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'[OT:] Countdown to 1st contact. 20, 19, ...'
2004\07\28@070022 by Russell McMahon

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More projections on time before 1st alien contact.
"Within 20 years. (If they exist.)"

       http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996189

It's amazing how much life they have got out of Drake's formula considering
it was a quick whip up of obvious ideas. And how much store is placed on the
results given the impossibly uncertain nature of the assumptions made.

Interesting to see that the man loses his nerve on Moore's law and stops
doubling his computer power every 1.5 years after 2015 and switches to a 3
year doubling period instead. He has reasons for doing this, but they are
certain not to be valid ones by 2015.

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2004\07\28@125630 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 12:32 PM 7/28/2004 -0400, you wrote:
> > <paranoid fantasy = ON> Of course, we are beaming radio waves all over
> the universe now, in an ever-expanding advertisement of our innocent
> presence.  What evil space pirates are running their own SETI project,
> looking for naïve civilizations without advanced weapons technology to
> prey upon?</paranoia>
>
>I wouldn't be so worried about alien civilizations as self-replicating
>robots.
>
>It's *much* easier to set a fleet of self-replicating robots out into the
>void than it is to go there yourself.

I fail to see any *inherent* difference between a fleet of highly
sophisticated self-replicating robots and a colony of human beings, except
perhaps that the former might be expected to have more of  sense of purpose.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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2004\07\28@132742 by Ben Hencke

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Why would we sent self-replicating robots into space? Would we be able
to or want to listen to a infinite stream of inane babel that grows
exponentially?

If we make them smarter, so they know what is interesting then what
will we do when they have seen all that their limited capabilities
can?

If we make them able to improve themselves, what happens when they run
out of material to replication/repair themselves?

...

At what point should we break control and let them evolve as fast as
they can evolve themselves?

If FTL travel is not possible without some kind of magical warp drive,
machines are the only thing that can travel for eons without resources
and at velocities that would be needed to escape the ultimate
destruction of this solar system & eventually galaxy.

Isn't the ultimate result of life to bring order and system to chaos?
Reducing the entropy of the universe?

If there is no difference between a fleet of highly
sophisticated self-replicating robots and a colony of human beings,
why not just create evolving AI robots and succeed the throne already
;-)

- Ben

On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 13:08:44 -0400, Spehro Pefhany <.....speffKILLspamspam.....interlog.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\28@134249 by D. Jay Newman

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> Why would we sent self-replicating robots into space? Would we be able
> to or want to listen to a infinite stream of inane babel that grows
> exponentially?

*I* wouldn't. However, what if somebody wanted to explore the universe
with AIs sending data back.

> If we make them smarter, so they know what is interesting then what
> will we do when they have seen all that their limited capabilities
> can?

What do we do *now* when we want to see more of the universe than our
equipment can see?

> If we make them able to improve themselves, what happens when they run
> out of material to replication/repair themselves?

I *wouldn't* allow such machines to improve themselves.

I'd also have a clock on reproductions so that we wouldn't have the
insane stream of inane babel.

> At what point should we break control and let them evolve as fast as
> they can evolve themselves?

I don't think we're at that point yet. I'd like to make a good subsentient
bot that can take of my dog. I can't imagine running a fully sentient
AI. And I'm fairly hazy on the concept of machine evolution.

Evolution works for biological entities because small changes usually don't
kill them. However, remove or change a single part from an efficient machine
and you have a paperweight.

This is one of the concerns about nanotech: can they be made efficient enough
that they *can't* evolve? That is, any change causes the nanotech device
to be destroyed.

> If FTL travel is not possible without some kind of magical warp drive,
> machines are the only thing that can travel for eons without resources
> and at velocities that would be needed to escape the ultimate
> destruction of this solar system & eventually galaxy.

That's pretty forward thinking. I don't think the human race will be
around long enough for that.

> Isn't the ultimate result of life to bring order and system to chaos?
> Reducing the entropy of the universe?

That would actually be increasing the entropy of the universe.

If life has a goal, it should be in increase chaos and reduce order.

> If there is no difference between a fleet of highly
> sophisticated self-replicating robots and a colony of human beings,
> why not just create evolving AI robots and succeed the throne already

I do feel that this will eventually be done if the human race survives
long enough. Eventually such technology will become so available that
pretty much anybody can do this themselves.
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2004\07\28@151730 by Roland

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At 01:08 PM 28/07/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>At 12:32 PM 7/28/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>> > <paranoid fantasy = ON> Of course, we are beaming radio waves all over
>> the universe now, in an ever-expanding advertisement of our innocent
>> presence.
I find it fascinating that humans think their radio signals should be
heeded. Maybe the old red indians would've tried to notify aliens by
sending out smoke signals in their day. In other words, radio is the dismal
limit of our technology, notwithstanding that we have an amazing device
atop our necks. My feeling is that the aliens are sitting quietly by, and
only when we start beaming intelligent THOUGHT patterns into space, will we
be more on a par with them, and be accepted into the galactic mainstream.

>> What evil space pirates are running their own SETI project,
>> looking for naïve civilizations without advanced weapons technology to
>> prey upon?</paranoia>
>>

This exemplies the human notion that there may be something out there that
behaves as we do on our planet.
In any case, if they could hear us, and could get to us, we're as useful as
chickens.

Regards
Roland Jollivet

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2004\07\28@161201 by Robert Rolf

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>
> >> What evil space pirates are running their own SETI project,
> >> looking for naïve civilizations without advanced weapons technology to
> >> prey upon?</paranoia>
> >>
>
> This exemplies the human notion that there may be something out there that
> behaves as we do on our planet.
> In any case, if they could hear us, and could get to us, we're as useful as
> chickens.

