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Thread: Pale Blue Dot - бледная, синяя точка - по-русски перевод.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Pale Blue Dot - бледная, синяя точка - по-русски перевод.



    Это aмериканскй Физик Карл Саган

    http://irc.lv/video?id=pP9aAE1EqJz2

    (second video link in case youtube does not work for you)
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Во вступительной речи от 11 мая 1996 Карл Саган поделился своими мыслями о значении этой фотографии:

    "Взгляните ещё раз на эту точку. Это здесь. Это наш дом. Это мы. Все, кого вы любите, все, кого вы знаете, все, о ком вы когда-либо слышали, каждый когда-либо существовавший человек прожил свою жизнь на ней. Все наши радости и страдания, тысячи самоуверенных религий, идеологий и экономических доктрин, каждый охотник и собиратель, каждый герой и трус, каждый созидатель и разрушитель цивилизаций, каждый король и крестьянин, каждая влюблённая юная пара, каждая мать и каждый отец, каждый подающий надежды ребёнок, каждый изобретатель и путешественник, каждый духовный учитель, каждый продажный политик, каждая «суперзвезда», каждый «верховный лидер», каждый святой и грешник в истории нашего вида жили здесь — на этой пылинке, зависшей в лучах солнечного света.

    Земля — очень маленькая сцена на необъятной космической арене. Вспомните о реках крови, пролитых всеми полководцами и императорами, чтобы, в лучах славы и триумфа, ненадолго стать хозяевами части этой песчинки. Вспомните о бесконечных жестокостях, совершаемых обитателями одного уголка этой точки над едва отличимыми от них обитателями другого уголка. О том, как часты их разногласия, о том, как жаждут они убивать друг друга, о том, как горяча их ненависть.

    Наши позёрства, наша воображаемая значимость, иллюзия о нашем привилегированном положении во вселенной пасуют перед этой точкой бледного света. Наша планета — одинокая крупинка в огромной окружающей космической тьме. В нашей безвестности, во всей этой бесконечности, нет и намёка на то, что помощь придёт откуда-то извне, чтобы спасти нас от самих себя.

    Земля пока — единственный известный мир, ютящий жизнь. Нашему виду больше некуда переселяться — по крайней мере, в ближайшем будущем. Побывать — да. Поселиться — ещё нет. Нравится вам это или нет, на данный момент Земля — наш дом.

    Кто-то сказал, что астрономия прививает смирение и воспитывает характер. Наверное, нет лучшего доказательства глупости человеческого тщеславия, чем этот далёкий образ нашего крошечного мира. Для меня, он подчёркивает нашу обязанность быть добрее друг с другом, беречь и лелеять бледно-голубую точку — единственный дом, который мы когда-либо знали."


    **This is the text from Pale Blue Dot in Russian, in case you want to follow along and study.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Yeah... it's time to start working on terraforming the other celestial bodies around us. Viva to the extreme techno-gaianism!!

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    Yeah... it's time to start working on terraforming the other celestial bodies around us. Viva to the extreme techno-gaianism!!
    Ah but as Carl Sagan said "Побывать — да. Поселиться — ещё нет."

    Maybe someday terraforming will be more than science fiction, but I wonder how good we will be at colonizing other planets when we cannot properly manage our own.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Ah but as Carl Sagan said "Побывать — да. Поселиться — ещё нет."

