Friday, February 19, 2010

Singularity (Part 7 of 9): Nobody Believes In Aliens Any More

19. First contact with another life form (in M-space).39 Shown new worlds in M space by new life form.40 Shown the link between M space and R space.
Tom Friedman: Artist's Statement, 2000
40. “Past ‘first contact’ events between diverse societies—e.g., when expansionist Europeans met native peoples of Africa, Asia and the Americas—illustrate how highly intelligent groups with different backgrounds can have severe difficulties establishing a relationship of mutual understanding… supporters of SETI have generally taken for granted an axiom that altruism—a selfless imperative to assist others without expectation of reward—is likely to be a supreme attribute among advanced technological civilizations… I, for one, would feel more confident in the inevitability of alien altruism if that beneficent trait appeared more often in nature here on Earth.” David Brin, The Dangers of First Contact, Skeptic Magazine

"Our naive view of the cosmos... was that the Earth was at the center of the universe and human intelligence its greatest gift (next to god). The more informed recent view is that... that there are bound to be many (billions or trillions) with advanced technology... Yet the skies are silent. It is odd and intriguing that we find the cosmos so silent. As Enrico Fermi asked in the summer of 1950, "Where is everybody?" A sufficiently advanced civilization would not be likely to restrict its transmissions to subtle signals on obscure frequencies. Why are all the ETIs so shy?41 ...The conclusion I reach is that it is likely (although not certain) that there are no such civilizations. In other words we are in the lead. That's right, our humble with its pickup trucks, fast food, and persistent conflicts (and computation!) is in the lead in terms of the creation of complexity and order in the universe... It appears our solar system has not yet been turned into someone else's computer. And if other civilization is only observing us for knowledge's sake and has decided to remain silent, ETI would fail to find it, because if an advanced civilization does not want us to notice it, it would succeed in that desire. Keep in mind that is such a civilization would be vastly more intelligent than we are today. Perhaps it will reveal itself to us when we achieve the next level of evolution, specifically merging our biological brains with our technology, which is to say, after the Singularity. However, given that the SETI assumption implies that there are billions of such highly developed civilizations, it seems unlikely that all of them have made the same decision to stay out of our way."

Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near; 342, 348, 357, 358-9.
41. “In making a plea for tolerance the film [Close Encounters] also seems to implicitly reject language, as if our primary means of communication were somehow ultimately a handicap to understanding. Language seems to dissolve during the film, becoming ever more useless until it dissipates into the abstract lights and sounds used by the scientists to communicate to the aliens. It is, in many ways, an anti-logocentric film, a celebration of the non-verbal and the techno-haptic.” Fantastic Journal, via Magical Nihilism.

"Look, nobody believes in aliens any more. There's single celled life all over the place, but nothing else."

42. “The only true alien planet is earth.” J G Ballard.

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