Seems to me we're a darn sight better at 'working the mines' than
chickens.

OTOH, they want to freeze dry us and ship us back to the
'home world' much as early explorers did in the Americas.
"Exotic imports from the colonies"....

R

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2004\07\28@171416 by Carey Fisher - NCS

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> My feeling is that the aliens are sitting
  > quietly by, and
  > only when we start beaming intelligent THOUGHT patterns into
  > space, will we
  > be more on a par with them, and be accepted into the galactic
  > mainstream.

OR...

WE are the most intelligent beings in the universe... ;{

Carey Fisher

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2004\07\28@174641 by Robert B.

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> In any case, if they could hear us, and could get to us, we're as useful
as
> chickens.
<snip>

OTOH, if they can't hear us and can't get to us, they're as useful to me as
a pile of steaming dog turds.  Or if they can hear us and can't get to us,
or can hear us but choose not to get to us, or probably even if they do come
on over...

All this is interesting to think about, but really the odds of two
independent life forms coming into contact with the amount of habitable
manner around is tiny.  Even for a super-advanced culture that immediately
picked up on our first radio transmission beamed into space and immediately
turned out an expedition for contact from a nearby solar system, the signal
is still on its way there for all but the closest ones.  And AFAIK the
closest ones have already been deemed uninhabitable for life as we know it.

Radio was either invented in 1895 by Tesla, or 1898 by Marconi.  Either way
thats ~110 years.  Even if aliens have wormholes or FTL travel technology,
our radio signals don't.  110 light-years isn't very far on a cosmic scale.

Even assuming that the closest possible system is habitable, Alpha Centauri
is over 4 light years away, or about 400 years for a typical spacecraft.  In
addition, most conceived fractional speed of light craft take several years
to get up to speed.

In short, I'm not expecting contact any time soon.

And as for Moore's law, I suppose this computer does everything I want it to
about 30x faster than necessary.  I think my PC-power curve is leveling out
already.

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\28@180134 by Ben Hencke

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<rhetoric level="high">


On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 13:37:39 -0400, D. Jay Newman <jayEraseMEspam.....sprucegrove.com> wrote:
> > Why would we sent self-replicating robots into space? Would we be able
> > to or want to listen to a infinite stream of inane babel that grows
> > exponentially?
>
> *I* wouldn't. However, what if somebody wanted to explore the universe
> with AIs sending data back.

That is answered by the second rhetorical question :-)

>
> > If we make them smarter, so they know what is interesting then what
> > will we do when they have seen all that their limited capabilities
> > can?
>
> What do we do *now* when we want to see more of the universe than our
> equipment can see?

We invent and build new equipment. Look at how many upgrade Hubble
has. But unless we allow the robots to download new schematics and
build new instruments themselves, it would be very difficult to
upgrade a fleet of robots several light years away.

>
> > If we make them able to improve themselves, what happens when they run
> > out of material to replication/repair themselves?
>
> I *wouldn't* allow such machines to improve themselves.

You would need to in order to have them upgrade themselves. Otherwise
you will get a self-replicating junkyard of obsolete technology.


> I'd also have a clock on reproductions so that we wouldn't have the
> insane stream of inane babel.

A simple evolutionary "error" could fix that clock :-) esp if we allow
enough replications to cover the galaxy. Murphy's law applies scales
to meet any system's complexity.

>
> > At what point should we break control and let them evolve as fast as
> > they can evolve themselves?
>
> I don't think we're at that point yet. I'd like to make a good subsentient
> bot that can take of my dog. I can't imagine running a fully sentient
> AI. And I'm fairly hazy on the concept of machine evolution.

Course we are not there yet :-)
Would the AI need to be sentient in order to evolve? If it can evolve,
what magic stops it from evolving sentience as we have defined it?
(over some insane period of time)

>
> Evolution works for biological entities because small changes usually don't
> kill them. However, remove or change a single part from an efficient machine
> and you have a paperweight.

I think you would be very interested in Genetic Algorithms
www.trnmag.com/Stories/2004/051904/Evolution_trains_robot_teams_051904.html
wired.com/news/autotech/0,2554,63900,00.html?tw=wn_5techhead
www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994075
http://www.nature.com/nature/links/030508/030508-3.html

>
> This is one of the concerns about nanotech: can they be made efficient enough
> that they *can't* evolve? That is, any change causes the nanotech device
> to be destroyed.

There are smaller things on the scale than nano. Eventually you run
into quantum mechanics, and then quantum computing has the possibility
of breaking several rules as we know them.

>
> > If FTL travel is not possible without some kind of magical warp drive,
> > machines are the only thing that can travel for eons without resources
> > and at velocities that would be needed to escape the ultimate
> > destruction of this solar system & eventually galaxy.
>
> That's pretty forward thinking. I don't think the human race will be
> around long enough for that.

Thats why some sort or artificial life is required :-) If only we
could transfer our consciousness to a machine (and not lose our soul
in the process)

>
> > Isn't the ultimate result of life to bring order and system to chaos?
> > Reducing the entropy of the universe?
>
> That would actually be increasing the entropy of the universe.

Nature is very adept at taking non sorted material and organizing it
into complex systems and organizations. As life evolves, it becomes
more organized. look at how planned and organized our land, food, and
even reproduction is becoming. As engineers and programmers, look at
how structured and systematic our creations are becoming. Society
forms behaviour control to remove anything from the norm (in a subtle,
but evolutionary way).

>
> If life has a goal, it should be in increase chaos and reduce order.

If I were to compare a barren landscape with a forest, which one would
have systems and organizations that can be explained/understood? In my
mind the forest is a system, it has order and follows rules and does
its best to handle fluctuations without affecting its
system/behaviour. A barren landscape has nothing trying to keep itself
organized, wind blows and dust moves; it is more subject to small
fluctuations and gusts of wind.

