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(National Geographic)   "Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying." - Arthur C. Clarke   ( news.nationalgeographic.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Milky Way, Solar System, Star, extragalactic exoplanets, distant quasar galaxy, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Sun, highly nuanced process  
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2007 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Feb 2018 at 5:50 PM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-05 05:19:33 PM  
I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.
 
2018-02-05 05:24:25 PM  

naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.


I don't know which is more terrifying but being completely alone is almost outside of the realm of possibility given the sheer scale of things.  And we're not even made of strange things.  1 for 1 the most common elements in the universe (excepting helium, which is inert) make up life here.
 
2018-02-05 05:37:55 PM  
Eh, so long as you aren't stuck with a lot of humans.


...wait. Do hunams read?
 
2018-02-05 05:39:11 PM  
So if we're not alone, how long before someone comes and saves our farking asses? Hoping it's not after a World War.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 05:46:53 PM  

whidbey: So if we're not alone, how long before someone comes and saves our farking asses? Hoping it's not after a World War.

[img.fark.net image 533x351]


Enterprise's last season was really good.
Especially for their Mirror Universe story arch opening.
Star Trek : Enterprise (In a Mirror, Darkly) - Opening Intro
Youtube T5QLokGTdyg
 
2018-02-05 05:48:20 PM  

optikeye: whidbey: So if we're not alone, how long before someone comes and saves our farking asses? Hoping it's not after a World War.

[img.fark.net image 533x351]

Enterprise's last season was really good.
Especially for their Mirror Universe story arch opening.
[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/T5QLokGT​dyg]


I love that intro. Backstabbing bastards.
 
2018-02-05 05:54:03 PM  
- Michael Scott
 
2018-02-05 06:01:18 PM  
I have figured out the secret that will allow man to travel across the vast distances of space. Longevity. Once we get our life spans up to 1 million years or more, it wont be so bad.
 
2018-02-05 06:06:38 PM  
What's the deal with all the Fermi Paradox headlines recently?

Fermi Paradox Solutions
Youtube Z4snQS1QGD4
 
2018-02-05 06:09:15 PM  
I would bet that the universe has plenty of life, just that the vast majority lacks the capacity to develop technology. Even if a species has the capacity to develop technologically, they may lack the necessary resources, being stuck in a perpetual stone age.
 
2018-02-05 06:09:30 PM  

naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.


You've not contemplated the horrible obscenities an alien race would have no compunctions about committing. Not only every orifice but how about telepathic suirape.
 
2018-02-05 06:10:21 PM  

Voiceofreason01: What's the deal with all the Fermi Paradox headlines recently?

[YouTube video: Fermi Paradox Solutions]


We finally got rid of TechnoBevets, we need something new
 
2018-02-05 06:16:55 PM  
What about Schrodinger's aliens? Sheesh Aurthur, do I have to think of EVERYTHING!?
 
2018-02-05 06:18:25 PM  
First line of TFA: Scientists have long thought that exoplanets-planets beyond the solar system-were restricted to the confines of our Milky Way.

Whoa.  I know what you were trying to say, but that is one awfully worded sentence there.
 
2018-02-05 06:21:01 PM  
What's mind-bending:  either you'll exist eternally or you won't.
 
2018-02-05 06:38:28 PM  
There's also the time factor. Human civilization has only been around for 10k years, tops. We've been emitting detectable signals for only a bit over a century. There may have been other civilizations on other worlds not all that far from us, but long ago by our standards, and/or we'll be long gone by the time they form.
 
2018-02-05 06:42:36 PM  
We are alone because we want to be, we haven't found a alien to date that meets our high standards. Three boobs is a must.
 
2018-02-05 06:48:10 PM  

naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.


I would disagree on the idea that if we are not alone it means that there is likely some problems coming up that may very well end all human life. If intelligent life evolves frequently in the universe then there is no reason why we shouldn't be seeing some sign of it or it having arrived here millions of years ago and settled the planet before humans ever came into being unless something wipes out all intelligent life before it can reach a point where it could conceivably travel the stars. If intelligent life (or any life) is incredibly rare to the point of non existence then whatever great barrier or barriers exist are things we have already passed and thus in all likelihood we will eventually master the stars ourselves.
 
