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Space Technology

Why We'll Never Meet Aliens 629

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-immigration-laws dept.
iggychaos writes "The idea that aliens will come visit us is fundamentally flawed. Paul Tyma ponders the technology that would be required for such an event and examines how evolution of that technology would preclude any reason to actually make the trip. He writes, 'Twenty years ago if I asked you how many feet were in a mile (and you didn't know) you could go to a library and look it up. Ten years ago, you could go to a computer and google it. Today, you can literally ask your phone. It's not a stretch at all with the advent of wearable computing that coming soon - I can ask you that question and you'll instantly answer. ... How would you change if you had instant brain-level access to all information. How would you change if you were twice as smart as you are now. How about ten times as smart? (Don't answer, truth is, you're not smart enough to know). Now, let's leap ahead and think about what that looks like in 100 years. Or 1000. Or whenever it is you'll think we'd have the technology to travel to another solar system. We'd be a scant remnant of what a human looks like today. ... The question of why aliens might 'want to come here' is probably fundamentally flawed because we are forming that question from our current (tiny) viewpoint. The word 'want' might not apply at all to someone 1000 times smarter than us."
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Why We'll Never Meet Aliens

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  • by Sigvatr (1207234) on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:57PM (#43559967)
    It's Steve Urkle.
  • Why is this here? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:01PM (#43560017)

    I mean seriously, If i wanted this I would talk to my friend on mushrooms. This is not new in any sense of the word.

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:19PM (#43560273) Homepage Journal
      The saddest part is the self contradiction:

      How would you change if you had instant brain-level access to all information. How would you change if you were twice as smart as you are now. How about ten times as smart? (Don't answer, truth is, you're not smart enough to know)

      Then tells us how THEY know
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:32PM (#43560437)

        Actually, the saddest part is that people think computers make people smarter. In truth, computers make people less smart due to not requiring to know as much nor be able to process as much information.

        i.e. "Just Google it."

        • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Friday April 26, 2013 @04:25PM (#43561891)

          Depends on people I guess. For some of us, it actually makes people more knowledgeable . I learned a heck lot more researching designs for my OTA antenna system just by lurking in forums and reading Wikis for a month than in my whole RF Communications year back in CEGEP. My library network only has *one* book on antenna design for the whole Montreal island, and it's been rented out for at least 2 weeks now...

          But for most users, I tend to agree.

      • by Fuzzums (250400)

        And then they dare to say this: "Now, let's leap ahead and think about what that looks like in 100 years. Or 1000. Or whenever it is you'll think we'd have the technology to travel to another solar system."

        • Re:Why is this here? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by harperska (1376103) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:08PM (#43560933)

          The summary begs several questions, actually.

          One, how can they presume our mental state would be significantly altered by unknown future technology. History would presume to suggest the opposite of what they suggest, actually. Our ingrained drive for exploring the unknown that we had in the days of sailing ships certainly wasn't quashed with the advent of steamships, or then again by airplanes, rocket ships, etc. and the drive for knowledge that we had in the days of stone tablets wasn't quashed by the invention of paper, the printing press, or the internet. If anything, these advances have only increased our drive to know what's out there.

          Two, why would it necessarily take a time span long enough for our universal culture of inquisitiveness to fundamentally shift in order to develop FTL? There is no reason to say it absolutely won't happen before that arbitrary time. We already have theories such as Alcubierrie's suggesting that it isn't necessarily an impossibility, and even if it took 100 years for that theory to be put to practice it's presumptuous to say that drive in our psyche would definitely cease in that short a blip of our history.

          Three, even if technological advancements did reduce our exploratory drive, what is to say that similar advancement would affect an alien mind in the same way? As the answer could be such advancements would affect us the same as us, the opposite of us, or something different entirely in equal probabilities, the question itself is therefore meaningless and all we can do is hope that they have the same drive for inquisitiveness as we do in the first place. Or not. Depending on the kind of Sci Fi you watch/read.

