1. Post #1
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    Note: You should really, really read The Killing Star.

    Note-2:

    Fermi Paradox: "If the estimated number of alien civilizations is so high, why is there no evidence of them?"

    Well the other day I was browsing Atomic Rockets (http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/) and came across this:


    From The Killing Star by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski (you really should read this book):

    The great silence (i.e., absence of SETI signals from alien civilizations) is perhaps the strongest indicator of all that high relativistic velocities are attainable and that everybody out there knows it.

    The sobering truth is that relativistic civilizations are a potential nightmare to anyone living within range of them. The problem is that objects traveling at an appreciable fraction of light speed are never where you see them when you see them (i.e., light-speed lag). Relativistic rockets, if their owners turn out to be less than benevolent, are both totally unstoppable and totally destructive. A starship weighing in at 1,500 tons (approximately the weight of a fully fueled space shuttle sitting on the launchpad) impacting an earthlike planet at "only" 30 percent of lightspeed will release 1.5 million megatons of energy -- an explosive force equivalent to 150 times today's global nuclear arsenal... (ed note: this means the freaking thing has about nine hundred mega-Ricks of damage!)

    I'm not going to talk about ideas. I'm going to talk about reality. It will probably not be good for us ever to build and fire up an antimatter engine. According to Powell, given the proper detecting devices, a Valkyrie engine burn could be seen out to a radius of several light-years and may draw us into a game we'd rather not play, a game in which, if we appear to be even the vaguest threat to another civilization and if the resources are available to eliminate us, then it is logical to do so.

    The game plan is, in its simplest terms, the relativistic inverse to the golden rule: "Do unto the other fellow as he would do unto you and do it first."...

    When we put our heads together and tried to list everything we could say with certainty about other civilizations, without having actually met them, all that we knew boiled down to three simple laws of alien behavior:

    1. THEIR SURVIVAL WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR SURVIVAL.
    If an alien species has to choose between them and us, they won't choose us. It is difficult to imagine a contrary case; species don't survive by being self-sacrificing.

    2. WIMPS DON'T BECOME TOP DOGS.
    No species makes it to the top by being passive. The species in charge of any given planet will be highly intelligent, alert, aggressive, and ruthless when necessary.

    3. THEY WILL ASSUME THAT THE FIRST TWO LAWS APPLY TO US.
    ...

    Your thinking still seems a bit narrow. Consider several broadening ideas:

    1. Sure, relativistic bombs are powerful because the antagonist has already invested huge energies in them that can be released quickly, and they're hard to hit. But they are costly investments and necessarily reduce other activities the species could explore. For example:

    2. Dispersal of the species into many small, hard-to-see targets, such as asteroids, buried civilizations, cometary nuclei, various space habitats. These are hard to wipe out.

    3. But wait -- while relativistic bombs are readily visible to us in foresight, they hardly represent the end point in foreseeable technology. What will humans of, say, two centuries hence think of as the "obvious" lethal effect? Five centuries? A hundred? Personally I'd pick some rampaging self-reproducing thingy (mechanical or organic), then sneak it into all the biospheres I wanted to destroy. My point here is that no particular physical effect -- with its pluses, minuses, and trade-offs -- is likely to dominate the thinking of the galaxy.

    4. So what might really aged civilizations do? Disperse, of course, and also not attack new arrivals in the galaxy, for fear that they might not get them all. Why? Because revenge is probably selected for in surviving species, and anybody truly looking out for long-term interests will not want to leave a youthful species with a grudge, sneaking around behind its back...

    I agree with most parts of points 2, 3, and 4. As for point 1, it is cheaper than you think. You mention self-replicating machines in point 3, and while it is true that relativistic rockets require planetary power supplies, it is also true that we can power the whole Earth with a field of solar cells adding up to barely more than 200-by-200 kilometers, drawn out into a narrow band around the Moon's equator. Self-replicating robots could accomplish this task with only the cost of developing the first twenty or thirty machines. And once we're powering the Earth practically free of charge, why not let the robots keep building panels on the Lunar far side? Add a few self-replicating linear accelerator-building factories, and plug the accelerators into the panels, and you could produce enough anti-hydrogen to launch a starship every year. But why stop at the Moon? Have you looked at Mercury lately? ...