2018-02-05 06:54:27 PM  
still in line with my theory that the universe is a giant ant farm or table experiment.  set-up the system and see what happens.
 
2018-02-05 06:59:58 PM  
i.imgflip.comView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 07:06:01 PM  

Clash City Farker: I have figured out the secret that will allow man to travel across the vast distances of space. Longevity. Once we get our life spans up to 1 million years or more, it wont be so bad.


Like any storage device, the human brain has a finite storage capacity.  Our brains would run out of storage space long before a million years have gone by.  It's likely that the brain doesn't handle a lack of storage space very well.
 
2018-02-05 07:11:15 PM  
Any self-respecting star-faring species wouldn't want to associate themselves with us cretins.
 
2018-02-05 07:11:32 PM  

naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.


Except, demonstrably, we AREN'T alone.

Like, at all.

We aren't even beings. We're conglomerations, Epiphenomena created by a network of squids circle jerking in a ball of cholesterol surrounded by countless microbes holding hands around a pile of shiat, all of which is made from the most common elements in the universe in the most common ratio.

We are the universe experiencing itself.

The sheer arrogance of the "we're alone" kind of thought is surpassed only by its anthro-centric ignorant definition of being.

And that's even without considering that they've just found enough new viruses in the past YEAR  to put estimates of viral biomass as ten to XX times more plentiful than any other kind.

If it took till 2018 to even notice some of these little buggers ON EARTH, it's basically assured they must exist elsewhere. Tiny, simple, most common elements, most common ratio, wide environmental range...

We're not alone. Impossible.

Far more frightening is that we'll probably die without them discovering green humanoids with compatible genitals, like in Star Trek.
 
2018-02-05 07:13:01 PM  

naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.


Neither possibility really frightens me.  Since we know of nowhere else in the universe that has life, we are essentially alone now, and I'm not frightened by that.  It's just the status quo.  I suppose it'd be comforting to know that some species became starfaring and started colonizing space, it would give our species hope, I suppose.

If there is life out there, then the tiny probably that they could find us and kill us or worse is balanced out by a way bigger hope of what we could learn.  (And, unlike the case with America, I don't think it'd be profitable to conquer another planet.  Too much overhead.  So I'd take the chances of alien hostility to be a bit lower.)
 
2018-02-05 07:15:11 PM  
 
2018-02-05 07:16:12 PM  

nekom: naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.

I don't know which is more terrifying but being completely alone is almost outside of the realm of possibility given the sheer scale of things.  And we're not even made of strange things.  1 for 1 the most common elements in the universe (excepting helium, which is inert) make up life here.


How do you know the chances of molecules lining up in exactly the right way to allow for sustained reduplication aren't seomthing like one-in-a-pentillion per planet per year?
 
2018-02-05 07:16:27 PM  

Voiceofreason01: What's the deal with all the Fermi Paradox headlines recently?

[YouTube video: Fermi Paradox Solutions]


This is slowly how the government is prepping us for the reveal of the Stargate program.
 
2018-02-05 07:21:48 PM  

jaggspb: still in line with my theory that the universe is a giant ant farm or table experiment.  set-up the system and see what happens.


I read that as "a giant ant's farm to table experiment." Scary stuff, but what if...
 
2018-02-05 07:23:16 PM  

ThreadSinger: Voiceofreason01: What's the deal with all the Fermi Paradox headlines recently?

[YouTube video: Fermi Paradox Solutions]

This is slowly how the government is prepping us for the reveal of the Stargate program.


Except all the addresses are black holes.
 
2018-02-05 07:24:12 PM  

Myria: Clash City Farker: I have figured out the secret that will allow man to travel across the vast distances of space. Longevity. Once we get our life spans up to 1 million years or more, it wont be so bad.

Like any storage device, the human brain has a finite storage capacity.  Our brains would run out of storage space long before a million years have gone by.  It's likely that the brain doesn't handle a lack of storage space very well.


