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  #21  
Old 05-04-2010, 10:58 AM
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I am pretty sure that there is something useful for these guys on our planet and if they are unscrupulous and can easily zap us away to get access to it, why shouldn't they do it?
Because if they are unscrupulous and willing to zap intelligent life away for profit then it would be much more profitable to zap their own people away and take their stuff instead of investing humongous ammounts of ressources to build a fleet of ships that uses humongous ammounts of energy to travel gigantic distances to zap some other people away to take their stuff. I find it hard to believe that anybody here on earth owns anything that would be so much more valuable then what anybody of their own people would own.

And if they would want stuff that is insufficiently available on their world but worth all the effort to travel the stars, then what could that possibly be? What chemical does earth have that other planets in our solar system do not have?

Remember, these guys have to be unbelievably rich in the first place just to afford getting here. If they would lack water so desperatly... they wouldnt make it here, let alone get the water there.

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And perhaps they are just a bunch of sadists who like to torture other lifeforms? Perhaps it's something like the Orion Syndicate which is engaged in interspecies prostitution?
If their sadist needs were so big that it would overshadow their rationality, then they could not have developed a civilization to begin with. Their economic rationality must be dominant to get far enough in their development to even build a plow. Therefore the conquest of earth would have to be more valuable then exploiting any other planet in the solar system, besides that satisfying sadistic urges by torturing their own fellow men would still be much cheaper.

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By the way, we also use high-tech to exploit low-tech countries which also seems a bit counterintuitive on the first glance considering costs and benefits.
We exploit human labor. Our whole history has been about nothing else. The colonial empires only existed because of the need to exploit human labor. Every form of wealth in history needed inhabitable environments for the laborers to work and to grow the food to recreate their work power.

A civilization that can travel the stars would have left the exploitation of "human labor" far behind them, because once artificial intelligence was developed far enough human labor could not compete with robotic labor anymore. Furthermore they could most likely produce chemical food (much cheaper anyway) and have no need for farm land anymore either. So what would they need an inhabitable environment for?

Last edited by Botany Bay : 05-04-2010 at 11:02 AM.
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  #22  
Old 05-04-2010, 11:04 AM
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They may not view us as intelligent life.
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  #23  
Old 05-04-2010, 11:06 AM
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Well, that's why I said that they might zap us if they accidentally discovered us. A snack on the road so to say.

About human labour being the only thing to fight over, of course a big part of colonialism was slavery but we fought for many other things in our history. For example labour was abundant and land was scarce in Europe when North America was conquered.
Most conflicts today are about natural resources. The Americans have always fought for oil in the Middle East, the Chinese have already gotten their hands on a lot of stuff in the Earth of Africa and in a few decades the first water wars will start.

Blessed are the spaceship owners for they are the lucky f**ks who can then get the hell out of here.

Last edited by horatio : 05-04-2010 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:20 AM
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The Earth is a nice planet with a good sun, maybe that's all the motivation they need to colonize.
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  #26  
Old 05-04-2010, 11:26 AM
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Sign me up! I'll run my little bar and casino, you guys are all welcome and will receive comps!
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  #27  
Old 05-04-2010, 11:31 AM
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About human labour being the only thing to fight over, of course a big part of colonialism was slavery but we fought for many other things in our history. For example labour was abundant and land was scarce in Europe when North America was conquered.
The land was scarce, correct. The land was needed to recreate the human labor. Thats why I am saying that its allways about human labor in the end.
For a society that exploits artificial labor and produces chemical food the situation is drastically different. All they need are chemical and mineral ressources.

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Most conflicts today are about natural resources. The Americans have always fought for oil in the Middle East, the Chinese have already gotten their hands on a lot of stuff in the Earth of Africa and in a few decades the first water wars will start.
Exactly. The thing is that I seriously doubt the UFOs run on gasoline. Soooo.... what would earth have to offer? They dont need our land, they dont need our food, they dont need our labor, they dont even need our land to settle their laborers on it to produce food.... they dont need our oil, they definatly dont need our water.... the list of things they could need gets rather short. All the things left on that list are existing on almost every dead planet out there. Why steal stuff when you can have it for free?

