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Idea for why potential aliens would have no reason to interact with us


ALine
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48 minutes ago, Markus Hanke said:

Put yourself in their shoes. We’re intelligent, but also largely still driven by ancient instincts that were designed to give us a survival advantage in a largely hostile environment. Most people’s thought patterns are overwhelmingly ego-centric, along the lines of “what can I get out of this?”. People spend their entire lives chasing sense pleasure and running away from discomfort, putting them at the mercy of external circumstance. Our societies institutionalise greed (economic systems), hatred (militarism and nationalism), and mass delusion (corporate media). At any given time there are at least half a dozen active war zones around the world; we can’t even get along with our own species, and our own natural environment - never even mind with aliens. All these things were indispensable survival tools in the distant past, but now our technology has outpaced our ethical and psychological evolution - a very dangerous situation. We’re animals waving thermonuclear warheads around. Would you really want to get involved with such a species? I sure wouldn’t - I’d recognise their potential, and perhaps would watch from a distance, but otherwise would choose to wait until they’ve outgrown their first set of teeth at least. And as a species we’re nowhere even near that point, IMHO.

Besides, if there are several spacefaring species in our galaxy competing for finite resources, then there’s quite a lot to be said for remaining silent and invisible, as a general rule (‘Dark Forest Theory’):

https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/the-dark-forest-theory-a-terrifying-explanation-of-why-we-havent-heard-from-aliens-yet/

Apologies for being dark and pessimistic. Personally I see a lot of beauty and potential in Homo sapiens sapiens, but for now I see us as being little better than animals with a knack for technology. So I’m not in the least surprised that no one else has made contact.

All valid points, all valid points

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I would say it is naive to think that only one thing happens when two civilizations make a contact. All possible things happen instead. There are various fractions and interest groups, 'freedom fighters', smugglers, opposition groups, shady business persons etc.  I guess, at least some of them would try to make a contact with us... It is difficult to me to imagine a monolithic civilization (if I imagine aliens as a product of evolution).

So, I would say, lack of contact is not due to their rational decision, but must be due to 'technical' difficulties.

For the 'technical' difficulties... obviously, distances and limited light speed do not help. But there must also be something else - there must be one more prohibitive rule that I cannot figure out.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Markus Hanke said:

Put yourself in their shoes. We’re intelligent, but also largely still driven by ancient instincts that were designed to give us a survival advantage in a largely hostile environment. Most people’s thought patterns are overwhelmingly ego-centric, along the lines of “what can I get out of this?”. People spend their entire lives chasing sense pleasure and running away from discomfort, putting them at the mercy of external circumstance. Our societies institutionalise greed (economic systems), hatred (militarism and nationalism), and mass delusion (corporate media). At any given time there are at least half a dozen active war zones around the world; we can’t even get along with our own species, and our own natural environment - never even mind with aliens. All these things were indispensable survival tools in the distant past, but now our technology has outpaced our ethical and psychological evolution - a very dangerous situation. We’re animals waving thermonuclear warheads around. Would you really want to get involved with such a species? I sure wouldn’t - I’d recognise their potential, and perhaps would watch from a distance, but otherwise would choose to wait until they’ve outgrown their first set of teeth at least. And as a species we’re nowhere even near that point, IMHO.

Agreed.  The list of likely outcomes if they did attempt communication would be rather discouraging:

  • Immediate Death
  • Imprisoned in a cage
  • Studied and Dissected
  • Paraded around and gawked at by the unwashed masses

 

3 hours ago, Markus Hanke said:

Besides, if there are several spacefaring species in our galaxy competing for finite resources, then there’s quite a lot to be said for remaining silent and invisible, as a general rule (‘Dark Forest Theory’):

https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/the-dark-forest-theory-a-terrifying-explanation-of-why-we-havent-heard-from-aliens-yet/

Apologies for being dark and pessimistic. Personally I see a lot of beauty and potential in Homo sapiens sapiens, but for now I see us as being little better than animals with a knack for technology. So I’m not in the least surprised that no one else has made contact.

It seems more logical that they would be primarily interested in the planet, not necessarily human beings.  Human beings only inhabit 10% of the planet.  We only account for .01% of the life on Earth. 

Humans are a side show to the main attraction.

 

Edited by Alex_Krycek
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6 hours ago, ALine said:

Assumption 1: Aliens Exist

Assumption 2: They can travel to different areas at will

Assumption 3 : They are what we consider to be intelligent based on our limited knowledge and understanding. 

