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Old June 21 2012, 03:41 AM   #31
The Dominion
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Maab of the Ten Tribes wrote: View Post
The Dominion wrote: View Post

This guy is a goldmine of bullshit. The hair is just the icing on the cake.
I love that dude. If he started a church I would go to it.
He could probably make a killing as an Evangelist.
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Old June 21 2012, 01:39 PM   #32
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Ancient Aliens

throwback wrote: View Post
I believe there are other civilizations in the galaxy. I believe that a smaller number of these civilizations developed FTL flight and have colonized other systems. I believe that our civilization and theirs would be alike in many ways, but different in other ways.

I am dubious that an advanced civilization would send a crewed ship to explore a system. I think they would do what we are doing - first, explore a system using telescopes to see what planets are orbiting a system, then send a space probe to the most promising systems for an in-depth examination. I think colonization would come later, and I think expansion would come about like the Polynesians settled the Pacific Ocean.

I think it's possible that we have already been scanned by other civilizations. I think it's possible that our system has already been visited by one or more probes.

As for these civilizations being able to pick up and comprehend our radio transmissions, could they? The galaxy is filled with sound. Now, it's not sound like we know on Earth. This sound has to be picked up by specialized equipment that is designed to synthesize the sound into a form we can recognize. We can now hear the 'voice' of our star and its planets. I would think these sounds would drown out radio transmissions the farther out they are from our system. Furthermore, our space probes are designed specifically to respond to radio signals. Has anyone done an experiment where the space probe has to find a radio signal from all the other noise out there? I think it's foolish to think that an advanced civilization would dedicate its resources towards picking up a radio signal from another civilization. Even in our world, we are working on the next phase of communication based on quantum mechanics.
Of course, what one believes is completely irrelevant to what actually is.

I'd like to think there are other civilizations out there. Maybe they exist, maybe they don't. We won't know for sure unless and until we meet one or find evidence of one's past existence.
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Old June 21 2012, 02:42 PM   #33
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Re: Ancient Aliens

The Dominion wrote: View Post


This guy is a goldmine of bullshit. The hair is just the icing on the cake.


The hair slays me
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Old June 21 2012, 09:03 PM   #34
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Re: Ancient Aliens

throwback wrote: View Post
These nations are the core of the UN Security Council:
* United States is a federal presidential constitutional republic.
* United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
* France is a unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic.
* Russia is a federal semi-presidential constitutional republic.
* China is a nominally Marxist-Leninist single-party system nation.

Excluding China, how are these nations liberal democracies?
The phrase "liberal democracy" is a general term in political science to describe a political system which combines democratic rule (usually as expressed via representative democracy) with a system that enumerates and protects certain rights (individual rights and, often, minority group rights). So, for instance, a society whose government is chosen by free and fair elections but whose government is constitutionally prohibited from suppressing free speech, free exercise of religion, from engaging in arbitrary arrests and detentions, from denying those accused of crimes access to courts, and which is obligated to provide universal health care, would generally be considered a "liberal democracy."

(The term "liberal" is being used in the sense of classical liberalism, not in the modern sense of a political faction occurring along a right-left ideological divide within a democracy.)

A liberal democracy may also be a federal presidential constitutional republic, or it may also be a federal semi-presidential constitutional republic, or it may be a unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic, or it may be a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, or it may be a unitary parliamentary republic, or it may be a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, or it may be a unitary presidential constitutional republic. Etc. The status of "liberal democracy" is not mutually exclusive with any of these other constitutional arrangements.

Of the P-5 members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, United Kingdom, and French Republic are generally considered to be liberal democracies. The Russian Federation was sometimes considered a liberal democracy in the 1990s, but the rise of Vladimir Putin -- leading to violence against his political opponents and journalists, and, this past year, a seemingly rigged presidential election, plus his former status as the de facto ruler of Russia while nominally serving as the de jure Russian President's prime minister -- has led many to remove Russia from the list of liberal democracies. (Some argue that Russia still qualifies as an illiberal democracy, however.)
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Old June 21 2012, 09:12 PM   #35
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Re: Ancient Aliens

If there are 'ancient aliens' who have ever visited us, I would think they'd be those described by Douglas Adams - i.e. immature teenage aliens who land right next to some poor soul whom no one will ever believe and strut around in front of them making BEEP BEEP noises.

