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Dealing with Other Interstellar Civilizations: From Science Fiction to Reality

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posted on May, 23 2016 @ 10:00 AM
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In TOS and TNG, the Enterprise spent a lot of time patrolling borders and "the neutral zone," meanwhile the Federation invested a great deal of resources into sensor networks and outposts there. Reality would be comparable to the Federation dealing with the Colonial Fleet. Knowing that the 13 Colonies are likely preparing to attack, the Enterprise patrols the border. Then, in a single instant, the Galactica jumps from Caprica to Sol, to the heart of the Federation and where Federation defenses are weakest, then launches a massive assault on a defenseless Earth. Meanwhile, Picard is left scratching his head as to how Adama managed to "sneak by undetected," but never the less Picard begins warping to Sol, arriving a few weeks or months later only to discover the war has been long lost. We didn't have to develop the particular technologies we did to get where we're at today. In gaming terms, there's many different "tech trees" to pursue. Our opponents technologies, methods and tactics would likely be quite alien to us, which should be no shock considering they're, you know, aliens.

A potentially real-life example can be found in something commonly reported of UFOs. They're said to be capable of disabling electronics. They can remotely turn off the engine to your car, or disable a fighter jets weapon systems. How do you deal with an enemy that can instantly disable you? How could you deal with an enemy that could instantly control your mind and compel you to destroy yourself, or compel your heart to stop beating? What about an enemy that can instantly travel a moment backward through time each time that you fire on it, thus always anticipating and avoiding your attacks while counter-attacking with devastating effect? How could Picard have ever managed to defeat Adama, even? He can simply appear anywhere at any time, like magic. You can't hope to catch up given his jump drive versus your warp drive. There's no apparent solution. He'd likely have a fleet riding alongside him, so even spreading out and covering all of your strategic systems would be no answer. Assuming comparable weapons capabilities, the Colonials would just steamroll the Federation every time it encountered one if its ships on guard.

You simply couldn't counter every military capability in the universe. It's not so simple as everyone using warp drives, energy weapons and missile/torpedo weapons like Star Trek. The capabilities, methods and tactics which you'd find in the universe would vary to such a degree as to seem as vast as the universe itself. You couldn't even predict what your adversary would do because they'd likely think nothing like humans. Your strategists would observe their actions in hope of establishing a pattern, but they'd probably seem completely eradic. Good luck being the diplomats of this region of the galaxy when humans can't even talk to any other animal on their own planet, who they share common ancestry with. There'd likely be little communication with alien beings for which to gain any understanding of them. The Federation's first encounter with the Romulans could have easily been them randomly waltzing over and rapidly establishing some sort of strange outpost on the moon.

What're you gonna do? There's no talking to them, and you know nothing of them. You gonna fire a warning shot as they begin construction in an attempt make your point clear that their actions are unacceptable to the Federation? Say they take that as an act of war? For all you know they'll instantly travel to Earth's past and annihilate humanity before our civilization even evolved into being. Or perhaps they'll retreat to Bernards Star and initiate a GRB directed at Earth, which would destroy the Earth a few years later, and there'd be nothing the Federation could do to stop it - most energetic force in the universe n all. For all you know though, that base was just the Romulan's way of saying "We want to be close to you. To get to know you." Yet you're thinking about shooting at these people? About potentially starting a war with a civilization that may very well be a billion years more advanced than your own? You might be cavemen throwing rocks at an Abrams tank. Even if you think your technology is comparable, who's to say they're not a protectorate? The far more powerful momma bear may be along shortly to defend her cub if you behave aggressively.

There's really nothing to do but just sit back and desperately hope nobody attacks you. In open space, it would be wise to simply run anytime an alien craft behaves with hostility. In general, you'd have to accept that you're just another animal in the jungle, and so what if another animal growls you away from whatever water hole you found it at? At least you're alive: who knows what it's teeth could've done to you. Observe and study as much as you're permitted to, and maybe one day in the long, distant future you'll be in a position to behave more assertively, at least within the confines of the local region that you know. After all, space is a pretty big place. There oughta be enough room for everybody, so long as we don't agitate the Colonials.