Assumption 4: They can be considered like a "higher form of intelligence" verses us. So if humans had the chance to "grow" so to speak.

2 kinda requires 3 and 4, and 2 is a bad assumption, given the physics we know.

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1 hour ago, swansont said:

2 kinda requires 3 and 4, and 2 is a bad assumption, given the physics we know.

Lets assume then that there exists some unknown rule or law that allows for assumption 2 for this thought experiment. Also are assumptions supposed to go in order? Like is assumption 3 supposed to rely on assumption 2? Or are you just saying that a relationship exists between 3,4 and 2? I genuinely have no idea and want ta know.

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58 minutes ago, ALine said:

Lets assume then that there exists some unknown rule or law that allows for assumption 2 for this thought experiment. Also are assumptions supposed to go in order? Like is assumption 3 supposed to rely on assumption 2? Or are you just saying that a relationship exists between 3,4 and 2? I genuinely have no idea and want ta know.

What's the point of science, if you assume you know the answers? 

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2 hours ago, ALine said:

Lets assume then that there exists some unknown rule or law that allows for assumption 2 for this thought experiment.

That’s science fiction. You can cite e.g. Star Trek all you want, but don’t pretend it’s science.

 

2 hours ago, ALine said:

Also are assumptions supposed to go in order? Like is assumption 3 supposed to rely on assumption 2? Or are you just saying that a relationship exists between 3,4 and 2? I genuinely have no idea and want ta know.

It’s your list. You numbered them and I referred to the numbers. I think such lists generally build on previously stated assumptions because if there is a dependence it’s less confusing that way; there’s a logical order. You can have 3 or 4 without 2. Once you’ve stated 2, there is no need for 3 or 4, since that’s already implied, unless you are invoking magic.

But to go further, 3 and 4 do not guarantee 2

 

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5 hours ago, swansont said:

2 kinda requires 3 and 4, and 2 is a bad assumption, given the physics we know.

You keep saying that aliens cannot or would not visit us, can you defend that statement? 

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8 hours ago, swansont said:

That’s science fiction. You can cite e.g. Star Trek all you want, but don’t pretend it’s science.

 

It’s your list. You numbered them and I referred to the numbers. I think such lists generally build on previously stated assumptions because if there is a dependence it’s less confusing that way; there’s a logical order. You can have 3 or 4 without 2. Once you’ve stated 2, there is no need for 3 or 4, since that’s already implied, unless you are invoking magic.

But to go further, 3 and 4 do not guarantee 2

 

I am not pretending its science, of course it is not real. Hence why I started this conversation in speculation. Because it would not make sense to call this anything else than what it is. Pure science fiction. It's a thought experiment in which looks at a given idea from the perspective of if an alien species were to be able to meet with humans directly, or indirectly in this case. In order to do so the understanding of this imaginary technology is used only as a means of facilitating this idea. Like how you would assume a spherical cow. Its not going to exist, however it makes understanding something if it did easier. This can then be applied to "if", and that is a big "if", we were to encounter some given" extraterrretrial species one day. It most likely will never happen due to the constraints which the laws of the universe provide as you have previously mentioned.

Ok got ya, moving forward when creating assumptions I will try and better define them in a sort of "current depends on previous assumptions" kind of lay out in order to make linear and better interpretable. Thanks ya.

Ok then, I retract assumptions 3 and 4 and maintain assumption 2.

Assumption 1: Aliens exist

Assumption 2: They can travel to different parts of the universe at will.

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8 hours ago, Moontanman said:

You keep saying that aliens cannot or would not visit us, can you defend that statement? 

What, again? Why do my previous posts not suffice?

51 minutes ago, ALine said:

I am not pretending its science, of course it is not real. Hence why I started this conversation in speculation.

Speculation does not absolve you from basing things on science.

https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/86720-guidelines-for-participating-in-speculations-discussions/

this is a science forum, and speculations are still to be discussed in that context. If it doesn't fit as a science discussion, or you refuse to discuss the idea as such, the thread will be closed down.

Quote

Pure science fiction. It's a thought experiment

It can’t be both.

If you want to discuss a framework for sci-fi, you need to make that clear. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, swansont said:

Speculation does not absolve you from basing things on science.

https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/86720-guidelines-for-participating-in-speculations-discussions/

this is a science forum, and speculations are still to be discussed in that context. If it doesn't fit as a science discussion, or you refuse to discuss the idea as such, the thread will be closed down.