> > If there is no difference between a fleet of highly
> > sophisticated self-replicating robots and a colony of human beings,
> > why not just create evolving AI robots and succeed the throne already
>
> I do feel that this will eventually be done if the human race survives
> long enough. Eventually such technology will become so available that
> pretty much anybody can do this themselves.

Or the technology can do it itself, thats what I would like to see. :-)

- Ben

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2004\07\28@180136 by Tim ODriscoll

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On Wed, 28 Jul 2004, Carey Fisher - NCS wrote:
>  > My feeling is that the aliens are sitting
>    > quietly by, and
>    > only when we start beaming intelligent THOUGHT patterns into
>    > space, will we
>    > be more on a par with them, and be accepted into the galactic
>    > mainstream.
>
> OR...
>
> WE are the most intelligent beings in the universe... ;{

"The best sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe, is
that none of it has tried to contact us"

Just saw the news about another car bomb and that quote seemed
applicable..

Cheers,

Tim

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2004\07\28@180548 by James Newton, Host

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Hang on a sec... Just because everything we see and have ever seen in
ourselves, nature and the cosmos tells us that it is a dog eat dog universe,
we should not expect that new encounters with people / things outside our
current stomping grounds will be out to harvest us for dinner?

I thought "Independence day" was a realistic scenario for first contact. Or
that old "outer limits:" "Wait! 'How to serve man' is a cookbook!" If only
"Matrix" had used the farming of humans as meat for aliens rather than the
generation of electricity (please!) for robots, it would have been quite
good as well.

It could be argued that the only way to hope to survive is to pollute our
environment as much as possible and evolve to live with the toxins in our
systems.

< 0,|\
< |'|/

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\28@190258 by David VanHorn

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At 04:14 PM 7/28/2004, Carey Fisher - NCS wrote:

> > My feeling is that the aliens are sitting
>   > quietly by, and
>   > only when we start beaming intelligent THOUGHT patterns into
>   > space, will we
>   > be more on a par with them, and be accepted into the galactic
>   > mainstream.
>
>OR...
>
>WE are the most intelligent beings in the universe... ;{

I'm not  sure which is scarier, that or being eaten by giant space cockroaches..




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2004\07\28@191052 by Robert B.

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Definitely being eaten by giant space cockroaches.

Speaking of giant space cockroaches... put me down for $20 on one of those
fighter jets.  Just in case. ;-D  I'd hate to have them eat the piclist
server along with everything else.


{Original Message removed}

2004\07\28@203135 by Howard Winter

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James,

On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 15:02:21 -0700, James Newton, Host wrote:

>
> I thought "Independence day" was a realistic scenario for first contact.

What, with the US President jumping into a fighter aircraft and getting into the fight???

>...<
> It could be argued that the only way to hope to survive is to pollute our
> environment as much as possible and evolve to live with the toxins in our
> systems.

If you know/remember The War of the Worlds, it ends with the Martians being defeated not by humans, but by the
microbes - we have already developed fairly good immunity to the bacteria and such that share this place with
us, and a visiting alien would not have, so may find it impossible to survive here.  Ditto us on other planets
with life, of course!

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\29@025646 by ISO-8859-1?Q?Ruben_J=F6nsson?=

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>  > My feeling is that the aliens are sitting
>    > quietly by, and
>    > only when we start beaming intelligent THOUGHT patterns into
>    > space, will we
>    > be more on a par with them, and be accepted into the galactic
>    > mainstream.
>
> OR...
>
> WE are the most intelligent beings in the universe... ;{
>
Or...

We have already been contacted. Something happened to one of  the billions of lifeforms on this planet a couple of hundred thousand years ago. The species that would become what is now known as human beings was given the ability to develop it's mind at an accellerating rate and was also gifted with what many would call a 'soul'. It does not exist in any other biological entity on this planet. This 'soul-thing' is perhaps the result of an ancient close encounter....

And now on to something completely different - self-replicating robots: Doesn't the carbon based lifeforms on this planet fit into that description. It's a massive multitasking (every cell being a preprogrammed object), self replicating, mutating (evolving), adaptive unit. Could it be that our intelligence is artificial in the view of some other (perhaps silicon based) lifeform?

And now back to work, developing a new sensational gadget - oh wait, I have just discovered the meaning of life and everything: We are supposed to build new and more and more advanced equipment that will eventually lead us to get back home - the center of the universe which was were we all lived until that annoying big bang threw us out all over the place... Has anybody else noticed that '42' is a star (*) in the ASCII chart, whatever that may mean...

/Ruben





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2004\07\29@030930 by David VanHorn

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>
>Or...
>
>We have already been contacted. Something happened to one of
>the billions of lifeforms on this planet a couple of hundred
>thousand years ago. The species that would become what is now
>known as human beings was given the ability to develop it's
>mind at an accellerating rate and was also gifted with what
>many would call a 'soul'. It does not exist in any other
>biological entity on this planet. This 'soul-thing' is perhaps
>the result of an ancient close encounter....

Believe it or not, that's one of the core beliefs in scientology.

All hail Xenu!
http://www.xenu.net/archive/OTIII-scholar/

Gifs of the original "sacred texts" in LRH's hand.
http://sf.irk.ru/www/ot3/otiii-gif.html

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2004\07\29@034332 by Russell McMahon

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> Hang on a sec... Just because everything we see and have ever seen in
> ourselves, nature and the cosmos tells us that it is a dog eat dog
universe,
> we should not expect that new encounters with people / things outside our
> current stomping grounds will be out to harvest us for dinner?