What do you think we should expect? Where exactly would you draw the line when it comes to the unwelcome advances of an unknown species?
edit on 23-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 23 2016 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: Navarro

At our stage of development, the best reaction to meeting a new species is to run to a known safe world and never go home again. Or execute secret plan B and cause the engines to destroy the ship in a very thorough and permanent manner.

You have no idea what capabilities any random alien species might have. If they are lethally aggressive and deceptive, going home could destroy the world. Better not to give them any leads.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

I can certainly see your point. Even if we were to seemingly evade them, we could never be certain that they can't see us just because we can't see them. Returning to Earth could mean guiding our destroyer right to our home. However, I'd have to assume that any species we encounter, especially in the early stages of our development, would be capable of reasoning our ship is based nearby. If they wanted to find Earth, they could probably find it with relative ease without any help from us. As such, it would seem to me that the best course of action would be to take the opportunity to learn as much about that species and their equipment as possible, then for our ship to report its findings back to Earth. The investment in that ship and its crew would no doubt be a considerable expense anyway. Not to mention, self-destructing on contact could lead to that species believing we either attempted to attack them, or are otherwise dangerous given the degree of paranoia and perhaps insanity necessary to behave in such a manner.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 12:02 PM
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Wow, what a pessimistic post, and the fact is, you're just guessing. Jump Drive? Going back in time? Alien thoughts? None of that is real. You've just concocted a sci-fi scenario where we are completely out-gunned. And your solution appears to be akin to waiting around until we get eaten.

You could just as easily make up a scenario where we are not so vulnerable and even superior in our weapons, strategy, and tactics to an alien race. There are any number of sci-fi stories with that theme as well. Basically we just have to do the best we can, and if that's not good enough, oh, well. I mean, eventually the Sun is going to go nova and we'll be toast anyway, so why try?

I'm not advocating either way, and I suspect reality is a little different than "Borg versus Earth" scenarios, but I see no reason to make up the worst possible scenario we can and then quake in our boots.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

Just on the basis of probability, if the premise is that we all die because aliens are more tech savvy than us, then by extension ever since the first race got techy on the universe no other race could have ever got past the drive-by species assassinations.

There must only be one bad tempered, nasty alien species going around the universe in their version of a lincoln continental bustin' a proverbial cap in the ass of any race with the temerity to wonder what is beyond the clouds.

I hope that is not the case, but I have no evidence that it isn't.




posted on May, 23 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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Sci-fi is just sci-fi

I dont think it has any relevance to the real thing...




There's really nothing to do but just sit back and desperately hope nobody attacks you.


Well as I see it this planet hasn't been invaded for the last 5 biljon years (or has it).
Detecting live on other planets is quite easy (methane emission in spectrum). So ET should by now know that live exists on sol3. So I dont think ET would be ever a threath to us.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 01:13 PM
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I'll grab the Millennium Falcon, everybody calm down.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 01:34 PM
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Why would Adama (any of them) attack Earth? Besides, the Enterprise wasn't the only ship the Feds had. They even had planetary defense systems all over sector 001, so it's not like Picard or Kirk left Earth undefended. I get it, though. If an advavced species finds us, we're likely toast. Because they'd put us in a toaster and turn it on. A Cylon toaster. Hey, as long as it's a six model I'm all for that.

Invasion. It just doesn't sound so bad when you think about it.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 01:40 PM
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originally posted by: 4003fireglo
Why would Adama (any of them) attack Earth? Besides, the Enterprise wasn't the only ship the Feds had. They even had planetary defense systems all over sector 001, so it's not like Picard or Kirk left Earth undefended. I get it, though. If an advavced species finds us, we're likely toast. Because they'd put us in a toaster and turn it on. A Cylon toaster. Hey, as long as it's a six model I'm all for that.

Invasion. It just doesn't sound so bad when you think about it.