Ok, that's my bad. that one's on me. should have read the rules. it right there clear as day.

How about this then.

"Let's assume that a generations ship ....actually scratch that. An "automated drone" has been traveling for millions of years which was sent out by an intelligent civilization known as the Lax in order to "do something" because they detected a star forming a solar system which has the potential to form a planet which could have life one day based on their existing knowledge. Which we can assume they can have due to their intelligence, replacing assumption 2 with 3 and 4. Let us also assume that no matter what the actions that the Lax will do they will always preserve their existence. So they can last millions of years and preform projects such as this. After the probe does what it does it will return back to the Lax. Now lets say this probe can do anything, "within the realms of science." The question then becomes. What will that drone do? In terms of what the Lax want it to do?

I believe that this thought experiment removes the need for sci fi tech, or FM technology and falls into our currently known science. 

The reason I say this is because

1) It is known from human societies that they will have a tendency to preserve that said society, we are just extending this outward to millions of years for this thought experiment.

2) the idea for a drone which can be developed and sent out into space falls into the realm of the possible. Now will it survive, lets assume that there is a chance that it breaks down due to interactions. However because we are also assuming the Lax are extremely intelligent, based on our understanding of intelligence, we can assume that the chance is very low because of there knowledge of space stuff and they have plotted a specific path for the drone to take to and from the forming object.

3) We at this current time can predict the formation of different astronomical bodies based on learned rules. So it would not be a stretch to say that the Lax would be able to do the same with just more knowledge from millions of years of observation. 

Let's also assume that they are very similar to human society in terms of its development and behaviors seeing as that it the only example of intelligence that we know of which is complex enough to build a technology such as a drone to do different things.

Review of Assumptions:

1) Aliens exist: The Lax

2) The Lax will not wipe itself out due to their tendency to always attempt to survive. So even if there is one left they have developed methods and ways to prevent the species from ending. We can see this behavior in things such as us storing sperm and egg samples and also storing food and such in very durable places.

3) They are what we consider to be intelligent based on our limited knowledge and understanding of what intelligence is. Preserving knowledge and such.

4) They can be considered like a "higher form of intelligence" verses us. So if humans had the chance to "grow" so to speak. Meaning they are similar to us, they just have millions of years to develop there knowledge.

 

 

It would actually be billions and not millions. me bad

Edited by ALine
changed order of assumptions
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8 hours ago, ALine said:

"Let's assume that a generations ship ....actually scratch that. An "automated drone" has been traveling for millions of years which was sent out by an intelligent civilization known as the Lax in order to "do something" because they detected a star forming a solar system which has the potential to form a planet which could have life one day based on their existing knowledge

How fast is this drone traveling? i.e. how far away are the Lax? A few thousand LY? (~0.001c)

What made the earth stand out among all the systems within that radius, that they sent a drone, expecting to communicate? The earth would not be forming, with only a potential for life, if the time span is only a few million years. But earth would have no technology beyond crude stone tools.

They could be sending drones to all “goldilocks” planets, of course. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, swansont said:

How fast is this drone traveling? i.e. how far away are the Lax? A few thousand LY? (~0.001c

As fast as it could go based on known technological methods. Need ta do the math. Yeah sure. Or how about 1000 LY potential bubble. And anything in the range of 3LY out to 1000 LY out could be a potential planet for the Lax because proxim centari is around 3 LY out.

1 hour ago, swansont said:

What made the earth stand out among all the systems within that radius, that they sent a drone, expecting to communicate? The earth would not be forming, with only a potential for life, if the time span is only a few million years. But earth would have no technology beyond crude stone tools.

Nothing, they could have sent out millions of drones over the years given there technology to millions of potential areas within there "reach" so to speak. At the end I changed the number to billions.

1 hour ago, swansont said:

They could be sending drones to all “goldilocks” planets, of course. 

Ye. No separation between any forming l planets that "could" harbor life that grew and evolved. So they would not really have any knowledge of humans, like at all. Only the vague notion that something "could" exist.

Huh, this is pretty fun actually, phrasing it in the realm of the possible and trying to see the result from it.

This a good science framing @swansont?

Edited by ALine
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On 6/8/2022 at 2:29 PM, Bufofrog said:

Because we both are intelligent and we have a common language, mathematics.

What if their symbol + actually meant - etc... how common could the languge be? 

