Saturday, January 13, 2007

Worth quoting in its entirety:


If an extraterrestrial civilization's technology is sufficiently advanced, we won't mistake it for magic. Their technology - if it's even meaningful to call it that - will be so far beyond our threshold of comprehension that we won't recognize it at all, anymore than a gorilla notices a 747 jet, or a communications satellite passing overhead. That's one possible answer to the Fermi Paradox that appeals to me because it's the most insulting to our intellectual pride.

Of course, gorillas probably do notice 747s, at least when they're sufficiently noisy. It's possible they assume jet aircraft are some form of natural phenomenon, just as many humans have convinced themselves even the most bizarre unidentified flying objects must be explainable in atmospheric or psychological terms.


Steve said...

There was an interesting program on ABC Radio National this morning where they talked about aboriginal experiences of first contact with Western civilization.

Two striking examples:

1) a man who the first time he saw a windmill thought it was alive, and threw a spear at it.

2) a woman who, when she rode in the back of a truck for the first time, thought all the trees were running beside her.

Looking back, they found their own naivity hysterical.


W.M. Bear said...

I would still stick to my notion that anything which is "indistinguishable from magic" IS magic. If it is also indistinguishable from "magick" (to use Aleister Crowley's spelling), then I would argue that occultists have been making use of this "sufficiently advanced technology" for centuries, even millenia. They just didn't always maybe know exactly where it came from. Now, with one of the major foci of esoteric studies becoming UFOlogy and contact with ETI, they're maybe getting a somewhat better idea.

Ken said...

Consider also reports of UFOs showing in photos when they were not visible to the naked eye, craft which could not be detected by radar. Should these assertions be correct, then many times we simply would be unable to discern any activity, due to some form of "cloaking" or stealth technology.

Then too, I've come to the conclusion that ET just doesn't give a damn about us, and would arguably prefer to keep their presence as low key as possible, relatively speaking, as we are armed with nuclear weapons. At least, they're obviously not interested in joining the new year's festivities in Times Square, or giving President Bush a public kick in the ass. And, let's face it: no matter who or what you are, if a megaton or two goes off five feet in front of your face, you'll feel it. Better to leave the ants quiescent, as it were.

Also, numerous reports I've read over the years simply seem unintelligible, beyond bizarre. Mayhap then we really are too stupid to recognize their presence, at least sometimes. In any event, a physical presence requires physical transport, and presuming a craft were not "cloaked", it MUST be visible in some form. But that form's appearance could be altered in many ways; projected holograms, for example.

Anyway, room for speculation is vast. Our intellectual inability to realize what we see, while at least sometimes (often?) probable, IMO fails to account for all. Whether or nay they understood what they saw, a lot of people have seen a lot of apparent ET craft, so the statement that we're too stupid to know of ET's presence, while likely often true, on the whole does not hold water.

IMO, the entire UFO/ET set of phenomena is quite complex indeed, and I suspect of several very different basic types and sources. In this field, I very much misdoubt that one size fits all.