Posted: Tue, December 11, 2012 | By: Hank Pellissier
Was that a giant extraterrestrial spacecraft hovering over Istanbul?
Did alien “gods” build Macchu Picchu?
My Santa Cruz friend Dennis - who swears he wasn’t stoned at the time - says he experienced “missing time” - waking up by the side of of a road in his truck, with four hours unaccounted for.
What’s my opinion about this? Really? Are extra-terrestials visiting us?
This topic is off-limits in many futurist/transhumanist circles, despite the group’s fascination with scifi.
When I was blog editor at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology - ieet.org - I was instructed to never publish articles on ETs or UFOs, or we’d be ridiculed in the Ivory Tower. Hplusmagazine.com rarely acknowledges UFO issues, same situation at World Future Society (wfs.org). KurzweilAI.net appears curious, but UFO discussion is largely quarantined inside its Forum; the subject doesn’t exist in its news section.
io9.com - the Gawker science site - is the notable exception, consistently keeping its readers up-to-date on UFO sightings. Last week this video of a flying saucer in Hawaii was posted by editor Annalee Newitz. io9.com‘s fascination is regarded, however, as low-brow…
Why? Why is UFO/ET inquiry a sniffed-at topic in H+?
* Is is because James Randi/Skeptic/Atheist circles have defined the phenomena as fraudulent, as mythological as Christianity and other other-worldly cults? The James Randi Educational Society scoffs at UFO sighting here.
* is it because Kurzweil opines in The Singularity is Near that humans are likely the most advanced civilization in the universe? And H+ often marches collectively to his assertions?
* Is is because UFOs/ETs are embraced non-rationally by New Ageists - who also promote spirit crystals, astrology, and ascended masters? Does their affection poison the topic?
* Are we collectively sick of getting scammed, due to crop circle hoax and others?
All of the above?
I’m not sure, but I’d like to see the topic discussed. Why not?
Here my opinion, for starters, on the existence or non-existence of visitors-from-outer-space. My theory combines three theories from respected observers:
1. Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg insists to NASA that future space explorers should be mechanical, robotic. The obvious reason for this is that machines don’t get hungry, horny, bored, depressed, ill, mutinous, flatulent, sleepy, suicidal, psychotic, etc. Machines act with predictable programmable behavior. Humans don’t. We are fickle, emotional, organic needy bio-beings, that easily “break down” (die). I agree with Weinberg - let machines do exploring, they’re cheaper and dependable.
My point: Alien “life forms” seeking to visit Earth will suffer the same limitations. Visitors from other planets are/will most likely be… Machines.
2. Ray Kurzweil’s subtitle to The Singularity Is Near is: “When Humans Transcend Biology.” He believes, and many futurists agree, that humanity is inexorably moving towards hybridization with machines. Slowly or quickly, depending on commercial demand, we’ll be swapping our own forms, exchaning biological anatomy and support systems, for non-biological.
My point: Machines sent to explore Earth are probably sent by “life forms” that are also… Machines.
3. John Smart in his Transcension Hypothesis defines advanced civilizations by their increasing ability to compress data. In his words:
”a universal process of evolutionary development guides all sufficiently advanced civilizations into what may be called “inner space,” a computationally optimal domain of increasingly dense, productive, miniaturized, and efficient scales of space, time, energy, and matter”
This idea is adopted from John D. Barrow‘s “scale of particle manipulation.” Compressing data is efficient because it lessens the amount of resources needed; more can be built with less. Compression is evident, of course, in our own recent technology that’s miniaturized computers into smart phones and developed invisible nanotechnology. Imagine the diminution that’ll occur in the next 50-500 years, not only in our appliances, but in our “selves” as our bodies transform/mutate/upgrade into tiny tech wonders.
My point: Visitors from outer space will probably be TINY MACHINES sent by “life forms” that are also TINY MACHINES.
My additional opinions:
1. Our depiction of alien life that looks even remotely humanoid, traveling in metal machines that resemble our own, seems as narcissistic, as speciesist, as the dogma of ancient Greeks who viewed gods in human physiques, dressed in sandals and togas.
2. Hollywood images of alien spacecraft the size of Manhattan are ridiculous. Tiny, microscopic, nanoscopic, is more likely. Aliens/UFOs could also appear in the form of Light.
3. The notion of alien space craft carrying hundreds of separate alien beings is… primitive. I forsee individual aliens that merge their bodies with space travel equipment to become “angels” - autonomous space voyagers. ETs will become “angels” because that’s what “intelligence” wants. Polls like the Terasem Survey that ask people what super power they want, always end up with “Flying” on top of the list. Terasem Survey also says “Travel” is the favorite activity of transhumanists. Assuming all intelligence, everywhere in the universe, has the same desire/ambition, then consumer demand will create, everywhere, the ability for individuals to fly by themselves, not in aircraft, but on their own, like Iron Man (Tony Stark).
Intelligent life also enjoys traveling in groups. ETs would do this by - literally or figuratively - linking arms with best friends and exploring distant planets together, like Earth. They’ll travel collectively, galactically, in “hives” as a large Unified Vehicle.
4. The majority of UFO and ET sightings don’t fit the description I’ve outlined. Therefore, I’m inclined to regard the bulk of them as false or as terrestrial phenomena. But the lights… many UFOs are viewed as just “lights”... this intrigues me… I think of illuminated, synchronized, hovering, nimble microscopic civilizations, i.e. Dr. Seuss’s “Horton hears a Who!”
Are they here already? If they are, they’re not influencing our affairs, which seems rather amoral… We need radical life extension technology…
What’s your opinion? There’s gaps in my argument. Leave me your ideas in Comments below: