Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Speciality Forums >> Science! Astronomy & Space Exploration, and Others

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | >> (show all)
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5453852 - 10/03/12 04:51 PM

Up here in Kentucky, where we are a bit more confused about which side of the Mason-Dixon line on which we reside....the phrase Y'all is also often used. As are "sweetheart", "darling", "honey".

Coming from Minnesota, we never used those words. Just not appropriate among the culture of Norweijan Bachelor Farmers and the Lutheran Frozen Chosen....but...after fifteen years here, I use these words, honest to God, without even thinking about it.

Thus, being employed by Xerox as an Apple Product Phone Consultant, my trainers/coaches/supervisors were absolutely stunned to hear me saying to one caller from New York City, another caller from Reno, Nevada; another caller from somewhere in Oregon...something like "Now, sweetheart, the way you get your MacBook to do such an so is to do an SMC reset. [Person asks a question, to which I respond]..."Yes, darling, that is how you do it. Now, be a honey and pull the cord from the wall."

I wouldn't say the supervisors went ballistic....but they did tell all of us to refrain from such southernisms.

Damn Yankees.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453898 - 10/03/12 05:25 PM

Quote:

Let me summarize your thought this way, the bracketed n=1 idea of we have no idea of the frequency of extra-terrestrial-intelligent beings other than that the odds are greater than 0.....that idea, the n=1, also applies to the idea of them prefering contact (though difficult) having decided communication is near to impossible. Your reasoning is, we can't just assume what appears to be the way of things on earth applies elsewhere; specifically, the-urge-to make actual contact by way of transportation.




Well, I am saying that even here on earth, we have N>>1 for species, and not all species are social, and not even all social species like physical contact. Fish school together, but do not actually touch except to mate or fight. There are many other examples. So if desiring physical contact isn't universal across species here on earth, we can't assume it will be universal in alien species. In fact, we can be pretty certain it won't be universal based on our earth-bound sample.

Quote:

1. It's not just the act of human perception which causes a quantum level event to occur, it is any act/event in which the pre-quantum-quasi-determined is perceived; by an amoeba, a person, an instrument, whatever.




In the contect of quantum mechanics, I think the meaning of "observed" means "interacts with another particle". I am not sure that it matters whether a living being is involved. When a photon gets absorbed by an electron, at that point it has been "observed", not when I look at the computer screen to see the image from my CCD camera.

Quote:

But now, Jarad, et alii, I have a follow up question. If it were the case extra-terrestrial-intelligent 99-2.5s tend not to have an urge-to-merge, would it not follow they also would not have an urge to communicate?




I am not saying they don't have an urge to meet other life, only that we can't assume that they all do. If we assume that there are multiple intelligent species out there, I would expect we will see a range of "sociability". Some might be like an insect colony - very social within the colony, but hostile to anything out of it. Some might be like whales or birds, gathering in groups and in almost constant communication, but with minimal physical contact. I am sure there many other possibilities that I can't come up with.

I wouldn't say it automatically follows that they do not have an urge to communicate - they may or they may not. But depending on how difficult it is to do, they may not have the means to communicate with us, or maybe they have the means but it is so expensive in terms of energy that they choose to spend that energy on something else. We certainly aren't spending anything near our maximum capability on sending signals out, so we would fall into this category. Does that mean we have no desire to communicate?

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453912 - 10/03/12 05:40 PM

The thing being overlooked is the simple immense size of our own galaxy.

The Milky Way contains ~10^11 stars (~100 billion) not counting halo stars.

Lets assume there are 1000 intelligent civilizations in the galaxy. That would
mean 1 out of 100 million stars would host an intelligent civilization. The average
separation, assuming a random distribution, would be ~4000 LY. Now point a telescope
at a random patch of the Milky Way. What is the chance that one of the stars in the
field hosted an intelligent civilization? Very close to zero.

Let's say one of these civilizations wanted to try and contact another. Lets say
they ruled out stellar types unlikely to have had time for an intelligent civilization
to evolve, like red giants. You would still be left with billions of candidates.

Now you send a 1-minute message to each candidate star using, say, a huge radio
telescope with enormous transmitting power and a very tight beam. How long would this
take to send 1 billion messages at the rate of 1 per minute? About 1900 years.
To shorten that time to 1 year, you would need to build 1900 transmitters. To
listen for a reply, you would have to monitor the candidate stars for as long
as tens of thousands of years.

The point being (yes I do have one) that for an intelligent civilation in our galaxy
to locate and initiate contact with another makes finding the proverbial needle
in a haystack easy in comparison.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5453967 - 10/03/12 06:31 PM

Yes, EJN, let's use your assumptions as a starting point; 100 billion plus stars with only a thousand intelligent civilizations spread among them.

But, and I think this is a significant but...because of the generation 1/2 thing to which we referred earlier, on average, those one thousand are 2 and a half billion years advanced of us (i.e. on average, on planets around stars averaging 7.5 billion years age).

The point then....is they have had a billion or so years to send out fast craft, slow craft. Craft tend to leave remnants whereas messages flow by. Lets say they get the urge to send craft out once every 10 thousand years on average. Ten thousand divided into 2.5 billion is, what...250 thousand...which equates to 250 million civilization-transportation-contact events.

