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Author Topic: There's no one out there!  (Read 57871 times)

Wasyl

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #100 on: December 21, 2009, 02:12:22 PM »

I had a Hyabusa,it ate back tyres at 150 a pop,mind you it could fair rip the skin off a rice pudding, {-) {-)190+mph {-)It loved the Autobahn,just as much as i did, {-) {-)

Wullie
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Wasyl

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #101 on: December 21, 2009, 02:15:36 PM »

Hmmm.  Heinlein - too fascist; Herbert - bit of a one shot in the shadow of Dune, and now an eco-cult figure; The Bible - well, lots of authors, some pretty dry, but Ecclesiastes, for instance, would be one of my choices for the best piece of writing ever....
{:-{why am I not surprised at your responce,.... :-X


Wullie
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polaris

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #102 on: December 21, 2009, 02:46:36 PM »


Dear Dodgygeezer,

...but still very much in infancy and with a very great deal to go yet all the same.

Regards, Bernard
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malcolmfrary

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #103 on: December 21, 2009, 02:53:55 PM »

One of my all-time favourites is Jack Vance.  He only falls loosely into the SF area because there is some planet-hopping going on in some books, but reading through such as his Dying Earth and his Lyonesse series, I get the uncanny feeling that he and I have met the same characters.  Unlikely as I don't think he was ever a UK civil servant, but he must have heard of them.
And again on the margins, there is Robert Rankin in his parallel universe Brentford, where the occasional invasion of evil aliens (who look like a younger Jack Pallance and leave a faint air of creosote behind them) must be thrust back.  Compared to some, very light reading, but fun.
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"With the right tool, you can break anything" - Garfield

dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #104 on: December 21, 2009, 03:09:40 PM »

{:-{why am I not surprised at your responce,.... :-X

Wullie

Do you know a better bit of the Bible than Ecclesiastes?
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #105 on: December 21, 2009, 03:17:06 PM »

@polaris:

Quote
...but still very much in infancy and with a very great deal to go yet all the same.

True. Straightforward chemical reaction motors have been going for a few thousand years....

@malcolmfrary

Quote
And again on the margins, there is Robert Rankin in his parallel universe Brentford, where the occasional invasion of evil aliens (who look like a younger Jack Pallance and leave a faint air of creosote behind them) must be thrust back.  Compared to some, very light reading, but fun.

Ah, the parallel universe! Well done! A favourite of mine, with its associated history what-ifs... Victorian steam-punk...How do you like the Thursday Next novels?
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Wasyl

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #106 on: December 21, 2009, 03:52:06 PM »

How do you like the Thursday Next novels

George Formby as President,...oops i just fell off ma chair,i think i,ll stick with Puckoon,and as for Robert being a Facist, {-) {-) {-) {-) and as for Ecky whatsisname,...i,ll stay with the New,and revelations {-) {-) {-)

Wullie

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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #107 on: December 21, 2009, 04:25:58 PM »

Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat.

And of course anything by Terry Pratchett  :-)

Colin
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #108 on: December 21, 2009, 04:54:49 PM »

Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat.
And of course anything by Terry Pratchett  :-)
Colin

Indeed - as you say - goes without saying! As well as Douglas Adams' trilogy(!)

For Harrison, I think it hard to beat "Bill, the Galactic Hero", even though it is shamelessly copied from Jaroslav Hašek's Švejk without acknowledgement...
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polaris

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #109 on: December 21, 2009, 06:51:27 PM »


Dear Dodgygeezer,

The whole idea is to get away from 'conventional' motion, Ion drives are a bit more than chemical drives, indeed, one will not get that far unless one can get replenishment for such. 'Others' would most likely have 'things' that are not dependent or reliant on the need for 'regular' replenishment. However, Ion drive for humankind is sufficient and enough for it to be thinking about for the time being. Gravit-mass propultion is for the future! (viz., proportional induced magnetics).

Regards, Bernard
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #110 on: December 21, 2009, 07:10:20 PM »

I thought that the basic principle of space travel is that you chuck something out of the back at high velocity to make your spaceship move forward. To do that you need reaction mass which may take a number of forms. But you can't conjure something out of nothing.

Beam me up Scotty!

Colin
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #111 on: December 21, 2009, 07:14:18 PM »

Dear Dodgygeezer,

The whole idea is to get away from 'conventional' motion, Ion drives are a bit more than chemical drives, indeed, one will not get that far unless one can get replenishment for such...


