Overweening Generalist

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Possible Fallout From Human Contact With Intelligent Aliens

First off, read this short piece I copped from Science Daily, which is a website that's like eating potato chips: once I start, I find it difficult to stop.

Okay, now: If you read Science Daily and you're like me you revel in stories about new genetic markers for common diseases and longitudinal studies and neurodegeneration and bioengineered bacterium that solve a deadly problem and galaxies colliding and odd physics experiments, etc.

But this one (linked to above) was the first time I ever read about a study conducted by doctoral and post-doctoral..."thinkers?" who ended up saying everything my friends and I say when we sit around and get stoned and talk about what might happen if we are finally contacted by intelligent extra-terrestrial Beings.

Every idea these academics cite as possibilities are ideas that have appeared for at least 50 years in pulp science fiction, popular science fiction films, the innumerable (and mostly kooky, although I like reading them) non-fiction books on the subject. Think Whitley Streiber. Or the intrepid Harvard psychologist John Mack. Or my all-time favorite, Jacques Vallee. The riff (sorry post-docs) about the aliens seeing what we're doing to the environment and wiping us out because we've proven to be unable to take care of our stuff? That's a warhorse from those Very Interesting Humans who talk about their abduction by aliens, and what Their message to us was. Heard it! Next!

Not to mention any random late-night college "bull session" where a bunch of undergrads, under the influence of magical potions surreptitiously bought in the city park, where the subject of When They Finally land and have conversations with us, like, you know, on TV 'n shit.

And also: me and my friends. We already had all these ideas. These doctoral folk should've called me; I could've given them some truly fantastic leads to further their "research." I would've excused myself to take a bong hit before getting back on the phone with them to answer any and all questions, but that's just me...

I loved the bit where one of the scientists who collaborated on the article says that their review "provides the groundwork" for further thinking on the subject. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the "groundwork" already put in place by Asimov, Heinlein, Sturgeon, Pohl, Wells, Bradbury, Charles Fort and Philip K. Dick? Or aye: even Carl Sagan. The cultural anthropologists even earlier than most of the SF guys, but who was paying attention then? And don't these scientists have a library card?

I have not read the original <cough> "report." I wonder if they delved into the fascinating area about why some aliens who have already - alleged - been here: why do they seem so interested in "probing" human rectums? This seems like serious stuff that should be addressed by <cough> "scientists."

I always liked the idea that They would land and give us tips on math.

Here's a very brief scenario I dreamed up with the sort of thoughtful firepower the scientists in the Science Daily article brought to the table:

Alien (that I imagine will look like the guy above): The logic you Earthlings have used that emanated from the one you call "Aristotle" has caused great harm. His rule of the excluded middle should have been done away with long ago. Your kind happened upon fuzzy logic far too late in your species development, and we must liquidate you.

NASA Old White Man (With short hair and glasses, wearing a white lab coat): NO! Give us another chance! Our people can be GOOD! They are a LOVING species! Please!

Alien: Silence!


Okay, okay: Is this a prank? I'm leaning towards prank. These people actually got a grant to produce this paper? Or if not, they were in some way paid? Real money? Jeez! Nice work if you can get it...One assumes they were not doing it gratis.

Because if these dudes got some dough-re-mi-cashola for writing this stuff: like, you know...whoa!

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