          • by Fuzzums (250400) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:17PM (#43561045) Homepage

            And that's why I love Slashdot - news for philosophers and hypothetical matters.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            well the summary expects that MOTIVE is directly a function of "smart" and that the more smarter you are the less motivated you are to do thinks just for fucks sake.

            of course it doesn't go like that - if they did, earth would be pretty boring already. it's saying that if you can wank you no longer would be motivated to fuck. which I guess is just fine considering that the summary is just on shrooms intellectual wanking.

          • by Mattcelt (454751) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:40PM (#43561361)

            Sorry to be pedantic, but unless I missed it, you pointed out only potentially factual errors in the original, not any logical fallacies. So while it certainly raises some questions, it does not "beg" any in your example. (Though I think a thorough analysis of TFA's original premise could find some petitio principii in the author's logic.)

            Here is a good explanation of why that is so. [google.com]

          • by rijrunner (263757)

            Well.. They have webcams on Mount Everest now, so I could see why no one climbs it any more..

            I am going to have to disagree with the author. Fundamentally, you can not advance your technology, or pretty much anything, without a drive for exploration in one form, or another.

          • by steelfood (895457) on Friday April 26, 2013 @06:35PM (#43562929)

            The premise of the summary is fatally flawed in and of itself. It starts by equating the accessibility and breadth of knowledge to intelligence, and special* intelligence at that. In making the assumption, it posits that a species with greater intelligence would not be interested in the same things that species with lower intelligence would.

            To begin with, knowledge and intelligence are two very different domains. Having greater knowledge is not equivalent to possessing greater intellectual ability, and it is an even further stretch to equate it with special intelligence. Yes, greater intelligence implies greater breadth of knowledge, but this is true only individually. And the relationship between the two is an implication, not an equivalence.

            Secondly, there is nothing indicative in our historical (we know our history, right?) record to even remotely indicate that we as a species has grown more intelligent over time. In fact, I would argue that the distribution of intelligence among the popuplation today is the same as (or even skewed in the negative direction) 500 years ago, 1000 years ago, 5000 years ago, and 10,000 years ago. The local maxima and minima with respect to time are also unchanged. What's changed in the past 500 years that resulted in the exponential progress of our society is a sudden stability in our record-keeping ability, which has lead to us collectively retain more knowledge, and disseminate this knowledge more easily. Essentially, we as a species are not reinventing the wheel all the time, and thus we can spend our time progressing other aspects of our lives.

            Thus as the premise itself is false with regards to the human species, the remainder does not follow. Now, to extrapolate this to supposedly alien beings would be an incredible stretch either way. In fact, I would go as far as to say that attempting to do so would be entering the realm of theology, i.e. unsubstantiated, even ignorant speculation. You might as well say that we will never make contact with aliens because the FSM is keeping them away, and be just about as accurate.

            * read, speci-al, or pertaining to the species.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:01PM (#43560021)
    The dolphins and mice demonstrate that they do want to come. ;-)
  • Flying Cars (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:02PM (#43560025)

    This train of thought sounds like how people in the early 20th century predicted flying cars and bases on the Moon by the year 2000. Transportation was the driving force of technology then and people extrapolated and came up with these crazy ideas. Now we are in the information age and people are extrapolating computers implanted in our brains. I don't think it will happen.

    • Re:Flying Cars (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:25PM (#43560359)

      What people don't realize is a fundamental change in technology. In the past decade, technology hasn't advanced much for people. However, technology made to contain/alert/report/log/monitor/spy/lock out people has been the main push by most companies, be it DRM, data mining, data sold to advertisers, click tracking, sifting through E-mail and other communications for keywords, locked down devices and so on.

      We may not have moon bases, we may not have brain implants, but if one can extrapolate from today's technology, what will be the thing that we will have is shackles and prisons unimaginable today. Perhaps Dune style pain-amplifiers which are turned on should someone pass an opinion threshold, or mandatory "re-education", Clockwork Orange style should someone dislike the latest celebrity by a certain margin.

      The '70s were about tech. The '90s were about networked communication. This decade seems to be about control, surveillance, and containment of the population.

    • A practical and affordable flying car? Yes, we seem to have missed the mark on that. But even if we hadn't, there are a lot of collateral obstacles to actually "putting one in every garage". For example, I know far too many people who should not be driving a car, let alone an aircraft.