Bussard Ramjet style? I enjoyed Harrison's 'Bloater' drive, where you weaken nuclear bonding forces until the all the atoms in your ship and you expand greatly. You wait until the ship has expanded greater than the distance to your objective, then you just shrink it down in a new position. A minor inconvenience is watching miniature suns and galaxies drift through your ship as the expansion takes place....
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #112 on: December 21, 2009, 07:26:03 PM »

I thought that the basic principle of space travel is that you chuck something out of the back at high velocity to make your spaceship move forward. To do that you need reaction mass which may take a number of forms. But you can't conjure something out of nothing.

Well, you can sail. Clarke's 'Wind from the Sun' is the classic here. And Poul Anderson's 'Tau Zero' is the classic for the Bussard, where you also don't need to bring your mass with you. Too bad the maths is a bit iffy...
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #113 on: December 21, 2009, 07:40:27 PM »

Solar wind is OK but it does tend to tail off in Intergalactic space - so 'Im told!

Dilithium crystals are what you need.

Colin
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #114 on: December 21, 2009, 08:07:13 PM »

Solar wind is OK but it does tend to tail off in Intergalactic space - so 'Im told!

Dilithium crystals are what you need.

Colin

Well, you still have about 1 hydrogen atom per cc, so the Bussard would work as well....
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polaris

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #115 on: December 21, 2009, 09:23:38 PM »


But Colin, don't forget one could sail from one Sun to another???
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #116 on: December 21, 2009, 09:25:26 PM »

Eventually!
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Wasyl

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #117 on: December 21, 2009, 10:21:31 PM »

I remember going to the Cinema in 1971 to see a double bill,1st film was Erik von Danikens,Chariots of the Gods,the 2nd was Arthur C Clarke,s 2001 A Space Odyssey, what a double bill for a spaced out 21 year old,we came out really believing, {-) {-) {-)

Wullie
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ZZ56

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #118 on: December 21, 2009, 10:46:57 PM »

ZZ, this gets to the core of my original post. Nearly everyone comes from the angle of we dont know what conditions life can exist in or it would take hundreds if not thousands of years for our signals to reach another intelligence and for them to reply. I used to be of this latter hypothesis myself until I started properly researching the subject.

The test for intelligent life existing in the galaxy is not one of can we hear their signals as SETI has been doing for years. There is a far simpler method. And that is simple observation not of radio signals, but one for artefacts or objects.

The speed of light is a law of physics. FTL travel is not possible. If it were, we'd have evidence by now of not only other species within this galaxy travelling here there and everywhere, we'd also see evidence of travellers from outside our galaxy ie Andromeda and beyond. Wormhole travel is fine in theory but again, if it were possible, we'd see evidence of wormholes opening and closing in the galaxy. But we dont.

So we can confidently say there is no species which has the technology to travel faster than light nor create wormhole travel.

Our Milky Way galaxy is some 10+ billion years old. There are an estimated 200 - 400 billions stars in the galaxy. The majority of these are not even stars similar to our own. But even if they were, statistically at least, with the age of the galaxy, some intelligent species should have arisen. Some will have anihilated themselves, some may have been anihilated by a dinosaur killing asteroid.

If any had survived to be technically superior to ourselves, they would at least attempt to
harness the power of their sun ie build a dyson sphere
explore the galaxy in their own spacecraft or
spent out exploratory probes ie von Neumann probes or Bracewell probes.

If the galaxy is teeming with life and any such intelligence had of pre existed us by just one million years, we should easily be able to observe a structure such as a dyson sphere. In fact, if the galaxy is teeming with intelligent life older than us, we should see many, many dyson spheres in every corner of the galaxy. But we dont see a single one.

If the galaxy is teeming with older intelligent life, we should have been visited many many times by these explorers. Some people assume we dont see such evidence because they want to keep us at arms length because of our aggressive insular tendencies. But, if the galaxy is teeming with life, it only takes ONE lifeform to make itself known to us. And even if amongst all this teeming older intelligence, would they all be peaceful? There's a 50 \ 50 chance some would be aggressive expansionists so keeping us at arms length wouldnt be an issue for them. But we dont see a single instance of an older intelligent lifeform.

If the galaxy was teeming with older intelligent life, we should find plenty of evidence of von Neumann or Bracewell probes. But we havent observed a single such probe.

