing up a gold mine here on earth.

The whole dark forest theory is based on earth bound thinking on competition over resources that becomes irrelevant on an interstellar scale.

Except we have more than enough resources to go around just here on earth. We choose to live this way, which tells me that even if we were capable of interstellar travel we would still treat alien species with hostility because they might have resources too, and we can't allow that.


We do that because we haven't grown the fark up yet. The fact we haven't is actually putting pressure on us to do so. Because if we don't we'll burn this planet to a cinder.

I'd argue very very few people actually realize we have more than enough to go around if we'd stop letting sociopaths hoard it. Even those that do realize it still have to operate as though it's not true because of the aforementioned sociopaths.

That's our next hurdle as a civilization, to stop all this infighting and start using our resources collectively. Either we learn it now before we spoil the planet, or we learn it after when we have no choice but to share the resources of a broken planet to survive.

All signs point to we're gonna have to learn the hard way. But either way we learn the lesson or we cease to be a civilization that ever has any hope of traveling to another star.
 
2022-06-01 9:33:35 AM  

Boudyro: That's our next hurdle as a civilization, to stop all this infighting and start using our resources collectively.


That sounds like communism, though.
 
2022-06-01 9:45:43 AM  
They may even be horny and coming here to steal our women. We need to prepare to meet such a threat!
 
2022-06-01 9:49:06 AM  

Boudyro: AdmirableSnackbar: Copperbelly watersnake: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.

The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.

Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.

Your grim necessity is dependent on a earth based understanding of competition over limited resources and space. However, when you bring the scale of interstellar space into play the sheer amount of available resources and space render competition pointless.

In fact, under such a scenario the only truly limited resource becomes knowledge, and other civilizations would be a valuable source of new knowledge. Blowing up another civilization would be like blowing up a gold mine here on earth.

The whole dark forest theory is based on earth bound thinking on competition over resources that becomes irrelevant on an interstellar scale.

Except we have more than enough resources to go around just here on earth. We choose to live this way, which tells me that even if we were capable of interstellar travel we would still treat alien species with hostility because they might have resources too, and we can't allow that.

We do that because we haven't grown the fark up yet. The fact we haven't is actually putting pressure on us to do so. Because if we don't we'll burn this planet to a cinder.

I'd argue very very few people actually realize we have more than enough to go around if we'd stop letting sociopaths hoard it. Even those that do realize it still have to operate as though it's not true because of the aforementioned sociopaths.

That's our next hurdle as a civilization, to stop all this infighting and start using our resources collectively. Either we learn it now before we spoil the planet, or we learn it after when we have no choice but to share the resources of a broken planet to survive.

All signs point to we're gonna have to learn the hard way. But either way we learn the lesson or we cease to be a civilization that ever has any hope of traveling to another star.


The Dark Forest hypothesis doesnt have anything to do with resource scarcity. It's game theory. The basic idea is that 1) Any technological civilization could become a threat based on how technological development increases exponentially. 2) There is no way to tell if a civilization is benevolent from a distance, regardless of what they say. 3) Any civilization advanced enough to be detected will eventually be advanced enough to detect anyone that can detect them. 4) The potential cost of being detected by a malevolent civilization is infinite(they destroy you). 5)Everyone else in the universe is smart enough figure this out as well.

So the only reasonable response to detecting a technological civilization is to destroy them before they destroy you because if you wait to find out if they are friendly and they aren't you'll have doomed yourself.

At least, that's sort of the idea. It's been a while since o read that book.
 
2022-06-01 9:49:42 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life-another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod-there's only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people. An eternal threat that any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out. This is the picture of cosmic civilization. It's the explanation for the Fermi Paradox.
...
But in this dark forest, there's a stupid child called humanity, who has built a bonfire and is standing beside it shouting, 'Here I am! Here I am!'"


upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2022-06-01 10:12:57 AM  

balko: Boudyro: AdmirableSnackbar: Copperbelly watersnake: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.

The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.

Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.

Your grim necessity is dependent on a earth based understanding of competition over limited resources and space. However, when you bring the scale of interstellar space into play the sheer amount of available resources and space render competition pointless.

In fact, under such a scenario the only truly limited resource becomes knowledge, and other civilizations would be a valuable source of new knowledge. Blowing up another civilization would be like blowing up a gold mine here on earth.

The whole dark forest theory is based on earth bound thinking on competition over resources that becomes irrelevant on an interstellar scale.

Except we have more than enough resources to go around just here on earth. We choose to live this way, which tells me that even if we were capable of interstellar travel we would still treat alien species with hostility because they might have resources too, and we can't allow that.

We do that because we haven't grown the fark up yet. The fact we haven't is actually putting pressure on us to do so. Because if we don't we'll burn this planet to a cinder.

I'd argue very very few people actually realize we have more than enough to go around if we'd stop letting sociopaths hoard it. Even those that do realize it still have to operate as though it's not true because of the aforementioned sociopaths.

That's our next hurdle as a civilization, to stop all this infighting and start using our resources collectively. Either we learn it now before we spoil the planet, or we learn it after when we have no choice but to share the resources of a broken planet to survive.

All signs point to we're gonna have to learn the hard way. But either way we learn the lesson or we cease to be a civilization that ever has any hope of traveling to another star.

The Dark Forest hypothesis doesnt have anything to do with resource scarcity. It's game theory. The basic idea is that 1) Any technological civilization could become a threat based on how technological development increases exponentially. 2) There is no way to tell if a civilization is benevolent from a distance, regardless of what they say. 3) Any civilization advanced enough to be detected will eventually be advanced enough to detect anyone that can detect them. 4) The potential cost of being detected by a malevolent civilization is infinite(they destroy you). 5)Everyone else in the universe is smart enough figure this out as well.

