Sunday, October 31, 2010

Top 10 Characteristics of Extra Terrestrials (assuming they exist)

Halloween again.  Time for scary, gruesome fun.  Kids walking around begging for candy dressed up as favorite celebrities or supernatural entities.  For some reason, Extra Terrestrials get lumped into the same columns as ghosts, vampires, and werewolves.  While the latter have no chance of actually existing, Extra Terrestrials on the other hand certainly exist.  That's right, I said it.  CERTAINLY.  I have no doubt whatsoever that there is 'life' as we can define it that exists outside of our planet.  If we only look at the odds of life happening in a universe full of BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of solar systems, then factor in our absolute ignorance concerning life and it's components.  It's very safe to assume that there are MANY places in the cosmos that probably have life and some of those could very well be intelligent life.  This really isn't about that.  It's more about what the characteristics are of extra terrestrials if we were ever to see them here.

10.  Unless they are immortal, they really are only interested in our resources. -  Sorry folks, Aliens would not come here to do anything else, but look at the WEALTH of complex chemical compounds that comprise our planet.  They would easily be able to come and take samples of what they want and leave.  Later they could come back to harvest anything they deem useful to them.  I know this sounds like I am projecting our harsh history on external entities, but really, if they are mortal, then they deal with time and living in the same way we do.  Survive, reproduce, try to gain the illusion of security.  Wherever there is scarcity, there is monetary exchange and there are rich and poor.  Therefore they could be a business like entity that would harvest what they want from our planet.

9.  If they ARE immortal, they would use blinds to observe us - Immortal Impossible you say?  Well check out my blog on transporter technology.  Any race that has technology sufficient to cross the cosmos, probably has transport technology.  Why observe us then?  When you are immortal, your motivations for doing things are very different.  The only thing that is truly scarce to you is new experience and new knowledge.  They would study us out of immortal curiosity.  The blinds of course would be so they could observe us in our native habitat.  Any large city could have several blinds created to observe us.  I've always wondered how sears stayed in business.

8.  They will not know how to 'heal' us - Sure they've got scads of technology, That won't help me with my bad knee.  Life evolves in different ways in different places and our brand of life will be so different from theirs that they will have no way of knowing anything about our life systems.  It is much more likely that our environments will not at all be compatible, so they would only look at us to learn more about us.  We will be as entirely odd to them as they appear to us.

7.  They will not care about our environment - We don't care about fish poop in the ocean.  It doesn't matter to us at all.  Aliens will see us as beings on the top tier of our food chain.  They will likely view us as intelligent as we view dolphins or other simians.  We look at army ants and how they wipe out everything in their path, we do not consider them to be 'destroying' their planet, we have a MUCH wider view of their surroundings.  Aliens will look at us in the same way.  A part of the planet doing things in a way that benefits us the most with little regard for our surroundings.  Sure, we recycle etc.  So do ants and bees and lots of other social animals.  Others don't recycle at all and don't care.  Still we are all part of the planet.

6.  If they are mortal, they will come from a part of the cosmos where they do not represent all forms of their particular species.  -  There is no reason to believe that even the slightest differences in environment will not effect the same kinds of changes amongst any species in existence that we experience as humans.  Mortal aliens will represent only their governmental form from where they hail.  Mortality breeds a sense of scarcity.  scarcity in turn creates fear and insecurity.  fear and insecurity creates a desire to gather in like groups for protection.  Various groups will create their own forms of governance and one will likely rise to the technological top and strive to explore space.   If they are immortal on the other hand.  They have likely homogenized their species into one group that survives by default and are less likely to have anything more than some kind of collective government.

5.  The only problem we have that they can solve will be one of energy - All of our other problems will likely either be unsolvable by them, or they will not have the specific technology available in space faring craft.  Energy on the other hand.  Is the one technology that can help any semi-intelligent species.  They would have to have the ability to both generate it as well as store it in order to just get here.  All of our other problems are home grown and can really only be solved by us over time.  If we look for evidence of extra terrestrial technology look for power storage and transmission.  This will be the most important discovery in any emerging species existence.  Much like our own astronauts are pros at physics and aeronautics, our alien counterparts will have little knowledge of their entertainment ,  food preparation or domestic technologies.  They probably can't tell jokes very well either.

4.  Immortal aliens will deal with governments, mortal aliens will just take over - Our government for all of it's faults is our method for communicating with any other countries or social entities that do not share our language or values.  There are a lot of things that our government keeps secret from 'we the people'.  That's probably a good thing since that's what we hired them to do.  80% of Government secrecy is genuinely for our own good.  19%  is corruption and 1% (but a very important percentage) is Aliens.  If Aliens have contacted us, it's very likely that they are immortal or posses such longevity that they are indistinguishable from immortals.  On the other hand, if we have been discovered by mortal aliens, it could well be that we are looked at as some kind of resource farm that we pay in exchange for their continued 'protection'.

3.  The good news, the Aliens speak English, The bad news, They all sound like Uncle Jesse on the Dukes of Hazzard. - All of our television signals have been beaming into space for decades.  Aliens have been watching.  Their favorite entertainment show is Dukes of Hazard.  Their favorite comedy is NOVA and their favorite science program is Dexters Laboratory.  They will learn their language from our TV like every other non-english speaking country does.  The truth is, they will talk to us with flawless English and we will believe that they have some kind of flawless translating device (you know, like Google-translate 2.0) when in all likelyhood, our Alien visitors were taught english by the Walt Disney corporation and Alex P Keaton of Family Ties.