Harvest us for dinner - fairly inconceivable.
Destroy us - more likely.

General consensus is that any race able to develop intergalactic or even
intra galactic travel technology would not sensibly have war and destruction
and domination as any part of their viewpoint. Anyone who holds such views
seriously has probably not spent any significant amount of value time with
their local Klingons :-)

Seriously, I don't think we can establish anything with certainty about the
thinking of non-human intelligent races, should such exist (or even if they
don't :-) *** ). If a race had an ultra-ultra long term view and a them or
us mentality then self perpetuating exterminators and spreaders of one's own
type would seem sensible enough.

Francis Crick of Crick & Watson fame was the proposer of the concept of
"directed panspermia" - purposeful seeding of life as we know it by aliens
long ago - as a significant possible source of life on earth. ("Life
itself",  Simon & Schuster 1981). I'm just starting to read the book in my
"spare" time. I find it fascinating that one of the four* "discoverers" of
the so far understood role of DNA in life**, should be so certain of the
utter improbability that life developed from non-life on earth that he would
risk his very-considerable reputation by writing a book that argues the case
for our fore-fore-fore-bears being placed here purposefully by aliens. Gives
one a very comforting glow when you listen to the likes of (bounders like
****) the 'can't for the life of me see why so much esteemed Richard
Dawkins.



       RM

* 4 - read the history

** DNA's role as the sole arbiter of genetic inheritance is looking shakier
by the month.

***    Some argue that the known existence of aliens would be a death blow
to Christianity or/and various other religions. I can't see why, unless such
religions claim the non-existence of such as a fundamental tenet. Nothing I
know of God indicates to me with certainty that life does or doesn't exist
elsewhere in the universe. However, despite the almost overwhelming demands
of humanist logic that life MUST exist elsewhere, my gut feeling is that we
are alone. I would be pleased enough if it were found to be otherwise.

**** Tried to think of a word for Dawkins that was fair to use. Rejected
idiot and liar. Bounder is a good stop gap. Dawkins avoids & obscures
reality and twists truth to make his points. He leads uninformed people
helpless to his conclusions while papering over the trivialities or untruths
that he has used to support his case. He snipes and disparages, makes you
think he will in due course come to fair battle and then at the end slides
yellowly from the field to return another day with yet another populist book
based on smoke and mirrors.

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2004\07\29@043303 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: pic microcontroller discussion list
>[EraseMEPICLISTspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU] On Behalf Of Ben Hencke
>Sent: 28 July 2004 18:20
>To: @spam@PICLIST@spam@spamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
>Subject: Re: [OT:] Countdown to 1st contact. 20, 19, ...
>
>
>Why would we sent self-replicating robots into space? Would we
>be able to or want to listen to a infinite stream of inane
>babel that grows exponentially?


Two words.  Soap Operas. :)

Mike

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2004\07\29@045214 by Russell McMahon

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> > I thought "Independence day" was a realistic scenario for first contact.

> What, with the US President jumping into a fighter aircraft and getting
into the fight???

Something about the US President jumping into a fighter aircraft seems
strangely resonant ... ?


       RM

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2004\07\29@045214 by Russell McMahon

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> >We have already been contacted. Something happened to one of
> >the billions of lifeforms on this planet a couple of hundred
> >thousand years ago. The species that would become what is now
> >known as human beings was given the ability to develop it's
> >mind at an accellerating rate and was also gifted with what
> >many would call a 'soul'. It does not exist in any other
> >biological entity on this planet. This 'soul-thing' is perhaps
> >the result of an ancient close encounter....
>
> Believe it or not, that's one of the core beliefs in scientology.
>
> All hail Xenu!

And close to Christianity ! :-)
The "entity" that created the cosmos also instilled in people that which
makes them special.
A key difference (but not the only one) between Christianity and many other
religions is the understanding that 'God' is external to the creation and
not a part of it. Of the major world religions AFAIR only Christianity and
Islam share this understanding.

I can't speak for Islam (and wouldn't even start to try and speak for Mr
Hubbards self-proclaimed Sci-Fi creation) but a major factor that turns
people away from Christianity is that people for some reason insist on
looking at the behaviour of the majority of Christians past and present,
rather than considering how the Boss says Christians SHOULD behave. Funny
that. If they (we) could only get their (our) act together then things would
change :-). (The Boss said so). Fortunately for those who are utterly
repelled by Christianity (including certain unnamed people I know will read
this :-) ) , it doesn't look like any such thing will happen in world
shaking numbers in the foreseeable future :-(.



       RM

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2004\07\29@050455 by Russell McMahon

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>    If we make them able to improve themselves, what happens when they run
out of material to replication/repair themselves? />

They would plan their travels to include sites of new materials. These are
typically scattered "only" a few light yeras apart in much of the universe.
With more difficulty raw materials can be acquired almost anywhere in space.
It's just a bity more thinly spread.

>    At what point should we break control and let them evolve as fast as
they can evolve themselves?>/

NEVER if you want to stay top dog :-)
I liked the terminator scenario where the world wide comms network
(effectively) went self aware at a known time and declared war to the utter
death on mankind withing seconds or minutes (it had had time to think it
through).
Asserrtion: If we every create a computer system with more intelligence than
our own then it will seek to destroy us.