    Dr. Wells has obviously bought into the view of a friendly galaxy. This view is based upon the argument that unless we humans conquer our self-destructive warlike tendencies, we will wipe out our species and no longer be a threat to extrasolar civilizations. All well and good up to this point.

    But then these optimists make the jump: If we are wise enough to survive and not wipe ourselves out, we will be peaceful -- so peaceful that we will not wipe anybody else out, and as we are below on Earth, so other people will be above.

    This is a non sequitur, because there is no guarantee that one follows the other, and for a very important reason: "They" are not part of our species.

    Before we proceed any further, try the following thought experiment: watch the films Platoon and Aliens together and ask yourself if the plot lines don't quickly blur and become indistinguishable. You'll recall that in Vietnam, American troops were taught to regard the enemy as "Charlie" or "Gook," dehumanizing words that made "them" easier to kill. In like manner, the British, Spanish, and French conquests of the discovery period were made easier by declaring dark- or red- or yellow-skinned people as something less than human, as a godless, faceless "them," as literally another species.

    Presumably there is some sort of inhibition against killing another member of our own species, because we have to work to overcome it...

    But the rules do not apply to other species. Both humans and wolves lack inhibitions against killing chickens.

    Humans kill other species all the time, even those with which we share the common bond of high intelligence. As you read this, hundreds of dolphins are being killed by tuna fishermen and drift netters. The killing goes on and on, and dolphins are not even a threat to us.

    As near as we can tell, there is no inhibition against killing another species simply because it displays a high intelligence. So, as much as we love him, Carl Sagan's theory that if a species makes it to the top and does not blow itself apart, then it will be nice to other intelligent species is probably wrong. Once you admit interstellar species will not necessarily be nice to one another simply by virtue of having survived, then you open up this whole nightmare of relativistic civilizations exterminating one another.

    It's an entirely new situation, emerging from the physical possibilities that will face any species that can overcome the natural interstellar quarantine of its solar system. The choices seem unforgiving, and the mind struggles to imagine circumstances under which an interstellar species might make contact without triggering the realization that it can't afford to be proven wrong in its fears.

    Got that? We can't afford to wait to be proven wrong.

    They won't come to get our resources or our knowledge or our women or even because they're just mean and want power over us. They'll come to destroy us to insure their survival, even if we're no apparent threat, because species death is just too much to risk, however remote the risk...

    The most humbling feature of the relativistic bomb is that even if you happen to see it coming, its exact motion and position can never be determined; and given a technology even a hundred orders of magnitude above our own, you cannot hope to intercept one of these weapons. It often happens, in these discussions, that an expression from the old west arises: "God made some men bigger and stronger than others, but Mr. Colt made all men equal." Variations on Mr. Colt's weapon are still popular today, even in a society that possesses hydrogen bombs. Similarly, no matter how advanced civilizations grow, the relativistic bomb is not likely to go away...

    We ask that you try just one more thought experiment. Imagine yourself taking a stroll through Manhattan, somewhere north of 68th street, deep inside Central Park, late at night. It would be nice to meet someone friendly, but you know that the park is dangerous at night. That's when the monsters come out. There's always a strong undercurrent of drug dealings, muggings, and occasional homicides.

    It is not easy to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. They dress alike, and the weapons are concealed. The only difference is intent, and you can't read minds.

    Stay in the dark long enough and you may hear an occasional distance shriek or blunder across a body.

    How do you survive the night? The last thing you want to do is shout, "I'm here!" The next to last thing you want to do is reply to someone who shouts, "I'm a friend!"

