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Re: starship-design: Re: Aliens, why haven't they contact us?

In a message dated 7/11/97 5:36:13 PM, arocha@bsb.nutecnet.com.br (Antonio C
T Rocha) wrote:

>This discussion certainly is broad in scope. A few thoughts that ocurred
>regarding it are (if I may):
>1. If we have been exposed to (and maybe originated from) space-born
>biological material, then local life is probably reasonably well suited
>to deal with any life originating within "average" distance. Maybe it
>even is "similar" to it.

How good are we at dealing with deseases from other continents, even africa
(where we evolved)?  The Indians were whiped out by Euro deseases.

>2. Less-advanced Aliens will probably be from close by, allowing us a
>reasonable chance at biological self-defence. Advanced aliens shall
>probably have advanced microbots (or whatever) to "secure the perimeter"
>- whatever that might mean to them. Maybe they would not want to
>contaminate local life with their own - and have the technology and will
>to do it.

Maybe no one goes near other biosphere until the locals are high enough tech
to talk to and verify the effective decontamination proceedures?

>3. Alien minds might work in Alien ways - based on shockingly different
>premises or rules. Their logic might not be "accessible" to us. It might
>not make sense. It is hoping a lot to expect them to think like us, with
>our emotional, dichotomic, bilaterally symmetric, golden-mean tropic
>logic. All premises from 2. onwards might be completely off the mark. On
>the other hand, similar life might lead to similar logic in similar
>beings. In that case, there could be a chance for it to be dichotomic,
>bilaterally or spherically symmetrical, maybe emotional, doubtfully
>golden-mean or fibonacci-series susceptible.

Probably we'ld have a reasonable easy time talking about science or the
universe, since its an external we both need to adapt to.  But internal
emotional/values issues could be mind boggling.

>    3a. On life: microbes have been found on earth that thrive in
>anoxic, acid-rich hundreds-degree Celsius hot environments. Ditto for
>orgs living near sulfur-rich thermal vents on the ocean floor. Coupled
>with the space-born life hypothesis, this suggests that life is probable
>on any nearby planet without too much radiation and sufficient heat
>(20-700 degrees Celsius). Venus and the gas giants immediately come to
>mind. Furthermore, if you accept that similar structure leads to similar
>logic, it suggests that alien life might be "comprehensible", even if
>only in the most abstract sense.
>4. 5 billion people is a lot to us, but could be a hamlet to a
>gregarious space-faring race. Again, aliens are alien. They might not be
>composed of individuals as we understand the term.
>5. *Very* advanced technology might not be limited to our little bubble
>of space-time or suffer its ...er... limitations. But there are always
>the less-technologically advanced space-farers - no reason why they
>couldn't be messy, noisy housekeepers (just like we are and shall
>probably ever be).

Really.  "Hi!  Sorry about the moon.  Little trouble with the hyperdrive.
 But the debris field should be much easier to mine!"  ;)

>6. In our pattern of society, it is usually adventurers, traders,
>colonizers, castaways and fugitives who first contact new cultures. The
>priests and scientists usually follow long after. By then, the damage
>has already been done. The abos have to face the cultural shock and meet
>the visitors new demands as best they can. _If_ the aliens are like us,
>that's the way it might go. Otherwise, who can tell?

So many ideas, so little data.  :(