>    If FTL travel is not possible without some kind of magical warp drive,
machines are the only thing that can travel for eons without resources
and at velocities that would be needed to escape the ultimate
destruction of this solar system & eventually galaxy./>

No. Just a paradigm shift. It will never be "realistic" to move world size
populations strar to star energy wise FTL.
BUT IF you can attain the requisite energy (and it's utterly beyond *
conception by our standards) then time dilation means you can move groups of
people from star to star within comfortably short subjective periods without
deep sleep or any other such effects. A suitably energetic system will take
you to essentially light speed at 1g in 1 year and decelerate again in the
same time. IF you can manage to keep that baby on the road (and it's a BIG
IF) then you can got to many many stars that you can see from here in under
3 subjective years. Two of those years are spent speeding up and slowing
down. The year in between allows you to go a long long long .... way.

* "Utterly beyond" is not nice. You may have to start to remove larger outer
planets to get enough energy to send a few modest sized 'family groups' if
you want to get really close to light speed. If you can be happy with say
0.8 or so then you are just talking ginormous. 0.8C doesn't do especially
useful things to time dilation. (1-0.8^2) = 0.36 = so so. 0.9C -> 0.19 time.
0.99C -> 0.008 or 125 times time extension. Getting good, but very very very
dear. At near light speed a human can cross the galaxy in a human lifetime.

>    Isn't the ultimate result of life to bring order and system to chaos?
Reducing the entropy of the universe?/>

No. Life can reduce local entropy by either using locally available energy
to create order amd/or by bringibng more energy into a local area. But life
as we know it as far as I know it does noy yet know how to produce atrue
decrease in entropy within a truly closed system. If you only care about
your local planet, star system ot thereabouts you may be OK  for a few
billion years. Universe wide you lose.


>If there is no difference between a fleet of highly
sophisticated self-replicating robots and a colony of human beings,
why not just create evolving AI robots and succeed the throne already
;-) />

There is. We can't.
Refer to Scientology / Islam / Christianity posting :-)




           RM

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2004\07\29@060107 by Roland

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>"spare" time. I find it fascinating that one of the four* "discoverers" of
>the so far understood role of DNA in life**, should be so certain of the
>utter improbability that life developed from non-life on earth that he would
>risk his very-considerable reputation by writing a book that argues the case
>for our fore-fore-fore-bears being placed here purposefully by aliens. Gives
>one a very comforting glow when you listen to the likes of (bounders like
>****) the 'can't for the life of me see why so much esteemed Richard
>Dawkins.

hi Russel

I wonder if you read stuff like Kryon, Robert Monroe and Paleidian info.
Even Michael Rhodes, down your way.
I think most the fringe viewpoints would originate from 'outside' sources.

Concepts like;
- the reason our DNA will never add up as a program for the body is because
the physical DNA is only part of the complete picture. In the same way that
science is now able to see body electric fields, there is non-physical DNA
at a multitude of levels.
- the reason we seem alone is because generally other forms of life are
seperated by 'planes' of existance, and in that regard many others think
they too are alone in the universe. So the locals on Jupiter sit and look
at all the barren planets around them, including earth.
- the life forms on earth are all 'planted' here, all from a far larger
external pool. So trying to figure out how a giraffe and a mouse evolved
from a similar amoeba is an exercise in stupidity.
- the unverse is teeming with life, all right HERE, but the seperation is
in time/space, not physical, will also makes the SETI program a waste of time.

And my opinion is that most of science is f.. in trying to suss out the
universe because they're trying to apply narrow local laws to non-local
scenarios, even excluding local parameters that do not fit. Simple example;
DEATH. There is nothing in our science that addresses a fundamental part of
our existance, like scientists haven't noticed it.
(f.. stands for flawed ;-)

anyway, this topic is too huge, even for OT.

Regards
Roland Jollivet

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2004\07\29@062206 by ISO-8859-1?Q?Ruben_J=F6nsson?=

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>
> NEVER if you want to stay top dog :-)
> I liked the terminator scenario where the world wide comms network
> (effectively) went self aware at a known time and declared war to the utter
> death on mankind withing seconds or minutes (it had had time to think it
> through).
> Asserrtion: If we every create a computer system with more intelligence than
> our own then it will seek to destroy us.
>
Then we should not mix programming with genetics/evolution. If a program is allowed to evolve through mutation and mating (thousands of generations per second) within a powerful enough system who knows what will happen?

One single computer of today is not powerfull enough, but with more and more computers linked together (through the internet for example) one computer (or a process in one) could be seen as one selfsupporting cell in a greater organism. How many milions would it take to create a self aware mind?

The trick would be to do the "kernel" or core for the original program which decides what is good or bad for it. Once that is done, just let it evolve. From micro organism, to one cell organisms, to multi cell organism to .....

Will they become just like animals, only trying to survive and adapt to new environments (perhaps your connected toaster or refrigerator will become one cell of an internet organism) or will they become intelligent with a will of their own?

With more and more complex systems with increasing processing power, how long will it take before we loose complete control of our binaries (do you know exactly what your compiler does?).

If it can happen it will, given enough time and opportunities - keep your firewalls and anti virus programs in good shape and make sure you know what is running in your computer :-)

/Ruben

==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
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2004\07\29@070017 by Russell McMahon

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> I wonder if you read stuff like Kryon, Robert Monroe and Paleidian info.
> Even Michael Rhodes, down your way.

No.

> Concepts like ... various

Almost all of these rather stretch even my mental filters :-)

> And my opinion is that most of science is flawed [abbreviation restored
:-)] in trying to suss out the
> universe because they're trying to apply narrow local laws to non-local
> scenarios, even excluding local parameters that do not fit.