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Blessed are the spaceship owners for they are the lucky f**ks who can then get the hell out of here.
Oh, right, I forgot about those adolescent extraterrestrial punks who get drunk and nuke planets for fun.
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  #28  
Old 05-05-2010, 07:18 AM
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Well, his very existence speaks for the necessity of peaceful- and friendliness. In a more barbaric society a person with a handicap might have not been cared for wheras in a more civilised one a genius with a handicap like he can flourish and bring his species a step closer to the stars.

I concur.
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:34 AM
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It's doubtful that aliens coming to our solar system would be looking to conquer Earth. For one thing, being at the bottom of a 1g gravity well is hardly the optimum place for a spacefaring race to be. If anything, they might mine the colder worlds in the Oort Cloud for materials they might need, but why bother with the terrestrial (class M, in Trek parlance) planets?

I doubt they'd be coming here to eat us, either. Alien biochemistries would probably make us about as delicious as putting a straw into a car battery for a quick refreshing drink. Ditto on the entire biosphere... the Earth would be a very hostile place to them, even without us lifting a finger.

There probably would be a huge upset in the Earth's established religions and political institutions just by the fact we know they exist, and that they are far more advanced than we are. Suddenly, that whole thing about "man being #1 in God's eyes" would hit the fan, replaced by a reality where we are NOT the hot stuff we've always imagined ourselves to be. Entire generations might decide to adopt the aliens belief systems (if any) or to structure our human world's politics around those that seem to work well for the aliens... (which may or may not be applicable to us, due to differing behavior patterns brought on by evolutionary nesseccity. Imagine people suddenly deciding we should live like the social order of ants... simply because the ants had developed FTL.)

In short, I think Prof. Hawking is a little off on this one. Bizzarely enough, because his imagination seems to be a little limited on this subject. But then, I doubt if ANYONE on Earth will have guessed close to what the reality is going to be like, when the day comes that we detect a radio signal from another solar system... or when we detect something BIG heading our way, within the orbit of Jupiter. The universe (and aliens) are not only stranger than we imagine... but stranger than we CAN imagine.
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  #30  
Old 05-09-2010, 11:01 AM
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I for one, Like our good friend Mr. Rodenberry believe that any alien civilization advanced enough to cross the vast interstellar distances of space will have moved on beyond the selfish motivations of god, gold and glory that have in one way or another driven most of the conflicts on Earth. Human civilization became what it is because unlike apes, humans learned to cooperate and depend on one another to form society.

As Horatio said the more advanced a society becomes the more important cooperation rather than competition become.

Take Europe for example a continent on which groups of people/ nation states have fought each other/competed nigh constantly for thousands of years. Yet as technology advanced and these groups became more economically dependent on one another/ socially intermingled/ realized they could very easily wipe each other out, competition was replaced by cooperation. Today 27 European countries share (or are on track to adopt) a common currency and unified economic system something that would have been thought laughable even 50 years ago. Within the next 50 to 100 years who knows what we might see but it will most likely NOT be another war.

My point is that an advanced civilization is much more likley to be a cooperative rather than competitive one, and also, IF they are anything like us, one whose extremely long history would inform them as it does us of the costs of conquest.

Besides, if there were advanced aliens in the galaxy who for some reason or another decided to blow us to pieces I doubt we would even be aware of it before it was over. A space faring civilization could park their ships in orbit and reign death on us until we were all gone

(somehow I doubt the international space station would put up much of a fight)

if not simply blink us out of existence much the way you would swat a fly

All our quaint notions of star trek/ star wars/ independence day/ like space wars are entertaining but probably not very realistic, so I personally hope for peaceable civilizations out there.
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Last edited by radoskal : 05-09-2010 at 11:05 AM.
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