Real, mature aliens wouldn't bother with Earth. If they have the technology to get here at all, we would be rather beneath them.
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Old June 21 2012, 09:55 PM   #36
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Even so, let's address these speculations:
Nobody gave modern liberal democracies their knowledge and freedom. The philosophy and societal structure that enabled them (and the thinkers/scientists that built their bases) to make these advances is also the one that lead to their system of governance.
True as that is, it is NOT what lead to their economic prosperity or their military dominance. It wasn't their philosophies that made them powerful, it was their having made the right investments at the right time to prosper from them when they needed it most. The most important of those investments is cementing national unity: ANY liberal democracy is doomed to collapse if it cannot effectively suppress or at least limit the consequences of political dissent. The more volatile the situation, the less dissent is tolerated (which is the PRIMARY reason why preventing the Confederate States from leaving the Union was so important in the 19th century; had the Confederacy established the precedent for secession, NEITHER nation would have survived very long before internal schisms ripped them apart).

Political unity is key, in addition to either key investments in technology and infrastructure that promote a nation's internal stability. Liberal democracies accomplished this by giving powerful industrialists and and landowners -- who would have otherwise used their resources to launch small-scale insurrections -- to express their political dissent in a more controlled form that won't destabilize the entire nation. Oligarchies accomplish the same goal in almost the same way, the only difference is they don't pretend to give a voice to the powerless and are open about their contempt for the lower classes. And when all political and ecomomic power congeals into a small class of elites, the difference between a liberal democracy and a plutocracy is just a matter of labels.

If you give Rome modern science and technology (and the time, means and will to understand it) and economic knowledge (which it almost completely lacked) then it would not be Rome any longer - not in the least.
I think you'd be hard pressed to say the Romans lacked a basic understanding of economics. The most you can say is that they made a lot of very poor economic choices as a society, but it's virtually impossible to regulate an empire that size without SOME understanding of economics, even if some of their ideas were flawed.

As for technology, as far as Rome is concerned there isn't a whole lot that would need to be changed, other than internal combustion engines, gridded electricity and indoor plumbing. It would be difficult to sustain with their original economic model, but only because their international competition would be a lot tougher today than it was 2000 years ago (hell, it would be tougher today than it was two centuries ago).

And even so, it would not be competitive in the modern world - slave societies are not conductive to innovation on the scale of free societies
It worked reasonably well for the Nazis during their brief march to power. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish with slave labor as long as you go out of your way to keep an elite industrialist class insulated from all the hard work, and this is something that has worked extremely well even in liberal democracies (and has worked in one form or another in the United States for hundreds of years).

you need a LOT of highly trained labor - not slaves
Are you maybe under the impression that there is no such thing as a "highly trained slave"?

Notice the changes made in Japan's social structure in order to become competitive (hint - they went far beyond learning technology).
Notice the changes that WEREN'T made: they did not liberalize their government, they did not embrace a comprehensive system of civil rights or constitutional democracy. If anything they became even MORE socially conservative once their newly-formed national military began to exercise political power in its own right. They became more economically liberal, but only insofar as they generally lacked an interest in centralized economic planning.

Notice its system of governance and values today...
The result of a devastating and decisive military defeat followed by more than a decade of foreign occupation. Note also that Japan's current prosperity is primarily a benefit from its close partnership with the United States and mutual investments in technology and infrastructure; without those investments, Japan would be another one of those liberal democracies that nobody cares about because it's a borderline failed state.

You make the mistake of assuming that 'sophisticated', overpolished rituals equal advancement.
Actually, I'm doing the exact opposite of that: I'm saying that OUR overpolished rituals are no better than theirs, and that we're not a whole lot more civilized or more sophisticated culturally than the Romans were 2000 years ago. We're just alot better at patting ourselves on the back and telling us how much better we are than previous generations for [insert innovation here].

Those are not advancements, but conceits; we're perhaps one natural disaster or one military defeat away from reverting into the half-savage brutes we imagine our ancestors to be (some of us, considerably less than that).

As for the rest, proud warrior societies or elaborate court etiquette are a dime a dozen; not that hard to develop the mind-set (as history repeatedly proved), and at most of transitory benefit (in wealth, freedom of people - as opposed to a small oligarchy -, other actually objective criteria for measuring advancement).
That's kind of my point. What makes you think OUR benefits are less transitory than theirs? The Roman Empire, after all, thrived for hundreds of years before suffering a slow centuries-long decay; they still thought they were doing pretty well until the Visigoths came knocking at the gates.

The ascendancy of liberal democracies is even younger than that, and our society is ALREADY beginning to show signs of internal decay. So if the Roman Empire collapsed because its "elaborate court etiquette" wasn't enough to sustain a great society, it's unlikely that elaborate legislative process or vast nation-spanning bureaucracy is that much better off.

Truth is, as a society and as a species, we're still the same half-savage barbarians we were 2000 years ago (or 4000, come to think of it). The only reason we think we're different is because we've gotten REALLY GOOD at looking down on other societies, and more importantly, because we don't seriously believe that OUR little empire will ever fall. But if enough shit goes wrong in a short enough timespan, it's back to the cottonfields for most of us.

O, and modern liberal democracies ARE the most prosperous, the freest states in history.
Other way around: the freeest states in the world right now are liberal democracies. Not ALL of them can make this claim; Astralia, for example, is also a liberal democracy and is roughly tied with Iran in terms of GDP. You're going to have a lot of trouble backing up this claim, mind you, since the overwhelming majority of countries in the world today ARE liberal democracies, not half of which are successful or internally stable. It may perhaps hinge on your definition of "liberal," but otherwise to equate democracy with prosperity just doesn't work.

Of course, I'm not sure what metric you would use to judge "freeness" unless you're attempting to restrict that judgement to a set of fundamental rights currently enjoyed by westerners; that would be like evaluating the strength of Ghengis Khan's army by counting the number of trained riflemen.

You see, then I could just as well say - if ET would come tomorrow and give liberal democracies the secret to universal freedom and abundance, they would still be wealthier and freer.
I never claimed Rome would be wealthy or free. I said it would be prosperous and influential. Those are two VERY different things: a nation doesn't have to be prosperous OR influential for its citizens to enjoy relative economic and social security within their own communities.

More to the point, this is a thread about Ancient Aliens and the evidences for their influence in ancient human societies. It's enough to know that when the Roman Empire collapsed it left behind ruins that even their modern counterparts find relatively impressive. The roads built by the Romans to hold their empire together later became the groundwork for modern asphalt roadways used by modern governments for international commerce and transportation. To chalk up the achievements of those nations to "ancient aliens" is to imagine that the ancients couldn't have developed that technology on their own, or even if they had, wouldn't have been smart enough to build things that WE would find impressive. This is not the case: if you transplanted the entire Roman Empire from the 1st Century into the 21st, they would be smart enough and wise enough to modernize to be competitive with the new world into which they suddenly emerged. Rather than cower in fear gasping "What is that strange flying machine doing up there?!" the more likely reaction would be "How does that work and how much do you want for it?"
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Old June 21 2012, 10:31 PM   #37
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Your signature fits so well with your closing line! (Speaking of transplanting someone into the 21st C....)
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Old June 21 2012, 11:00 PM   #38
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Ancient Aliens

throwback wrote: View Post
I believe there are other civilizations in the galaxy. I believe that a smaller number of these civilizations developed FTL flight and have colonized other systems.
I tend to doubt now that any of these things are true, and see no reason to believe in the FTL notion at all.
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Old June 21 2012, 11:04 PM   #39
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Gil T.Azell wrote: View Post
The Dominion wrote: View Post


This guy is a goldmine of bullshit. The hair is just the icing on the cake.


The hair slays me
Looks like it's about to slay him!
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Old June 22 2012, 12:31 AM   #40
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Re: Ancient Aliens

I never liked the notion that ancient aliens helped our ancestors in building Stonehenge or the Pyramids because I perceived a bias in the authors making that claim. I feel they assumed that ancient civilizations were less advanced, and were less capable of building these structures. I equate this belief with the same belief that led authors in the 19th century to assume that the mounds in Ohio were built by a civilization of white men because clearly the Native Americans weren't capable of performing this feat as they were 'savages' and lacked the intellectual capability of the Caucasian man.

