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Poll: So what's really going on?
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Alien visitors who've been spoofing our view of the universe to stay hidden
1 4.76%
These craft are generated by a local Bracewell Probe
1 4.76%
Visitors from a different 'brane' or universe.
0 0%
Pentagon running a psyop on the public
7 33.33%
Something else
12 57.14%
Total 21 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Recent revelations about UFOs*cough*UAPs from the military
Bear Wrote:Again, I point to the Great Silence. There's no place they could have come from.

While I do find the Great Silence a compelling notion, I'd hasten to bring up the fact that we've sampled comparatively very little of the observable universe, and we probably don't have the requisite sensitivity to see, say, a civilisation made up of Matrioshka Brains or likely even Dysons. Given modern data encoding and encryption, it's reasonable to assume that, without knowing what to look for, the transmissions and communications of alien civilisations are almost indistinguishable from radio noise. I appreciate your pessimism, but as you say, we shouldn't anthropomorphise nonhuman intelligence: there could be all sorts of reasons they aren't reaching out. Or we might be among the first civilisations to arise in our corner of the universe.

Bear Wrote:If they really need to send physical probes, they'd be nanotech devices lodged in grains of sand or two-meter rocks etc, that look just like all the other grains of sand and two-meter rocks etc that come from the outer solar system, and they'd hit our atmosphere like all that other stuff does, and we'd never goddamn notice because that happens all the time. Nanotech devices, even just spreading on the wind, can get to see everything and hear everything and sample everything in fairly short order.

This section of your response assumes rather a lot, in my opinion. If Drexleran nanotechnology isn't feasible, for example (or indeed simply more vulnerable to environmental factors than OA canon assumes) there could be good reasons to send macroscale probes from a purely pragmatic perspective. The scheme you propose -- nano- or micro-probes dropped via asteroid impacts -- might simply not be possible, or might be a limited part of their approach to studying our world. This, of course, all assumes there isn't some other motive for this -- which could range from human comprehensible (UFOs are a good soft way to prepare humanity for alien contact, or maybe our hypothetical extraterrestrials are embodied or something) all the way through to things we aren't equipped with the mental architecture to conceive. Or hell, maybe we're on the equivalent of an alien prank show, haha.

Bear Wrote:I can -- just barely -- entertain the notion of a local Bracewell Probe, but if so, time being what it is, the species that sent it is probably no longer even extant. If it still existed it would be another species - or another several species - by now, and when I say "if it still existed" I point at the Great Silence again. I think the odds aren't good. Also a Bracewell probe is an investment with a hundred-million-year breakeven, at best, and if their economies are anything like ours funding decisions would be weighed against investments with a thirty-year breakeven.

Again, there are a few assumptions here I'd dispute. Firstly, humans don't exclusively do things in accordance with economic timescales of a few decades -- look not only to the great Cathedrals of European history, but also to the acts of charities and even oddballs like the Long Now Foundation for examples of that. In a Sufficiently Advanced civilisation, it doesn't *take* huge investment to build Bracewell Probes. Hell, any Bracewell probes might be the product of a single Soph's garage 3D printer.

The other side of my critique here would be a lot more solid, I feel -- for any interstellar species operating in a Relativistic universe (i.e. assuming no FTL trickery) probably isn't working with Economics As We Know It. Interstellar travel is at best the work of decades, perhaps centuries or even millennia -- meanwhile, it's also likely that civilisations advanced enough to travel between the stars might also possess life extensions technology or even mind uploading, either of which could produce a civilisation very much divorced from five-to-thirty-year economic models. And this is assuming that our current model, primarily a capitalist one, is likely to develop independently among aliens who could, as you admit, be really very different from us. Given the range of economies humans have tried at various technology levels in the past, I'm not sure that that is a given.

In fact, Bracewell Probes' self-replicating abilities suggest an economic approach completely alien to our own. Aside from organic matter, we don't really have many examples of commercial products which can build more of themselves, after all. Any and all bets are off w/r/t feasibility of Bracewell Probes in my opinion. Could be that every other rock in the Asteroid Belt hides a fossilised Bracewell.

Bear Wrote:I included the option of voting for 'visitors from another 'brane' or universe' because I think that's honestly more likely than aliens from another solar system.

We don't know if there are other 'branes' or universes. If there are, we have no indication. We've identified several reasons why a typical 'brane' would not be expected to be life-bearing. We don't have any idea how a journey or translation from one universe to another would be made, or if so, how difficult that would be.

This is a good point, and one that's often neglected when it comes to discussions of UFOs and suchlike. I could believe such devices originate from elsewhere, in a rather literal sense. Of course, motives remain confusing.

Of course you missed the real Chad option -- that these UFOs are actually far-future post-humans meddling in their ancestors' development Wink .

Bear Wrote:ROM chip shenanigans?

While I agree that (as much as I'd like to speculate otherwise) the overwhelmingly likely case is that these 'UFOs' are nothing supernatural, I think I actually disagree here. Not a cybersecurity expert, but my instinct is that building malware which can both evade detection *and* respond to some kind of external stimulus to make military-grade equipment hallucinate just seems vanishingly improbable. It also wouldn't explain those sightings where both visual contact has been made by humans, and where these FLIR cameras and whatnot have a reading -- and it would also fail to explain those instances where Radar pings tipped off naval assets to the presence of these UFOs.

My own instinct is that (at least some of) these phenomena are legitimately real, they're just not technological. Like I said, ball lightning, or something. Or if they are technological, they're the results of really quite competent pilots and aviators making some poor assumptions when it comes to their motion (700g accelerations and the like) and are in fact experimental drones of some kind.


Hard and Firm Sci-fi nerd, transgender transhumanist, intend to live forever or die trying. Credit me as Lilly Harper.

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RE: Recent revelations about UFOs*cough*UAPs from the military - by weirdspecter - 05-22-2021, 07:18 AM

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