Do you want to phone E.T.?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by ConRefit79, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. ConRefit79

    ConRefit79 Captain Captain

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  2. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's cool actually. It's too bad that the, "Wow Signal," didn't end up being ET trying to talking to us or each other and didn't re-occur

     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Purposely sending signals into space is akin to a 5 year old kid calling random people, telling them he is home alone and what his address is.
     
  4. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: Yea, I've heard Stephen Hawking among other scientists say that things likely wouldn't go so well with the aliens despite the fact many people would like to believe they would be benevolent.

    I think the comparison he made was how did it work out for the Native Americans in North Amercia when the Europeans arrived. Not great.
     
  5. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Wow! signal still has not ended up being anything for that matter, the truth about its origin is still waiting to be resolved. It could as well be alien as it could it be anything else.

    But it was never discounted as a signal with ET origin and no phenomena, natural or human-made, was able to explain where it came from. Which does not mean that aliens exist, but to me it does mean that if aliens are all over the place, this is pretty likely to have come from them.

    It might say little about aliens, but it debunks the Fermi paradox. You should not wonder why we had no contact if they are out there, cause if there are out there, there's your contact right there. It's even too much contact for that little monitoring of the galaxy that we've done.
     
  6. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Scenario 1: "We come in peace! We only want to study you! Of course, that does mean we'll need to dissect a few of you. But probably not more than a few thousand or so!"

    Scenario 2: "Oh, look at the cute bipeds! How adorable! I'm going to take this one back with me and give him a nice home! You're so cute, you widdle thing! Yes, you are!"

    Scenario 3: "What great luck, Commander! This indigenous protein source will allow us to avoid depleting our on-board food stores!"

    Scenario 4: "Yes, Leader, we encountered a fascinating, intelligent life form on the third planet in the system. But then Ensign Snorknozz here sneezed on them and they all died!"

    :D
     
  7. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only a few thousand? You mean they are more friendly to humans than other humans?
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Scenario 5: "Oh look, another planet full of pests that could be a problem later" <gets out pesticide and fumigates planet>
     
  9. StarMan

    StarMan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One possibility - if Aliens exist - is that first contact with a species at our level of development is not without precedent for a civilization as advanced as the ones we envision. Consequently, the analogy Professor Hawking draws is a scenario extra terrestrials may well be aware of. It could also explain why - assuming their existence and awareness of ours - they don't land on the White House lawn and holla "welcome to the neighborhood!" or rise out of the ocean in a display of wanton spectacle. ;)

    You don't tell your kids outright Santa isn't real; you let them figure it out or coax them round to that conclusion when the time's right. Maybe the best approach is a very gradual introduction; what we produce in our entertainment has certainly acclimatized us to the concept of alien civilizations.

    As for Aliens that arrived that were hostile. Well, we're still here. I know that's not an argument for there are no hostile aliens. But consider we've already extrapolated where our technology is taking us is terms of liberating us from competing for resources. If you've got a civilization that has persisted for thousands of years minus the infirmities and resource restraints we face, then - unless we were perceived as a threat significant enough to commit resources to our extermination - I can't think why hostile would be the default position of extra terrestrials.

    I've often considered the possibility Aliens sufficiently advanced might not partition reality up as we do. What I mean to say is they may view the Universe as 'home', not a particular planet or point of origin. We could be children playing in a sandbox that they're concerned about.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, they might see us as ants in the picnic basket. A nuisance that's easily taken care of when found.
     
  11. StarMan

    StarMan Vice Admiral Admiral

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  12. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What if we make a prank call?
     
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Most of these scenarios assume that we have some way of getting at one another. Basic physics makes it virtually impossible that we will ever have a real-time conversation with an alien species, much less have to worry about space traveling critters.
     
  14. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I, too, am in the Hawking camp. I don't think we really should want to broadcast our existence and location to the entire galaxy. Don't think we're ready for first contact yet, in general, and I'm not convinced that advanced beings would be benevolent. I think it is arrogant presumption and absurdly naive to assume that, simply because an advanced species has developed space travel that it should, de facto, be peaceful.
     