But...but, you must stop! With your fiction facts. They are not relevant here.




posted on May, 23 2016 @ 01:52 PM
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Just how many troops and troopships would it take to completely subdue the earth? How many days/weeks/months/years would that take? is it really worth it? destroying the planet you want for yourself? (well, the surface anyway) the two largest land masses on earth have the two largest armies/airforce's on them, na, what ever 'they' want or need, get it from a 'young' world.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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No worries. They will catch our diseases and die



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 08:16 PM
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OP is on to something.

Answer me this...Do you feel regret when you squash a bug or kill a mosquito?

I don't.
edit on 23-5-2016 by Signals because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 08:40 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

Right now they may be just watching youtube and humanity in general. I imagine we would be both entertaining and very intriguing.

So they hover. Maybe not to attack but to get better wifi.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 11:24 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
Wow, what a pessimistic post, and the fact is, you're just guessing. Jump Drive? Going back in time? Alien thoughts? None of that is real. You've just concocted a sci-fi scenario where we are completely out-gunned. And your solution appears to be akin to waiting around until we get eaten.

You could just as easily make up a scenario where we are not so vulnerable and even superior in our weapons, strategy, and tactics to an alien race. There are any number of sci-fi stories with that theme as well. Basically we just have to do the best we can, and if that's not good enough, oh, well. I mean, eventually the Sun is going to go nova and we'll be toast anyway, so why try?

I'm not advocating either way, and I suspect reality is a little different than "Borg versus Earth" scenarios, but I see no reason to make up the worst possible scenario we can and then quake in our boots.

There's a difference between pessimism and realism. The fact of the matter is that the technologies pursued by alien civilizations would differ from that of Earth. It's been said that the UFO crashes of 1930s and 1940s may be attributable to our radar technologies. There exists scant evidence to support this theory, but evidence does exist. It may be that the civilization fielding the UFOs operating at Earth never developed radar technology, and the technology they had developed was susceptible to the electronic radiation produced by radar. Alternately, their biology may have been susceptible to the effects of radar. Whatever the case, if this radar-UFO link is true, then it's not a pessimistic picture we see forming before us. We observe an exceptionally primitive civilization inadvertently critically harming an otherwise technologically superior force of extraterrestrials.

I don't mean to argue any of the references I've made in this thread to be fact. I point only to a pattern of possibility. It would be unreasonable to assume that we're capable of defeated every species we encounter, particularly given our primitive level of development at this time. It appears reasonable that we'd be capable of defeating some advanced space faring species, but not all. I remarked earlier on Earth conflicting with a species a billion years ahead of us technologically, comparing our efforts to that of cavemen throwing rocks at a modern Abrams tanks.

It would be difficult to imagine cavemen defeating the modern United States military, yet simultaneously America is presently engaged in a war in Afghanistan fighting an enemy sometimes described as cavemen. It's a war that's now lasted longer than the Vietnam war, and yet America was never able to completely defeat their adversary there. Despite all of our FLIR, satellites and other reconnaissance technology, these cavemen have proven to be extremely difficult to locate and destroy. They've generally proven to be an extremely resilient enemy as well, leading our soldiers into ambushes of catastrophic effect, frequently fooling the more advanced American military.

There could, however, be no doubt that had America wished, it was capable of rendering Afghanistan a nuclear wasteland. The indigenous then best owe their continuity to America's lack of inclination to unleash the full force of its military power on Afghanistan. In that same sense, it's unlikely that the primitive nations of Earth would be capable of defeating a vastly technologically superior threat of extraterrestrial origin. It's equally unlikely that no civilizations exist which would be inclined to attack us. As such, we must anticipate that there will be species baring capabilities in which we're unable to defend against, just as the Afghan resistance would have no answer for America's ICBMs.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 11:40 PM
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originally posted by: Jonjonj
a reply to: Navarro

Just on the basis of probability, if the premise is that we all die because aliens are more tech savvy than us, then by extension ever since the first race got techy on the universe no other race could have ever got past the drive-by species assassinations.

There must only be one bad tempered, nasty alien species going around the universe in their version of a lincoln continental bustin' a proverbial cap in the ass of any race with the temerity to wonder what is beyond the clouds.

