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Thread: Alien Technology

  1. #1 Alien Technology 
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    People keep raising these issues of what would be possible for advanced aliens, and what wouldn't. You know, that's fine, but most seem to be ignoring the technological trends that are apparent in our own society.

    1)- We have biotech.

    We know how to immunize.

    We know how to do limited manipulation of DNA, even post birth. (Right now the best we've managed is to grow bypass veins, but the people researching this universally acknowledge that more will become possible as computers get faster)


    2) - We have some understanding of Quantum Mechanics

    We know how to reliably create entangled photons which appear to be able to transmit data to each other absolutely instantly, or in a way that violates our traditional notions of time-space causality.

    3) - We have computers.

    A 100 mhz processor was the state of the art in 1995. Now the limit is somewhere near 4 ghz, with 4 processors printed on the same chip. And... that's just the consumer market.


    4) - We know how to carry out fusion on Helium 3.

    You know, if we could just figure out that traveling in space problem, we'd probably be able to get a lot of Helium 3 out there.


    5) - They probably managed not to nuke themselves

    So..... they're probably not population expansionists. (Which means they probably don't feel any desire to conquer us)


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  3. #2 Re: Alien Technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People keep raising these issues of what would be possible for advanced aliens, and what wouldn't.
    Whatever advances an alien race might achieve, it's unlikely those advances would violate our physical laws. That said, the sky is the limit, so to speak.


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  4. #3 Re: Alien Technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    5) - They probably managed not to nuke themselves

    So..... they're probably not population expansionists. (Which means they probably don't feel any desire to conquer us)
    No-nuke just means they aren't competing amongst themselves. Hard competition within species is atypical anyway.

    All we can really say is they like us are "life". What is life? It eats and probably excretes. It expands, probably reproduces. It maintains its identity. It feeds off gradients. Complex life would want a wide range of nutrients, so a terrestrial planet like Earth should be delicious.

    Honestly I'd devour them first. Not in self defense either.

    If we wanna be paranoid, I guess we should take stock of our gradients. What volatiles or precious resources are on the menu? Is the human mind a resource worth exploiting? Oooh... total McCarthy era sci-fi.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  5. #4  
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    If there's one star traveling species out there, there's probably more than one. So they have to not only refrain from nuking themselves, but also from nuking each other. And if the standing peace wants to last very long, they must also refrain from warlike activities against anyone else.

    You can only expand so far before you run into some kind of a barrier. Population growth is always exponential in an population expansionist society. Even a 2% annual rate of growth is doubling every 35 years, and those doubling's add up.

    This link probably presents the problem better than I can.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_...the_Chessboard

    After a few thousand years, your population would grow to the point where you'd need literally more than a trillion worlds like Earth to support it.


    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People keep raising these issues of what would be possible for advanced aliens, and what wouldn't.
    Whatever advances an alien race might achieve, it's unlikely those advances would violate our physical laws. That said, the sky is the limit, so to speak.
    There are probably a lot of unseen loopholes in our current laws, of which we are not yet aware.

    Quantum physics, despite all the hype around movies like "what the bleep do we know?", which doesn't treat it in an exactly informative way, reveals all kinds of strangeness every day that would lead to interesting results if it could be translated to a macro-scale application.

    Nobody can say at this point what we ourselves will accomplish, whether we'll find ways to generate our own singularities and put them to use, or shift dimensions, or a number of things similar in nature.

    My favorite inter-stellar travel theory is one that involves time travel, but only in the sense that's understood to be likely happening already on the quantum level. (Ie. not the kind of time travel where you actually re-write, or change history)
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    You can only expand so far before you run into some kind of a barrier.
    In outer space. :|

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Population growth is always exponential in an population expansionist society. Even a 2% annual rate of growth is doubling every 35 years, and those doubling's add up.
    Hm. We're lagging behind bacteria.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    population would grow to the point where you'd need literally more than a trillion worlds like Earth to support it.
    Rock on! :-D But we can do better!

    I doubt at that point anybody will be walking around on Earths. I mean, do you still keep your membrane wet in some primordial pond? All life must evolve.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  7. #6  
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    I imagine population expansion would be the biggest problem for any civilization. I suspect any advanced civilization that lasts a significant amount of time would impose population boundries as they would realize they cannot populate a trillion Earth like planets. They would not allow expansinsion at all, they would not allow their numbers to increase at all once they feel they have enough of their fellow species to meet their needs. Yes, there are boundries, reality has rules, but we have, in no way, begun to understand these rules properly, and we can in no way set technilogical limits on what they might accomplish. So who says they need to occupy any planet at all? They might be rid of any any planet or galaxy, a true space civilization, what would stop them? They extract zero-point energy (free and endless energy from which all the energy we see has manifested) and use that energy for all their energy needs, including self-nourishment. It would certainly increase their chances of survival, say in the case of some sort of huge disaster.
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  8. #7  
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    Now that makes two supposing spacefaring life would hit a population barrier. I don't get how. Is this, like, limited reach or capacity of central census office?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    There are probably a lot of unseen loopholes in our current laws, of which we are not yet aware.
    That's exactly what people want to believe, hence we have science fiction.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    You can only expand so far before you run into some kind of a barrier.
    In outer space. :|
    If evolution is an anticipatable event, and other planets similar to Earth occur with some regular frequency, then probabalistically you can only travel so far in any given direction before you run into another civilization.