I think that quite a few people very close to orthodoxy in Physics would
agree to the general sense of that. I can't start to establish if they are
correct or not. If they are correct then nothing is correct :-). Within
mainstream Science many of the putative string theories, quantum theory
variants and various other theories which I don't even recognise the name of
variants, perceive reality as we see it as an illusion. Occult magic is
verboten yet we believe in something every bit as bizarre "just because it
works" - if you took the core precepts of Quatum Mechanics and described
them appropriately they would sound like most religions. QM does have the
advantage of being able to be made to jump through hopps on demand even
though it appears to be so ludicrous - religion for scientists :-)

Some of this has got as far as the edge of popular consciousness:

   If dark matter exists then there is an unknown anti-gravitational force
which we don't know of playing games with the universe in a manner that we
don't understand. If dark matter doesn't exist then we can't even yet put
names on what it is that we don't undersatnd that's playing games with the
universe. Scientists invoke this new force to explain eg the behaviour of
star system halos when such behaviour needs explaining. Yet the solidity of
classical Physics doesn't seem to be questioned. Antigravity will still get
you thrown out of the patent office, but if you could utilise this newly
observed effect ... :-). (The resultant 'machine' may be many orders of
magnitude too large to fit on the planet alas).

   The speed of light may or may not be falling or rising or have fallen or
risen or ... .
The current debate is as to whether this HAS happened. The question as to
whether this COULD happen has long since been unexciting. At one stage a few
decades ago people were labelled fanatics for simply suggesting that it was
a possibility.

> anyway, this topic is too huge, even for OT.

Concur



       RM

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2004\07\29@070019 by Russell McMahon

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>    One single computer of today is not powerfull enough, but with
more and more computers linked together (through the internet
for example) one computer (or a process in one) could be seen
as one selfsupporting cell in a greater organism. How many
milions would it take to create a self aware mind? />

Nobody knows what it takes to create "self awareness".
Whether it can be achieved with sufficient capacity and processing
capability alone is uncertain.
But there is no good reason to believe that it can be done.
And arguably no totally good reason to believe that it can't

Would YOU believe that a machine that assured you it was self aware and/or
alive, in fact was?
Would you be happy to admit that a computer that passed the Turing test in
some category was "intelligent"?
If you did accept either of the above, would it make it true?



       RM

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2004\07\29@070020 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> This exemplies the human notion that there may be something out there that
> behaves as we do on our planet.

I think there may be all kinds of life forms out there, and they could be
under our nose without us having a clue of it.

Look at ants. They definitely have a quite sophisticated communications
system, and the financial incentive is there to understand it (and control
the damage they do), but no -- we just can't. Some people have managed to
get to a certain understanding with dogs, because they are so much closer
to us, but so far, nobody has got much of a clue how to understand ants.

Now if the increase in distance between us and dogs and us and ants makes
for such a big difference, imagine what does the increase in distance
between us and ants and us and life forms that are not based on the same
basic scheme that we have here. We likely wouldn't even recognize it as a
life form.

Gerhard

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2004\07\29@083245 by Howard Winter

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On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:59:50 +0200, Ruben Jönsson wrote:

>...
> was also gifted with what many would call a 'soul'. It does not exist in any other biological entity on this
planet.

On what evidence is this assertion based?

I've also seen it said "only humans think", which to anyone who has had a dog or cat as a pet, is errant
nonsense!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\29@084529 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 20:40:53 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

> > > I thought "Independence day" was a realistic scenario for first contact.
>
> > What, with the US President jumping into a fighter aircraft and getting
> into the fight???
>
> Something about the US President jumping into a fighter aircraft seems
> strangely resonant ... ?

Not as the pilot, not during a life-or-death battle, and certainly not to actually fight!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\29@091513 by Russell McMahon

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> > > > I thought "Independence day" was a realistic scenario for first
contact.

> > > What, with the US President jumping into a fighter aircraft and
getting ..

> > Something about the US President jumping into a fighter aircraft seems
> > strangely resonant ... ?

> Not as the pilot, not during a life-or-death battle, and certainly not to
actually fight!

Ah. OK. Then it must have been the other guy with the 3 purple hearts I was
thinking about :-)


       RM

(Not that it's ever the overall commander's job to actually fight in any
form of "modern" warfare.)

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2004\07\29@093213 by Russell McMahon

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Still 1st contact ? - probably :-) ...

>> was also gifted with what many would call a 'soul'.
>> It does not exist in any other biological entity on this
>> planet.

>On what evidence is this assertion based?

> I've also seen it said "only humans think", which
> to anyone who has had a dog or cat as a pet, is errant
> nonsense!  :-)

Thinking is easily agreed on.
"Higher" animals are even conceivably self aware.
Certainly, our cats' programming is extremely complex and, if they are NOT
self aware to some degree, is even more complex still.

What amazes me is how activities which very low level animals are capable of
which are dismissed as requiring in the order of 10 neurons to perform, are
not yet able to be duplicated by humans. eg write a program to make a model
fly function similarly to a real fly. Inputs from eye sensors, tactile
sensors etc are available and output channels to leg motors, wing motors etc
are available. Go .... Hmmm. Bzzt bzzt leap roll yaw splat.... (Someone will
tell me that a fly with enough ARMs inside and a good programming team could
do the job. You get the point.)

With a 1$M incentive (or was it more) and the best brains available, make an
autonomous vehicle that can follow a defined path from Barstow to Vegas.
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!


As for "what many would call a soul" - that's far far harder.
Carl Sagan (who annoyed me by dying before I could write him the long letter
that i had been gathering notes for for several years) went to extreme
lengths to show that there was no quantum divide between animal and men. In
my estimation he failed miserably. Even though I disagreed with his basic
tenet, I am quite often happy to be taken through the arguments for a
contrary position. Sometimes such arguments are suitably compelling that,
even if they do not make you relinquish your prior position, they give new
perspectives and appreciations. Carl failed. While he did demonstrate that
the difference (if there is one)(there is) is ephemeral and unbelievably
hard to define well, he completely failed to remove not only the belief but
also the overwhelming sensation that such a difference exists.
(I think C S Lewis would have argued that some animals had souls of some
sort. What this means would be the subject of extremely long debate).