So the only reasonable response to detecting a technological civilization is to destroy them before they destroy you because if you wait to find out if they are friendly and they aren't you'll have doomed yourself.

At least, that's sort of the idea. It's been a while since o read that book.


Yeah. I understand the theory. I just think it's bs.

First off, by game theory logic the best move during for the US or USSR would have been to launch a surprise nuclear first strike.

Secondly, any civilization under dark forest that wiped out another would both reveal their existence to any other civilizations hiding out there and mark themselves as the number one threat to all those other civilizations since they just wiped someone else out without provocation.

Dark forest is one of those ideas that sounds smart on paper but just doesn't hold up if you think it through.
 
2022-06-01 10:32:05 AM  

Copperbelly watersnake: balko: Boudyro: AdmirableSnackbar: Copperbelly watersnake: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.


*Looks around* umm
 
2022-06-01 10:35:55 AM  
One event (asteroid strike) that calculating the probability of is extremely tough is 100 times more likely than an even that you have 0 chance of calculating the probability of.    Seems legit
 
2022-06-01 10:51:12 AM  

Boudyro: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: The problem with the whole dark forest theory and violent alien civilization thing is any cultural that devoted to war mongering would have probably wiped itself out through something like nuclear mutually assured destruction long before they achieved interstellar travel.

The idea is that any species rational enough to grasp a couple of simple premises and follow them to their logical conclusion will understand that their own survival depends upon avoiding or, failing that, annihilating alien civilizations whenever possible. It's about calculating a grim necessity, not about warmongering or love of violence, or animosity or greed or even fear.


We get it. You're scared. Happens when you don't think things through.

You seem to be oblivious to the fact that civilizations who adhere to destructive tendencies always self-destruct.



WTF is with this tone. Do you think that I am Liu Cixin? Or more precisely, a character in his novels?

If you don't buy the premises or the reasoning of this particular sci-fi idea, fair enough. But when you clearly don't know what the premises and reasoning even farking *are*, you're liable to sound like a fool when you ignoramusplain what's wrong with them.

IMO the dark forest concept is at least as plausible as any other speculation about alien civilization on the basis of virtually nothing (certainly it is more carefully thought out than your blather above, or what's in TFA). At any rate, the books are worth a read; not always the most engaging narrative, but thoughtful and inventive.
 
2022-06-01 10:53:06 AM  

CrazyCurt: iToad: On the one hand, there are probably any number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. On the other hand, none of them seem to have developed a practical method of interstellar travel. If any one of them did, they would be here by now.

Why? Our system isn't really that interesting from a distance. There's no guarantee star-faring alien life would be attracted to our water planet. A nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere could be poisonous. Our system is just one of dozens within just 50 light years. Our star is even somewhat boring compared to the binaries that are the most common systems.

/ Douglas Adams had the best take -- if anything we'll be cleared for a new space bypass.


Lots of liquid water in one place would be nice to loot, as would our oxygen-rich atmosphere. Plus, there's all these stupid hominid things that can be brainwashed into mining gold for free. 🤷‍♂
 
2022-06-01 11:01:35 AM  

Copperbelly watersnake: DerAppie: Copperbelly watersnake: Why? Interstellar travel would give a civilization a virtually unlimited supply of resources. Therefore, there's zero logical reason for interstellar civilizations to be in competition.

Now you are assuming only "logical" reasons count. For all we know they are the sole remaining faction of a planetary multi-generation ideological war that almost wiped the species out. It is very logical for them to wipe out competing ideologies with a sneak attack in order to prevent more of those wars.

/Maybe we will find a species of spacecow at some point
//And they taste delicious

Logical might have been the wrong word to use, but again I'm not arguing altruistic here. The best possible benefit for an interstellar civilization when meeting another civilization would be to trade for new technologies, ideas, and genetic adaptations (and no I'm not talking Kirk type trading).

It's a big galaxy and anything is possible, but going back to my original point, the most likely outcome for any civilization that xenophobic and violent is that they would have wiped themselves out before attaining interstellar travel.


Or they learned to be xenophobic and isolationist from contact with other species.

"The best possible benefit for an interstellar civilization when meeting another civilization would be to trade for new technologies, ideas, and genetic adaptations" assumes behaviour not in evidence even among humans. Black people still vote republican at times, Elon Musk is still spouting BS on twitter, people protest laws that would improve lives.

There is no reason to assume any of that would change if we discovered FTL travel at some point.
 
2022-06-01 11:07:43 AM  

Copperbelly watersnake: Secondly, any civilization under dark forest that wiped out another would both reveal their existence to any other civilizations hiding out there and mark themselves as the number one threat to all those other civilizations since they just wiped someone else out without provocation.


In the story (spoilers for not a new book) a credible threat to broadcast the attacking aliens' location is used as a form of MAD which allows two species to at least temporarily coexist. It is indicated that this is atypical and the destruction of a system normally wouldn't reveal the attacker's origin to third parties. (And every species which isn't a "stupid child" needs no provocation).
 
2022-06-01 11:13:36 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Copperbelly watersnake: Secondly, any civilization under dark forest that wiped out another would both reveal their existence to any other civilizations hiding out there and mark themselves as the number one threat to all those other civilizations since they just wiped someone else out without provocation.

In the story (spoilers for not a new book) a credible threat to broadcast the attacking aliens' location is used as a form of MAD which allows two species to at least temporarily coexist. It is indicated that this is atypical and the destruction of a system normally wouldn't reveal the attacker's origin to third parties. (And every species which isn't a "stupid child" needs no provocation).


Because the author needed a Deus ex machina with which to defeat the all powerful aliens. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. But it's still a fictional scenario that played out that way bc that's how the author wrote it.
 
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