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Stephen Hawking: Beware the Space-Vikings!

Yesterday's big news was all about Stephen Hawking's warning against seeking out aliens. Why? Because they're likely to turn out to be Space-Vikings intent on stealing our land and pillaging our women! Or something like that.


Click the image to see the story.


The opposite view is that any species advanced enough to travel interstellar distances will have needed to learn cooperation on a massive scale, would have survived internal conflicts long enough to do so, and would have likely passed through the technological Singularity. What do you think?

Poll #1556972 Aliens = Space-Vikings?

What do you think intelligent aliens will be like?

Space-Vikings! Beware!
2(7.4%)
Benevolent givers of wormhole technology, cancer cures, and the like.
0(0.0%)
Post-Singularity beings: post-organic, maybe even beyond our capacity to identify as life.
4(14.8%)
Haven't you ever heard of the Cylons?
2(7.4%)
Space-Missionaries dedicated to spreading their version of the Good Word.
1(3.7%)
Saberhagen's Berserkers! Beware!
0(0.0%)
Like us... so no threat.
0(0.0%)
Like us... Beware!
4(14.8%)
I would like to complain about this poll.
4(14.8%)


Chris

Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
tricstmr
Apr. 27th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
It's ripe for speculation...
.. for while it is true that they would need to know cooperation on a massive scale--it's also probably true that this cooperation was probably massively employed to dominate their own planet and all other species on it to a level that we've not achieved.

So.. are we going to be pets or pests?

Personally--if they show up--and they don't like us.. we're boned. They will just drop rocks on us from space and wait for us to die off.. then colonize and mop up any remaining pesky hairless apes.
mckitterick
Apr. 27th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
Re: It's ripe for speculation...
I suspect that most ecology-dominating species rose to the top via winning the survival competition game. And the most-intelligent species are usually predators versus gentle herd animals....
yes... - tricstmr - Apr. 27th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: yes... - mckitterick - Apr. 27th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Exactly.. - tricstmr - Apr. 27th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: It's ripe for speculation... - mckitterick - Apr. 27th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
haha.. - tricstmr - Apr. 27th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: haha.. - mckitterick - Apr. 28th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC) - Expand
clevermanka
Apr. 27th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
I gotta say, Empire Ship isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for the Benevolent Space Traveler theory.
mckitterick
Apr. 27th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
Ha! But it's okay if it's us....
(no title) - clevermanka - Apr. 27th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
tully01
Apr. 27th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
Space Jehovah's Witnesses. Just as obnoxious but MUCH harder tog et off your doorstep.
tricstmr
Apr. 27th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
Word.
If we are lucky.. otherwise they'll just see us as tetrapod roaches...
(no title) - mckitterick - Apr. 27th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - drpaisley - Apr. 27th, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Apr. 28th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC) - Expand
xjenavivex
Apr. 27th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
You know I just have no idea.
mckitterick
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
Aliens could be so very different that we won't even be able to recognize their behaviors....
(no title) - xjenavivex - Apr. 27th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
fortyozspartan
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
I can see his point about being cautious. I'd rather veer on the side of caution than tell everyone where the homeland is and they end up being something nasty. I wouldn't presume to describe what exactly an alien species would be like, however.
mckitterick
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Being cautious and even preparing would have side-benefits, too, like being able to deal with biosphere-killing asteroids.
scarlettina
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
The only true first-contact model we have is ourselves--and look how things turned out for the Native Americans. Sure, aliens will show up pretending to be our buds, and then they'll exile us all to...New Jersey. Calcutta. Siberia. Someplace like that. It's not looking good, is all I can say.

I kinda hate to think of it that way, especially given my hopes for peaceful and mutually beneficial contact, but skepticism is probably more called for on this matter. ::sad::
mckitterick
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I wrote a book about this (one I hope to revise one day...), because we're quite a model for how we interact with aliens: In every single case throughout history, the aliens and natives end up fighting, and it's usually the natives who lose.
silverfae
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
You forgot the other options:

They are already here and living among us.

They stopped by eons ago and found us uninteresting and our planet of no use. They might come back once we've finished off all this pesky carbon-based life form garbage and each other.

They made us, and this is just one big lab experiment.


mckitterick
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
All these scenarios are just as likely, I'd say! In fact, your last suggestion fits well with ancient myths and religions.
(no title) - silverfae - Apr. 27th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Apr. 27th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - silverfae - Apr. 27th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
queenmomcat
Apr. 27th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
I'd guess that given the range of environments in which creatures can survive on this planet, it's entirely possible that creatures from other solar systems wouldn't be able to survive on Earth, even with massive life support--too hot or cold or windy or wrong atmosphere or gravity or whatever. I rather like John Christopher's Tripod trilogy, but I always wondered why the Masters wanted to go to all that trouble of "terra"forming Earth to their specifications, as the planet was otherwise completely unsuitable.
mckitterick
Apr. 27th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hear you. I think Hawking was talking about resources more than anything else: Take our stuff and move on. Like the Vikings, only more nomadic.
(no title) - queenmomcat - Apr. 27th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Apr. 28th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
drpaisley
Apr. 27th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
Ticky boxes: Good.

Complaint box: good.

Lack of cats: very bad, as they will be our salvation from the alien menace. Or they are the aliens.
queenmomcat
Apr. 28th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
Well, cats are the Master Race.
(no title) - mckitterick - Apr. 28th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC) - Expand
paulwoodlin
Apr. 28th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
Let us assume that there is an alien intelligence that doesn't choke on its own pollution, nuke itself out of existance, or get bogged down in a war of all against all even before reaching nuke stage of technology because it has no self-control. Or maybe just didn't spend so much money on their military that their major industrial powers went broke.

Let us then assume that these aliens don't go the other extreme and become a bunch of peaceful Bhuddists and Taoists sitting around meditating or fishing.

Let us then assume that they aren't hit by an asteroid or wiped out by some other natural disaster because they were too short-sighted to take precautions.

And that they have found ways to bridge interstellar space in a scientifically and economically viable fashion and yet lack the technology to make their own world sustainable.

Thus, while I find the idea of any alien species fitting this description highly unlikely, if they make it here, they are probably smarter and more peaceful than we are, and they probably came out of curiousty rather than need, there is one more thing to consider.

Most of the resources they might need from Earth, such as water, fuel, atmospheres, can be found or processed from raw materials found on Saturn, Titan, Jupiter, the Jovian moons... they wouldn't have to bother fighting or even bargaining with us at all.
mckitterick
Apr. 28th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
This is pretty much my point of view, and I hope it's true!
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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