    Maybe someday terraforming will be more than science fiction, but I wonder how good we will be at colonizing other planets when we cannot properly manage our own.
    Ah, the difference is like the difference between testing a new drug on mice or on humans.
    Technically, the humanity can effectively control the global warming by many artificial tools, like deploying a mirror onto the geostationary orbit and making more or less shade as required. However, the full implications of that have not been studied and making the experiment without the proper study is too irresponsible. However, when using that very same approach to heat up Mars or cool down Venus, we can monitor the situation and correct it as needed. However, as Carl Sagan noted at some point in time, if I remember him correctly, we cannot embark on that task until we cannot confirm 100% there's no life on those planets. Because, if there is life, even the microbial life, we will be destroying it by introducing our terrestrial microbial life. And that means that if the humanity thinks its moral to do that, the extra-terrestrial life who wants to do that with the Earth will find it legitimate too. With the very sad consequences for the terrestrial life since our planet is very vulnerable from the attack (the impact or mass-microbial infestation) from the outer space. So, until we can find the proper definitions for life and confirm there's no life on those planets, we can't start it unfortunately. But, technically, that is possible with today's tools and the demand is there - since the stable Mars habitation is the key to the riches of the asteroid belt. So, the market is there and the ability is there, it's just the moral issues we have to settle down first.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Yeah, the moral issues are what concern me the most. Life can abound in forms we may not even be aware of as humans, since our senses are limited only to a certain spectrum which we evolved to sense our world. Our senses have not evolved to see certain colors or shapes which may be quite clear to a butterfly, for example. How would we even know if we were destroying an entire race of beings? Definitely more study and testing is needed. And Space can never be the province of any one country. Newt Gingrich's recent comments about building a moon colony would be laudable, except for his rhetorical insistence that it must be an AMERICAN lunar colony. No one can lay claim to the moon! Or any other planet for that matter. Humans will need to work together, in international cooperation, to properly explore the "final frontier." But it will be a long time before we can manage this, I think. Maybe not even in my lifetime or yours. We can barely tolerate the differences in our skin color and language and culture - how could we even begin to contemplate relating to a completely alien, extraterrestrial, species?
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    And Space can never be the province of any one country. Newt Gingrich's recent comments about building a moon colony would be laudable, except for his rhetorical insistence that it must be an AMERICAN lunar colony. No one can lay claim to the moon! Or any other planet for that matter. Humans will need to work together, in international cooperation, to properly explore the "final frontier." But it will be a long time before we can manage this, I think.
    Let's be realistic. The whole "international" thing will never work out. The most "international" we can probably make out of it would be an international corporation with the countries having certain share. As for the Moon, the battle for the base and mining of the He-3 had already begun long ago. Now you see countries like India which not only announce their space program, but have practically launched the unmanned lunar probe which actually reached to the Moon and have done its job. So, do you think India has nothing else to do, but try fancy expensive space programs for fun? There's no poverty in India anymore? No expensive military programs to match Pakistan? They simply had no choice - if they let the Moon be conquered by the other countries, they will never get to the source of He-3 and will be obliged to purchase electricity from the other countries in the next half century.

    What's the most interesting here, is that the US had actually abandoned their government-sponsored Moon programs leaving it out for the private business. So, what's their new focus? Mars. The Moon international corporation is apparently what they had in mind. And when the other countries will spend their last capital to buy some shares of it, the US plans to build the national base on Mars and get to the asteroid belt first. Rare minerals, uranium, hydrogen for fuel and energy, etc. Who do you think will get to Mars first, the US or India?

    By the way, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with a country claiming a newly discovered territory. Nothing I can think of that would be prohibited by the international law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Maybe not even in my lifetime or yours. We can barely tolerate the differences in our skin color and language and culture - how could we even begin to contemplate relating to a completely alien, extraterrestrial, species?
    Ah, it's all relative. Also, how close can the contact with the possible extraterrestrial species could be? It could be as close to nothing as today even if we know they are there. And there's great potential for a war since historically that was the only way to settle disputes between the various kind of species at least on our planet. Would you care to kill a wolf? Would a wolf care to kill you? And both you and wolf are mammals. Would anything change if you meet a speaking loudly barking wolf? So, make your own conclusions...

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Let's be realistic. The whole "international" thing will never work out.
    Do you need to insult my opinion in order to vaunt your own? I am realistic - that is why I think we should wait until we have evolved more, before we run off and contaminate or destroy places we do not fully understand yet.

    If all of these nations could, you know, work together, the issue of "who gets there first" would be irrelevant and resources could be evenly distributed. But I am realistic and I realize that is unlikely to happen. Humans are basically going to fight for every inch, instead of cooperate and logically and fairly divvy things up which would seem more rational. But humans are not very rational, are they? Yes, Helium will be in big demand shortly, because we need it to run MRI's and other life-saving technology, and Helium supplies on earth are almost exhausted.

