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Why I hope we don't find aliens.

themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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10/31/2013 9:21:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's a very interesting view on why we haven't found any alien species yet, however I do believe that he is being a bit over-worrisome on the part of "what if the Great Filter is in the future?". The only way that a species can know if any one event/technology/etc is, in fact, their own Great Filter, would be that it destroys them. It would be like being constantly afraid of when you are to die. You will never know until it happens, so don't think about it.

All that being said, I would like to think that the Cold War was what should have been our Great Filter, as it sure seems like it is, but as stated above, I can never know.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
Quatermass
Posts: 166
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10/31/2013 4:07:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My view is this.

I reject the idea that aliens would be hostile, for a start. Why? Because we have no frame of reference for what aliens might be like. Anything from any other planet would be quite, quite different from us. This idea that aliens would attack or invade is Hollywood selling you rubbish. Most sci-fi films, for a start, are allegories for problems in the human world anyway.

Secondly, the reason I believe we haven't found them yet is, simply, we don't have the technological capability.

Let's say you're a civilisation that has regular spacefaring activity. Immediately you wont be using radio because it is too slow. Another, more immediate, method of transmitting information would be required. If this method of communication has been in use for so long that it is reliable and a normal way of things, then anything prior to that would be obsolete.

This means the probablity of any spacefaring civilisation hearing our transmissions will be very low. They wont be listening for radio transmissions, in all probability (in the same way nobody expects a telegram anymore). So our attempts to send radio signals into space are much akin to trying to send a telegram to a cellphone, a cellphone doesn't listen for that because it no longer needs to.
Wren_cyborg
Posts: 241
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11/1/2013 9:37:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Mr. Bostrom makes an assumption I cannot forgive:

Considering that space travel was science fiction a mere half century ago, we should, I think, be extremely reluctant to proclaim something forever technologically infeasible unless it conflicts with some hard physical constraint. Our early space probes are already out there: Voyager 1, for example, is now beyond our solar system.

This logic puts infinite power in the hands of humans, and makes absolutely no sense. In Disney's "Magic Highway" in the 50s, we predicted that within a few decades we'd have limitless energy and power . Nuclear-powered machines would tear through mountains, roads would be self-heated to dry rain and snow, and bridge-building machines would build giant bridges almost as fast as you could drive over them using theoretical chemical compounds. Star Trek in the 60s had an episode where they encountered "an old freighter ship from the 1990s" that had veered off its ancient course and met the 23rd-century travelers. Back to the Future in the 1980s predicted that we'd be using hovercraft by now instead of wheels and bearings.

Perhaps Bostrom is right that space travel was considered "science fiction" half a century ago. since then, we've considered EVERYTHING scientifically-possible. Perhaps they WERE right, and space travel is STILL science fiction! What if I was to tell a group of thinkers like yourselves 50 years ago that by 2015 we wouldn't have sent another person to the moon, never-mind Mars or beyond! You'd say I'm absolutely crazy! There's no way we won't continue advancing and making it easier and cheaper to do it, by now you'd tell me scoldingly that we'd have trade-routes carved to half the planets in the solar system and Earth might still be a significant player in galactic commerce!

The fact is that it took a huge effort to go to the moon, and it still takes a huge effort. Advances in computer technology go only so far - we need advances in POWER and ENERGY that aren't coming! There's no reason at ALL to assume they are EVER coming. To simply assume that any and everything you can imagine is on the horizon to being discovered (or else just add a few millenia on top and wait for it to happen inevitably) is absolutely hysterical. Postulating that robots can colonize the universe by SOMEHOW mining and self-replicating themselves is very far-fetched, and this guy just assumes it is possible automatically. Have we ever created a single instance of a self-replicating machine? We don't even have a self-MAINTAINING machine, never-mind a self-replicating one! The industrial revolution has made us drunk with power and thinking we are Gods, but we are far from it. We can't even make a decent battery for a flashlight using all the resources known to man on Earth and this idiot thinks we are going to create a robots that are going to turn moon-rocks into super-robots. We've been trying to make electric automobiles and fuel-cells for two centuries and have succeeded so poorly that there are less electric vehicles on the road now in the 21st century than there were in the 19th century. Computer tech and genetics are advancing fast, but energy and power are at a stand-still and there's no reason to believe we'll ever advance them much more.
Wren_cyborg
Posts: 241
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11/1/2013 12:39:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 12:18:20 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Yeah, way to not read the article at all, Wren.

I do not process articles by reading, I cybernetically absorb them.