      Moon base? I think the obstacles were much more political than technological. It's been almost 44 years since the first maned Moon landing (and safe return on the first try). Politics shut that program down Realistically, we o

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:02PM (#43560035)

    "We have no idea how supertechnologically enhanced superscientific aliens would think. THEREFORE, we can be sure that we'll never meet any aliens. Because we don't understand anything of their thought processes. So we can say with certainty they won't find it logical to make the trip."

  • by newcastlejon (1483695) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:02PM (#43560037)
    I'm really not interested in opinion pieces (especially ones that ramble on as much as this one) and would like to filter them off my front page.
  • lame (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HPHatecraft (2748003) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:05PM (#43560053)

    The question of why aliens might 'want to come here' is probably fundamentally flawed because we are forming that question from our current (tiny) viewpoint. The word 'want' might not apply at all to someone 1000 times smarter than us.

    Who cut the cheese? This can so easily be turned on it's head. It would be just as easy to posit that said aliens, because of their intelligence and enlightened nature, have made it their life's purpose to seek out primitive cultures and assist in their evolution.

    Or seek out life forms and destroy their plants. Sort of the galactic equivalent of driving down the highway and shooting road signs. Highly populated, spherical road signs, with significant mass (and gravity).

  • Bacteria (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:05PM (#43560055)

    We aliens are spending tons of money to find really stupid (no intelligence) bacteria on Mars. Why wouldn't some super smart aliens want to find us?

    Skimmed TFA - not worth more of my time.

    Going back down to that STEM article ..

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:06PM (#43560083) Journal

    people left Europe to come to the new world- first for GOLD, gathered under the excuse of converting the natives to Christianity, and later because people couldn't stand their proselytizing any more.

    "Any soul is worth saving, at least to a preacher".

    • I prefer the scenario postulated in the film Liquid Sky. Aliens would come to Earth looking for drugs.

    • by fermion (181285)
      This is what I was thinking. The assumption is that at some point we would become so intellegent that would no longer have social differences, or breed excessively, or be curious to meet other people.

      What we know is that when travel is difficult, few people do it. What we also know is that even when travel is near impossible, and even deadly, a few want to do it anyway. So we know, at least from the human point of view, if space travel every become a real possibility, meaning more than a few people to

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:07PM (#43560085)

    It is not a matter of IF but WHEN. i.e. When is the human race going to grow up and look outside their myopic & arrogant view that they are the most important lifeform on the universe? Oh that's right, they finally have proof.

    Contact has _already_ happened. It is just NOT allowed on the global scale - yet.

    If I'm wrong I'll be just another idiot ranting that you won't remember. :-)

    But if I'm right you'll be more interested in knowing that the limits to knowledge are not artificially limited by Science; there is another path to Knowledge.

    Beside, the real interesting question is not "Are we alone?" but "Why the hell do we look so similar??"

  • Earth has more than a bunch of rocks minerals and elements. there are surely unique organisms here not only that there is your culture and inventions. There's many ways to do things or to express ourselves, I don't think any advanced civilization has already thought of all those things. Most likely they are just as screwed up as we are and pick the first idea that works... not always the best.... so they would be in the market for different stuff, styles and ways of thinking that can be easily exported.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Earth has more than a bunch of rocks minerals and elements. there are surely unique organisms here not only that there is your culture and inventions. There's many ways to do things or to express ourselves, I don't think any advanced civilization has already thought of all those things. Most likely they are just as screwed up as we are and pick the first idea that works... not always the best.... so they would be in the market for different stuff, styles and ways of thinking that can be easily exported.

      You are right. My prediction is, we *will* be visited by aliens. Aliens with the intent to serve man...

  • by BenSchuarmer (922752) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:08PM (#43560109)
    when you can stay here and play Angry Birds?
    • What do you think people will be doing on an interstellar voyage? Maybe someday we'll have a breakthrough on interstellar travel, but I think the 1000 year spaceship seems much more probable. And that's 1000 years without anywhere to go on vacation. 1000 years where nothing new ever happens. I can tell ya, whoever gets off that ship and arrives on a new planet is going to be damn good at Tetris.