    What you would like to do is find a policeman, or get out of the park. But you don't want to make noise or move towards a light where you might be spotted, and it is difficult to find either a policeman or your way out without making yourself known. Your safest option is to hunker down and wait for daylight, then safely walk out.

    There are, of course, a few obvious differences between Central Park and the universe.

    There is no policeman.

    There is no way out.

    And the night never ends.
    tl;dr:

    We ask that you try just one more thought experiment. Imagine yourself taking a stroll through Manhattan, somewhere north of 68th street, deep inside Central Park, late at night. It would be nice to meet someone friendly, but you know that the park is dangerous at night. That's when the monsters come out. There's always a strong undercurrent of drug dealings, muggings, and occasional homicides.

    It is not easy to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. They dress alike, and the weapons are concealed. The only difference is intent, and you can't read minds.

    Stay in the dark long enough and you may hear an occasional distance shriek or blunder across a body.

    How do you survive the night? The last thing you want to do is shout, "I'm here!" The next to last thing you want to do is reply to someone who shouts, "I'm a friend!"

    What you would like to do is find a policeman, or get out of the park. But you don't want to make noise or move towards a light where you might be spotted, and it is difficult to find either a policeman or your way out without making yourself known. Your safest option is to hunker down and wait for daylight, then safely walk out.

    There are, of course, a few obvious differences between Central Park and the universe.

    There is no policeman.

    There is no way out.

    And the night never ends.
    :ohdear:
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    Occlusion's Avatar
    March 2008
    6,844 Posts
    How is that a paradox, it doesn't contradict itself. Also if we as a species are broadcasting messages in attempt to contact other civilisations then we are putting ourselves at risk. According to that Park analogy, we are shouting, we are doing the worst possible thing for ourselves, surely another species would thing similarily.
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  3. Post #3
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    How is that a paradox, it doesn't contradict itself.
    Sorry, edited, I meant: "If the estimated number of alien civilizations is so high, why is there no evidence of them?"
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  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    lemongrapes's Avatar
    February 2009
    2,501 Posts
    I thought this thread was about the new nvidia graphics cards :Dawkins102:
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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    aVoN's Avatar
    December 2005
    2,754 Posts
    I thought this thread was about the new nvidia graphics cards :Dawkins102:
    They like to name their products after Physicists in the past.
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  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    Used Car Salesman's Avatar
    April 2009
    10,453 Posts
    I find this kind of thinking to be much more realistic than Carl Sagan's ideas about aliens being benevolent teachers. For a species to develop relativistic travel, they need a damn good reason, i.e. population and/or resource pressures. That never bodes well for the people sitting on habitable land and untapped resources.

    Another thing to consider is, if limited to lightspeed, an incoming ship or group of ships will have been traveling a LONG time, decades or centuries or even a millennium. That's a one-way trip, it's not cost effective to pack supplies and fuel for a round trip. To them, turning around and going home is simply not an option. Their survival will depend on procuring fuel and supplies on-site, and they're not going to give up and die just because someone else lives in their target system. In that situation, the only way for humanity to survive would be to exterminate them down to the last individual. And even then, all you've done is bought yourself however much time it takes for them to figure out what happened and send another, larger, force.

    When you really think about it in terms of resources, overpopulation, and species survival, you come to the conclusion that an encounter with extraterrestrial life is NOT something you want to deal with. And that maybe blasting electromagnetic waves out into space isn't the best idea.
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  7. Post #7
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    How is that a paradox, it doesn't contradict itself. Also if we as a species are broadcasting messages in attempt to contact other civilisations then we are putting ourselves at risk. According to that Park analogy, we are shouting, we are doing the worst possible thing for ourselves, surely another species would thing similarily.
    Sagan convinced them to broadcast the messages, but he was an optimist, those who think advanced species are good because they managed to go out into space without destroying each other.