2.  Mortal aliens probably won't go to church with us - Any intelligent mortal race will develop some kind of mythic answer to the question of life and sentience.  It's simply a matter of course.  A critical thinking race will try to answer the questions of nature with simplistic stories and mythologies at first that will then evolve into science.  This is of course unless the aliens themselves established the different religions on our planet.  That would explain a lot.

1.  Aliens probably don't look anything like us at all - We always want the ET's to have a head and arms and legs etc just like us, just variations on a theme.  Lets take a loot at bacteria.  how do they look?  wow, scads of legs.  hmmm..tons of feelers,  eyes that are sensitive to all kinds of light spectra.  There is nothing suggesting that they would evolve in even remotely similar fashions. This is good, because if they looked anything like us at all.  There would be some redneck that would claim to the first baby-daddy of a hybrid alien/semi-human.  They would live in their hover-trailer-home and would be rabid ook-mok fans which they watch on their alien 10 foot satellite dish.  Most popular sport in the cosmos.

Friday, October 15, 2010

top 10 things you say before you die

Death. I'm sure I've blogged about it before, but If I haven't, that's good, because it's an easy subject to get REALLY philosophical about. Death. The End. Finito. Hasta La Vista. It's one of the few things we will all experience. Many times, people will be remembered for their last words. But if you want to be remembered for a while, you'll say something pretty ironic. Not many people know when they are going to die. The people that do are not the lucky ones because they are either on death row, or they have to try to 'beat' a terminal illness. The rest of us are going to die under fairly unexpected circumstances. What will you say before that happens? Soon, you are going to read what I think are the top 10 things you may say. I don't know that avoiding saying these things will keep you from dying. But avoiding the circumstances where you would be prompted to say those things might help. Who knows?

Here are the things you may say before you die.

10. OK, TURN IT OVER!  -  Your head is deep in the transmission of your loaded trans-something or other and your buddy is there to help.  You've made a few 'adjustments' to the engine and you want your friend to give it a roll while you listen to the engine purr.  Of course at that point, just about anything could happen with your head buried under the hood of the car you look vaguely like a suicidal person with their head in an oven.

9. I think I know what your problem is - This one is broad, but could be a bellwether of doom no matter how you are saying it.  If you are genuinely giving good advice, it may not be well taken.  On the other hand, if you are using it sarcastically you could find yourself on the moving end of a big stick or worse.  If you are using the phrase to help your buddy with that large piece of farm equipment, even though it was meant in the most helpful of terms, you could be on your last leg.

8. God himself could not sink this ship - What a great phrase.  One of my favorites to say on an airplane or boat.  It may kind of worry the passengers around you, but it has worked at least one time in the past ;).

7. O.k., I'll do it this time - If at first you don't succeed die, die again.  Trying to do something and failing, may be better for you than trying and succeeding.

6. Hey, guys watch this! or Ok! is the camera ready? - Gonna impress your friends?  Gonna show your new girlfriend that you could have been a stunt man?  Gonna do something stupid that may get you famous on U-tube for a little while, but probably gets you dead?  This is what you'll say before this occurrence.

5.  I wonder if I can take it up to 120? - Most cars can go around 110 MPH.  The problem is they weren't engineered to go that fast and neither were the roads.  But when you are in your new car driving down that abandoned stretch of road you figure you could break the 120 barrier.  Just remember, any little rock on the road will send you careening  off the edge of the road and likely to your doom.  This is most often said in your head and not out loud as your significant other will likely ask you to pull over and let them out first.

4.  It's ok, I can drive. - This is the saddest one I can think of because it happens so often.  Just because you are stupid doesn't mean you have to take it out on us.  Good rule of thumb.  If you say this phrase, you've probably lied.  Stay off the road.

3.  Race you to the other side of the rise over there. -  Funny how off road vehicles give you a feeling of invincibility.  You race around on your 4 wheeler or snow mobile and you think you can go anywhere.  So you race another snow mobile to the edge of that rise.  When you get close enough that rise ends in a sheer cliff.  Or that rise ends up being a loose slab of snow that will fall on you like the wrath of God (which it may be)

2.  Crap, I wired that backwards.  -  so you just undo the wires and then reverse them.  problem is, you didn't shut off the breaker because it's ALL the way over there and it's such a pain, and I've done like 12 of these now, so I don't need to turn off the power.  Yes you do.  (This is that much more poignant in countries with 220v standard electricity)

1.  I can get the perfect shot from riiiight...heeeere - Gun?  No Camera.  Cameras seem to give someone a feeling of invincibility and entitlement in direct proportion to the amount of money you spent on the device itself.  you have a 1500$ camera?  You are going to stand in the middle of a geyser waving your hand at a none too amused buffalo  to get that PERFECT shot.  Oh, you'll get that shot alright.

Stay away from these things!  I need as many readers as I can get.  If you are a spam commenter, please don't bother.  Otherwise thanks for the feedback!  Happy Halloween!