A passing thought on the nature of human beings. (56)

1 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 07:39 ID:R2TRlpq9

I was just thinking about it as I was walking home from the station. What if a sentient alien race with the same level of technology as current humans, came into direct contact with the human race?

  1. Would the aliens see humans as inherently violent (non-stop war, basically enslaving all other earth-organisms), or inherently peaceful (we haven't destroyed ourselves using nuclear weapons yet)?
  2. Would humans and the aliens interact with each other if there is the possibility of significantly bettering the technology for both races (i.e both sides have much to gain by cooperating)? Or would humans and aliens be naturally suspicious of each other and ditch that idea? Or have a war (which would be dehabilitating for both sides)?

a) If humans had a war with aliens, would ll of humanity be able to unite as one entity to fight the aliens? Or would humanity still be divided over their own petty quarrels?

2 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:05 ID:DJTF1KI3

Do you mean same level of technology as it achieving the same ends, or as it being merely designed using the same techniques? Both would show an immense distinction in cultural, and consequently intellectual development. I could answer your question more precisely if this was clarified.

Example: A super strong and super weak race, both isolated, would take different approaches to harnessing technology for lifting things. The strong race may need only a see-saw type apparatus, which harnesses half their own bodily power, the other half of the work being done by the machinery itself. The weak race, being disparate in physical strength, may use a complex system of pulleys and levers to elevate an object of equal weight an equal height from the ground. Assuming they aren't of the same intelligence, both discoveries could have taken the same amount of time to accomplish.

3 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:27 ID:Heaven


you are a lazy butt for not elaborating on the scenarios of them being equally advanced by different means

4 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:29 ID:Heaven


also you are quite lazy (or oblivious) for not realizing that making contact with the human race presumes overcoming the whole, you know, light-years-away-from-earth-crossing-space type thing

5 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:31 ID:Heaven


But what if the aliens were transported to earth and given a direct communications path back to their home planet by another race that chose not to interfere for purposes of observation? Like what if the protoss were just fucking with the terran by letting some sentient and friendly zerg prance around their geographic space?

6 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:34 ID:Heaven


That's impossible. No zerg would be friendly enough to just "prance around"! So there would be conflict because the zerg are by nature, and in accord with an assumption from >>2 , an evil race that reached the same level of terran technology with their psi powers.

7 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:35 ID:Heaven


Not every extra-terrestrial race is analogous to the zerg.

8 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:37 ID:Heaven


Not everything is inferred from a butt who posts a single statement in italics. !!

9 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 08:38 ID:Heaven

Oh god. This thread reminds me of Dinosaur Comics.

10 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 11:58 ID:Heaven

What is the nash equilibrium for human/zerg/protoss diplomatic relations?

11 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 14:21 ID:sJASogrl

If i wuz teh aliens what come here, i'd think the humans was pretty cool. Theys into weapons, but doesn't all dead yet.

12 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 16:48 ID:9yopE6Pg


If I found a coin, would it be a dime or a nickel?

13 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 17:29 ID:Heaven

How long is a piece of string?

14 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-16 20:53 ID:yrPcT0HO

in b4 zerg rush ^____^ kekekekekekekeke

15 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-17 06:30 ID:J2E9JMN4

They'd probably see us as pretty ordinary for our level of development, perhaps with some successes and some failures compared to their history but generally heading in the right direction with no real problems yet. Our level of development would be considerred "just evolved". We've only just evolved the ability to construct a civilisation, so far our artificial developments have gone astronomical in comparison to our evolutionary developments so we are still afflicted by strong emotions, superstitions and various flaws like ridiculously poor memory and concentration.

16 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-17 07:49 ID:Heaven


Zerg utility: free brains at all hours (when convenient to terran)
Terran utility: scientists/military personnel are exempt from brain drainage
Protoss utility: allowed to observe the two for academic reasons/take nude photos of their sexy terran chicks and wild kinky overlords

17 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-17 22:43 ID:Heaven



18 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-18 00:39 ID:Heaven


The Nash equilibrium of a bargain. Simply, the set of choices in a game most preferred by all players. If player 1 can choose from taking 1, 2, or 3 brains from player 2, player 2 will pick 1, and thus player 1 still gets to have some brain. This is an oversimplification of course, as we all know that any race desirable of brains may commit to stealing as many as possible without regard for... "rules"... Hah! Rules... You make those with your brain, of which I am about to suck right from your skull!

19 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-18 10:16 ID:VwechZlw

If a terran put a penny in a bank account, travelled away from the planet and back again at relativistic speeds so that a year passed for him and a hundred years passed on the planet, would they let him keep the money?

20 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-18 18:30 ID:3TCh9hMU

I think banks profit from money you put in there, so I think so. More likely, they would set a minimum amount of money that you can deposit or that you can make interest out of.

21 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-18 19:25 ID:Heaven


Yes. They would be like, "No, YOU keep the money!"

22 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-19 03:15 ID:Heaven


The currency might be worthless due to inflation or the dissolution of it's backing state.

23 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-20 12:43 ID:XZFEAMSp

OP here, i'll elaborate on my scenario. Assume that the aliens and humans have a similar level of intelligence, similar level of technology and have a similar level understanding of scientific concepts overall. They do not have the exact same science as each other, but in general have a level that would mean if both races decided to have a war with each other, the damages suffered by both sides would be the same as if the damage was caused by their own race.

In order for the alien race to have come into contact with humans, it is assumed that the aliens have technology high enough to travel through space with ease. In this case we could assume that this scenario is based sometime n the future, where humans have a similar level of technology (but have not found the aliens, "by chance".)

24 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-20 12:46 ID:XZFEAMSp

Oh yeah, forgot to put in this extra thing. The aliens/humans could have a similar level of technology, but some techs would be more developed than others due to varying circumstances. Hence the "both sides have much to gain by studying one another's technology" thing I was talking about earlier.

25 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-20 22:50 ID:Heaven


Why are you over-specifying pointless details, such as technology, and under-specifying pretty much anything relevant to your question, such as the nature and attitude of these aliens of yours?

26 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-21 06:14 ID:rmf3cf4a

This question's unanswerable. I mean, we have no idea how the extraterrestrials have developed culturally.

But...it would be pretty interesting to see another race. Their technology might be extremely different. Like imagine a race where minerals were plentiful, and so metallurgy, chemical and physical sciences developed quickly, but the animals were all angry and impossible to domesticate. They might be extremely behind us in regards to husbandry and biotechnology. Such an exchange would make for an extremely deadly war, and also for extremly profitable exchanges. And I think that in any mismatched technology pairing like that, it will tend to those extremes.

27 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-21 11:30 ID:Ei4Yo6zl

>They might be extremely behind us in regards to husbandry and biotechnology.

It's interesting to wonder whether organisms on this planet are easier or more difficult to bioengineer than organisms on other planets (if they exist). We do a lot of our genetic engineering with viruses for example. Would it be possibly for advanced genetic engineering to exist on planets without viruses?

28 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-21 14:39 ID:rmf3cf4a

We do more engineering with bacteria, to be honest. There's more to work with, and we're more familiar. I mean, its to the point that in the next decade or so, we might be able to efficiently create natural gas to power our homes by setting bacteria on trash. But yes. You have a point. Depending on how receptive the life is to being engineered, it could affect things drastically.

Assuming that extraterrestrials follow the same plan as us(being coded in DNA), it just becomes a matter of how friendly animals are, though. That's really what got us this far. Domesticating dogs and horses, breeding them, selecting for traits...same with plants. If the life is less agreeable, the data on inheritance will be harder to gather, and the science will suffer immensely.

And just think of their -history-. If the life is less agreeable, they might have not become sedentary for a good while. Perhaps their culture is -far- more nomadic than ours, too. In that case, the culture might be more warlike, since cultures will fight over hunting grounds. Populations would also be small.

29 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-21 18:14 ID:gUAjX0X4

>We do more engineering with bacteria

Well... I was talking about advanced bioengineering. I think we've gone as far as we can go fiddling around with plasmids. To work with large genomes in bacteria you have to use these things:


If we didn't have engineered viruses there would be no way to make big changes to any genome, even small ones like those of bacteria.

>we might be able to efficiently create natural gas to power our homes by setting bacteria on trash

Maybe. But we're going to need a minimal bacterial genome to build on top of before we can make any of those cool biotechnologies, and those labs have to use the fanciest technologies available (ie not just plasmid vectors).

