Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
05-01-2010, 05:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt.Expendable
Hawking is a brilliant man but he can also be a bit of a twit at times.
For one thing, any alien race seeking to conquer would be actively looking for viable planets and would home in on the transmissions we've been blasting out since the early 20th century.
It won't mean jack if we contact them or not.

Also an alien race advanced enough to travel the stars may not be as amoral as European imperialists of the 15th century. With greater technological advancement comes greater morality - our present day societies are the most free and most moral we've ever had. It's not perfect but it's better than what came before.
Unless you're a third world country or non nuclear power sure. There's always the theory that if they don't blow themselves up they'll be the mother theresa of the universe. US and Russia haven't blown each other away over th cuban missile crisis or the cold war but I don't think we're that much more enlightened or moral just because we survived those crisises. Better technology doesn't necessarily mean better moral or tolerance.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
05-01-2010, 05:22 PM
I seriously need to write up my response to Dr. Hawking. I've been drafting it this week and I have a few publications in mind who I actually think might be interested in running it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
05-01-2010, 05:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bstiff
Unless you're a third world country or non nuclear power sure. There's always the theory that if they don't blow themselves up they'll be the mother theresa of the universe. US and Russia haven't blown each other away over th cuban missile crisis or the cold war but I don't think we're that much more enlightened or moral just because we survived those crisises. Better technology doesn't necessarily mean better moral or tolerance.
Again, not perfect. And you can't help everybody.
But you can't deny that in the most modern societies, freedom and racial/gender equality is greater than ever before. That doesn't mean we're anywhere near to an ideal society, merely that as a society's sophistication grows so does it's morality; things like the Third Reich are the exception that proves the rule because they simply do not last.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
05-01-2010, 05:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt.Expendable
Hawking is a brilliant man but he can also be a bit of a twit at times.
For one thing, any alien race seeking to conquer would be actively looking for viable planets and would home in on the transmissions we've been blasting out since the early 20th century.
It won't mean jack if we contact them or not.

Also an alien race advanced enough to travel the stars may not be as amoral as European imperialists of the 15th century. With greater technological advancement comes greater morality - our present day societies are the most free and most moral we've ever had. It's not perfect but it's better than what came before.
Morality is highly subjective here. Many humans seem to equate higher morality with lower technology. Moral codes tend to prohibit killing but there are situations where a moral code may encourage or demand not just killing but wanton killing. Life is generally precious to us because life is difficult to foster.

At the end of the day, I'd have to imagine that Hawking would be proposing finding ways to mask or silence our radio transmissions and any ambient evidence of our existence.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
05-01-2010, 05:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
Morality is highly subjective here. Many humans seem to equate higher morality with lower technology. Moral codes tend to prohibit killing but there are situations where a moral code may encourage or demand not just killing but wanton killing. Life is generally precious to us because life is difficult to foster.
I'm aware of these people. It's a notion born of fear of progress and change.
But again, the fact is today's modern societies have far more "true" morality than those of 5 centuries ago, or some tribe where all answer to the male chieftain where women are little more than chattel.

Quote:
At the end of the day, I'd have to imagine that Hawking would be proposing finding ways to mask or silence our radio transmissions and any ambient evidence of our existence.
An impossible task, especially since our radio and TV transmissions are already radiating away from Earth and have been for decades.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
05-01-2010, 05:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt.Expendable
I'm aware of these people. It's a notion born of fear of progress and change.
But again, the fact is today's modern societies have far more "true" morality than those of 5 centuries ago, or some tribe where all answer to the male chieftain where women are little more than chattel.



An impossible task, especially since our radio and TV transmissions are already radiating away from Earth and have been for decades.
I imagine any First Contact scenario will probably be like this episode of "Amazing Stories", personally. By the time they got here, they'd be couch potatoes.

Either that or Ray Bradbury's "The Concrete Mixer" about a Martian invader who has become paranoid about humans because of the human comic books he's read. He's terrified of a young man, usually lean, usually alone, usually Irish, named Mick or Rick, or Jick or Bannon. He has every right to be terrified but it turns out the human threat is more insidious than any military or weapon and that the real threat is the Martians becoming culturally assimilated into the human melting pot.

Which, incidentally, is where I get my main captain's name from. "Bannon Spaulding." Bannon is (uncommonly) a first name and Spaulding is a last name Ray Bradbury has used for his stand-in autobiographical character Douglas Spaulding in Dandelion Wine and a few other stories. My idea is that my captain is a descendant of that kid from Greentown, Illinois.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
05-01-2010, 05:53 PM
I say we just screw our planet up and we become the aliens who blow up some pitiful species white house (if they can see white or have houses) with our big brouhaha "lazier beam"!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
05-01-2010, 06:02 PM
Alcubierre drive can't really work unfortunately. We'd have to find someone else's universe and steal all of the energy from it to make one, and some interpretations of it have come to the conclusion that to make an Alcubierre drive, you need to already have an Alcubierre drive. Catch-22.

So, unless an Alcubierre drive formed naturally somewhere in the universe, odds are we can't use it. And even if we do, it still needs an entire universe's worth of energy to get going.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
05-01-2010, 06:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terral
Alcubierre drive can't really work unfortunately. We'd have to find someone else's universe and steal all of the energy from it to make one, and some interpretations of it have come to the conclusion that to make an Alcubierre drive, you need to already have an Alcubierre drive. Catch-22.

So, unless an Alcubierre drive formed naturally somewhere in the universe, odds are we can't use it. And even if we do, it still needs an entire universe's worth of energy to get going.
Aha! So it's possible...?! :p
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
05-01-2010, 06:27 PM
I like the microcosm of the story.
We want to know what's out there ... but what's out there might kill us.
So let's go out there ... but don't talk to strangers.
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