Taken all this empirical evidence (plus the lack of a single accepted SETI candidate signal despite 40 years of looking), we can conjecture we dont see any such evidence or aliens or alien artefacts because they dont exist right now.

If they dont exist right now, that means we are the oldest most technologically advance lifeform in the galaxy right now and there's no one out there.

All of this is fine, but based on entirely human reasoning.  Dyson's reasoning is based off an observed human behaviour, which is not a galactic constant.  

Our own space program was a product of the atomic arms race and the desire to claim the ultimate 'high ground'.  Note that even though technology has become more advanced, we have not returned to the moon or continued on to Mars because there is no political will to do so.  An intelligent alien civilization could easily be beset with the same problems even if they are much older than us.  The idea that all civilizations reach a 'utopian' age after a period of time is a fallacy.

There are more options to consider than two (full of intelligent life, or none at all).  If we are talking about six or fewer civilizations around our own level, spread throughout the entire galaxy, then our search efforts are not nearly intense enough to provide evidence of their existence.  
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #119 on: December 21, 2009, 10:48:22 PM »

If the ant lived in a forest somewhere in South America, for many generations it would see nothing in the skys above it.

Then, in 1920, it might see a biplane or two, once a year. By 1960, it might see a regular stream of airliners, and in 1980 a Concorde passing by. Then the Concorde would stop, and gradually the stream of planes would get less as an economic slump occured. By 2020 it might see no planes at all, as people started to use virtual reality communications more and more.

So, over the millions of years that ants have been in existence, for a short 100 years the ant might have an opportunity to discover our civilisation with a telescope. If antkind had developed a telescope in the 1650s it would not see an aircraft even if it waited for 100 years - similarly if it developed a telescope in 2050 when we had stopped using aircraft.

Now, each ant lives for about 2 years. So very many ants will live their lives and die without being able to detect our technology. I think we would have to be incredibly lucky for an alien civilisation to be operating a technology that we could have a hope of detecting at the same time as we were actually looking, and I can't see why this vanishingly small opportunity should occur in our lifetimes....

Oh, and, Colin, who's your favourite SF author? I have a great respect for James Blish, but you don't see much of his work around anymore....

Nope not quite right for a couple of reasons unless you're agreeing with my very first post.

First is you are thinking all lifeform will ultimately go down the line of a virtual reality existence. Some may but, again, if the galaxy is teeming with life as it is supposed to have, just as many would not pursue this avenue.

Second, you bring economics into the equation. However, one thing which for any lifeform will trump any economic angle is the need for energy as a world's energy consumption increases. Eventually, intelligent lifeforms will harness the output of their stars. This is a dyson sphere. It has nothing to do with economics, power or wealth. It is a need to provide limitless energy for a civilisation to sustain itself. These dyson spheres are far bigger than stars. They should be far easier to spot than stars due to their immense size which in turn would warps space so much, they'd stick out bigger than an ocean liner in your local pond.

Thirdly, you're comparing timespan in the singular ie ant and airliner on earth, and not from the perspective of the age of the galaxy. Your example uses time pertinent to all life here on earth but you need to look at it from the timespan of the galaxy when earth did not even exist.

Being some 10+ billion years old, intelligent lifeforms could have arisen and become extremely advanced before the earth was even created. Any number of intelligent lifeforms should have evolved, many to the extent of harnsessing their star's out put via dyson spheres. Some should have migrated to the stars. It would only take then about 5 million years to colonise the entire galaxy not just travel from one end to the other.

All this could and should have been achievable within the first 5 billion years of the galaxy existing. Then, lets suppose they all died out. After 4.5 billion years intelligent life of sorts evolved here. Whether the intelligent life exists in the galaxy now is not relevant.

We should easily detect such artefacts of previous lifeforms such as dyson spheres which are far bigger than stars, extending out as far as the planet of the intelligence that built it.

The only way your hypothesis works is if ants are the first lifeform on the planet (because they dont see any airliners with their telescope in 1650) which, goes back to my very first post ie we are the first or only intelligent lifeform in the galaxy in this epoch.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #120 on: December 21, 2009, 11:04:22 PM »

I remember.... Arthur C Clarke,s 2001 A Space Odyssey, what a double bill for a spaced out 21 year old,we came out really believing, {-) {-) {-)
Wullie

Well done, Wullie! You've brought the subject back to the topic of alien encounters!

