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First Contact - An exploration of human leverage vs. an alien race.

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posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 01:41 PM
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First off, I am rarely in this section of ATS (I mostly stick to politics), so please excuse any regurgitation or subsequent boredom with the 'first contact' topic.

Before I even get into my setup, I want to say that I'd like this discussion to be around the leverage (what we have to offer/barter with) that humanity would have during a First Contact situation. I'm also assuming, for the sake of this discussion, that out of the three possible scenarios (beneficial, neutral, and harmful) that we would experience a peaceful initial contact (I know unlikely, Christopher Columbus anyone?). On the flip-side, perhaps this leverage would help us in the hopes of avoiding a destructive outcome. Now I'm not talking about military leverage (although there are plenty of developments that have spurred from military conflict). I'm talking about what we have to offer an alien race… our discoveries, our knowledge, and some materials that we, as humans, have access to.

This discussion is going to assume a few things (that I may get bashed for assuming). I'm first going to assume that DNA is a universal building block in the universe. And that if there is other intelligent life, it would resemble us at least to a degree that there is some form of developed intelligence and conscience, an ability to communicate, and an innate drive to survive and progress.

I'd like to propose that there are a couple areas in which our leverage lies (because any alien race that has the ability to travel to us is already going to be fairly advanced). The first being organic. We know what elemental combinations are rare in the universe and that we have, here on earth, a rather unique combination that has produced some amazingly rare results. The first that comes to mind are non-renewable energy sources (although most still eventually renewable given enough time). But as another thought, these resources burn hot and fast, but cannot sustain long term, so perhaps a more intelligent race would deem them insignificant? But their rarity in the universe should not be a mere passing thought, perhaps we can explore more specifics on this idea in this thread.

Oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, others?

In the most obvious sense, we, humanity, are also a rather rare occurrence (certainly as this exact genetic combination - and this is perhaps the most valuable leverage of all). I think that our own organic value (to a superior race) is something to consider (and has also been explored in many a science fiction tale - human slaves and experiments such).

The second bit of leverage is our knowledge. What we have learned. What we know about the universe, technological developments or known possibilities. And this is the area that I think would be interesting to hear other opinions on. I know I am just starting a tiny list here, and this is likely a massive list, so these are merely thought starters. And yes, human understanding of the universe is barely in it's infancy, but there have been some incredible achievements and know-how that we could share…

Music/Art - The ability to manipulate wave forms (perceiving wave forms not being specific to the humans, but to the majority of life forms) into a pattern that is pleasing (at least to us, but also shown to be pleasing to other animals as well). An incredible, and seemingly natural development, humanity has been driven to express for personal and peer satisfaction, connection, and transcendence. And we know there will be nothing out there exactly like it. An incredible and unique liability.

Modern Medicine - This is of some debate as far as relevance to an alien race (although withholding this information about humanity/our earth could also be leverage), and probably full of a large amount of speculation. But there is no doubt that germ theory, antibiotics, anesthetics, genome mapping, cloning, stem cell research, birth control (the ability for a race to self-regulate population expansion), etc changed how we maintain control over a (our) species (and this ability is not necessarily relegated to humanity). Most importantly, we also have some knowledge in fighting off the things that they (the alien race) would be encountering for the first time, and likely have not developed immunity to.

Mathematics and E=mc2 - Just writing this alone is probably worth it's own thread as it relates to novels worth of information, understanding & prediction that we as humans have achieved. But as much as this has led to (in understanding), I fear that where we are with it may be small potatoes in the eyes of an alien race that has the ability to find us (although we could always have found each other - in a passerby or accidental situation).

Plastics - Although likely that an alien race that could reach us would understand how to manipulate chemistry in order to create new self-serving combinations, it's a question of speculation. Plastics can, and did, change everything. Most don't exist naturally in the universe, and since they are made from oil, they are a product of a non-renewable resource. Also, being chemically inert, almost anything can be stored in it.

Many random scientific advancements could be considered - measuring and analyzing systems - relative atomic mass, radiometric dating, redshift, etc.

I'll stop there and let others add. This is already bigger than I initially realized.

**This is not a list of human's greatest achievements. Many of those have served us well, or have allowed for us to grow and connect as a species (especially some early scientific achievements), but would not necessarily provide leverage in First Contact with an alien race.

Perhaps our greatest leverage are the things that we know could be possible if we just had the right ingredients. Collaboration, if you will. Things we understand but cannot achieve due to lack of progress… perhaps a "coming together" of ideas to create something that could be possible (assuming aliens had some missing elements yet hadn't thought of these ideas yet)…

Quantum mechanics and computing, Bio-tech developments in computing, medicine, real AI, etc., Force shielding. Neural interfaces. Fusion, etc.