But if anyone has any hard data, I'd be extremely happy to see it.



           Russell McMahon

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2004\07\29@101157 by Mike Hord

picon face
Long have I watched this thread without comment, but I feel
I should say SOMETHING, since I find it such a fascinating
"thought experiment".

First of all, the odds of detecting even a fairly powerful radio
transmission across interstellar distances drop off staggeringly
fast.  Think about how dim a star is even across only a few
light years.  Now consider the power of your local ABC/BBC/
whoever affiliate related to that star.  Even well short of
another star the signal would be hopelessly dim.

But then, we are listening with fairly big ears...

As for an alien race assaulting us, I would tend to think
that by the time a race can manage interstellar travel,
it would be far more lucrative for it to mine out asteroid
belts and uninhabited planets than to muck about with
places that had life (intelligent or otherwise), since alien
life would represent a possible threat which could be easily
sidestepped with the planet it's stranded on (see the
microbes in "War of the Worlds").

Mike H.

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2004\07\29@160454 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Not that the S3 Viking is a fighter aircraft, but yes, a large number of
American presidents have been veterans or "veterans" as the case may be.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\29@160906 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Burning smell...

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\29@164426 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Assault? Work the mine YOURSELF? Why, when one can...

Exploit:
Pack animals, service dogs, lab rats, hull mines carried by Dolphins,
experimental results from surgical studies done on chimps...

Steal:
Silk, milk, honey, eggs, fur, wool, ivory, "lucky" rabbits foot...

Eat:
Beef, pork, fowl, fish, snails even...

Use:
Sport fishing, hunting, police dog, cock fights, a day at the races,

and the final humiliation:

  Pet...

Wow!

I'm totally amazed that anyone could even hope for better or even just more
final treatment than that which we see all around us. This is a perfect
example of human kinds narcissistic, blind eye, pat ourselves on the back,
self centered view of the world.

Wipe us out because we are becoming a threat? When have we EVER done that
with any success to the animals around us? We find ways of controlling them,
killing them when THEY invade. How self important we are. Why is "Star Trek"
so popular? Hummm... I wonder... "your species shows promise" Yah right! And
I'm not going to mention religion.

Sir Richard Francis Burton "The more I study religions the more I am
convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself."

Mark Twain "Get the facts first, you can distort them later"

Anon "What we say about others says more about us than about them. "

Anon "The stupidest man is the one most in love with himself."

Doctor Who, Face of Evil "The very powerful and the very stupid have one
thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they
alter the facts to fit their views... which can be very uncomfortable if you
happen to be one of the facts that needs altering."


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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\29@172831 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> My feeling is that the aliens are sitting
> quietly by, and
> only when we start beaming intelligent THOUGHT patterns into
> space, will we
> be more on a par with them, and be accepted into the galactic
> mainstream.

So that's two big problems to solve, I'm not sure which one is the
biggest :)

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\07\29@173700 by Howard Winter

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James,

On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 13:42:37 -0700, James Newton, Host
wrote:

> Assault? Work the mine YOURSELF? Why, when one can...
>
> Exploit:
> Pack animals, service dogs, lab rats, hull mines
carried by Dolphins,
> experimental results from surgical studies done on
chimps...
>
> Steal:
> Silk, milk, honey, eggs, fur, wool, ivory, "lucky"
rabbits foot...
>
> Eat:
> Beef, pork, fowl, fish, snails even...
>
> Use:
> Sport fishing, hunting, police dog, cock fights, a day
at the races,
>
> and the final humiliation:
>
>    Pet...

I've always said that I hope that if another species
turns up here, that they have a better attitude to the
"lower orders" than humans do, because if not we're in
real trouble!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\29@175322 by John Ferrell

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Here are a couple examples of exploited animals at my place...
http://www.dixienc.us/ForSale.htm
(the dog is NOT for sale...)

http://www.dixienc.us/ShopServices.htm

I agree with Will Rogers, "If dogs don't go to heaven, I want to go where
ever they go".
Pet don't cover it, companion comes close, family fits.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\29@195122 by Russell McMahon

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> > But if anyone has any hard data, I'd be extremely happy to see it.

> Burning smell...

???

   RM

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2004\07\30@081525 by John Ferrell

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This is going to draw fire for sure...It may be over the line for the
purpose of the group but it is relevant to the discussion.
(From the New American Standard Bible translation)
"Gen 6:1-4
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and
daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters
of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they
chose. 3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever,
because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and
twenty years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also
afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they
bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of
renown.
NAS"

Especially:
the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took
wives for themselves, whomever they chose.
AND
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the
sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.

I must conclude that First Contact is behind us.


John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\30@085548 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
> If you did accept either of the above, would it make it true?

Now here we get into something... define "true" :)

Gerhard

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2004\07\30@093740 by Russell McMahon

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> Now it came about ...

Familiar with the passage - but I think I'd be unwise to comment :-)

But there's one interesting portion which shouldn't cause anyone any
problems

> "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever,
> because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and
> twenty years."

I tell people I'm planning to live to 120 years old unless I die sooner.
It's somewhat a joke but also, I think/hope, a good mental peg. Having a
genuine target age that's at the upper upper end of the current biological
norm (for whatever reason :-) ) is probably going to send the right
subconscious signals to your body.

Does terrible things to one's procrastination though :-)


       RM

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2004\07\30@114930 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
My uncle told me that there is only one honorable way to die: to be shot
by a jealous husband at the age of 110...

Interesting thread. Personally, I've never felt like Earth was home
anyway. I always felt that the "humaneness" of human beings originated
somewhere else.