    America is not really in the "Space Race" like it used to be. NASA has been stripped to bare-bones and the shuttles have been retired. Private Enterprise wants to set up hotels orbiting earth to make money from the ultra rich, who are the only ones who will be able to afford to stay there.

    War is the way life on earth settles things. How do we know anything about extraterrestrial concepts...? They may not need to have a "war." They may not even recognize us as sentient beings and it could be like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and they could just blast earth to put in a new highway. Who knows....? No one does.

    Anyway, this is an interesting conversation but if you are going to condescend to me, why should I continue to discuss it with you?
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Do you need to insult my opinion in order to vaunt your own? Anyway, this is an interesting conversation but if you are going to condescend to me, why should I continue to discuss it with you?
    I apologize if I had hurt you, that was not my intention. Usually, I'm pretty sarcastic when expressing my opinions, so I would appreciate if you could cut me some slack on that. This conversation is interesting for me too. Actually, I'm so interested in the topic that some time back I used to dig into the exobiology and exopsychology to get some better understanding of the topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    War is the way life on earth settles things. How do we know anything about extraterrestrial concepts...? They may not need to have a "war." They may not even recognize us as sentient beings and it could be like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and they could just blast earth to put in a new highway. Who knows....? No one does.
    That's true, no one does for sure until we actually have an experimental base, i.e. until we meet some extraterrestrials. However, the big question here is - should we do some thinking before that happens or should we actually not think about it? If we meet nobody, then the worst thing that happened - we've done some extra unnecessary thinking rather than having an allegedly meaningful discussions about, say, what exactly some politicians do with some service maids in the US hotels, which probably would not be that harmful. However, if we do meet someone and we are not prepared, our behaviour in that very first contact can change our future for better or for worse. Or cause our complete destruction as a race. Say, you go in the woods and you see a strange colourless mass slowly approaching you and making some sounds. What do you do? Stick your hand forward and hope the mass will think you offer good greetings? Believe it or not, but even the remote tribes on our own planets would interpret that gesture as an attack. With the possibly sad consequence for you personally and for our entire race which from that point on will be perceived as aggressive until that misunderstanding is cleared. If ever.

    So, what the "exo" sciences are trying to do is to think what's common and what's unique and extrapolate what's common onto the unknown with some degree of probability.

    Therefore, I think this topic is important and it also helps us to better understand ourselves. Regardless of the outcome, it's like learning the foreign language - you may not learn it properly, but in the end you understand your own language better.

    So, let's discuss the "war" issue. You see, the evolution of bodies goes from the more primitive building blocks to the more complex in the way that the more complex are built up of the primitive blocks and combined in a certain way. That leads to the more complex organisms CONSUMING the bodies of the other organisms to extract the primitive building blocks in order to sustain their complex bodies in the most economical way. So, the sheep would not hunt the bunnies, but it would still consume the grass. So, when we're talking about the sentient extraterrestrial beings, we should realize the great chance of those beings consuming some other beings on their native planet thus being intimately familiar with the destruction of the foreign life in support of their own life. Which is a solid foundation for war. There should be something stopping those beings from war, otherwise the war would occur naturally. And the hostile environment may help (I mean our Earth environment may be hostile towards the extraterrestrials), but it might also not stop the war either, because those beings might want to "Exoform" our Earth the same way we want to "Terraform" other planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    I am realistic - that is why I think we should wait until we have evolved more, before we run off and contaminate or destroy places we do not fully understand yet.
    I agree to a certain extent, however, let's think about it another way. Using the existing technology, it might take up to several hundred years before Mars could be inhabited by humans wearing no physiological protection. The longest processes are heating Mars and beefing up its atmosphere. Why not to start now? It will create the expectations, the market, the investments, the emerge of new technology, etc. Lots of benefits, what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    If all of these nations could, you know, work together, the issue of "who gets there first" would be irrelevant and resources could be evenly distributed. But I am realistic and I realize that is unlikely to happen. Humans are basically going to fight for every inch, instead of cooperate and logically and fairly divvy things up which would seem more rational. But humans are not very rational, are they?
    Exactly. Humans (like some of the other organisms on our planet) are both competitive and cooperative based on the circumstances. So far the political systems based on the cooperation have lost to the competitive systems by almost all points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Yes, Helium will be in big demand shortly, because we need it to run MRI's and other life-saving technology, and Helium supplies on earth are almost exhausted.
    A bit more than that. He-3 does not exist on Earth but is thought to be abundant in the Moon's regolith. He-3 is praised as the next-generation fuel for the fusion reactors which should satisfy the humanity's energy needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    America is not really in the "Space Race" like it used to be. NASA has been stripped to bare-bones and the shuttles have been retired. Private Enterprise wants to set up hotels orbiting earth to make money from the ultra rich, who are the only ones who will be able to afford to stay there.
    All in good time. The space tourism will help to build the market, improve the technology to get to the orbit cheaper and safer, and the rest will follow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    I apologize if I had hurt you, that was not my intention. Usually, I'm pretty sarcastic when expressing my opinions, so I would appreciate if you could cut me some slack on that. This conversation is interesting for me too. Actually, I'm so interested in the topic that some time back I used to dig into the exobiology and exopsychology to get some better understanding of the topic.
    No problem. I may have been too defensive. I enjoy the conversation - but I get irritated when I think people are talking down to me.