This is perhaps a seemingly infinite topic. And obviously, this can get rather complex as sometimes the best leverage is based on the specific need or desire of the alien race.

I'm going to stop at this point. I wanted to put these thoughts out there. Interested to hear thoughts!




posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by okrian
 


The best thing we can trade with et is us! Because we are freaking awesome
.
We could be a great household pet for them.



posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by okrian
 


I came into this thread thinking hmm... there isn't anything we could possibly offer an et race/society.
However, you did a great job putting a well thought out list together.

Plastics was an interesting one that I wouldn't have thought of. I think our biological data would be of great interest to them.
For example we study life that lives in odd environments all the time such as sea creatures at the bottom of the ocean living around thermal events. Surely they would be interested in how we live and grow under our celestial conditions. We have a moon that regulates our tidal cycles. Or how our level of gravity affects us. Even how the weather is different on a planet that is in the goldilocks zone on a 23.5 degree tilt with a quarterly season cycle.

Not even just our biologicals data although they would probably first investigate us.
But the first thing we would need to do is present them with something that lets them understand what level we are on as far being advanced not just as a society but biological , chemically , mathematically , the whole nine yards.
Perhaps we should present them with a deep fried chocolate covered twinkie.... yep thought should give them a pretty good idea
.

CJ
edit on 9-2-2014 by CitizenJack because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 03:25 PM
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Nicely written and thought out thread.

However, if we assume Aliens are similar to Humans (i.e have a physical presence) then they must have the ability to safely travel vast distances or manipulate matter and normal space to facilitate the multiple light year journey to Earth.

Aside from the biological/archaeological curiosity of our backwater, just about everything you can imagine on Earth made my man (such as plastic or theories about Higgs Bosons) would be considered very basic technology in relation to the technology used to facilitate any journey between stars.



If aliens ever arrive the energy required to move matter over vast distances would probably need to be recouped in some way...human batteries, enslavement, energy mining operations...none of which would be particularly pleasant



edit on 9-2-2014 by Jukiodone because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-2-2014 by Jukiodone because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by okrian
 





Interested to hear thoughts!


Not telling! Go home...you Alien 5th Columnist...I'm not giving you any strategic ideas...


We've already been invaded by your cousins since the 1950's



posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by okrian
 


One perspective may be to extrapolate from our own "Modern" contact with primitive cultures.

Why do we read National Geographic magazines?

Raw resources are abundant all over the Solar System, Galaxy, and Universe.
There's water all over the place in gravitationally cheaper places to get it than Earth; comets and icy bodies in the Oort and Kuiper Belts, for instance.
There's entire planets and even suns made out of Diamond. Yes, there is, just google it.
Thus, material resources won't be any real justifiable reason for any X alien species to come knocking.

What we do have, however, is our culture and our own solutions to "life" in a wide array of diversity.
Aliens could learn the benefits of cooperative distributed intelligence hive cooperation from our bees, ants, and other colony based life systems and use the base principles as an information storage/search/retrieval solution.

The migrational habits of Salmon, Birds, and other animals could result in developments in spacial awareness models for spacecraft.

Our own approaches to self entertainment, amusement, story-telling, art, cooperation, and even competition could very well garner some interest.

What we have is us and all the biology around us as well as our own solutions for interfacing with each other, and everything else around us.





posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 05:48 PM
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First contact!!! Bring out a can of "pick-up sticks" !!

Throw them sticks down and wait!!




posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 06:08 PM
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We have nothing to offer them. Our planet and its contents have nothing they want or need, therefore if we are to be contacted by any means then it would strictly be for our benefit. A galaxy trekking race is far more advanced and they probally would not care of our ways, culture or anything else. What would we learn of an ant colony that would benefit humans? really nothing of real value, and the level would be similar. The earth and it's people are only unique in location and that is it, so they would be the engine that drives a new age and evolution...



posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 08:01 PM
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Youre not giving them any credit here! There is nothing...nothing we have that they'd want or need that they couldn't find on a million other places in a million other galaxies.

And besides. They aren't coming. They are here, and have always been here. Our small minds need to accept that of interstellar, interdimensional beings.

They'll never knock on our doors saying "Hi! We're here!" To even think such a thing, shows how small minded, immature and unintelligent we are...still.

We need to quit writing speeches and making signs for some super advanced species that need nothing from us.

They are here now....and are getting from us whatever it is they want and need. Although, I believe there is anything they want...or need from us "ants on a hill".



posted on Feb, 10 2014 @ 07:15 AM
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Trade/exchange is a primitive and destructive cultural habit. I'm am quite confident that a species technologically advanced enough to master space travel would have done away with such an inefficient and wasteful system.

In fact, If they had'nt, they would have ended up destroying themselves, just like we are destroying ourselves right now.