    Pellegrino is a pessimist. In any case, you can never know who's right.
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  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    Gorgonoth's Avatar
    April 2007
    346 Posts
    They like to name their products after Physicists in the past.
    Professor GeForce: Most badass physicist known to human kind.
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    Angua's Avatar
    August 2007
    2,833 Posts
    I read it all, nuts.
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  10. Post #10
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    I find this kind of thinking to be much more realistic than Carl Sagan's ideas about aliens being benevolent teachers. For a species to develop relativistic travel, they need a damn good reason, i.e. population and/or resource pressures. That never bodes well for the people sitting on habitable land and untapped resources.

    Another thing to consider is, if limited to lightspeed, an incoming ship or group of ships will have been traveling a LONG time, decades or centuries or even a millennium. That's a one-way trip, it's not cost effective to pack supplies and fuel for a round trip. To them, turning around and going home is simply not an option. Their survival will depend on procuring fuel and supplies on-site, and they're not going to give up and die just because someone else lives in their target system. In that situation, the only way for humanity to survive would be to exterminate them down to the last individual. And even then, all you've done is bought yourself however much time it takes for them to figure out what happened and send another, larger, force.

    When you really think about it in terms of resources, overpopulation, and species survival, you come to the conclusion that an encounter with extraterrestrial life is NOT something you want to deal with. And that maybe blasting electromagnetic waves out into space isn't the best idea.
    Well, not really, with Charles Pellegrino's antimatter Valkyrie design, the ship can go to any star nearly as fast as light (So if it's 45 light years away, it will take 46 or 47 years to get there), and some may be equipped to go back.

    With nanotechnology (lol self-replicating nanobots) you could build huge arrays of solar panels along the Lunar ecuator, and the energy would be sent back to Earth through maser beams, and the remaining energy would generate the antimatter for the ships.

    My guess is that aliens would send a ship on a fly by, scan shit, detect if there's a sentient species there. Then use the R-bombs on us.

  11. Post #11
    Gold Member
    Used Car Salesman's Avatar
    April 2009
    10,453 Posts
    Well, not really, with Charles Pellegrino's antimatter Valkyrie design, the ship can go to any star nearly as fast as light (So if it's 45 light years away, it will take 46 or 47 years to get there), and some may be equipped to go back.

    With nanotechnology (lol self-replicating nanobots) you could build huge arrays of solar panels along the Lunar ecuator, and the energy would be sent back to Earth through maser beams, and the remaining energy would generate the antimatter for the ships.

    My guess is that aliens would send a ship on a fly by, scan shit, detect if there's a sentient species there. Then use the R-bombs on us.
    You're assuming they could be coming from close by. In reality, they could be a dozen light years away or a thousand. Maybe they only go after specific types of stars. Maybe they aren't THAT advanced and use slow, multigenerational arks to travel. My basic point is that given the enormous time and investment of energy it takes to travel between stars, they will be counting on supporting themselves with resources found at the destination. Therefore, it would be a fight to the death, with retreat being impossible for either side.

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Zeraux's Avatar
    July 2008
    2,143 Posts
    Or maybe there's a lot that the human race doesn't know about. The aliens might be trying to comunicate with us right now, but we have no way to receive their signal, seeing as we don't know how they communicate.

    Also why does every "smart guy" in the world think that extra terrestrial lifeforms need the same things as us to live. Water, an atmosphere etc.
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  13. Post #13
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    You're assuming they could be coming from close by. In reality, they could be a dozen light years away or a thousand. Maybe they only go after specific types of stars. Maybe they aren't THAT advanced and use slow, multigenerational arks to travel. My basic point is that given the enormous time and investment of energy it takes to travel between stars, they will be counting on supporting themselves with resources found at the destination. Therefore, it would be a fight to the death, with retreat being impossible for either side.
    Don't worry bro, I have this


  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    Mingebox's Avatar
    February 2010
    19,674 Posts
    Sagan convinced them to broadcast the messages, but he was an optimist, those who think advanced species are good because they managed to go out into space without destroying each other.

    Pellegrino is a pessimist. In any case, you can never know who's right.
    Being alone is too boring not to take the risk.
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  15. Post #15
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    Or maybe there's a lot that the human race doesn't know about. The aliens might be trying to comunicate with us right now, but we have no way to receive their signal, seeing as we don't know how they communicate.

    Also why does every "smart guy" in the world think that extra terrestrial lifeforms need the same things as us to live. Water, an atmosphere etc.
    It's all an assumption.

    We don't know.

    Hell, they might be so different, psychologically and physically, that we might never even understand each other, like in Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.

  16. Post #16
    mercurius's Avatar
    March 2010
    4,387 Posts
    We ask that you try just one more thought experiment. Imagine yourself taking a stroll through Manhattan, somewhere north of 68th street, deep inside Central Park, late at night. It would be nice to meet someone friendly, but you know that the park is dangerous at night. That's when the monsters come out. There's always a strong undercurrent of drug dealings, muggings, and occasional homicides.

    It is not easy to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. They dress alike, and the weapons are concealed. The only difference is intent, and you can't read minds.

    Stay in the dark long enough and you may hear an occasional distance shriek or blunder across a body.

    How do you survive the night? The last thing you want to do is shout, "I'm here!" The next to last thing you want to do is reply to someone who shouts, "I'm a friend!"


    Too late, we have already send our message, but it will take a very long time until it arrives, if it ever arrives.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_plaque
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  17. Post #17
    Xen Tricks's Avatar
    March 2010
    4,214 Posts
    Not like we really have to worry about anyone ever finding or replying to the Pioneer Plaque. The odds of some civilization, no matter how advanced, picking out that tiny spacecraft from the incredible vastness of space is nearly zero. It seems like messages in the form of radio transmissions and the like have at least a slightly higher chance of ever being seen.

  18. Post #18
    Kade's Avatar
    April 2009
    999 Posts
    Well, not really, with Charles Pellegrino's antimatter Valkyrie design, the ship can go to any star nearly as fast as light (So if it's 45 light years away, it will take 46 or 47 years to get there), and some may be equipped to go back.
    How long would that be for the people on board, factoring in time dilation? about a tenth of the time?

    Edited:

    wiki: For sufficiently high speeds the effect is dramatic. For example, one year of travel might correspond to ten years at home. Indeed, a constant 1 g acceleration would permit humans to travel as far as light has been able to travel since the big bang (some 13.7 billion light years) in one human lifetime. The space travellers could return to Earth billions of years in the future. A scenario based on this idea was presented in the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.
    whoa

  19. Post #19
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    How long would that be for the people on board, factoring in time dilation? about a tenth of the time?

    Edited:



    whoa
    According to the Atomic Rockets website, the rate is 1/2.55, so time goes by at one-third the objective rate.

  20. Post #20
    Revolutionary's Avatar
    March 2010
    1,371 Posts
    What:byodood:

  21. Post #21
    Kade's Avatar
    April 2009
    999 Posts
    ok, so Proxima Centuri is 4.3 light years away. Using your method say it takes 4.5 light years. One third of that being 1.5 years. Round trip being 3 years, while 9 years would have passed on earth.

    Sounds like a nice holiday...

  22. Post #22
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    ok, so Proxima Centuri is 4.3 light years away. Using your method say it takes 4.5 light years. One third of that being 1.5 years. Round trip being 3 years, while 9 years would have passed on earth.

    Sounds like a nice holiday...
    Indeed :clint:

  23. Post #23
    SUPER DUPER
    Retyuoligkl's Avatar
    March 2008
    6,620 Posts
    good fucking read
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  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    alphaspida's Avatar
    April 2008
    1,850 Posts
    i wish we could find aliens/have peace :fsmug:
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  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    Hesychasmos's Avatar
    April 2008
    1,082 Posts
    If whatever is out there has the power to destroy us and our technology pales in comparison, why should we even think about this?

    What if the hypothetical extraterrestrial specie doesn't want to use, destroy, or ally with us, but their interaction would be based on motivations that we can't even comprehend due to the difference in thought process?

    Edited:

    oh no they gonna occupy our shanxi man the thanix cannons

  26. Post #26
    Eudoxia's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,633 Posts
    Food for thought:


    !MESSAGE BEGINS

    We made a mistake. That is the simple, undeniable truth of the matter, however painful it might be. The flaw was not in our Observatories, for those machines were as perfect as we could make, and they showed us only the unfiltered light of truth. The flaw was not in the Predictor, for it is a device of pure, infallible logic, turning raw data into meaningful information without the taint of emotion or bias. No, the flaw was within us, the Orchestrators of this disaster, the sentients who thought themselves beyond such failings. We are responsible.

    It began a short while ago, as these things are measured, less than 6^6 Deeli ago, though I suspect our systems of measure will mean very little by the time anyone receives this transmission. We detected faint radio signals from a blossoming intelligence 2^14 Deelis outward from the Galactic Core, as photons travel. At first crude and unstructured, these leaking broadcasts quickly grew in complexity and strength, as did the messages they carried. Through our Observatories we watched a world of strife and violence, populated by a barbaric race of short-lived, fast breeding vermin. They were brutal and uncultured things which stabbed and shot and burned each other with no regard for life or purpose. Even their concepts of Art spoke of conflict and pain. They divided themselves according to some bizarre cultural patterns and set their every industry to cause of death.

    They terrified us, but we were older and wiser and so very far away, so we did not fret. Then we watched them split the atom and breach the heavens within the breadth of one of their single, short generations, and we began to worry. When they began actively transmitting messages and greetings into space, we felt fear and horror. Their transmissions promised peace and camaraderie to any who were listening, but we had watched them for too long to buy into such transparent deceptions. They knew we were out here, and they were coming for us.

    The Orchestrators consulted the Predictor, and the output was dire. They would multiply and grow and flood out of their home system like some uncountable tide of Devourer worms, consuming all that lay in their path. It might take 6^8 Deelis, but they would destroy us if left unchecked. With aching carapaces we decided to act, and sealed our fate.

    The Gift of Mercy was 8^4 strides long with a mouth 2/4 that in diameter, filled with many 4^4 weights of machinery, fuel, and ballast. It would push itself up to 2/8th of light speed with its onboard fuel, and then begin to consume interstellar Primary Element 2/2 to feed its unlimited acceleration. It would be traveling at nearly light speed when it hit. They would never see it coming. Its launch was a day of mourning, celebration, and reflection. The horror of the act we had committed weighted heavily upon us all; the necessity of our crime did little to comfort us.

    The Gift had barely cleared the outer cometary halo when the mistake was realized, but it was too late. The Gift could not be caught, could not be recalled or diverted from its path. The architects and work crews, horrified at the awful power of the thing upon which they labored, had quietly self-terminated in droves, walking unshielded into radiation zones, neglecting proper null pressure safety or simple ceasing their nutrient consumption until their metabolic functions stopped. The appalling cost in lives had forced the Ochestrators to streamline the Gift’s design and construction. There had been no time for the design or implementation of anything beyond the simple, massive engines and the stabilizing systems. We could only watch in shame and horror as the light of genocide faded into infrared against the distant void.

    They grew, and they changed, in a handful of lifetimes they abolished war, abandoned their violent tendencies and turned themselves to the grand purposes of life and Art. We watched them remake first themselves, and then their world. Their frail, soft bodies gave way to gleaming metals and plastics, they unified their people through an omnipresent communications grid and produced Art of such power and emotion, the likes of which the Galaxy has never seen before. Or again, because of us.

    They converted their home world into a paradise (by their standards) and many 10^6s of them poured out into the surrounding system with a rapidity and vigor that we could only envy. With bodies built to survive every environment from the day lit surface of their innermost world, to the atmosphere of their largest gas giant and the cold void in-between, they set out to sculpt their system into something beautiful. At first we thought them simple miners, stripping the rocky planets and moons for vital resources, but then we began to see the purpose to their constructions, the artworks carved into every surface, and traced across the system in glittering lights and dancing fusion trails. And still, our terrible Gift approached.

    They had less than 2^2 Deeli to see it, following so closely on the tail of its own light. In that time, oh so brief even by their fleeting lives, more than 10^10 sentients prepared for death. Lovers exchanged last words, separated by worlds and the tyranny of light speed. Their planet side engineers worked frantically to build sufficient transmission infrastructure to upload the countless masses with the necessary neural modifications, while those above dumped lifetimes of music and literature from their databanks to make room for passengers. Those lacking the required hardware or the time to acquire it consigned themselves to death, lashed out in fear and pain, or simply went about their lives as best they could under the circumstances.

    The Gift arrived suddenly, the light of its impact visible in our skies, shining bright and cruel even to the unaugmented ocular receptor. We watched and we wept for our victims, dead so many Deelis before the light of their doom had even reached us. Many 6^4s of those who had been directly or even tangentially involved in the creation of the Gift sealed their spiracles with paste as a final penance for the small roles they had played in this atrocity. The light dimmed, the dust cleared, and our Observatories refocused upon the place where their shining blue world had once hung in the void, and found only dust and the pale gleam of an orphaned moon, wrapped in a thin, burning wisp of atmosphere that had once belonged to its parent.

    Radiation and relativistic shrapnel had wiped out much of the inner system, and continent sized chunks of molten rock carried screaming ghosts outward at interstellar escape velocities, damned to wander the great void for an eternity. The damage was apocalyptic, but not complete, from the shadows of the outer worlds, tiny points of light emerged, thousands of fusion trails of single ships and world ships and everything in between, many 10^6s of survivors in flesh and steel and memory banks, ready to rebuild. For a few moments we felt relief, even joy, and we were filled with the hope that their culture and Art would survive the terrible blow we had dealt them. Then came the message, tightly focused at our star, transmitted simultaneously by hundreds of their ships.

    "We know you are out there, and we are coming for you."

    !MESSAGE ENDS
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  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    ze spy's Avatar
    August 2009
    742 Posts
    Holy shit, that scares the hell out of me.
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  28. Post #28
    yes
    beok's Avatar
    July 2006
    914 Posts
    wiki: For sufficiently high speeds the effect is dramatic. For example, one year of travel might correspond to ten years at home. Indeed, a constant 1 g acceleration would permit humans to travel as far as light has been able to travel since the big bang (some 13.7 billion light years) in one human lifetime. The space travellers could return to Earth billions of years in the future. A scenario based on this idea was presented in the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.
    Link please. I want to read more on that.

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    Fire Kracker's Avatar
    January 2007
    7,501 Posts
    Hey if we go to light speed or close to it wouldn't we be changed into energy?


    and even if we changed back to physical form upon deceleration wouldn't we have lost all of our experiences and memories?
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  30. Post #30
    mercurius's Avatar
    March 2010
    4,387 Posts
    Hey if we go to light speed or close to it wouldn't we be changed into energy?


    and even if we changed back to physical form upon deceleration wouldn't we have lost all of our experiences and memories?
    No and no. Our mass just increases, making further acceleration more and more difficult.
    In a particle smasher particles at 99.99...% of c only get incredibly heavy as well, but still stay particles.

    However travelling very fast would result in a blue shift and probably even pair production as a consequence:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_shift
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_production

  31. Post #31
    ok, so Proxima Centuri is 4.3 light years away. Using your method say it takes 4.5 light years. One third of that being 1.5 years. Round trip being 3 years, while 9 years would have passed on earth.

