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Korneel

Contact Starters

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Hi everyone, over the next few weeks we’ll be inviting you to participate in conversations related to Arma 3 Contact’s “what if we suddenly encounter extraterrestrial intelligence” premise.

 

Our first Contact Starter:
In the event of First Contact, who do you think would make for Earth's best ambassador, and why?

 

D8I4izaWsAAiW6_.jpg

 

Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in this thread!

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I think there is no definite answer. I think the persons that are most capable of finding a way to communicate with extraterrestrial life are the best choice.
Edit: So basically such that managed to decipher ancient languages and symboles.

In movies they always show politicians (mainly US Presidents) but these individuals can't even correctly communicate with terrestrial life 😉

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Needs to have a scientific background, unlike politicians, scientists aren't blinded by fear or scepticism and inherently have a sense of wonder.....pretty much this guy.

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Well, if we would trust Stanislaw Lem's pesimism in regard of human-alien chances of mutual understanding, then it is probably irrelevant - who, any attempt will fail regardless. Most likely aliens are too alien to find any effective means of communication - they may consider as a communication something totally different, than us, if anything at all - and even if such means would be found, they may not care about communication concept itself and also we and them may mutually stay beyond our/their comprehension as a beings. 

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It is possible that this will be a contact, where technology will not have an advantage.
It will be a big trial. Circumstances will be such that the Aliens will receive the first contact with the fauna that mankind destroyed the most:
- We were driven into cages, forced to eat dry grass, killed us with a current and made us a steak .... save us !!!

Quickly hide the canned bacon, they are coming close 😀

300px-Cow.jpg

Hindus have not accidentally built their relationship

korovvv551.jpg

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5 hours ago, Rydygier said:

Well, if we would trust Stanislaw Lem's pesimism in regard of human-alien chances of mutual understanding, then it is probably irrelevant - who, any attempt will fail regardless. Most likely aliens are too alien to find any effective means of communication - they may consider as a communication something totally different, than us, if anything at all - and even if such means would be found, they may not care about communication concept itself and also we and them may mutually stay beyond our/their comprehension as a beings. 

 

Good point. To answer the OP, we would need to determine if aliens can even comprehend the "ambassador" concept (if it's a hive mind we're fucked guys).

In any case, there is no way it could be one single person I think... I would say a committee of scientists from various horizons, although forming such a committee would be a headache of its own, we can assume we would be unable to keep politics away.

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Well this is interesting.

 

I also believe that the first contact would, or be made by scientists, because they are more likely to figure out a means of communication, or would first be consulted. In the end though, I feel it would always come down to powerplays. The country, or group (e.g corporation) that can initiate contact first has the biggest potential to gain most from it.

 

Human selfishness and lust for power would naturally then make the following things likely:

The Group who makes contact first will try to keep the Aliens a secret from everybody else.

They will seek to expand their own technological capabilities as fast as possible by learning from, or trading as much as possible with, the aliens.

They would use their new capabilities to expand their power here on earth.

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5 hours ago, Korneel said:

In the event of First Contact, who do you think would make for Earth's best ambassador, and why?

 

indy%2Bheli.jpg

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53 minutes ago, Tonci87 said:

Human selfishness and lust for power would naturally then make the following things likely:

The Group who makes contact first will try to keep the Aliens a secret from everybody else.

They will seek to expand their own technological capabilities as fast as possible by learning from, or trading as much as possible with, the aliens.

They would use their new capabilities to expand their power here on earth.

 

I ain't too sure about that : there is no way such an encounter could remain secret.

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I'm not optimistic that such an encounter will go well for mankind but not because of us, so an ambassador might be useless. Too often we attribute humanity traits to aliens when an "alien" could be such a weird concept that we can't even imagine it.

Or perhaps they wouldn't even be aware of us in their state of existence/or how they see the universe, or having the same morals like us.

We could be squashed like bugs just because they can or we're into their way just as our morals would be a totally alien concept to them.

We should stop trying to make us known to the universe because something (not someone) might be actually listening.

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First Contact should be with Super AI model with Robot body and humans watching / managing from the background. The AI would have the most active intelligence than any human group, combined and the ability to decipher or understand and react accordingly quicker...

 

Hopefully establishing a meaningful bond or as at least accurate understanding.

 

Also it would be programmed ahead to not create a situation to cause extinction to humans, unlike humans with their lack of intelligence or emotions.

 

I believe this would be the safest methods, unless the aliens are hostile then by all means, send all the politicians first to their "glory".

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5 hours ago, krycek said:

I'm not optimistic that such an encounter will go well for mankind but not because of us, so an ambassador might be useless. Too often we attribute humanity traits to aliens when an "alien" could be such a weird concept that we can't even imagine it.

 

On that subject, everyone should read Solaris if they haven't already - that novel is a masterpiece.