  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:09PM (#43560123) Homepage

    I read this article in Andy Rooney's voice (though I'm quite sure it would work in Seinfeld's as well)

    "and another thing, just WHO ARE these ALIENS anyway?"

    I think I need a time out

    *fumbles with 12 oz soda can because it's too much*

  • How can we ever understand how aliens think if we have articles like this making our entire species dumber by the letter?
  • The author of this opinion piece claims that people 1000 times smarter than we currently are might not want the same things we want (such as meeting aliens), but since he is not 1000 times smarter, he really isn't in the position to tell us.
  • What a load of crap. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:10PM (#43560155) Homepage
    We can't predict the future, or the desires of any alien race, therefore we can predict they won't want to visit us.

    Duh. If you can't predict then you can't say what they WON'T do.

    The reason why aliens would come and visit are numerous. Here are the top 3 that I thought of while reading his poorly thought out article.

    1. They are running out of space on their home world, and earth has some nice views, good water, nice temperature. Perfect place to raise a family without bumping into your neighbor (i.e. they don't want to steal just our gold, they want to steal everything)

    2. They want to learn about alternate biologies cultures, psychology, etc.

    3. Religion. We must spread the word of Latter Day Saints/Allah/etc. etc.

    The main problem is the fool thinks the future will be just like the recent past, rather than the distant pass. He assumes our technology will continue to grow dramatically, rather than incrementally.

    Right now, the most logical way to do star travel is to increase lifespans to 200+ years and develop a nice cryo-statis type thing.

    Which means travel is possible in just about 80 years of technology growth or so, (at least to Alpha Centauri) plus another 100/200 years of cry-sleep transit.

    The original article was written by someone that saw way too many bad sci-fi shows and think the most dramatic, silly inventions are likely, and that we/aliens will wait till everything is all settled till we go exploring.

  • You've made the running for the most assinine Slashdot submission of the year.
  • I'm not convinced. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by greenguy (162630) <estebandidoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:14PM (#43560203) Homepage Journal

    We're hundreds of times smarter than the ancient Greeks and Romans -- and by "smarter," I mean we have vastly greater information available to us. And yet, I'd jump at the chance to go visit them in their time and place. Why? Because I think they were still pretty sharp, given their constraints. They did some pretty impressive stuff. Additionally, human nature makes for interesting drama, regardless of the level of technology. And that would map on reasonably well to any alien civilization capable of interstellar travel and communication with us. In other words, they'd have to have some order to their society, which we could learn in time. They'd likely have some form of metaphysical belief structure, and possibly several competing structures. They have to communicate somehow. They have to have advanced understandings of math and science. These are all things we could learn from them, or at least about them, just as an ancient Roman could learn to use a tablet computer, if they really wanted to. An advanced civilization would know that we are capable of advancing, and that would make us interesting to them.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:15PM (#43560215) Homepage
    1. we cant even universally handle different colors or sexes of our same species, its absurd to think we'd approach aliens any differently.
    2. we still use and condone physical violence at all social levels to solve problems despite it being scientifically ineffective and counterproductive.
    3. no ones proven Gary Busey is not in fact an alien lifeform
    4. it is statistically improbable any advanced alien lifeform would even remotely consider a presence on the same planet as snooki and perez hilton.
    5. Most aliens probably called it off after they found out we quit manufacturing twinkies.
  • - It's one thing to see plans for cool technology we might want to trade, it's another thing to actually have the object in question exactly as the other group designed it.
    - Just to prove we can. That's why we went to the moon, it's a major reason we'll eventually go to Mars and beyond.
    - Green-skinned Orion slave girls.
    - Cultural exchange. It's one thing to see pictures and films and other information about a place, it's another thing to actually experience it.

    Even if the aliens are far more technologically

  • Actually if *anything* remains it might be the concept of "want", having goals is pretty central to the definition of intelligence.

  • If there's one thing we can generalize about truly intelligent people is that they are always curious. The geniuses can come up with questions nobody else can.