(Nothing on viral vectors but see here for some examples of the most cutting edge stuff, espiecally assembling the bacterial genome within the yeast cells):


So my point still stands. If bioengineering is as revolutionary as we hope it will be (and agritech has already been pretty revolutionary) then it will enable our population to continue to grow, quality of life to continue to improve etc, but a race that wasn't lucky enough to have access to easily-engineered organisms would be stuck, so what would they do? Or what about the opposite possibility? Could there be organisms so easy to engineer that they could do it with early industrial era tech? Like steampunk genetic engineering.

30 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-22 06:18 ID:c6gvA8V8

I stand corrected. I forgot about what was necessary for working with bacterial genomes.

As for what a biotechnology-starved race might do: I'm not sure. Develop better weapons/hunting techniques? Figure out ways to safely hunt/gather via toolmaking to work unforgiving land, and plants that are harder to crossbreed.

As for easy engineering: You might assume that other fields that serve equivalent purposes on our world would suffer. Unless if something's drastically different, in which case I really can't account for it, you'd expect them to have the same kind of economy of time as us.

31 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-24 19:52 ID:Heaven


32 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-25 05:15 ID:yrPcT0HO

>>We do more engineering with bacteria

Apropos of nothing, I wackyparsed that as "We do more engineering with bacon."

33 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-30 11:53 ID:XM23mGNr

I suppose if the alien race had underdeveloped biotechnology in comparison to us, then they would have to find some other way of getting food. (Assuming that they eat food, and they eat organic food.) The beforementioned scenario of the aliens facing many hostile beasts on their own planet, may mean that the organisms they need for food are annoying to gather.

To compensate, they mine essential minerals and other things from the ground. Using these pure minerals, they make a pure cocktail of sustenance which they take swigs from every so often. Sort of like a multivitamin for everything.

34 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-30 13:20 ID:nbYEs0LP

>To compensate, they mine essential minerals and other things from the ground. Using these pure minerals, they make a pure cocktail of sustenance which they take swigs from every so often. Sort of like a multivitamin for everything.

It's interesting to consider the effect of early technology on the course of evolution. Humans seem to have made one of our great leaps forward when we figured out how to cook food, meaning we could partially digest it outside of the body, so we could feed those growing brains.

If some alien found a way to feed on inorganic material (which would turn it from a consumer to a producer in its food web, incidentally) it might affect the course of their evolution if it happened early on; if it happened later it would alter their global environment since their cities would be fed with inorganic material and produce organic waste. This would presumably find its way into the environment and alter the energy budget of the local ecosystems, unless they found a way to recycle it.

35 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-04-30 13:25 ID:nbYEs0LP


Forgot to mention:

This is what we do here on earth when we produce nitrates from inorganic nitrogen via the Haber process, use them to fertilise plants, eat the plants and flush the shit into the environment.



36 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-05-11 16:41 ID:c6gvA8V8


wait...is that Nitrogen Fixation? Because that's actually kind of an important process to all life on Earth as it is.

And.... >>33 seems unlikely to be hit upon early. It's probably also useless. If the lifeform is similar to us(which is the assumption that I hope we're making here), they'll need a source of energy that's sufficient for growing their brains, such as the meat that supplemented primate diets. Taking a few minerals that are only needed in trace amounts won't do that. Besides...animals become less annoying to harvest when you're able to make traps(for small, annoying animals), or get metal-tipped weapons(for larger animals).

Other differences in a society might be brought on by the organism itself. For instance, a society in which the female dies upon childbirth...or perhaps, an oviparous creature. Maybe they use external fertilization. What if they're highly fecund, due to extremely poor survival rates among young(possibly due to the scarcity of food)?

37 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-05-11 22:07 ID:0t2J09mZ

>or get metal-tipped weapons(for larger animals).

Minor quibble: early humans used flint-tipped weapons and wooden spike traps to hunt large game so metal's not necessary.


38 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-05-16 01:55 ID:Heaven


39 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-08-27 18:07 ID:ZI76OIj6

I thought this said "A pissing thought on the nature of human beings."

Still, means pretty much the same thing, doesn't it?

40 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-08-27 21:02 ID:8dTGWmHV

hey, i have a passing thought on humans...

everything is physics, aye? how things react is predictable and therefore has a set of rules it follows (even if we haven't found them yet)... So, wouldn't the hullabaloo that goes on in our heads be merely a matter of predictable physics interactions? where does that leave free will..?

41 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-08-28 11:23 ID:Heaven


Go back to the forefront of quantum physics, you bastard.