    They'll want to claim the area of space they live in, including however far it extends past them before it, in turn, runs into another civilization.

    So, yes: No one society can ever expect to have an infinite amount of space to itself.

    No matter what you do, you'll end up being boxed in by the others. If you continue to expand at that point, you will inevitably end up making territorial claims that begin to conflict with the territorial claims of another civilization, and that's how inter territorial war begins.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Population growth is always exponential in an population expansionist society. Even a 2% annual rate of growth is doubling every 35 years, and those doubling's add up.
    Hm. We're lagging behind bacteria.
    Bacteria has an equal and opposite attrition rate.

    I was talking about a 2% annual net growth, not a 2% annual gross growth rate countered by a 2% annual death rate.

    If we died in the same numbers that we have babies, there would be no population problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    population would grow to the point where you'd need literally more than a trillion worlds like Earth to support it.
    Rock on! :-D But we can do better!

    I doubt at that point anybody will be walking around on Earths. I mean, do you still keep your membrane wet in some primordial pond? All life must evolve.
    Fair enough, but some form of raw materials will be needed.

    Do you at least agree that people will have to hold off on having their babies until they've had time to build all that infrastructure? It's the needs of the moment that drive us to look for the readily available resources when we could be stretching what we already have, because the stretching takes time and people need to eat right now.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    You can only expand so far before you run into some kind of a barrier.
    In outer space. :|
    you can only travel so far in any given direction before you run into another civilization.
    That's not a barrier, that's prey. I guess you think all us space aliens would want to coexist as friends, since we're intelligent peers. But intelligence to get off the rock is a given at that stage, so it shouldn't enter into calculations. Ultimately, life evolves and expands, or it's dead. I imagine that's a universal condition our hypothetical space aliens would understand. It's nothing personal, or malicious.

    Symbiotic relationship should be possible... I'm unsure about the scales we're talking about though. Maybe later.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Do you at least agree that people will have to hold off on having their babies until they've had time to build all that infrastructure? It's the needs of the moment that drive us to look for the readily available resources when we could be stretching what we already have, because the stretching takes time and people need to eat right now.
    We're beginning to overtax limited resources now and maybe at our peril, agreed.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    You can only expand so far before you run into some kind of a barrier.
    In outer space. :|
    you can only travel so far in any given direction before you run into another civilization.
    That's not a barrier, that's prey. I guess you think all us space aliens would want to coexist as friends, since we're intelligent peers. But intelligence to get off the rock is a given at that stage, so it shouldn't enter into calculations. Ultimately, life evolves and expands, or it's dead. I imagine that's a universal condition our hypothetical space aliens would understand. It's nothing personal, or malicious.

    Symbiotic relationship should be possible... I'm unsure about the scales we're talking about though. Maybe later.
    My thinking is, that there's probably a lot of alien societies, who know about each other, and interact. They want to co-exist with each other as friends because they know the alternative is MADD.

    If a newcomer arrives who doesn't want to coexist as friends... well.... the incumbent space travelers who already control space probably decide to go wipe the newcomer out entirely.

    When dealing with a newcomer who has expansionist tendencies, they don't wait around to see if that newcomer is going to attack. (It's not really a question. Expansionists have no choice but to attack you sooner or later.) They only look to see if you're an expansionist, because that's all they need to know.

    If you are, there's only two options:

    1) - Don't allow your culture to develop high technology. (prevent you getting it)

    2) - Don't allow your culture to develop high technology. (kill you before you get it)



    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Do you at least agree that people will have to hold off on having their babies until they've had time to build all that infrastructure? It's the needs of the moment that drive us to look for the readily available resources when we could be stretching what we already have, because the stretching takes time and people need to eat right now.
    We're beginning to overtax limited resources now and maybe at our peril, agreed.
    This is, really, in a nutshell, why I favor population control. It's not that it has to stop. It's that it has to stop going faster than we can build. Only an artificial effort will slow it down enough for the economist to catch up.

    Economies, by their very nature, cannot change fast. To them, change is like bullet. It won't kill you if it hits you at say.... 20 km per hour. If it hits you at 1000 kmph, on the other hand, you're dead.
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