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I guess the only human that would have been able to understand and communicate with an alien species died last year...

 

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Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts so far!

 

Here's the next Contact Starter:

What would be the most likely motivation for intelligent extraterrestrial life to visit Earth?

 

D8s05kWXUAAt-8C.jpg:large

 

We're curious to hear your theories and ideas!

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Well, continuing my previous way of thinking, most likely the motivation will be too alien to comprehend. Assuming, aliens are affected by motivations at all. 

 

Otherwise it must be something unique and valuable enough for them to justify such a journey (again, depending, if the concept of value is know to them, if they think and decide in these categories and how much that would be "a journey" for them). If we prefer sinister xcom-ish reasons - unique human genome. If romantic/spiritual - unique beauty of Earth and humanity. If we choose cliche - the Earth itself as the place to live. Etc. Or tourism/a walk out of boredom or curiosity.  

 

 

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Maybe it will just be a crash with a fall to the surface of Earth? With the next operation of the evacuation of the aggressive biomedia.

On this planet, everything is an adaptation for the life of the local biological form of life. 

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Well they could also have the same motivation as humans that drives them to visit new places. The simple joy to explore, or to be a tourist.

 

I see these possible motivations that basically drive all lifeforms known to us:

 

Trade, they give us something they have in return for something we have. 

Expansion, either for the sake of new Lebensraum or resources (also includes food and workforce). This also includes them trying to convert us to their religion or something like that (which by the way would be a cool story line).

Exploration, some alien wants to discover the galaxy and finds us.

Experimentation some aliens stumble upon us and decide to observe and study us out of scientific interest.

Extermination we might not know the exact motivation, but maybe aliens really do not like us. Considering that with their technology they are able to fly through space, we are pretty much done for.

 

Enlightenment they do not know selfishness, greed or anything like that and simply elevate us to their level.

 

Now you could say, "but what if it is a motivation completely incomprehensible to us", but whatever aliens discover us, one of the following is going to happen:

 

They show no interest in us, just like a fish in the sea might have a look at a diver and move on with its life.

They enslave (use) us.

They try to make us a part of them (either religiously or politically).

They study us.

They trade with us.

They kill us.

They know no concept of ownership or greed and simply show/give us all their technology. We then get greedy and conquer them, because as a species we are sadly just like that...

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Regarding Question 2:

 

If the alien lifeform is intelligent, as defined by us, similar or even further along, then it could be:

 

  • curiosity (scientific, exploration, etc...)
  • contact (picked up old radio signals, tv signals, old probes, and etc...)
  • symbiosis (seeking similar life forms or another planet to just live on)
  • resource gathering (food, materials, water, energy and even consuming biomatter, including humans for nourishment).

 

If the lifeform is sentient but more primitive or another type of body other than humanoid or animal, then it could be:

  • luck (carried a ride on a meteor or small asteroid)
  • basic survival - resource gathering, food, home, habitat.... 
  • weapon - to bioengineer earth for another more advance species!!!

 

I will think about this more and add to it... great thread by the way...

 

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Regarding question 1 (who'd make best Earth ambassador) I agree with @Rydygier statement. Human kind is quite self-centered, so we assume that sentient alien life is essentially like us - society of humanoids driven by similiar needs and ideas. But sentient alien life, which is capable of interstellar travel, must be a radically different organism than what we are. We already know about several significant problems with humans travelling in space, due to our nature. Issues that are limited not only to our physicality, but to our psyche too. Thus assumption that space-faring civilization is similiar to us (from both biological and psychological points of view) is not only optimistic, but also naive.

 

Which brings me to question 2 - why would sentient aliens visit Earth? For one, not because they want to contact us. Unless they are already in our solar system, they have no idea about our existence (Carl Sagan's romantic tales about aliens picking up our radio signals are just this... tales). And when they learn about us, what we can really give them? Remember - it's a space-fairing civilization, that needs to have technology reaching far beyond our imagination. They will learn nothing from us, but they could learn about us, if they are curious enough - just like we observe all the living species around us (yet, no human ever tried to contact an ant colony in his backyard).

 

Secondly, aliens could visit Earth to exploit it's natural resources - unless aliens invented a perpetuum mobile, they have to fuel their ships with something. Since Universe is built from the same elements, there's high probability that Earth contains alien rocket fuel. And in this case, well, humanity is in bad luck. Afterall, when you're digging a flowerbed in your backyard, do you try to reason with ants which colony you have destroyed? Or do you keep on digging? Hell, maybe aliens don't really want to visit Earth, but just want to build an intergalactic bypass here?

On 6/3/2019 at 3:49 PM, EO said:

Needs to have a scientific background, unlike politicians, scientists aren't blinded by fear or scepticism and inherently have a sense of wonder...

