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Aliens from space (split from Time to talk about UFO's or now as the military calls them UAP's?)


Moontanman
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Another entertaining sciencefiction short story I remember was one about a race of space conquering monkeys who arrived on Earth.
The monkeys eventually had to admit that humans were smarter than they were and their best scientists/academics wrote papers entitled "Why the lop-tails do not have space travel."

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

Warp speed wasn't available to the Roman legions but they took what was available to them and made do.

Without warp speed they ain't gonna get far in space. The Pioneer/Voyager spacecraft are just on the edge of the solar system after nigh on 50 years... just another 3ish lyrs to the nearest star. This is the technology we have to go on.

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55 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Without warp speed they ain't gonna get far in space. The Pioneer/Voyager spacecraft are just on the edge of the solar system after nigh on 50 years... just another 3ish lyrs to the nearest star. This is the technology we have to go on.

Yes, it's slow. Even if we go really fast it is still going to take longer than our lifetime. But if it takes more than a lifetime, who cares if it takes 10, or 50 lifetimes? So why is warp speed necessary? Why can't we go slowly and just accept there is a limit to how fast we can go?

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5 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Yes, it's slow. Even if we go really fast it is still going to take longer than our lifetime. But if it takes more than a lifetime, who cares if it takes 10, or 50 lifetimes? So why is warp speed necessary? Why can't we go slowly and just accept there is a limit to how fast we can go?

I forget where I first heard the proposition of a very "far in the future" obviously advanced Earth species of humans, finally discovering the secret to warp speed, and building a ship to facilitate this, and then  over taking a generation type star ship built and sent to the stars, centuries  earlier, and the many  weird possibilities that such a scenario would raise.

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10 hours ago, zapatos said:

Yes, it's slow. Even if we go really fast it is still going to take longer than our lifetime. But if it takes more than a lifetime, who cares if it takes 10, or 50 lifetimes? So why is warp speed necessary? Why can't we go slowly and just accept there is a limit to how fast we can go?

Because we are impatient.

Would you want to be part of a large program, where your sole purpose was to travel on a spaceship your entire life just to procreate so the next generation and the next and so on... gets to their destination? This is all assuming that any destination is worth the time, investment and commitment to get there in the first place. 

Sure we can consider pseudo science, to conjure up warp drives and wormholes... to get around the time and distance issues. But based on our "current" known physics, travelling (in person) to even local star systems is nigh on impossible. 

So unless there is some science which enables FTL, or at least get around the distance issue, then the only thing we are likely to send out to other star systems is mechanical probes. 

Wild speculation,

If aliens have technology to achieve FTL or warp drive, or some other exotic form of long distance space travel. Then they must have discovered physics/laws that transcends our current understanding. Either that or their life spans far exceed ours, so that long distance travel over long periods of time is not an issue.  

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11 hours ago, beecee said:

I forget where I first heard the proposition of a very "far in the future" obviously advanced Earth species of humans, finally discovering the secret to warp speed, and building a ship to facilitate this, and then  over taking a generation type star ship built and sent to the stars, centuries  earlier, and the many  weird possibilities that such a scenario would raise.

If one analyses UFO reports and close-contact stories, and from the purely story-telling POV, it all sounds very much as humans (bipedal, anthropomorphic) from the future doing the time-warp/FTL thing (or from a parallel dimension) and trying not to leave too much of a fingerprint (so as to avoid big ripples of retrocausal interference).

These 'beings' are invariably portrayed in such a way that the number one feature that strikes me is how much they look like moderately-distant relatives that care about us.

I wonder if the whole thing is not just a re-edition of the biblical stories about angels, with the necessary literary elements that translate them from the olden-days folklore into a folklore that we can recognize and accept.

We don't know nearly enough about time yet to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that they're completely beyond belief; but in the meantime we can entertain ourselves discussing the literary values of such stories. And literary values there are.

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32 minutes ago, joigus said:

If one analyses UFO reports and close-contact stories, and from the purely story-telling POV, it all sounds very much as humans (bipedal, anthropomorphic) from the future doing the time-warp/FTL thing (or from a parallel dimension) and trying not to leave too much of a fingerprint (so as to avoid big ripples of retrocausal interference).

 

This is the one that always ignites my scepticism. 

Though, one could argue that since man was created in the image of God, why would he not do the same elsewhere? (tongue in cheek)

 

Edited by Intoscience
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38 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

This is the one that always ignites my scepticism. 

 

Exactly. One should always try to catch for patterns, not only in the facts, but also in human narratives, whatever the level of accuracy in reporting facts. I think some kind of crude facts generate this phenomenology, I have little doubt about that. But in the chain of narrative, something gets lost (or added), like in a complex, socially-driven, broken-telephone game.

I think there's a lesson to be learnt in biblical (and other mythical) narratives that's very much related to what's happening here. Some Moses figure must have existed, but probably a very different guy from the one we imagine. It wasn't 2 or 3 million people leaving Egypt, but maybe a couple of hundred people, etc. Narrative distorts, and it doesn't do it in any old way; it does it according to your present fears, hopes, etc. Our emotions as a people are the gestaltic element that makes this Rorschach blot into a consistent picture of elder brother trying to help us.