  15. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    That's assuming there are actually other adults out there, and that if they are that they're capable of doing anything about it (like if the kid lives in US and the adult is in China), and also that the adult even cares.

    On top of that, you might say that the kid has already had phone calls going out for decades, but no one has showed up yet.

    I don't think sending out messages now is going to make any additional difference on top of what we've already sent out and will keep sending out. And I don't think that there's anything remarkable enough about Earth or humans that any civilization advanced enough to traverse the stars would even bother, much less be needlessly hostile over.
     
  16. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    1. Would you really take a chance with that five year old and just let him continue to make random calls? What if he was calling random people in the local phone book?

    2. Contrary to popular belief, our broadcasts aren't getting out that far. They fade into background noise after a certain point. A tight beam intentional broadcast on the other hand, can go quite far.

    3. "Needlessly hostile" implies that it wouldn't be "needlessly easy" for some civilization that is thousands of years ahead of us to exterminate us. Those are not good odds.

    4. Why take the chance? Better to wait as long as we can before announcing ourselves to the neighbors. Make sure we are secure in our capabilities first.

    There are a lot more reasons why it's a bad idea than a good one.
     
  17. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    1. I just don't think this analogy really holds up. The implication is that everything is local and dangerous when there is not even the slightest indication of such a thing as far as space is concerned. Traveling between star systems isn't going to be as casual as walking down the block. And even if it were, you'd think that any aliens then wouldn't be waiting on the chance of some radio signals. If they have the capability of traveling such great distances in reasonable amounts of time, then chances are they already know we're here. A flimsy radio signal isn't going to make much difference.

    2. Yeah, I didn't mean regular radio broadcasts, but signals sent out by SETI and others deliberately.

    3. Those odds aren't established. There's no way to know exactly what they are or if they even exist. My thought would be that it doesn't make sense for a civilization to use so much energy just to exterminate us, especially when we're really just contained here.

    4. No amount of preparation is going to change anything. If there is a species out there that is a billion years more advanced than us, yet still hostile, then it doesn't matter if we wait a million years because they'll still be immensely more powerful and capable of annihilating us at any time. There is no catching up or sneaking under their radar. Either advanced species are hostile and we're fucked, or we're not. Radio signals aren't going to make a bit of difference.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    1. Not sure where you get that "everything is local"? If your trying to communicate locally, then by definition....

    2. We've been sending out deliberate broadcast a lot more recently than the invention of radio. Most of our attempts haven't reached any destinations yet.

    3. How do you know that for these aliens it would be "so much energy"? How tough is it for you to kill a bug?

    4. Agreed, better to not bring attention to ourselves for as long as possible and enjoy life while we can. Which cockroach lives longer, the one hiding under the refrigerator or the one that tries to crawl up your leg?
     
  19. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    For point #1, I just don't think the analogy works. It's a lot easier for a person to just pick up and walk down the street than it is for a civilization to reach other star systems. Yes, it's possible that it becomes more common, but just becoming more common doesn't automatically make it on the same effortless level as squashing a bug.

    Think of the prevalence of air flight even. We've got it down to a point where it's not that complicated, but it still involves costs and time, and it isn't just effortless. And that's a fairly simple technology compared to interstellar flight. I believe that the more complex technology gets, things are going to be progressively more difficult in terms of just waving your hand and something happens effortlessly.

    And even assuming that it is so common for a civilization to be able to wander about so easily, then why haven't they been here already? I mean, if we're talking bug-swatting levels of difficulty, then chances are they've been here and beyond. I don't think we're under any kind of refrigerator, so to speak. If any sufficiently advanced species exists, I'd think that they are well aware of us.
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Aware? yes, possibly. Bothered by? maybe not yet. Why give them a reason?

    As for flying. You do know it's a lot easier to build a machine that will fly today than it was to do 100 years ago? That's how technological advancement works. Things that were hard to do eventually become easier.