    That's true, no one does for sure until we actually have an experimental base, i.e. until we meet some extraterrestrials. However, the big question here is - should we do some thinking before that happens or should we actually not think about it? If we meet nobody, then the worst thing that happened - we've done some extra unnecessary thinking rather than having an allegedly meaningful discussions about, say, what exactly some politicians do with some service maids in the US hotels, which probably would not be that harmful. However, if we do meet someone and we are not prepared, our behaviour in that very first contact can change our future for better or for worse. Or cause our complete destruction as a race. Say, you go in the woods and you see a strange colourless mass slowly approaching you and making some sounds. What do you do? Stick your hand forward and hope the mass will think you offer good greetings? Believe it or not, but even the remote tribes on our own planets would interpret that gesture as an attack. With the possibly sad consequence for you personally and for our entire race which from that point on will be perceived as aggressive until that misunderstanding is cleared. If ever.
    Well, as for me, I would run up and lick the colorless mass with my tongue. Or roll over and show it my stomach. No, actually I would not do anything because any action could be completely misinterpreted. But then, so could doing nothing. If/when we meet alien life, it's a guarantee there will be misunderstandings! Maybe I would just start singing at it. Music is based on mathematics, so maybe that would be perceived as communication. What do you think? I figure it would be an even playing field with everything having an equal chance of being perceived wrong, so I may as well sing a song.

    So, what the "exo" sciences are trying to do is to think what's common and what's unique and extrapolate what's common onto the unknown with some degree of probability.

    Therefore, I think this topic is important and it also helps us to better understand ourselves. Regardless of the outcome, it's like learning the foreign language - you may not learn it properly, but in the end you understand your own language better.
    Oh that is very true! But learning Russian really messes with my head. When I speak Russian for extended periods, like I did when I lived in Russia, my English grammar gets messed up and I start speaking English "wrong." Does that happen to you?


    So, let's discuss the "war" issue. You see, the evolution of bodies goes from the more primitive to the more complex in the way that the more complex are built up of the primitive and combined in a certain way. That leads to the more complex being CONSUMING the more primitive (or whoever they could) to sustain their complex bodies in the most economical way. So, the sheep would not hunt the bunnies, but it would still consume the grass. So, when we're talking about the sentient extraterrestrial beings, we should realize the great chance of those beings consuming some other beings on their native planet thus being intimately familiar with the destruction of the foreign life in support of their own life. Which is a solid foundation for war. There should be something stopping those beings from war, otherwise the war would occur naturally. And the hostile environment may help (I mean our Earth environment may be hostile towards the extraterrestrials), but it might also not stop the war either, because those beings might want to "Exoform" our Earth the same way we want to "Terraform" other planets......