  • Space Tourists (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Freddybear (1805256) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:21PM (#43560295)

    Maybe they'll just stop over here for a roadside picnic. ;)

  • 3 reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dpilot (134227) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:21PM (#43560305) Homepage Journal

    1 - Curiosity - Maybe they can predict us, but what are untested predictions worth. Think Doc Smith's Arisians and their "Visualization of the Cosmic All." They still needed Samms' lens on-site to test their prediction.
    2 - Charity - Arguably we could certainly use some assistance.
    3 - Boredom - When you've solved that many problems, and when you've run out of "Gilligan's Isolated Stellar Cluster" reruns, you need something to do.

    Really, we have no idea how rare the Earth is - or isn't, and that would affect the likelihood of being investigated by a more advanced type of life. We've been finding planets in the Goldilocks belt, and some of those are nearly Earth-sized. But at the same time we're learning more about how critical Jupiter and the Moon are to our development, so OUR requirements were actually quite complex, not that that needs to be universal.

    But the rarer the circumstances for intelligent life to develop, the more likely it gets that we will be investigated. That assumes that that puts us in the bucket of "interesting things", and that that bucket is smaller than it would be if the galaxy were teeming with life.

    I do have to agree with the article's assertion and reasons that there won't be an invasion force. If there were to be any hostile actions by aliens, it would almost have to be xenophobic fear - get us before we get the technology to get them. If that were the case, we'd never see an invasion force - comets and asteroids are much simpler, easier, cheaper, less risky, and at least as effective.

  • your basing it on the assumption with greater intelligence comes lowered ambition and curiosity, this has always proven to be the opposite, the more we learn the more outrageous and unbelievable our next endeavours become. We will always seek to understand the unknown that is our nature and i think a fundamental part of us that intelligence / evolution will never strip away. p.s. someone tell me how to put cariage returns in a /. post for the love of god why does it never show up right
  • The author is projecting his own value system on alien's motivations too. I agree they probably wouldn't want to turn us into batteries ala Stephan Hawking / Matrix largely because why? - you can already create anything we could possibly have.

    OTOH it's not IMPOSSIBLE that advanced creatures have an advanced morality / compassion / values that causes them to CARE about the fate of things not themselves.

    Why we ourselves show some primitive forms of this on occasion.

  • The philosophies, politics, religion and entertainment of today has hardly changed since the dawn of recorded history.

    Technology has changed, certainly; instead of watching Greek drama in a theater, we now watch Greek drama in a theater with CGI effects. But history has time and again proven that new toys do not qualitatively change mankind.

    (p.s. - ironically, our imminent ascendance to godhood is another of those ideas that has been around forever...)

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:27PM (#43560379) Homepage

    When I first started driving, I bought maps... first the cheap ones, then the really good street atlas books with indices. From there, I was able to plot my way to my destination pretty quickly though it required I step myself through each turn, street name and all that. But in the end, I learned where I was at any given time, felt I knew generally where anything was relative to my own position and about how far and how long it would take me to get there. None of this was as fast or efficient as a car GPS with traffic signal reception, of course. So after I moved away from my home area to another state, I finally broke down to get a GPS with traffic and all that. The new location was far more challenging to drive in and missing turns were far more costly in terms of time and frustration -- it was a much older area and so the roads are much more complicated, unpredictable and unforgiving.

    But now that I have been using GPS all this time, I find that my ability to learn my way around and know where I am has diminished significantly. I have grown extremely reliant on GPS navigation. I have lost the skills and knowledge I once had. (My knowledge not actually lost... I'm still familiar with my original area and know my way around quite well still)

    I think most people will find the same problem where other technological improvements are concerned. Even the practice of typing instead of writing has had affect on our ability to write by hand for many of us and remembering simple things like phone numbers? I used to have dozens in my head. Now I have just a few and the rest are comfortably in my phone where I have ready access to them. Tech has definitely made us all soft even if it's more efficient. It makes us horribly dependent.

    So what if we went to the next levels? Brain interfaces? Computer data completely replacing our own memories? With intelligent decision making telling us "the best choice" in any given situation? The things we can allow machines to do for us is probably beyond my imagination, but even what I can imagine is pretty frightening when you think about it. What will we become when we become symbionts with the machines?

    Giving up what little I have already lost is reason enough for me to reconsider how much I should rely on technology. But to imagine what humanity might become is certainly reason to consider blocking certain things to prevent our own failure.

    Consider what might happen if we all matrix ourselves until the first outage we experience cuts us off from all knowledge. We instantly become as useless as a 5-year-old.

    Perhaps this is a bit off-topic, but the summary was enough to release a collection of thoughts which have been gathering over the past few years.

    • by seebs (15766)

      Yeah, and civilization means most of us no longer get all our own food from scratch. So?

      Fallbacks are nice, but keep in mind that many of these "failures" are still way above what we could have done without the technology in the first place. They just look worse because we're used to better.

  • Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.

    This is why we only see 7 comments, all of which amazingly support the author.

  • The reason that aliens want to come here is that they need suitable hosts in which to insert their larvae.

  • Yeah, we can't meaningfully talk about things that are wholly unlike us, but... So far, nothing appears to have changed the existence of "wanting" as a concept, and it's inconceivable that anything would. Which means there's not much point arguing about it; this is off in "what if everything big became small, and everything small became big" territory.

    The big problem is:
    "We don't know what X is like" is not evidence that X is unlike us.

  • How is this argument different from "The singularity, because reasons, and beyond that, nothing is knowable"?

  • Think about it; if M-class planets are so rare, and this alien species can fly faster-than-light to our planet, they likely want to take over our planet (and wipe us out in the process). Why else would they bother showing up? Besides, the author makes a key logical fallacy; having information does not make one smarter, it makes you better informed. Just because you can instantly pull up the equation for gravity or the schematics of a rocket, doesn't mean you'll understand it.
  • by goffster (1104287) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:32PM (#43560441)

    about as much as Europeans were interested in the Africans.
    But that did not stop them from coming to Africa.

  • by rasmusbr (2186518) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:33PM (#43560453)

    "The word 'want' might not apply at all to someone 1000 times smarter than us."

    Sure, so a lot of aliens are probably going to be uninterested in colonizing or exploring (and those are two very different things) the universe, but all it takes is one species or one subgroup within one species) that does want to colonize and explore.

    I think the answer to the Fermi paradox is probably a combination of technological species being rare and interstellar spaceflight being expensive. I imagine the nearest interstellar species is probably far away and that they're making really slow progress on their interstellar empire.

  • ...had individuals who are more intelligent than modern humans. No need for it. And both collective minds chose to contact humanity. I think creators of these fictional races (in Doctor Who and Star Trek respectively) have more insight into the future of humanity than Paul Tyma.
  • If the summary is at all a reflection of the logic in the article, the article is fundamentally flawed. People today who have quicker access to look up information using their phones are not smarter than those who lived 50 years ago and needed to go through a more laborious process to find the answer. Having access to more information does not in and of itself make you smarter. The reason that we traditionally use the amount of information that someone has quick access to as a measure of intelligence is tha
  • That has not much to do with smartness.
    You can be as s,art (or intelligent) as you want. If yu know nothing you have nothing to work with.
    Education and knowledge is the key, not smartness.
    The rest of the article seems rather ... inlegible ...

  • Know the difference between information and knowledge.

    How would you change if you had instant brain-level access to all information. How would you change if you were twice as smart as you are now. How about ten times as smart? (Don't answer, truth is, you're not smart enough to know).

    I so enjoy when people equate having knowledge with being smart, or intelligent. It's rather like listing to someone expound upon 'common sense'. While having quicker access to information, especially the direct brain to cloud stuff, is very intriguing and have a high awesome factor, it's doesn't make your smarter. It doesn't even mean you know more stuff, it just means you have easy access to information, okay a crap ton of information.

    You may be abl

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:00PM (#43560815)

    And advanced enough alien culture might not ever need to make direct contact with us to learn all they need to know. They might have robotic probes that could stealthily sit and watch much like a National Geographic photographer, except with the cloaking device enabled because unlike a lion pride we'd react to the observers.

    Second, maybe life (even advanced non-space faring societies) are common enough for them to ignore?

    Third, this is ALL speculation because our knowledge of the universe is so limited we can't possibly make an informed guess. Just about ANY theory has equal validity.

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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