Longer than you think, dad LONGER THAN YOU THINK
 
2018-02-05 07:24:43 PM  

aerojockey: nekom: naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.

I don't know which is more terrifying but being completely alone is almost outside of the realm of possibility given the sheer scale of things.  And we're not even made of strange things.  1 for 1 the most common elements in the universe (excepting helium, which is inert) make up life here.

How do you know the chances of molecules lining up in exactly the right way to allow for sustained reduplication aren't seomthing like one-in-a-pentillion per planet per year?


Math error, that would mean something like a new lifeform somwhere in the universe every year, assuming number of start with habitable planets is around 1/1000.  But you get the idea.  Sheer scale applies to small things as well as big things, and it can get out of hand when combinatorics get involved.
 
2018-02-05 07:37:37 PM  

Clash City Farker: I have figured out the secret that will allow man to travel across the vast distances of space. Longevity. Once we get our life spans up to 1 million years or more, it wont be so bad.


No worries mate, I'll just hop into the old computer here and be uploaded in a jiffy!
Say nothing of the sort of machine that can last a million years..
 
2018-02-05 08:00:16 PM  

ThreadSinger: Voiceofreason01: What's the deal with all the Fermi Paradox headlines recently?

[YouTube video: Fermi Paradox Solutions]

This is slowly how the government is prepping us for the reveal of the Stargate program.


Some people believe that the government started using pop culture a long, long time ago to slowly prepare us for the fact that aliens have already made con+++++CARRIER LOST++++++
 
2018-02-05 08:07:58 PM  

Anenu: naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.

I would disagree on the idea that if we are not alone it means that there is likely some problems coming up that may very well end all human life. If intelligent life evolves frequently in the universe then there is no reason why we shouldn't be seeing some sign of it or it having arrived here millions of years ago and settled the planet before humans ever came into being unless something wipes out all intelligent life before it can reach a point where it could conceivably travel the stars. If intelligent life (or any life) is incredibly rare to the point of non existence then whatever great barrier or barriers exist are things we have already passed and thus in all likelihood we will eventually master the stars ourselves.


If there are 100 requirements for intelligent life to develop and there's a 1 in 10 chance of any of them happening on a given planet that means the chances of intelligent life developing on a given planet is (1/10) * (1/10) * (1/10).....97 more times. So I tend to agree that the chance that intelligent life exists at all and becomes technological is tiny but once you've reached that point chances are pretty good you're alright.
 
2018-02-05 08:13:49 PM  
aerojockey:
How do you know the chances of molecules lining up in exactly the right way to allow for sustained reduplication aren't seomthing like one-in-a-pentillion per planet per year?

I don't know that.  I'm speculating based on the data available to me.  But once Earth settled down from its fiery beginnings, cooled and obtained water, how long after that did simple life arise?  Few hundred million years?  That's the blink of an eye on the cosmic timeline.  Granted it was a LOT longer before we became what we could call intelligent beings, and a bit longer still until we figured out the whole radio thing which should notionally be able to allow us to send/receive interstellar messages, but if we're counting all life there's just got to be more out there.  That's what my gut and my best educated guess say anyway.  I'll never be proven wrong, can't prove a negative, but it's conceivable that in my lifetime I'll be proven right.  I won't hold my breath, just sayin.
 
2018-02-05 08:20:52 PM  
We'll make meaningful contact with another civilization just in time for them to hear our death rattle. By the looks of things within the next couple of months.
 
2018-02-05 08:25:42 PM  
Turn a Ringworld into a RAM Jet and let your greatXgrand kids explore.  Carve operating instruction into the scrith.
 
2018-02-05 08:42:58 PM  

nekom: aerojockey:
How do you know the chances of molecules lining up in exactly the right way to allow for sustained reduplication aren't seomthing like one-in-a-pentillion per planet per year?