    Exactly. Humans (like some of the other organisms on our planet) are both competitive and cooperative based on the circumstances. So far the political systems based on the cooperation have lost to the competitive systems by almost all points.
    I am not so convinced that the aggressive political forms always win. It seems to me that the "war" between aggression and cooperation never ends, but continues, round after round, into infinity. Conservatives versus liberals, etc. Cooperation is just as inherent in our gene pool as aggression. After all, we had to help each other to survive at the dawn of humanity and the same is true today. When times get tough, people come together and help each other. It might take a threat from an alien force to unite humankind completely. But in the meantime, I still believe in the power of cooperation, and love, to be greater than aggression, hate and destruction. Maybe you would think I am naive, and maybe I am, but I will never agree that aggression and killing is superior to cooperation and caring for each other.

    A bit more than that. He-3 does not exist on Earth but is thought to be abundant in the Moon's regolith. He-3 is praised as the next-generation fuel for the fusion reactors which should satisfy the humanity's energy needs.
    Sure, there are abundant ways in which the Helium-3 would help us. I favor establishing an international moon colony where the stuff can be extracted. But we will see how "international" it is in time... It would seem to me that the brightest scientists on the planet would prefer, if possible, to work together for the greater good and combine their wealth of knowledge, rather than be pitted together by governments intent on destroying each other. But that has always been the feeling of scientists and more intelligent people. Unfortunately, the most intelligent people are rarely the ones who lead us. Instead, it seems that the aggressive, power-hungry types of people are the ones who rise to leadership, and then try to pretend they are Alexander the Great and conquer the world under the guise of some "preferred" system of government - be it democracy, communism or god knows what else.

    BTW Helium-3 is produced on earth as a byproduct when nuclear warheads are dismantled.


    All in good time. The space tourism will help to build the market, improve the technology to get to the orbit cheaper and safer, and the rest will follow.
    Perhaps. I don't mind space hotels. But I think there ought to be a way for the "99%" to benefit from such an experience, and not solely the uber-wealthy.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Well, as for me, I would run up and lick the colorless mass with my tongue. Or roll over and show it my stomach. No, actually I would not do anything because any action could be completely misinterpreted. But then, so could doing nothing. If/when we meet alien life, it's a guarantee there will be misunderstandings! Maybe I would just start singing at it. Music is based on mathematics, so maybe that would be perceived as communication. What do you think? I figure it would be an even playing field with everything having an equal chance of being perceived wrong, so I may as well sing a song.
    I think if you behave like a domestic dog, that might give a wrong impression of the humanity either. And if you start singing some of Celine Dione songs, the extraterrestrial might feel like a good opportunity to dive into the north Atlantic to fetch some extra precious stones. Off the top of my head, you need to stay still, not run or hide, and not smile, but slowly wave your straight hands palms forward until the other being would do something. Then, you slowly try to imitate what it did until it tries to imitate what you do. If you get to the point the being is trying to imitate you, you've got 90% of the success in the first contact because the being is considerate of you and recognizes you're sentient. The rest depends on what happens next, which is up to you at that point. And what happens if you don't get that 90%? That's why you need to get yourself familiar with at least some concepts of the exopsychology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Oh that is very true! But learning Russian really messes with my head. When I speak Russian for extended periods, like I did when I lived in Russia, my English grammar gets messed up and I start speaking English "wrong." Does that happen to you?
    Well, my native language is Russian and I live in an English-speaking country, so I'm still working on improving my English. I think I still speak Russian right most of the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    1. I am not so convinced that the aggressive political forms always win.
    2. Instead, it seems that the aggressive, power-hungry types of people are the ones who rise to leadership [...]
    Alright, so you said it yourself, in the personal competition, the most competitive win. The same I think is true with the political forms, even though the "aggressiveness" is much more complex. That is probably a large [off] topic on its own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    It seems to me that the "war" between aggression and cooperation never ends, but continues, round after round, into infinity. [...] Maybe you would think I am naive, and maybe I am, but I will never agree that aggression and killing is superior to cooperation and caring for each other.
    That is called "the balance" and I think it's one of the fundamental aspects of the Universe. One of the ways we can avoid war with the extraterrestrials is to become useful to them. That is an open question though as the way they might want us to become useful might not be acceptable by us. And so the politics starts ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Perhaps. I don't mind space hotels. But I think there ought to be a way for the "99%" to benefit from such an experience, and not solely the uber-wealthy.
    It's coming. Inevitably. Not very long ago, only the very rich could enjoy being passengers on the sea ships...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    I think if you behave like a domestic dog, that might give a wrong impression of the humanity either.
    Well, I was thinking more of behaving like a cat, which I consider more intelligent and evolved than a dog - as well as cleaner and more attractive - but I digress.