I can communicate, basically, with a Chinese person (from 10 thousand years ago) because we both get hungry and sate it in the same way, so my symbol for eating, hand to mouth, me chewing and then rubbing my tummy and making a satisfied face, is the same as his symbol for eating when hungry.

33 minutes ago, ALine said:

Huh, this is pretty fun actually, phrasing it in the realm of the possible and trying to see the result from it.

The results from a probe that 'we' won't receive??? 

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55 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

What if their symbol + actually meant - etc... how common could the languge be?

Then if they send a message saying 2-2=4 then we would deduce that their '-' sign is our '+' sign.  It really would be relatively easy for us to communicate mathematical ideas.  It certainly would take a long time especially if they are like 40 ly away but it would be amazing.

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4 minutes ago, Bufofrog said:

Then if they send a message saying 2-2=4 then we would deduce that their '-' sign is our '+' sign.  It really would be relatively easy for us to communicate mathematical ideas.

I can't believe I have to explain further, what would you deduce from >< % x? 

What number does a knot in a string mean to an ancient South American?

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

I can't believe I have to explain further, what would you deduce from >< % x?

I can't believe you think it would be so difficult.  So I guess we will just have to disagree.

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On 6/9/2022 at 10:11 AM, Markus Hanke said:

Besides, if there are several spacefaring species in our galaxy competing for finite resources, then there’s quite a lot to be said for remaining silent and invisible, as a general rule (‘Dark Forest Theory’):

https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/the-dark-forest-theory-a-terrifying-explanation-of-why-we-havent-heard-from-aliens-yet/

Apologies for being dark and pessimistic. Personally I see a lot of beauty and potential in Homo sapiens sapiens, but for now I see us as being little better than animals with a knack for technology. So I’m not in the least surprised that no one else has made contact.

I read this theory; it's pretty terrifying - not least because it makes perfect sense.  Another point it raises is the responsibility of the government.  If you work in the national security apparatus of a competent nation state and there is not a serious program to defend against extraterrestrials, then that government is derelict in its duty.  Why?  Because we simply don't know what could be coming our way, we don't know what vessel might show up on our sandy white beaches some day and ruin our little island paradise.  The only responsible course of action is to assume and prepare for the worst.  I suppose this sentiment should be applied to the NEO threat as well.  

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22 hours ago, StringJunky said:

He's already said why  in that same post: physics.

That is not an answer, I could say the same thing when asked could they visit us. 

17 hours ago, swansont said:

What, again? Why do my previous posts not suffice?

 

No they do not, physics is a non answer, it begs the question "why do physics prevent or allow" what ever the question is. 

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48 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

That is not an answer, I could say the same thing when asked could they visit us. 

No they do not, physics is a non answer, it begs the question "why do physics prevent or allow" what ever the question is. 

You could start a thread on that in philosophy.

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I can't get behind the Dark Forest conjecture.  Too many assumptions.  Assumes that advanced starfaring races are greedy consumerists.  Assumes that scarce resources are worth the enormous energy expenditures of traversing vast interstellar distances and decades-long or centuries-long haulage.  Assumes our solar system has something that's rare elsewhere, which doesn't seem to fit with current research on exoplanets.  Assumes aliens are racist dickheads* who have no moral restraint about running roughshod on us.

No, I think WE are our own Dark Forest.  

 

* being aliens, I guess that could potentially be literal

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56 minutes ago, TheVat said:

I can't get behind the Dark Forest conjecture.  Too many assumptions.  Assumes that advanced starfaring races are greedy consumerists.  Assumes that scarce resources are worth the enormous energy expenditures of traversing vast interstellar distances and decades-long or centuries-long haulage.  Assumes our solar system has something that's rare elsewhere, which doesn't seem to fit with current research on exoplanets.  Assumes aliens are racist dickheads* who have no moral restraint about running roughshod on us.

No, I think WE are our own Dark Forest.  

 

* being aliens, I guess that could potentially be literal

It's classic game theory.

--------------------

Option 1 >> assume benign or no intervention from aliens >> create no defensive contingencies >> in the event of no hostile alien visitation continue existing

Option 2>>assume benign or no intervention from aliens >> create no defensive contingencies >> in the event of hostile alien visitation potentially go extinct

Option 3>> assume hostile intervention from aliens despite no precedent >> create defensive contingencies >> in the event of hostile alien visitation increase odds of species survival commensurate to contingencies prepared for

--------------------

In this set of options one can only logically choose Option 3, regardless of one's preexisting beliefs, since the consequences of extinction resulting from option 2 are so grave.

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