42 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-08-28 18:16 ID:8dTGWmHV

I don't know what you're trying to say there...

43 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2008-08-28 19:02 ID:Heaven

In quantum physics, determinism goes out the window. At the atomic and sub-atomic scale it's all probabilities.

E.g. the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

It's apparently some weird, weird stuff down there, that only a physicist understands.

44 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-08-29 11:35 ID:Heaven

1337. Axiom of Zerg: For each zergling z in a hatchery H on the E2-space of Zerg territory Z, there must be 2^z brains available to allow full growth of each z, and consequently the maximum capacity Z.

45 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-08-29 12:52 ID:S56QFVFp

What if the aliens are smarter than humans, or vice versa? Assuming natural selection occurs amongst all biological organisms, then would there be a possibility that either the alien race or the human race would be inherently smarter than the other?

Let me just sort this idea out. One thing is for sure: humans have evolved to poesess sentient intelligence. However, this intelligence has evolved to the minimum level required for survival- so in terms of biology, our capacity for intellect is determined by the complexity of the environment. Since a more complex environment requires more intellect to survive in, if the alien's environment is more complex, they would biologically have more capacity for intellect.

This makes me think of another thing. All the greatest minds in the world, and all the fantastic thinkings we humans ahve created over history, might just be total crap in the grand scheme of things. For if we had that little extra biological capacity for thought, forming these fantastic ideas wouldn't be so hard- it'd more acheivable.

46 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-08-29 14:07 ID:QoVDU+C8

Aliens are but mere lifeforms in this universe, and so are us. It's meaningless to quarrel over simple differences. War is created through stupid misunderstandings that are simple to solve, yet we kill many innocent lives just to see who the better man is. Humanity as we know it is on the verge of collapsing.

47 Name: Dr Oetker : 2008-08-31 23:12 ID:2sJ7+mbf

>>46 you are an idiot, all animals compete for meaningless quarrels that might give them a bit more succes in the gene pool

its been going on for millions of years in a form for all species we know, the bear uses claw and teet, we use tank and gun

and you use it as a prelude of the apocalypse? good luck waiting for it...

48 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-09-02 08:16 ID:PEK6c5i0

So, what you are saying is that we're just like animals? I think you're speaking about natural selection

49 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-09-03 10:12 ID:0fROnnfE

One passing thought i'd like to shit out: natural selection no longer applies to humans now that we have intelligence, right? Survival is no longer dependant on luck and good genetics- we have the ability to shape our destiny. IM not sure if thats really a valid statement. Whatever.

50 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-09-03 13:40 ID:Heaven


Welcome to the wonderful world of eugenics! Don't believe what people say about us, CUZ REALLY IT'S A LAUGH-RIOT

51 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-09-04 22:33 ID:yGpIO2HW

> natural selection no longer applies to humans now that we have intelligence, right?

It works like this: If you're smart enough not to waste time and money on raising children, you'll get a vasectomy. By failing to pass on your smart genes, you'll ensure that will never get to that point.

52 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-09-06 13:26 ID:Heaven

53 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-09-10 03:47 ID:zJYC+ipy

wow... can't argue with that fact

54 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-10-03 16:59 ID:kYR/rw8t

We could be smarter in different areas. This would be the best for everyone, as less of our knowledge would be redundant.

55 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-10-07 02:47 ID:J8nYjNXf

This is ridiculous. Any civilization that has the ability to study us at either a distance or up close indicates such a quantum leap above us in engineering and raw wealth that they would register as at least a Type I on the Kadashev scale. A Type I civilization has the technology to enable de facto immortality, stellar level engineering (Dyson Spheres, Von Neumann probes, and other fantastic works), and would likely have a military contingency to deal with aggressive upstart civilizations. If they were so morally superior (what the hell is this, Star Trek? Do we all have to be spandex wearing buttfucking pacifists to be moral?) they would brew up a bio weapon, seed our atmosphere with it, and swing by once we're all dead.

56 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-10-11 10:15 ID:Heaven

My post: "What if a sentient alien race with the same level of technology as current humans, came into direct contact with the human race?"

We're making the assumption that either aliens, humans or both, have reached a level of technology high enough to come into contact with each other. Besides, we're asking ourselves a "what if" question, not debating the possibility of this actually happening. I intended this discussion to be a way of making people think of the human race 'objectively', from the perspective of an outsider, not as a member of this race.

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