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#224541 - 05/29/11 12:17 AM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: ]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2507
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
So you think the battle would belong Lain Iwakura. . . .

Wow! You truly are a glasses-wearing nerd of the highest order.

Jeanette Isabelle
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#224566 - 05/29/11 06:51 AM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
We call up Richard Dean Anderson and say "We need you to play both Jack O'Neill and Angus MacGyver at the same time." They wouldn't stand a chance.

Even if we were to integrate Angus MacGyver and Jack O'Neill, the battle still belongs to the Asurans. We would need an Ascended or Lain Iwakura.

Jeanette Isabelle

Fortunately, Ascension is my weekend job. I un-ascend in time for work.

(trying to hide my glasses)

Edited by MDinana (05/29/11 06:51 AM)

#224606 - 05/29/11 07:54 PM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: LED]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
I doubt earth has anything that anyone might want. Water, organic chemical, hydrocarbons are all pretty common in the universe. Certainly any civilization that has Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel could gather these without messing with our tiny blue dot.

I would have to assume that any FTL aliens that show up are coming to be entertained. We can only hope they would be interested in our exotic cultures, quixotic behaviors. Perhaps our ability to do stupid human tricks, or act as pets. It could become a fashion statement where no alien household could be considered complete without a few humans as pets.

That's how it goes if we are lucky. If not, they like a good hunt and blood sports.

Either way there isn't much we can do about it. We can't fight them and we have pretty much forfeited any moral high ground so our ability to persuade them is likely to be limited. Given how we treat our fellow humans and our long tradition of exploitation of 'lesser animals' any argument based on morality might not be taken seriously.

Humans have maintained other humans as slaves for most of our history and slavery isn't gone entirely. We kill and make war over the slightest provocation, real or imagined. Hunting for fun, bull and cock fighting, and bear baiting have been the norm for most of human history.

The one thing most heartening about the subject is that the universe is huge. Even at FTL speeds of ten time light it would take thousands of years to cross a single galaxy. Seems a very long way to go to get resources you can find pretty much anywhere and to meet, or beat on, a species still so primitive it can't control its own breeding and get serious about resource use.

#224612 - 05/29/11 08:32 PM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: LED]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
Stop panicing. We've got The Doctor.....


Edited by Leigh_Ratcliffe (05/29/11 08:43 PM)
Edit Reason: Added link.
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#224666 - 05/30/11 03:17 PM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1204
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
If these aliens arrive, then they posses a form of faster-than-light drive system.
One of the nice things about the Greg Bear story I mentioned (and its sequel, "Anvil of Stars", that I actually prefer), is that the aliens don't have faster-than-light drives. So far as we know, those are impossible. Instead the aliens just spent a long, long time travelling. Relativistic affects mean the time is shorter for them, and we shouldn't assume they have human psychology, physiology or lifetimes. For example, they might be machines that can shut themselves down for the journey.

(I agree about the EMP, though. If they can get here, they are probably massively superior to us. Niven et al's "Footfall" is a novel where this isn't true. Fun but unlikely.)

Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
I doubt earth has anything that anyone might want.
I figure the two most likely scenarios are religious advocacy, or pre-emptive strike.

Within human society at any rate, first-contacts have historically often be done by religious missionaries who want to convert the heathen natives to whatever god or philosophy the missionaries favour. If aliens want to convert us, hopefully they don't want to kill us. Of course, they might also be motivated by a form of racial (or inter-species) hatred and see us as vermin and an offence to their god. With religion, almost any belief system is possible. I wouldn't assume that a species capable of space travel would be rational in other ways.

In Forge of God, the motive is self-defence. In the book it's possible to build robots that can travel to a star system, take apart any inhabited planets and use the parts to build more robots. Rinse and repeat, forever. Given that other species can do this, each civilisation ought to build their own killer robot fleet to wipe out everyone else first. It's a race.
Quality is addictive.

#224694 - 05/30/11 08:53 PM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: LED]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2783
Loc: Big Sky Country
One would think any civilization capable of interstellar travel would have outgrown religion.
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

#224697 - 05/30/11 09:03 PM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: Phaedrus]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2507
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
One would think any civilization capable of interstellar travel would have outgrown religion.

May I recommend Star Wars or Stargate: Atlantis? Both of these depict religious people who travel from planet to planet.

Jeanette Isabelle
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#224710 - 05/30/11 11:25 PM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: LED]
KenOTBC Offline

Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 19
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I think it would be pretty much impossible for us humans to work out alien's motivations - thats what alien means, right?

I certainly don't see them needing our resources, we are at the bottom of a gravity well after all. Easier places to get 'stuff' from and there are loads of places and stuff in the galaxy!

I read somewhere (maybe New Scientist, can't find it now) that because of the likely lack of FTL travel with aliens and the subsequent timescales of getting from A to B, they would send a nano swarm first to check us out. So physical laws for soft flesh needn't apply and huge accelerations could be attained, without the need for complicated spaceships, reducing cost and timescales. First Contact is likely to be WAY different from the hollywood view.

I also read somewhere an interesting thought that if you want to meet an alien the most likely place is during a solar eclipse. The thought was that the chances of a moon being exactly the right distance and size to provide a total solar eclipse where you can still see the sun's corona is so slight, that it would be a likely sightseeing destination for aliens galaxy wide. I really like the idea of space tourists. Maybe instead of fearing destruction we should look on it as a tourism opportunity.

#224722 - 05/31/11 12:59 AM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: LED]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
One thing to keep in mind is that if you are capable of interstellar travel, particularly if you have mastered FTL travel, you don't need fancy weapons. Forget about ray guns, phasers, nano robots and all that. Your simplest and most devastating weapon is as simple as throwing a rock. Head to the asteroid belt and you have huge amounts of rocks to throw.

#224732 - 05/31/11 02:23 AM Re: Nat Geo "When Aliens Attack" [Re: LED]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
What if the aliens are nano sized? Don't the laws of science behave somewhat differently at that size? Now that would be interesting.

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