I don't know that.  I'm speculating based on the data available to me.  But once Earth settled down from its fiery beginnings, cooled and obtained water, how long after that did simple life arise?  Few hundred million years?  That's the blink of an eye on the cosmic timeline.  Granted it was a LOT longer before we became what we could call intelligent beings, and a bit longer still until we figured out the whole radio thing which should notionally be able to allow us to send/receive interstellar messages, but if we're counting all life there's just got to be more out there.  That's what my gut and my best educated guess say anyway.  I'll never be proven wrong, can't prove a negative, but it's conceivable that in my lifetime I'll be proven right.  I won't hold my breath, just sayin.


About as soon as possible.

Likewise, terrestrial life is composed of the most common elements in the most common ratio.

Basically, it happened here, and should happen anywhere else that's got the potential.

we could be an inexorable physical process not a unique rarity.
 
2018-02-05 08:43:54 PM  

nekom: Few hundred million years? That's the blink of an eye on the cosmic timeline.


What?  No it isn't.  It's about 1/40 the current age of the universe.

nekom: That's what my gut and my best educated guess say anyway.


Fair enough.  But here's what you originally said: "almost outside of the realm of possibility".  Yeah, a little bit stronger statement than "best educated guess" there.

FWIW, when I realized the math error, it did nudge me a little bit toward inevitability of life elsewhere.  The estimate for number of habitable planets has gone up since the the last time I did this calculation.
 
2018-02-05 08:46:51 PM  

gnosis301: What's mind-bending:  either you'll exist eternally or you won't.


Spoiler alert: you won't (Although the atoms that make you up will last for a long, long time).
 
2018-02-05 08:55:49 PM  

doglover: nekom: aerojockey:
How do you know the chances of molecules lining up in exactly the right way to allow for sustained reduplication aren't seomthing like one-in-a-pentillion per planet per year?

I don't know that.  I'm speculating based on the data available to me.  But once Earth settled down from its fiery beginnings, cooled and obtained water, how long after that did simple life arise?  Few hundred million years?  That's the blink of an eye on the cosmic timeline.  Granted it was a LOT longer before we became what we could call intelligent beings, and a bit longer still until we figured out the whole radio thing which should notionally be able to allow us to send/receive interstellar messages, but if we're counting all life there's just got to be more out there.  That's what my gut and my best educated guess say anyway.  I'll never be proven wrong, can't prove a negative, but it's conceivable that in my lifetime I'll be proven right.  I won't hold my breath, just sayin.

About as soon as possible.

Likewise, terrestrial life is composed of the most common elements in the most common ratio.

Basically, it happened here, and should happen anywhere else that's got the potential.

we could be an inexorable physical process not a unique rarity.


If i put a cup of sugar water on my counter and leave it for a week I get a jar of mold but if I tweak the ratio of sugar to water just right and leave a string hanging in the glass then I get candy. Life could be the similar: you need a sun that's small enough to be long-lived but big enough to be stable and not regularly dose the planet in ionizing radiation. You need a planet with a strong magnetic field for the same reason. You need a planet big enough to hold an atmosphere but small enough to allow complex molecules to form. You need enough free oxygen(anaerobic processes don't provide enough energy for complex life). You need enough heavy elements(carbon etc) which are common now but weren't much earlier than when our star formed. And you need that first self-replicating molecule which probably didn't start on Earth for millions of years even after the planet should have been capable of supporting it.
 
2018-02-05 08:56:53 PM  
One's a little more terrifying than the other
img.fark.netView Full Size

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kil​l​ing_Star
 
2018-02-05 08:57:20 PM  
Just remember kiddies, literally everything - E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G - you've ever read, heard, or seen about aliens ( except streetlights of course) is 100% pure speculation. No matter how learned the opinion, no one  knows a gol-durn thing about aliens, except Clarke, and nothing said by anyone since he made that statement 40-50 years ago has been more accurate.
 
2018-02-05 09:06:03 PM  

Crewmannumber6: We'll make meaningful contact with another civilization just in time for them to hear our death rattle. By the looks of things within the next couple of months.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 09:27:02 PM  
If an alien shiats on the other side of the galaxy and no human is around to witness it do they really exist? For all practical purposes we are alone.  The energy requirements of things like warping space, and the laws of the universe mean that without a miracle, we're never going to meet our neighbours.
 