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2 hours ago, Intoscience said:

Would you want to be part of a large program, where your sole purpose was to travel on a spaceship your entire life just to procreate so the next generation and the next and so on... gets to their destination? This is all assuming that any destination is worth the time, investment and commitment to get there in the first place. 

 

Simply procreating as your sole purpose would be horribly boring. But why would you assume that to be the case? Is that all you do now? Did the men flying to the moon simply sit back and wait for the ride to end? Were the men aboard the Victoria simply on a ride for three years as the ship circumnavigated the globe?

Presumably if you are going to be aboard a ship your entire life with others you are going to have a job to do, socialize, eat, read, study, and play. Just like you do today.

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15 hours ago, StringJunky said:

Without warp speed they ain't gonna get far in space. The Pioneer/Voyager spacecraft are just on the edge of the solar system after nigh on 50 years... just another 3ish lyrs to the nearest star. This is the technology we have to go on.

People were writing speculative stuff on slow-haul generation ships as far back as the fifties (Brian Aldiss,  IIRC) or suspended animation.   As others noted,  speed is not an absolute requirement.  And there's also ground-based propulsion systems (like light-sails "pushed" by a laser) that aren't wildly beyond our technological horizon.   Though deceleration might be tricky.   

The generation ship literature has touched many times on the ethical problems of generations whose purpose is to be ancestors to the colonists who set foot on the new world.  There's often the idea that the young are indoctrinated in the sacredness of the mission... or it's hidden outright from them because they'll just accept the ship as their world.   As Zapatos said,  it's conceivable to live an ordinary life with all the usual trimmings,  on a generation ship.   (though restless young people wouldn't have any option,  as they do in some restricted Earth societies like the Amish, of running off to the city to sample the alternatives). 

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We seem to have gotten a little off-track.
Sure generational ships are a way of getting to nearby stars systems.
But are we saying the actions of the aliens, once they get here, makes sense, in any way, after a couple of hundred year generational journey ?

Is the expense in resources, and lifetimes, needed to get here worth playing hide-and-seek with military ships/planes ?
Is it worth anally probing some yokels from the Southern US ?

I don't think any of the alleged 'alien' encounters are worth the mobilization of a planet's economy, to send a few dozen people, on a several hundred year journey, that sees them grow in number to a couple of thousand, along with equipment/supplies for those numbers, so they can come here and play 'games'.

Unless, of course, they are as bat-shit crazy as the people who  believe they would.

Edited by MigL
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48 minutes ago, MigL said:

Is it worth anally probing some yokels from the Southern US ?

It maybe beneficial analy probing the dumb yokel rednecks urged on by Trump to storm the White house to find out what makes them tick? 😉

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3 hours ago, MigL said:

We seem to have gotten a little off-track.
Sure generational ships are a way of getting to nearby stars systems.
But are we saying the actions of the aliens, once they get here, makes sense, in any way, after a couple of hundred year generational journey ?

Is the expense in resources, and lifetimes, needed to get here worth playing hide-and-seek with military ships/planes ?
Is it worth anally probing some yokels from the Southern US ?

I don't think any of the alleged 'alien' encounters are worth the mobilization of a planet's economy, to send a few dozen people, on a several hundred year journey, that sees them grow in number to a couple of thousand, along with equipment/supplies for those numbers, so they can come here and play 'games'.

Unless, of course, they are as bat-shit crazy as the people who  believe they would.

I think the generation ship was a bit of a digression - if anything, it addresses the extreme implausibility of the ET conjecture,  for reasons you neatly outline.   Yes,  what species that was even marginally sane would form a mission along the lines of 

The planet has a race of aggressive and warlike bipeds that possess nuclear fusion bombs and few inhibitions about altering their biosphere in frightening and potentially lethal ways...let us mount an expedition of a thousand years and multiple generations in order to, um,  hang out on the far side of their moon for decades while sending out patrols to coyly dance and flit around the fringes of their detection systems without really establishing contact,  or an embassy,  or anything that would facilitate actually knowing them or offering some help. 

 

Because the benefit/resource expenditure ratio is so poor in such scenarios,  I guess that's what makes the "warp drive" variant more attractive.   If the ETs are way up on the Kardashev Scale, then the whole interstellar travel scenario becomes less absurd,  though still implausible.   It's conceivable,  I guess, that an advanced civilization could have "soft power" methods of influence and reform that would be invisible to us.   

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12 hours ago, MigL said:

Is it worth anally probing some yokels from the Southern US ?

As I said,

19 hours ago, joigus said:

Narrative distorts, and it doesn't do it in any old way; it does it according to your present fears, hopes, etc.

Whether a fear or a hope, I can't tell; but an obsession it is. :D 

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4 hours ago, joigus said:

As I said,

Whether a fear or a hope, I can't tell; but an obsession it is. :D 

Ha!   Regarding abduction with medical exams, for yokels... the obsession in the USA is with the possibility of affordable healthcare.  No matter who the provider is!   Can't handle the co-pay on doctor visits?   Just go stand on a lonely highway in Nevada....

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53 minutes ago, TheVat said:

 

Ha!   Regarding abduction with medical exams, for yokels... the obsession in the USA is with the possibility of affordable healthcare.  No matter who the provider is!   Can't handle the co-pay on doctor visits?   Just go stand on a lonely highway in Nevada....

Unfortunately one's only covered for a colonoscopy. ;) 

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