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« Podcast on the subject of "Strike The Tent" W. Patrick Lang | Main | "The Procurator of Judea" by Anatole France »

March 29, 2015


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I tend to think Stanislaw Lem was the only one who approximated how contact with alien life would go. He has 4 novels on the subject that I've read: "The Invincible", "Solaris", "His Master's Voice", and "Fiasco". In each case, contact is a basically humiliating and ultimately futile exercise because the alien life is too different from us for contact to mean anything. Given the extent to which we barely seem to understand each other, this seems likely to me.

As for the thoughts of attracting hostile aliens my analysis has been that, barring some incredibly weird scenario, anything advanced enough to send an army interstellar distances is advanced enough to wreck us when it gets here. Any interstellar empire that has made a hobby of finding and conquering earth like-planets has the ability to identify and find us from our leaking radio broadcasts and is already en route. So assuming anyone who is really looking for something to conquer is going to find us, we should keep shouting, in the hopes of attracting the notice of some benign group that might be able to help us out.


Col. Lang,

Were you watching the History Channel series on UFO's yesterday too? I watched it most of the day. The Shadow Government episode government was the best.

If they are out there, we don't stand a chance and considering what we're doing down here they certainly can stop us from coming to colonize anything.

I've read his work.


See Stanislaw Lem's "Fiasco". Even when intentions are as well thought out and "good" as we can manage...

Charles I

Will they like us, I thought that was your intellectual/psychological bete noir.

I remember an old classic, can't recall by who about ever tinier universes until the last perspective was a beach full of them, each universe a grain of sand.

The birds and other critters I feed like me but the worms being turned over in the garden, probably not so much. We are so full of ourselves, Babak made me laugh.


Charles I

My question was - will WE like THEM? pl

Vaclav Linek

I am reminded of the late astronomer Zdenek Kopal's statement
"Should we ever hear the space-phone ringing, for God’s sake let us not answer, but rather make ourselves as inconspicuous as possible to avoid attracting attention!"

There are still a lot of numbers to crunch, I think.
More and more planets are being found all the time, yes, but
perhaps the organization of life into highly complex and
intelligent forms is also highly improbable even under ideal conditions. Then there are supernovas, which occur in our galaxy every 50-100 years on average and sterilize a neighbourhood of significant size, snuffing out a few billion years of evolution in an instant.

Certainly the discovery of simple microbial life off-earth
in our own solar system would have a huge impact on our thinking.



A theme covered in Greg Bear's Forge of God.

It has one of my favorite uh-oh realizations. Something akin to: "It only takes a single xenophobic, space-faring, Von Neumann machine capable civilization to sanitize an entire galaxy."

So, we're pretty much out of luck unless we have some Galactic Park Ranger over us.

And as Clarke wrote of the beings behind 2001 - “And because, in all the Galaxy, they had found nothing more precious than Mind, they encouraged its dawning everywhere. They became farmers in the fields of stars; they sowed, and sometimes they reaped. And sometimes, dispassionately, they had to weed.”


Life among aliens who might have superior intelligence?

Heck, I'm still trying to access the podcast to Lang's trilogy.
tech is not my long suit.

Charles Dekle

Col Lang,
I would say that the thing about aliens is that they are,well alien. I read that somewhere years ago. My thought is that we will probably not like them as their agenda for contacting us will probably not be our agenda.

My assumption is that we earthlings will be the less technologically advanced species so we will probably loose any conflict.

My preference is that our first contact will come from a civilization like that one in "The Day the Earth Stood Still". I loved the original movie with Michael Rennie. The remake with Keanu Reeves was disappointing.

Gort, Klaatu barada nikto!



It runs on IE. Try "refreshing" that. pl


Charles Dekle

Nok nech!



If the topic of Sitchin comes up I must recommend - Chris Knowles points out the Rockefellers helped Sitchin out quite a lot.

I wonder if the old hands around here had experience with the theme of UFOs at nuclear sites. I think it's possible that strange or interdimensional beings would take an interest in nuclear tech installations, perhaps from another vantage point they look interesting. I'm not a believer but there are a lot of reports out there. Klaatu barada nikto indeed.

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