2018-02-05 09:28:43 PM  
The most likely explanation is that we are among the first sets of planets to develop sentient life.  Tons will be around in a billion more years.  But we are among the first in this galaxy.

Face it suckers, we are the "ancients" and nobody is coming to save us from ourselves.
 
2018-02-05 09:34:13 PM  
I like The Dark Forest Theory
The first axiom is that survival is the primary need of civilization. Therefore, civilizations will do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival. The second axiom is that civilizations always grow and expand, but the amount of matter and resources in the universe are finite. 

So every civilization other than your own is a likely threat. At the very least, they are occupying a planet that you could use to expand your civilization. At worst, they are more technologically advanced and will wipe out your civilization to expand their own. 

When two civilizations meet, they will want to know if the other is going to be friendly or hostile. One side might act friendly, but the other side won't know if they are just faking it to put them at ease while armies are built in secret. This is called chains of suspicion. You don't know for sure what the other side's intentions are. On Earth this is resolved through communication and diplomacy. But for civilizations in different solar systems, that's not possible due to the vast distances and time between message sent and received. Bottom line is, every civilization could be a threat and it's impossible to know for sure, therefore they must be destroyed to ensure your survival.

You might be thinking that if an advanced civilization detects the radio signals from Earth then they would know that we are less advanced and therefore not a threat. But again you have to consider the vast distance and time it takes for those signals to travel. Even if a nearby civilization (only 10 or 20 light years away) detects us, it would take hundreds or even thousands of years for them to reach us and that is plenty of time for a technological explosion. If they don't attack us at once, then we might develop technology fast enough to catch up and threaten them. 

It won't be like Star Trek. Without faster than light travel, there won't be any communication, diplomacy or trade with alien races. It's kill or be killed.

So that's why we haven't heard a peep from other civilizations. The universe is a dark forest where every civilization is a silent hunter. They desperately try to stay undetectable while hunting for other planets to colonize and threats to destroy.
 
2018-02-05 10:00:52 PM  

Nefarious: I like The Dark Forest Theory
The first axiom is that survival is the primary need of civilization. Therefore, civilizations will do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival. The second axiom is that civilizations always grow and expand, but the amount of matter and resources in the universe are finite. 

So every civilization other than your own is a likely threat. At the very least, they are occupying a planet that you could use to expand your civilization. At worst, they are more technologically advanced and will wipe out your civilization to expand their own. 

When two civilizations meet, they will want to know if the other is going to be friendly or hostile. One side might act friendly, but the other side won't know if they are just faking it to put them at ease while armies are built in secret. This is called chains of suspicion. You don't know for sure what the other side's intentions are. On Earth this is resolved through communication and diplomacy. But for civilizations in different solar systems, that's not possible due to the vast distances and time between message sent and received. Bottom line is, every civilization could be a threat and it's impossible to know for sure, therefore they must be destroyed to ensure your survival.

You might be thinking that if an advanced civilization detects the radio signals from Earth then they would know that we are less advanced and therefore not a threat. But again you have to consider the vast distance and time it takes for those signals to travel. Even if a nearby civilization (only 10 or 20 light years away) detects us, it would take hundreds or even thousands of years for them to reach us and that is plenty of time for a technological explosion. If they don't attack us at once, then we might develop technology fast enough to catch up and threaten them. 

It won't be like Star Trek. Without faster than light travel, there won't be any communication, diplomacy or trade with alien races. It's kill or be kil ...


Well that's depressing to think about.
 
2018-02-05 10:01:51 PM  
XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Intro Cinematic
Youtube L2o2iW4mPR8

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 10:09:34 PM  

naughtyrev: I think that being alone would be the more terrifying of the two possibilities.


I would be much more worried if we found we weren't alone.  The problem is the great filter.  We don't see ETs--that basically says there's a filter.  That leaves two possibilities:

1)  We were very, very lucky and have already made it past.

2)  It's in the future.  That means our destruction in the not too far future is virtually certain.
 
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