I hope that is not the case, but I have no evidence that it isn't.


There can be no doubt that the universe is a very big place. It's difficult to imagine that a single species has achieved full-spectrum dominance over its entirety. Similarly, given the 400 billion stars within our galaxy alone, and the Milky Way's 100,000 light-year radius, it's difficult to imagine a single species exerting unipolar dominance over our galaxy, exterminating all the up-and-coming civilizations in their early stages of development. It's possible that such a strategy could be reasonable from the viewpoint of self-preservation, but it would be an immense and endless undertaking. It wouldn't be entirely shocking to me though if some species made a habit of exterminating other species that arise within what they deem close proximity to their worlds, let alone those which arise within that they deem their territory proper. Genocidal Xenophobes could very well be a thing. Yet, I could also imagine that other developed civilizations would perceive Genocidal Xenophobes to be a severe threat, and would as such act to quell that threat before it grows to an unmanageable size, not unlike the Allies vs the Axis of WW2.



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 12:09 AM
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originally posted by: frenchfries
Sci-fi is just sci-fi

I dont think it has any relevance to the real thing...




There's really nothing to do but just sit back and desperately hope nobody attacks you.


Well as I see it this planet hasn't been invaded for the last 5 biljon years (or has it).
Detecting live on other planets is quite easy (methane emission in spectrum). So ET should by now know that live exists on sol3. So I dont think ET would be ever a threath to us.

You're suggesting that because we haven't been attacked so far, we can conclude that we will never be attacked. By the same reasoning, Rome could have reasoned that it would never fall because it's never fallen before. There's a first time for everything. So far we've not ventured far from Earth, and so we've not done anything to upset any of the interstellar powers. It's difficult for a toddler to have enemies when their existence is nearly entirely confined to their house. Yet, as that child grows older and begins to venture further and further out into the world, the probability of trouble rises by the moment.

Imagine now that Earth has ventured into space and encountered a species of completely alien motivations. It's not difficult to imagine that at some point we may begin to arm our spacecraft, and that species we've encountered may deem that alone to be sufficient reason to attack. We may perceive our armaments as being purposed for defense, where another species may perceive it as an offensive threat. Even on Earth our cultures perceive things very differently. Adults marrying children in the Middle East is an acceptable practice, while the West perceives that as immoral. Taking a picture of members of some cultures is considered an act of aggression. Simply observing another species and their equipment could be perceived as aggression by them, and I think we can both agree that we'd be likely to observe, catalogue and learn as much as possible about any species which we encounter. It's even possible that our appearance would terrify them, leading to an aggressive stance on their part similar to how you might react if the main antagonist creature from the film "Alien" were to approach you right now. There's myriad ways our encounters with other species could lead to problematic and threatening circumstances. Most of which, I imagine, haven't even been considered by us.



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 12:56 AM
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originally posted by: 4003fireglo
Why would Adama (any of them) attack Earth? Besides, the Enterprise wasn't the only ship the Feds had. They even had planetary defense systems all over sector 001, so it's not like Picard or Kirk left Earth undefended. I get it, though. If an advavced species finds us, we're likely toast. Because they'd put us in a toaster and turn it on. A Cylon toaster. Hey, as long as it's a six model I'm all for that.

Invasion. It just doesn't sound so bad when you think about it.

The purpose of the science-fiction comparisons was for convenience. I didn't really mean to discuss and debate science-fiction lore, but instead to utilize it as a basis through which to provide quick examples. In that case, Adama attacked the Federation simply because his jump-drive is superior to the warp-drive, allowing him to raid the Federation with impunity. The Colonials were simply kind enough to attack the Federation for the purpose of serving as an example in our discussion.
edit on 24-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 01:18 AM
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originally posted by: pikestaff
Just how many troops and troopships would it take to completely subdue the earth? How many days/weeks/months/years would that take? is it really worth it? destroying the planet you want for yourself? (well, the surface anyway) the two largest land masses on earth have the two largest armies/airforce's on them, na, what ever 'they' want or need, get it from a 'young' world.