That's a very romantic vision, but as someone who works in scientific community I can assure you that scientist are driven by egoism, are afraid of their theories being disproven, and fight actively against it just like every human being.

 

In fact, secpticism (which you treat as something negative), should be the basic trait of a good scientist - one who is not satisfied with his findings, and is still searching for an answer, to such an extent that he tries to disprove his own theories. Unfortunately most of scientist are not like that, and this is especially true in case of pop-culture scientist like Carl Sagan, whose ideas were mentioned several times in this thread. Sagan was probably the first scientist guilty of blurring the lines between science and religion, with dogmatic claims, and evangelisation of masses via popular science books that contain few of actual science, but lots of philosophy and politics (and later expanding to cinema, which seves as a Chic tract to his writings).

 

Scientist (biologist, anthropologist) would be essential to make a first contact with aliens, but only to research and develop the means of communication. It would be wise to enlist help from philosophers, who would judge if alien civilization system of beliefs is similiar to our own, essentially check if we can get along. But actual ambassador, just like ambassadors to other countries, should be a diplomat - politician, who's role is to convince the other side that we're not a threat, and to struck deals beneficial to us. Carl Sagan-like alien lover is a bad idea for an ambassador, because you really don't know if he is loyal to human kind, or not.

On 6/4/2019 at 6:48 PM, haleks said:

On that subject, everyone should read Solaris if they haven't already - that novel is a masterpiece.

Novel is great indeed, but I'd argue it's not really on the subject of difficulties in contacting alien beings. In fact, it is not even about aliens.

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5 minutes ago, krzychuzokecia said:

 

Novel is great indeed, but I'd argue it's not really on the subject of difficulties in contacting alien beings. In fact, it is not even about aliens.

 

 

It is, in my opinion :
(SPOILER, read the book first!)

Spoiler


In the book, Solaris is compared to a "living" planet, and the manifestations observed on its surface are compared to signs of some kind of brain activity. The "ghosts" tormenting the space station crew are suggested to be attempts of communication/interaction, produced by the planet. The book doesn't try to determine if the planet is indeed a sentient life form, and doesn't explain why or how these ghosts are created.

The whole point of Solaris is to stress out that we, humans, might not even be able to recognize alien life forms as such. Extra-solar entities could be so alien to us, that we would fail to even identify a communication attempt.

 

 

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Spoiler

IMO it's more about feeling of guilt, torment and repressed memories. Like: we feel so bad about some moments of our past, that we would even construct a device to wipe those memories forever (and in essence that's what the scientist in book did - built a device to destroy their memories which came to life). The planet Solaris itself was just a sci-fi McGuffin to disarm reader's sense of disbelief.

 

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21 minutes ago, krzychuzokecia said:
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IMO it's more about feeling of guilt, torment and repressed memories. Like: we feel so bad about some moments of our past, that we would even construct a device to wipe those memories forever (and in essence that's what the scientist in book did - built a device to destroy their memories which came to life). The planet Solaris itself was just a sci-fi McGuffin to disarm reader's sense of disbelief.

 

 

Spoiler

We could also argue that those feelings are the only "signals" Solaris can perceive - without having any idea on their true nature, like some readings on a data spreadsheet - and as a result are either used as a (failed) communication basis, or studied by Solaris (the ghosts could be nothing more than weird observation tools - or even completely involuntary). The fact alone that you are sort of rejecting the idea of Solaris possibly being an alien, based on your projection onto those preconceptions of our human spirit (those are feelings, nothing more than a narrative rope to disarm readers), comforts me in my thinking that Lem nailed down the difficulties of even conceptualizing alien intelligence. 😉

 

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Spoiler

Maybe, and I know Lem's opinions on both movies (neither of which I ever watched), his snarkiness about book being titled Solaris not Sex in Outer Space.

 

However on the very basic story/writing level, only few pages are devoted to the concept of we cannot contact this entity/humans may not be able to communicate with alien beings. Book in it's majority is telling the story of space station inhabitants, and the apparitions of their past. When reading I wasn't wondering about Lem's critique of alien science (I learned about it much later), but I was trying to find clues about other characters past. IMO Solaris is great novel despite Lem's intentions. One could even say that he failed to write the book about what he wanted it to be.

 

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Hi everyone, here's the Contact Starter for this week:

 

What do you think is more likely to happen: us finding aliens, or aliens finding us?

D9RPG4DXkAUh_Xg.jpg:large

 

Let us know your answer plus motivation in this thread - or, if you want, you are also welcome to participate in the discussion on Twitter, Facebook, and reddit!

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Well that depends on the level of technological advancement they have, doesn´t it?

 

If they are far more advanced than we are, then it is easier for them to discover us, than it is for us to discover them. If they are more advanced, they would have better equipment to scan for life, maybe they would even be capable of interstellar travel, something we won´t be able to do for a very very very long time.

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