    Sounds like a nice holiday...
    I'm dumb and don't understand time dilation due to light speed travel.

    Can you explain it to me?

  32. Post #32
    mercurius's Avatar
    March 2010
    4,387 Posts
    I'm dumb and don't understand time dilation due to light speed travel.

    Can you explain it to me?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_di...d_space_flight

  33. Post #33
    Frost 31's Avatar
    September 2008
    658 Posts
    Wow. Just wow.

    I just read everything in this thread and my mind is blown. I'm still processing some of the more technical things brought up.
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  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    goon165's Avatar
    August 2006
    11,514 Posts
    Food for thought:
    And this children is why we don't play god.

    as for the actual discussion, just because we kill ourselves doesn't mean everyone else in the universe has the same violent tendencies.

  35. Post #35
    teeheeV2's Avatar
    July 2009
    3,281 Posts
    How is that a paradox, it doesn't contradict itself. Also if we as a species are broadcasting messages in attempt to contact other civilisations then we are putting ourselves at risk. According to that Park analogy, we are shouting, we are doing the worst possible thing for ourselves, surely another species would thing similarily.
    But if the drug dealers where to shout, and we where the drug dealers, or appearing as some, then we would be scaring others off and protecting ourselves.

  36. Post #36
    Upset Goldfish's Avatar
    February 2010
    11 Posts
    oh no they gonna occupy our shanxi man the thanix cannons
    Thanix Cannons are Turian designed. We'd get screwed cause we wouldn't have'em :D

    On the other hand, speaking of peace, as soon as a race outside our own is discovered, the planet will unite. That is pretty much a given. We will always band together against potential threats, however a peaceful civilisation noticing us would be so very awesome.

    Basically, I want someone to make me a Robot Butler, and the very least a spacefaring civilisation can give us is Robot Butlers.

    PS: In the OP, it said something about other races possibly selling us the technology for FTL travel. Problem there is, if they have FTL drives, what can Earth offer?

    They have the ability to travel the galaxy, and can find barren planets and take resources from there. I doubt Earth has anything of such unique value that we could use it to barter with other civilisations. In addition to that, if we were accepted into a theoretical unification of interstellar species, we would have to enter an interstellar economy. The potential for problems is monumental.

  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    Fire Kracker's Avatar
    January 2007
    7,501 Posts
    Thanix Cannons are Turian designed. We'd get screwed cause we wouldn't have'em :D

    On the other hand, speaking of peace, as soon as a race outside our own is discovered, the planet will unite. That is pretty much a given. We will always band together against potential threats, however a peaceful civilisation noticing us would be so very awesome.

    Basically, I want someone to make me a Robot Butler, and the very least a spacefaring civilisation can give us is Robot Butlers.

    PS: In the OP, it said something about other races possibly selling us the technology for FTL travel. Problem there is, if they have FTL drives, what can Earth offer?

    They have the ability to travel the galaxy, and can find barren planets and take resources from there. I doubt Earth has anything of such unique value that we could use it to barter with other civilisations. In addition to that, if we were accepted into a theoretical unification of interstellar species, we would have to enter an interstellar economy. The potential for problems is monumental.
    They might see potential and just give it to us. Like what the Salarians did with the Krogan in giving them space travel

  38. Post #38
    Dennab
    June 2005
    14,184 Posts
    I love Atomic Rocket. It's a great website.

  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    Gorgonoth's Avatar
    April 2007
    346 Posts
    Why is everyone ignoring the possibility of wormhole travel or 4 dimensional travel (assuming the respective areas of String/M-Theory are correct)? Aliens with the proper technology could completely ignore light speed, popping in and around the Universe as they please.

  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    Jeesustelija's Avatar
    November 2006
    110 Posts
    Why do people always think that aliens have super technology and could destroy us any moment?

    I like to think that they are primitive beings :)
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