    And if you start singing some of Celine Dione songs, the extraterrestrial might feel like a good opportunity to dive into the north Atlantic to fetch some extra precious stones.
    Hmmmm, well, you haven't heard me sing


    Off the top of my head, you need to stay still, not run or hide, and not smile, but slowly wave your straight hands palms forward until the other being would do something.
    Ah, but if this alien being has no limbs - and thus no concept of limbs - how would such a gesture be interpreted? The alien is not going to "grok"* the human-cultural implications of palms up versus palms down.

    Then, you slowly try to imitate what it did until it tries to imitate what you do. If you get to the point the being is trying to imitate you, you've got 90% of the success in the first contact because the being is considerate of you and recognizes you're sentient. The rest depends on what happens next, which is up to you at that point. And what happens if you don't get that 90%?
    Imitating is the best idea. But what if imitating is, for all practical purposes, impossible? The creature is globular in shape, right? How would a human body imitate it's movements?

    That's why you need to get yourself familiar with at least some concepts of the exopsychology.
    And where would I do that? No one has met an alien yet (except George W. Bush and look what the experience did to him!!) so where would be an encyclopedia documenting the various "concepts of the exopsychology"? Can I find it at the library...?


    Well, my native language is Russian and I live in an English-speaking country, so I'm still working on improving my English. I think I still speak Russian right most of the time.
    Well, I have a tendency to imitate the people I am around (in which case perhaps my success with the alien is better assured). I can't help myself, it's completely intuitive and I cannot even explain it. I mimic their accents and pronunciation without even intending to, often. So after I was immersed in Russian for two years, it actually took me a few months to speak English normally again. Every person is different, of course. My husband could not pronounce Russian words correctly if his life depended on it. If he were to learn Russian, he would have a strong accent and it is unlikely that he would experience the sort of mental changes I experienced. I cannot even describe it, really.


    Alright, so you said it yourself, in the personal competition, the most competitive win. The same I think is true with the political forms, even though the "aggressiveness" is much more complex. That is probably a large [off] topic on its own.

    That is called "the balance" and I think it's one of the fundamental aspects of the Universe. One of the ways we can avoid war with the extraterrestrials is to become useful to them. That is an open question though as the way they might want us to become useful might not be acceptable by us. And so the politics starts ...
    Yes, that would be a very tricky situation. We would not want to be useful as food, for example. I wonder what humans would be able to provide that an alien race would need?


    It's coming. Inevitably. Not very long ago, only the very rich could enjoy being passengers on the sea ships...
    That is a good point!


    *grok
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Well, I was thinking more of behaving like a cat, which I consider more intelligent and evolved than a dog - as well as cleaner and more attractive - but I digress.
    See, even a terrestrial crocodile like myself made a mistake, what would you expect from the extraterrestrial?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Ah, but if this alien being has no limbs - and thus no concept of limbs - how would such a gesture be interpreted? The alien is not going to "grok"* the human-cultural implications of palms up versus palms down. Imitating is the best idea. But what if imitating is, for all practical purposes, impossible? The creature is globular in shape, right? How would a human body imitate it's movements?
    Ah, very true. B-U-T!! The exopsychology makes some assumptions, one of them being that the extraterrestrials made some observations of the Earth before landing. They know more or less we have limbs and if they are interested in contact, they will try to imitate the limbs. Or they can do some other movement we might imitate, like moving side to side, jumping or rolling, shaking, or making a series of sounds. As for the palms, the open palms are better than the clenched palms, the up and down or side movement is better than the front-back movement, etc. We can't do perfect by knowing nothing about the other race, but we can do the best we can. Does it make sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    And where would I do that? No one has met an alien yet (except George W. Bush and look what the experience did to him!!) so where would be an encyclopedia documenting the various "concepts of the exopsychology"? Can I find it at the library...?
    I found some sources online, but maybe some books exist too. It's mostly the bits and pieces I remember from the variety of places, maybe I should write a book of my own?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Yes, that would be a very tricky situation. We would not want to be useful as food, for example. I wonder what humans would be able to provide that an alien race would need?
    Exactly. We don't know anything about that. But if they don't need anything at all, why did they visit Earth on the first place?