The only thing that might interest alien spacefarers here on earth is the bio-diversity. And possibly us humans, as an emergent "sentient" species. We are, after all, at a very interesting time in our history. The next hundred years will probably determine whether we kill ourselves, or culturally evolve enough to not blow ourselves up/turn the earth into a polluted, unihabitable wasteland. I'm sure it would be quite interesting to study the mechanics of such a situation, whatever the outcome.



posted on Feb, 10 2014 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by okrian
 


If First contact between E.T and man will be established it will be their leverage and not ours. If the initiative comes from them I would say.
It merely will be established to control our world and not the things we posses. Also this control would have two sides of the coin, are the good or bad for us ? and slightly change our economy to a different stage, so I don't really see the difference between politics and E.T's contacting us because we wouldn't even notice , the would blend in perfectly and start changing our world from the core , and we think we all did this ourself that's how the leverage works I would think...

peace



posted on Feb, 10 2014 @ 04:02 PM
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Well, I think something ET might want from us is simply to observe our progress. We often times look at other animals like primates to learn more about ourselves. Perhaps we might serve to teach ET more about how intelligent life evolves in the universe.

We as a species right now may have resembled ET eons ago, and for them it would be like a living "time capsule" for them to study. I know in Star Trek the Federation observes developing intelligent species.

EDIT TO ADD:

Our "humanness" might also be of interest. Perhaps due to their super advanced nature, somewhere along the way they lost the part of themselves that feels emotions like love and happiness. Perhaps ET has also lost all sense of creativity. Maybe they want to look back into a civilization's past to help them grow into the future.
edit on 10-2-2014 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2014 @ 04:44 AM
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okrian
First off, I am rarely in this section of ATS (I mostly stick to politics), so please excuse any regurgitation or subsequent boredom with the 'first contact' topic.

Before I even get into my setup, I want to say that I'd like this discussion to be around the leverage (what we have to offer/barter with) that humanity would have during a First Contact situation. I'm also assuming, for the sake of this discussion, that out of the three possible scenarios (beneficial, neutral, and harmful) that we would experience a peaceful initial contact (I know unlikely, Christopher Columbus anyone?). On the flip-side, perhaps this leverage would help us in the hopes of avoiding a destructive outcome. Now I'm not talking about military leverage (although there are plenty of developments that have spurred from military conflict). I'm talking about what we have to offer an alien race… our discoveries, our knowledge, and some materials that we, as humans, have access to.

This discussion is going to assume a few things (that I may get bashed for assuming). I'm first going to assume that DNA is a universal building block in the universe. And that if there is other intelligent life, it would resemble us at least to a degree that there is some form of developed intelligence and conscience, an ability to communicate, and an innate drive to survive and progress.

I'd like to propose that there are a couple areas in which our leverage lies (because any alien race that has the ability to travel to us is already going to be fairly advanced). The first being organic. We know what elemental combinations are rare in the universe and that we have, here on earth, a rather unique combination that has produced some amazingly rare results. The first that comes to mind are non-renewable energy sources (although most still eventually renewable given enough time). But as another thought, these resources burn hot and fast, but cannot sustain long term, so perhaps a more intelligent race would deem them insignificant? But their rarity in the universe should not be a mere passing thought, perhaps we can explore more specifics on this idea in this thread.

Oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, others?

In the most obvious sense, we, humanity, are also a rather rare occurrence (certainly as this exact genetic combination - and this is perhaps the most valuable leverage of all). I think that our own organic value (to a superior race) is something to consider (and has also been explored in many a science fiction tale - human slaves and experiments such).

The second bit of leverage is our knowledge. What we have learned. What we know about the universe, technological developments or known possibilities. And this is the area that I think would be interesting to hear other opinions on. I know I am just starting a tiny list here, and this is likely a massive list, so these are merely thought starters. And yes, human understanding of the universe is barely in it's infancy, but there have been some incredible achievements and know-how that we could share…

Music/Art - The ability to manipulate wave forms (perceiving wave forms not being specific to the humans, but to the majority of life forms) into a pattern that is pleasing (at least to us, but also shown to be pleasing to other animals as well). An incredible, and seemingly natural development, humanity has been driven to express for personal and peer satisfaction, connection, and transcendence. And we know there will be nothing out there exactly like it. An incredible and unique liability.

Modern Medicine - This is of some debate as far as relevance to an alien race (although withholding this information about humanity/our earth could also be leverage), and probably full of a large amount of speculation. But there is no doubt that germ theory, antibiotics, anesthetics, genome mapping, cloning, stem cell research, birth control (the ability for a race to self-regulate population expansion), etc changed how we maintain control over a (our) species (and this ability is not necessarily relegated to humanity). Most importantly, we also have some knowledge in fighting off the things that they (the alien race) would be encountering for the first time, and likely have not developed immunity to.

Mathematics and E=mc2 - Just writing this alone is probably worth it's own thread as it relates to novels worth of information, understanding & prediction that we as humans have achieved. But as much as this has led to (in understanding), I fear that where we are with it may be small potatoes in the eyes of an alien race that has the ability to find us (although we could always have found each other - in a passerby or accidental situation).

Plastics - Although likely that an alien race that could reach us would understand how to manipulate chemistry in order to create new self-serving combinations, it's a question of speculation. Plastics can, and did, change everything. Most don't exist naturally in the universe, and since they are made from oil, they are a product of a non-renewable resource. Also, being chemically inert, almost anything can be stored in it.

Many random scientific advancements could be considered - measuring and analyzing systems - relative atomic mass, radiometric dating, redshift, etc.

I'll stop there and let others add. This is already bigger than I initially realized.

**This is not a list of human's greatest achievements. Many of those have served us well, or have allowed for us to grow and connect as a species (especially some early scientific achievements), but would not necessarily provide leverage in First Contact with an alien race.

Perhaps our greatest leverage are the things that we know could be possible if we just had the right ingredients. Collaboration, if you will. Things we understand but cannot achieve due to lack of progress… perhaps a "coming together" of ideas to create something that could be possible (assuming aliens had some missing elements yet hadn't thought of these ideas yet)…

Quantum mechanics and computing, Bio-tech developments in computing, medicine, real AI, etc., Force shielding. Neural interfaces. Fusion, etc.

This is perhaps a seemingly infinite topic. And obviously, this can get rather complex as sometimes the best leverage is based on the specific need or desire of the alien race.

I'm going to stop at this point. I wanted to put these thoughts out there. Interested to hear thoughts!


Why no mention of Love? Love is the most vital energy in all existence. Why no mention of Joy?

There cannot be contact, at least not in broad daylight. The vibrational energy would be too intense, even if ALL Humanity was aware that a contact / visit would happen. A lot of people would get hurt. It just cannot happen.



posted on Feb, 15 2014 @ 05:00 AM
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mysterioustranger

They'll never knock on our doors saying "Hi! We're here!"



LOL

Not exactly true, though. A few months ago, I had some playful friends stop by to construct for me a rather beautiful pile of leafs right outside my door. I know nobody around here did that. The leaf pile was as perfect as a crop circle. It was around 10 PM and I heard something moving very QUICK. When I went outside the next morning, I found the most beautiful arrangement of leafs! SO amusing.



posted on Feb, 15 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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reply to post by ik9zeroE
 

Agreed that there are wonders in this world we will never understand and come as gifts to us from the other side. Wherever that "side" may be!



posted on Feb, 15 2014 @ 01:12 PM
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Interesting replies. I knew there would be plenty of people who just came in to say 'was have nothing' and 'what we have will be taken on their terms anyway' or 'they will fly right by our primitive attempt at life'. I specifically admitted these thought lines in my write up in an attempt to get beyond and into a further discussion. I never proposed that an alien race is going to show up shaking hands or anything so foolish.

I also realize that this isn't necessarily a question of trading. More a discussion of what we have that is rare in the universe. I don't see how you can argue against art, music, manipulation of light, creating interesting (and unnatural) patterns of wavelengths. This is beyond material items. It is a tangible thing that comes out of creativity/intangibility. Arguably this (creating) being one of the rare things in the universe. Even in my op I think that I pushed this as being more valuable than any chemical compounds. Although, as I am not a chemist, I do not know exactly what we have here on earth that is rare.

After the fact though I was thinking that another race may want to use our earth as a "greenhouse" or "growhouse" so to speak. Since there are, from what we can observe, a limited number of planets that exist within the circumstellar habitable zone (goldillocks zone) that support this kind of life. At least those planets that aren't gas giants, have water, a stable atmosphere etc. Anyway, that was a side thought.

'Love' is an interesting proposition. Although since this word is defined differently by different people, and no one here can agree on what it is (a product of chemical reactions, something deeper, something that evolved within us in order to sustain the species) it's hard to say that it's a measurable thing. Something that would obviously (as seen in many sci-fi movies and tv shows) be of interest to any race that is intelligent enough to recognize it, but not possess it.

Anyway, some further thoughts. Thanks for contributing!



posted on Feb, 15 2014 @ 07:54 PM
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okrian
... I do not know exactly what we have here on earth that is rare.


Hair? And sex.

okrian


'Love' is an interesting proposition.


We exist because of Love. The Universe exists because of Love.

But we have a poison called hate. And we need to Heal.

Love, vital energy, is the greatest JOY. That's what it is ultimately all about.



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