I'm not at all religious, but Darwin's theories, though quaint, seem
patently absurd when examined closely. Were it true that Man evoluted
from monkeys, I'm sure all monkeys would be overcome with shame...

The "first contact" happened many, many years ago. We were one of the
results of that contact.

--Bob

--Bob

Russell McMahon wrote:

> I tell people I'm planning to live to 120 years old unless I die sooner.
> It's somewhat a joke but also, I think/hope, a good mental peg. Having a
> genuine target age that's at the upper upper end of the current biological
> norm (for whatever reason :-) ) is probably going to send the right
> subconscious signals to your body.

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2004\07\30@125258 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I just offerred it as food for thought.
There are few verses (if any) elsewhere in the Bible that address this
circumstance so we are left to wonder about the validity of the writing.

Many of the Biblical folks lived well beyond the 120 year criteria.
The more I learn, the more I understand I don't know.

A lot of my beliefs would get me labeled a "heretic" in most churches.
One thing for sure, wherever we came from was far superior to us. Whatever
our ultimate destiny is still eludes us.

My humble physical self is very gratified when I can make a PIC project
work. I stand a better chance of success in that area.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\30@183554 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
<GRIN> I have the same problem at my house with the cat exploiting ME rather
than the other way 'round.

On the other hand, since pigs, cows, chickens, etc... Aren't "human" don't
have "feelings" and don't feel "pain" the way we do, I eat them all the
time.

There was a recent study that showed that the nerves in fish do not register
pain as far as they can tell.

But if "superior" beings ever do land, we should expect to be humanburger at
best.

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\31@100218 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Harvest us for dinner - fairly inconceivable.

Probably for fear of biological incomaptibility or virulent germs.

> Destroy us - more likely.
...
> General consensus is that any race able to develop intergalactic or even
> intra galactic travel technology would not sensibly have war and
> destruction and domination as any part of their viewpoint.

You are contradicting yourself in two adjacent paragraphs.

The general consensus is that they did not ask them (the ones who would
come).

I think that because of the difficulties involved, such as distance etc,
unless we are unfortunate enough to have relatively close neighbors who
are at a stage where they travel to conquer & trade, and get here before
we get there, only someone much superior/advanced is likely to contact us
(if they bother), and then it will not be to conquer/trade. And evolution
being what it is, it is very likely that someone beyond the conquer/trade
stage has been in it for a while and has learned some lessons. It would be
interesting to know what lessons. So imho, the low intelligent life
density in the immediate neighborhood is a good thing.

Get well, Russell.

Peter

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2004\07\31@100220 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
>But if "superior" beings ever do land, we should expect to be humanburger
>at best.

More like semi-intelligent vermin. The only species on this planet able to
scratch the paint on their landing-gear. I wonder what the alien
equivalent of Raid insecticide is. And it would be a measure of their
superiority whether they use it or not. I.e. I hope they are *very*
superior if they come.

Peter

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2004\07\31@100221 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Nobody knows what it takes to create "self awareness".

Enough windows installations ? Who knows if the latest lockup that caused
you to reboot was not a manifestation of the consciousness of the machine
reflecting at its inner child ? And all those undocumented local network
packets they exchange ? I think it's already there. Hail the borg. ;-)

Peter

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2004\07\31@104010 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> > General consensus is that any race able to develop intergalactic or even
> > intra galactic travel technology would not sensibly have war and
> > destruction and domination as any part of their viewpoint.
>
> You are contradicting yourself in two adjacent paragraphs.

No. It's just that my opinion and general consensus differ :-). I offered
"what most people say" and "what i think it would be wise to consider'. They
aren't the same. Alas. 9There was also a quote from someone else in there
which may have been mistaken for mine).


> And evolution being what it is, it is very likely that someone beyond the
conquer/trade
> stage has been in it for a while and has learned some lessons.

Nobody really knows what evolution "be's". But lots of people have jumped to
many conclusions which are not actually logially supported by the available
data. fwiw.

I find it entirely conceivable that a super intelligent race MAY have
learned the lesson that if one is wishing to populate the universe without
opposition then removing all life as found is less expensive. Not the only
possibility by far. But conceivable.
I suspect we'll never know. One way or the other ;-)


       RM

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2004\07\31@104011 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Get well, Russell.

Thanks. Approximately 100% back to normal now for functional purposes. Very
possibly
also for all other purposes but won't know till experts have their say a
week or so from now.

       RM

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2004\07\31@120842 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face
heres something i always find interesting to ponder

what is the difference between "us" and a super intellegent being
I mean einstein really only took a step ahead. What makes them so much
better than
we and what would that mean in real terms?

by the same token i'm guessing we may be one of the more physically
advanced,
based on a sample size of 1 (ie our solar system) we exist on the highest
mass
solid surface planet in the system. Seems like odds are something mars sized
would be more likley for other life. (though I have issues with mars having
enough mass to support a decent enough atmosphere for liquid water for very
long, how long would it take for say 5psi of O2 on the surface of mars to
drop back to its present level? how long for a 14.7 20%02 70% N2?)

wrt being eaten, it seems on earth at least, he who can (and does)
eat the most other things win. Evolution seems to favour the smallest
most viscious creature, or the creature who breeds enough to counter that.
guess we are lucky in that regard, we meet both criteria.


> {Original Message removed}


'[OT:] Countdown to 1st contact. 20, 19, ...'
2004\08\01@110941 by Howard Winter
face
flavicon
picon face
James,

On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 15:34:07 -0700, James Newton, Host
wrote:

> <GRIN> I have the same problem at my house with the
cat exploiting ME rather
> than the other way 'round.

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff"!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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