Author Topic: Thoughts on horror stories/camp fire tales/creepypastas  (Read 1019 times)

Offline Baruch

Re: Thoughts on horror stories/camp fire tales/creepypastas
« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2018, 03:08:55 PM »

I wonder if other alien civilizations are as easily offended as humans are? Or are they more drone like? Is there a race for power always going on, and what is their currency, if they have one? Are they like ants, entirely altruistic, or are they individuals, with dreams and goals like us humans? Those types of things would be interesting to learn.

Well, Starship Troopers explored that.  Got a really big can of Raid?  The Borg are a version of social insect too (created artificially).  I don't think their emotional state is nearly as important as their predatory proclivities.  Got army ants?  Even giant leaf cutter ants would be bothersome as they gobble up all our plant life for their fungus farms.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 02:50:09 AM by Baruch »

Offline trdsf

Re: Thoughts on horror stories/camp fire tales/creepypastas
« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2018, 02:27:05 AM »
What worries ME is that we might someday meet some alien species from outer space and NOT be "the baddest ones around".  And the more you meet, the more likely it is that you will find "the badder guys".  Some sextuple-legged tentacled land shark that thinks faster than we can.

It won't be "Independence Day.  It will be they day the Incans met the Spanish, and we won't be the Spanish,  And the difference will be 10X more unequal.  It won't even be a contest.

Or we are the most intelligent life in the universe.

Guess which is more likely?
This is essentially the Hawking objection to SETI/METI: he thought any actual encounter between humanity and an alien intelligence was more likely to be disastrous than enlightening.  I don't find it convincing, but I do find it worth keeping in mind.  Fortunately, we're well-insulated by space, and even if we did make contact with another race, there are several objections to the notion that that puts us at risk.

First is the Adams objection: space is big.  Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.  Barring some sort of sociological drive to conquer or destroy simply for the sake of conquering or destroying, the amount of resources and effort it would take to get even a basic military force from point A several light years away to point B is staggering.  We simply can not have anything that would make it worth the effort, that wouldn't be much much much much much more easily mined from their own asteroids, gas giants, and uninhabitable worlds.

Second is the Einstein objection: barring development of an Alcubierre warp or Kip Thorne's wormholes, the speed of light minus epsilon is it.  That puts some definite barriers between us and other planets, and raises the relative values of resources mentioned above.

Granted, if we actually meet (as opposed to merely communicate with) an alien intelligence any time soon, it's going to be because they came to us because we sure as shit can't get to them.  And then, yeah, we're the Meso-americans and they're the Spanish conquistadores.

Side note: I tend to agree with Seth Shostak on the question of whether or not we already have been visited.  When the Spanish arrived in the Western hemisphere, they didn't lurk tantalizingly on the horizon while the natives debated on the 15th century equivalent of Art Bell, 'are we being visited by men from Out There'.  The evidence was obvious and overwhelming: in very short order, the natives around the landing areas were either dead or enslaved by the newcomers.  If an alien race is going to go to the phenomenal expense and effort of sending a interstellar distances to make contact, they're going to make contact.  If they're going to observe without being seen, then what chance do we have of seeing a technology advanced enough to flip a ship through interstellar space?

And the third objection is that it's too late to hide anyway.  Even though our broadcast leakage is growing smaller over time as signals are transmitted either more tightly or in non-radiating transmissions like fiber optics, we don't need to be heard in the radio spectrum to give away the fact that something's going on here.  Any alien intelligence that can a) detect a terrestrial planet around our sun (technology we already have) and b) can resolve the planet independently of the sun (technology we are on the cusp of having) can (and surely will) do a spectrographic analysis, which will tell them that this planet has more oxygen than can be easily explained without having to posit life.  Any technologically advanced life within about 200 light years will also see the introduction of industrial pollutants, and observing over time will show them increasing—a strong indicator of the development of mass technology and its widening use.

In short, anyone out there who has an automated system looking for stars with worlds will stumble across us eventually, and anyone close enough (in an ever-expanding sphere) will be able to tell that there's something worth investigating going on.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Offline Cavebear

Re: Thoughts on horror stories/camp fire tales/creepypastas
« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2018, 02:33:45 AM »
I can't even anwer this without insulting friends...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!


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