Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stop Talking to Aliens

One of the perennially favored topics in "human-interest astronomy" stories is "what to say to aliens". Here's the cutesy article in the SF Chronicle that inspired me to write this. Note all of the self-flagellation; "my species is dumb; my species is stupid; if you come here, fix us; we don't deserve to be a member of a higher plane, blah blah blah". I guess where interstellar politics is concerned, I'm a conservative. I assume the worst of intentions, and I don't appreciate self-indulgent celebrations of victimhood and lowliness.

If anybody seriously thinks that other intelligences will hear these signals, then we should stop sending them immediately. The other intelligences won't care about our sensitive perceptions of our own faults (according to tests by our own standards that curiously enough the self-flagellators would do better on). They may not be able to care about things to begin with. When you think about aliens, don't think wise diplomats with bumps on their foreheads inviting us to join their great philosophical congress. Think great white sharks with lasers. Think kudzu and killer bees, not Vulcans. They won't even necessarily be smarter than us, just better at spreading. They don't have to be more "civilized", whatever that word can mean in application to non-human species. It'll be more of an invasive species colonizing a new biosphere situation (rabbits in Australia) than a meeting of minds (if indeed they recognize that we have mind, and, they care). They will have less to say to us, and the same interest in saying it, as the other organisms on our own planet. Ascribing any kind of moral dimension to life outside humans is nonsense.

Here's a video of killer whales playing with seals that are clearly terrified of being killed and eaten by them. Because "more intelligent", "more evolved", and "nicer" are all the same thing, right?



Quiz: what has happened right here on Earth when members of the SAME species meet each other? What happens to island ecosystems suddenly put in contact with Old World flora and fauna? Overrun, no chance, game over.

If anyone else is out there, we're like pre-contact Native Americans or Pacific Islanders right now. Let's try to lay low until we know what we're facing. Otherwise we're setting signal fires to let the conquistadors know where we are.

8 comments:

Dan said...

Sure, we might get turned into alien feedstock, but if they look like Jane Badler, you won't care.

Michael Caton said...

You're making a very good point.

Dan said...

Our world is almost completely defenseless against aliens with nice asses.

Michael Caton said...

With any luck, so it shall stay.

Ms. Badler, now a full-time resident of Australia, recently played a witch in a made-for-Australian-TV fantasy show, thus proving that she really is innately hot.

Dan said...

Eventually, everything venomous moves to Australia.

Michael Caton said...

True. And hhhhhHOT

I only saw two snakes in the forest in Australia and they were both pythons. And I handled an irukanji jellyfish without knowing what it was. I think Aussies are just a bunch of whiners.

TGGP said...

The video is a jokey commercial, can someone point out a more realistic video of killer whales + seals?

Michael Caton said...

TGGP, you are correct. I have replaced the link with a video of killer whales for-realsies playing with a sea lion pup. I think we would agree that my initial choice of link was unfortunate but it doesn't defeat the central point of the argument: replicators are red in tooth and claw on the one planet where we know they exist, and the safe assumption is that if life exists elsewhere, it will share this property.