My Name Is Legion, I hope that my belief didn't led you to change your opinion on what is possible in space. I may have been wrong in the past on certain opinions, but I tend to throw things out there on the Internet to see how people respond. This is one of the ways I learn and grow. I am open to change and I am not locked in my opinions.

With scientists now speculating that there are a possibility of a large number of planets that are life-bearing, and some of these planets having come into existence earlier than our world, I think it's equally likely that there have been an x number of civilizations, and I think it's equally likely that y number of civilizations have developed FTL. I don't think we can judge the capability of other civilizations when even our own scientists acknowledge that we are a Type I civilization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale

If ETs are like Stephen Hawking describes, as a super predator species scouting systems for resources, I think our solar system may be seen as a poor choice. Though Earth is rich in resources for us, would it be rich enough for these ETs? I am dubious. The other bodies in our system that I have seen as being rich in a resource are our Moon (Helium 3), Titan (Hydrocarbons), and one of the outer gas giants (diamonds). These resources could be valuable for a Type 1 civilization, but for a Type II or Type III civilization? I am again dubious.
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Old June 22 2012, 03:15 AM   #41
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Life has existed on this planet for billions of years. Most of it, BTW, is still bacteria. Within the last century, give or take a couple of decades, a single species which has existed for almost no time at all has managed to construct automobiles, iPods and atom bombs and in the process push the planet closer and closer to a point where it cannot support the civilization which makes iPods sellable - and we've had the chance to do that only because the creatures who were successful here for hundreds of millions of years got in the way of an asteroid.

Huh.

It's entirely possible - plausible, in fact - that the Universe is teeming with life and that almost none of it has learned the use of fire.
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Old June 22 2012, 05:25 AM   #42
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Civilizations don't need FTL, they can exchange speed for time however....spacecraft traveling at half the speed of light or .9c can go a long way if the civilization is I thousands or millions of years older than ours....however, they can do better...Von Neuman machines...self replicating and scattered throughout the galaxy can do the job in on a shorter time. They could spreads themselves with copies made from stored DNA or beam themselves as information in lasers. Question is can we even detect von neuman machines?
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Old June 22 2012, 11:41 AM   #43
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Re: Ancient Aliens

We likely don't detect this stuff because to the best of anyone's knowledge it exists only as fiction.
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Old June 22 2012, 11:54 AM   #44
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
There are really people who think Native Americans couldn't have built the Cahokia Mounds? I mean, they're big piles of dirt. Just takes a lot of dirt, time, and manpower--not any really special technology.
They did about 100-150 years ago. It was probably an inspiration for the Mormon religion believing that a lost tribe of Israel is in North America.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
No I don't, actually. Just because the Romans were assholes doesn't mean their society was unsophisticated, nor does it mean they wouldn't be on equal terms ECONOMICALLY with the modern world if the technological gap was bridged.
Sure, if you give them a crash course in macroeconomics and diversify their economy so it wasn't so dependent of slavery and conquest. However, those are actually big "ifs." The Romans literally didn't have the slightest understanding of inflation. And this was quite a problem because their economy initially consisted of conquering someone and bringing the spoils back home. When they didn't have spoils, they debased the coinage. Neither one was good. They also had massive unemployment because there was little room for economic growth and agriculture was done on massive plantations. Just like the Confederacy was backwards in 1860, Rome would be a third world country. Finally, there was an agricultural revolution during the so-called Dark Ages (500-900) that allowed fewer farmers to produce more food and to farm in northern Europe. Both these things would have prevented Rome from competing economically.

That being said, the resources, ingenuity, and industriousness of the Roman Empire was astounding. I'm not knocking what I view as the most impressive western empire in history. It just had lots of flaws too and was truly a product of its own time not way ahead of its time.
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Old June 22 2012, 03:44 PM   #45
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Re: Ancient Aliens

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
We likely don't detect this stuff because to the best of anyone's knowledge it exists only as fiction.
How unimaginative and droll...it wouldn't be fiction if we detected it...Von Neuman machines would be inexpensive and efficient, therefore a higher likelihood they may exist--if one is to suggest thousands of life bearing planets and a corresponding number of machine developing civilizations--but may also be hard to detect. They also don't break the known laws of physics.

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