The ancient Chinese strategist once said, "to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." An advanced civilization capable of interstellar travel should be capable of swiftly destroying Earth's military capabilities, but they should also be capable of capturing and subjugating Earth through less destructive means. After all, as Sun Tzu also said, "the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good."

That being said, it would be foolish to assume that another species would necessarily think as we do. They needn't be interested in Earth's natural resources, they don't have to be inclined to cease the territory which we occupy, and it's not necessary that they deem the preservation of our species, infrastructure or environment to be a priority. How desperately does the US government want to cease the mud huts of Africa, after all? We like to blow up fixed fighting positions, such as bunkers, despite that we could generally simply go around them, avoiding them all together. One of our favorite tools which enable us to do this is "bunker busters," a type a bomb designed specifically for this purpose. The extraterrestrials could easily possess "planet busters" or "star busters" of their own, which would enable them to destroy our planet or solar system all-together if they so desired, and it's entirely possible that a species may deem this desirable.

Alternately, perhaps a conventional invasion as you describe might interest them. I doubt we'd possess anything that they'd be inclined to cease, unless they deem Earth's location to be of particular strategic value for some reason. As far as landing troops here, the only reason I could imagine them doing so would be either for the purpose of entertainment, the purpose of training, or for some philosophical or cultural purpose.
edit on 24-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 01:36 AM
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originally posted by: Signals
OP is on to something.

Answer me this...Do you feel regret when you squash a bug or kill a mosquito?

I don't.

Yet you'll certainly swat a mosquito if it irritates you, despite that the mosquito likely doesn't anticipate that its flight in close proximity to you could be irritating. Yet you'll have no quarrels with killing ants that've chosen to march through your house. They mean no threat to you, and are simply in pursuit of sustenance, but from your perspective they simply must go. How might another species perceive the fledgling Humans observing them like spiders poised on the ceiling? They may be concerned we might jump on them, and otherwise may just prefer that we weren't there. If we're an irritant, including in some way which we couldn't have expected their culture would find irritating, then I think we can anticipate that some species would be inclined to respond to us with aggression of varying degrees.



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 01:58 AM
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originally posted by: riley
a reply to: Navarro

Right now they may be just watching youtube and humanity in general. I imagine we would be both entertaining and very intriguing.

So they hover. Maybe not to attack but to get better wifi.

I wonder how true that may be. If a civilization has access to a vast amount of other civilizations for which to study, then I can imagine their interest in doing so would quickly wane. Imagine that an alien approaches you now, and proceeds to thoroughly introduce you to the culture, history, technology and other aspects of their species. Surely you would find this a profoundly amazing experience. Immediately there-after, another species comes along and provides you the same introduction. Afterwards, yet another species does the same, and this continues on endlessly, because you've found yourself in a position to receive the greetings and introduction of every species within the universe.

At some point, I think we'd all tire of this, regardless of how incredible we'd acknowledge the experience to be. Each encounter would seem less profound than the last, and we'd at some point just want to go about our mundane lives again. To watch a movie, to listen to a song, to spend time with out friends, or to just be alone for a while. Now imagine that in order to gain those introductions, you had to invest $1000 each time before they become possible. Such an expense is large for the average person, but it's really nothing in comparison to the value of having the opportunity to meet and talk with a real extraterrestrial. Never the less, as you become increasingly bored with meeting alien after alien, the cost of doing so soon arrives at no longer being worth it, at least for the time being.

I can imagine some species finding us extremely interesting, just as you would've found the first of those introductions incredible. However, I suspect that advanced species would be less and less interested in learning about us over time. The more they know about other species, the less they'll care to know about our species. Who knows though; perhaps we're one of the first species our UFOs have encountered. Maybe it just happens that they haven't thoroughly investigated any other species recently. I could easily imagine interstellar civilizations proceeding through ages of Xenophilia and Xenophobia: sometimes they're interested, sometimes they just want to be alone, and then later down the road they find themselves interested again.




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