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    A nice introduction to exobiology I read some time back was a book by Cyril Ponnamperuma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. If I'll be able to restore my 'exopsychology' links, I'll let you know.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    See, even a terrestrial crocodile like myself made a mistake, what would you expect from the extraterrestrial?


    Ah, very true. B-U-T!! The exopsychology makes some assumptions, one of them being that the extraterrestrials made some observations of the Earth before landing. They know more or less we have limbs and if they are interested in contact, they will try to imitate the limbs. Or they can do some other movement we might imitate, like moving side to side, jumping or rolling, shaking, or making a series of sounds. As for the palms, the open palms are better than the clenched palms, the up and down or side movement is better than the front-back movement, etc. We can't do perfect by knowing nothing about the other race, but we can do the best we can. Does it make sense?


    I found some sources online, but maybe some books exist too. It's mostly the bits and pieces I remember from the variety of places, maybe I should write a book of my own?


    Exactly. We don't know anything about that. But if they don't need anything at all, why did they visit Earth on the first place?
    I think you are right about attempting to imitate the aliens. We would have to try, but it might easily be misunderstood.

    And I look forward to seeing your links
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    I think you are right about attempting to imitate the aliens. We would have to try, but it might easily be misunderstood.
    You're right, the chance of misunderstanding is close to 100%. But, the extraterrestrials should also recognize that, it's a two-players' game. "We know that they know that we don't know" kind of thing. The biggest challenge is to demonstrate we're sentient and not aggressive. How would you define what's sentient? To the best of my knowledge, our philosophy cannot give the exhausting answer. So far, the easiest practical thing is to let the aliens recognize that we recognize them and we have a will. After all, they have landed on our planet, and so they should have the desire to meet us. Probably, the safest way for them would be a remote contact. And the contact is perceived through the senses which let us perceive the reality which for us is a combination of the fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. We should expect the ETs to communicate through those channels, so if they chose the visual spectrum that might not be a real alien, but a hologram of one, or a hologram of a human, etc. For a practical contactor, that should not make much difference. So, yeah, imitate and try to make the alien imitate you. Then, I think, comes the step of demonstrating our civilization is technical. That means, you should make a straight line and a circle with your finger on the sand. Then, pick up a small object and do the same. This way you demonstrate our civilization uses tools and abstract concepts to manipulate the reality.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    I will be sure to do this, the next time I meet an alien

    By the way, have you ever seen the movie Contact? Contact (1997) - IMDb
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    By the way, have you ever seen the movie Contact? Contact (1997) - IMDb
    No, I didn't have a chance to. Would you recommend it? Also, if you search under "astrobiology", "xenology", "xenobiology" and "xenopsychology" you will find more resource online.

    Also, what do you think about the project "SETI at home?"

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    I like SETI at home. I have many friends who use it. And yes, I highly recommend "Contact." It is an excellent movie, based on a book which Carl Sagan wrote.

    Thank you for the search terms. Fascinating, Captain (this forum needs an "alien" emoticon)

    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    I highly recommend "Contact." It is an excellent movie, based on a book which Carl Sagan wrote.
    И я поддерживаю эту рекомендацию!

    Deborski, have you read Sagan's original novel? It really bugged me that the movie cut the "message encoded in the decimals of π" ending, although I understood that it would've been rather difficult to film effectively. I still loved the movie, though -- I've been a Jodie Foster fan since I was a kid.

    Here's the beautifully-done opening shot... note that the very last radio signal we can hear from Earth is FDR saying, in March 1933, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself":

    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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