The light show in 2001 is of interest. Kubrick questioned paleontologists and neurophysicians about how a neanderthal might react to being dumped in our modern world - he though this would give a clue to how we would behave when confronted with an advanced civilisation. They suggested two issues:

 - most of the objects in our world would be deeply unfamiliar, and the speed at which things happen would be quicker. There is evidence to suggest that people actually cannot see objects which are sufficiently unfamiliar - their brains cannot model a world with these objects in it. So a neanderthal would be likely to see a set of crazy mixed-up patterns, with occasionally a familiar object like a tree.

 - we use artificial light extensively. This would really obtrude into a neandertal's consciousness, and would probably be seen as deeply weird.
  
The light show was an attempt to present these feelings to a modern audience. It certainly left a lot of people confused....
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #121 on: December 21, 2009, 11:06:45 PM »

All of this is fine, but based on entirely human reasoning.  Dyson's reasoning is based off an observed human behaviour, which is not a galactic constant.  

Our own space program was a product of the atomic arms race and the desire to claim the ultimate 'high ground'.  Note that even though technology has become more advanced, we have not returned to the moon or continued on to Mars because there is no political will to do so.  An intelligent alien civilization could easily be beset with the same problems even if they are much older than us.  The idea that all civilizations reach a 'utopian' age after a period of time is a fallacy.

There are more options to consider than two (full of intelligent life, or none at all).  If we are talking about six or fewer civilizations around our own level, spread throughout the entire galaxy, then our search efforts are not nearly intense enough to provide evidence of their existence.  

Dyson's reasoning was not based on human behavior. It was based on an intelligent lifeforms need for exponential increase in meeting it energy demands or consumption. Energy requirements are a galactic constant. It is immutable as a star's consumption of energy to keep shining. It will eventually be extinguished as it runs its course.

An intelligent lifeform will be able to make use of this as the resources of its home planet are quickly used up.

Again, you place human behaviour for saying other intelligent lifeforms would reach for the stars due to a lack of political will. The point here though and I must go back to Fermi's Paradox is in a galaxy teeming with life, some lifeforms would hit the obstacles you mention but many many others wouldnt and would reach for and go to the stars.

To say that all civilisations would reach some utopian age is a fallacy as you state. This is because some clearly wouldnt but some clearly would. People are ignoring Fermi's Paradox by selectively claiming other intelligence would all to this or all do that. They wouldnt. Some would and some wouldnt.

And that is the crux of Fermi. if the galaxy is teeming with intelligent lifeforms, those lifeforms would take different paths. We would not see the paths that all take but we should see some evidence of the paths some have taken.

We dont find anything not because we cant see it but because it hasnt existed before us.
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #122 on: December 21, 2009, 11:08:45 PM »

I remember going to the Cinema in 1971 to see a double bill,1st film was Erik von Danikens,Chariots of the Gods,the 2nd was Arthur C Clarke,s 2001 A Space Odyssey, what a double bill for a spaced out 21 year old,we came out really believing, {-) {-) {-)

Wullie

The monoliths in 2001 were von Neuman \ Bracewell probes. Clarke had this explanation scripted but Kubrick apparently cut from the film.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #123 on: December 21, 2009, 11:19:23 PM »

The monoliths in 2001 were von Neuman \ Bracewell probes. Clarke had this explanation scripted but Kubrick apparently cut from the film.

Kubrick cut almost all explanation from the film. This makes it very compelling, as you watch to try to find what was going on. Partly, also, this was because he wanted to make a truly realistic film. He had a horror of making an film where the protagonists have to explain every action.

For instance, in a detective story, you invariably start with someone setting the scene with a minute explanation of who the baddies are and what they are doing. In reality, detectives would know the gangs on their patch, and simply say "John's looking to attack Jim tomorrow night".

You can see all sorts of unexplained little items on close examination of the film - for instance, have you noticed the cut of the suits and the little medallions the men wear for ties? Kubric had Hardy Amis design the new fashions he thought might exist in thirty years time....
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steamboatmodel

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #124 on: December 21, 2009, 11:30:24 PM »

When I first watched 2001 I went with a group of acquaintances most of us were ether drunk, stoned or both, ( I was drunk). It didn't make much sense to me then and still doesn't even sober. I have found that I don't like most SF books made into films.
Regards,
Gerald
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