Yes, if 1000 only looked outward once, the odds are very poor. But if we are talking about 250 million civilization-transporation-contact-events, the odds are much improved of contact.

But we have no evidence of such contact.

Are they not there?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5454009 - 10/03/12 07:03 PM

Quote:

The point then....is they have had a billion or so years to send out fast craft, slow craft. Craft tend to leave remnants whereas messages flow by. Lets say they get the urge to send craft out once every 10 thousand years on average. Ten thousand divided into 2.5 billion is, what...250 thousand...which equates to 250 million civilization-transportation-contact events.




The volume of the Milky Way is ~39 trillion cubic light-years, or ~10^51 cubic
kilometers. That's a lot of ground to cover. If they specifically wanted to visit
us, they would first have to know we are here. Interstellar travel would have enormous
energy requirements, it isn't like hopping on a plane, or even going to the moon.
If you were to go somewhere at interstellar distances, you would want to know in advance
that it was somewhere worthwhile to go to. And I do not think faster-than-light travel is
possible; besides the time paradoxes it would pose - unless everything we know about
physics is wrong - the speed of light is a fundamental aspect of spacetime
geometry
of the universe, and not just an arbitrary "speed limit." There was a
recent thread here about the so-called "warp drive" which is based on a solution of
GR which is unphysical.

Also, you assume old civilizations underwent more or less continuous advancement
in technological development. It is possible they could collapse. Completely. Repeatedly.



Quote:

But we have no evidence of such contact.
Are they not there?



Men in Black. Doing their jobs.

Or...using the argument "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" (see,
I can do it too),
1) The energy requirements of near-lightspeed interstellar travel are insurmountable, &
2) FTL interstellar travel is impossible (there is no "hyperspace" or "wormholes"),
so intelligent civilizations are trapped in their own solar systems, or at best could
travel only to the very nearest stars.

Or - if they took the "slow-boat" approach, say they have long life spans or have
perfected suspended animation, there has probably not been enough time to find us.
Or maybe they were here before we existed, and took back some pet dinosaurs.

Typing this gave me a migraine, I'm done here for now.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454113 - 10/03/12 08:11 PM

"I'm done with this thread. Typing this gave me a migraine."

I understand. Though writing never gave me headaches, it did create tremendous pain in my hands from writing...thousands of pages by hand...AND THEN...the word processor was developed! A dozen books/booklets and hundreds of various articles later, I have never stopped enjoying the attempt to use speech to articulate ideas clearly, to attempt to communicate meaning, and to attempt to do these in such a way that invited the reader to want to read what I wrote-to feel comfortably affirmed in the reading even when the content took issue with ideas stated and unstated.

Nothing sharpens the thinking and clarifies expression as well as articulating one's thoughts in dialogue and in writing in the court of one's peers.

......................

Volume is not the issue.

The issue is number of intended destinations, the average arrival times based on current assessments of what speeds are possible, and a statistical analysis of the average distance of intended targets.

The only assumption I am operating under, does in fact take your volume issue into account; these civilizations have found that the volume of the galaxy makes communication and transportation such an unmitigated pain in the *BLEEP* that they have come to peace with making attempted contacts by means of proxies of themselves: some form of cybernetic construct, or DNA seed, or DNA replication instructions or some such thing.

An average of once every 10,000 year-reach-out is a good average. Certainly, some civilizations will never reach out or will give up or become unable to reach out. But, if there are a thousand and they reach out many times over a 2.5 billion year span, some of these attempts will make contact with other advanced civilizations and some of these will find they actually like the civilizations with which they make contact, and this realization will lead to an enhanced desire to reach out even more and even more often; a kind of critical mass thing.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454120 - 10/03/12 08:16 PM

Quote:

Is there a Cliff's Notes version of that post?




17 posts and 50,000 words later....

No.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5454137 - 10/03/12 08:25 PM

Quote:

some of these attempts will make contact with other advanced civilizations and some of these will find they actually like the civilizations with which they make contact



One final comment - I used to read tons of science fiction. Suppose they did make
contact, didn't like each other, interstellar war broke out, and they
were all wiped out. I could continue with all sorts of speculative scenarios
like this but I won't.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454346 - 10/03/12 11:32 PM

I'm reminded of Blaise Pascal's quip:
"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."

Unfortunately, Otto, although you may be saving yourself much time by letting your exposition flow freely and presenting it all at once, you are demanding much valuable time from the reader. It makes for a poor dialogue.

I would respectfully request, that out of respect for the readers, that all of us attempt to be as succinct as possible -- even if we have to spend much time editing our thoughts before posting them.

If we need to elaborate, that will come out naturally in the ensuing discussion, as needed. Walls of text do not lead to ensuing discussion.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454361 - 10/03/12 11:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

A more true response would be to say I enjoy using languages.




My favorite is Elvish:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, sí nef aearon!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-díriel,
le nallon sí di'-nguruthos!
A tíro nin, Fanuilos!

A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!











Legal stuff for moderators:

Quote:

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

You are free:

* to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work

en.wikipedia.org







Not just Elvish -- but which Elvish?

There were Quenya and Sindarin. For the thread, who can identify which language and which script this is in?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454409 - 10/04/12 12:16 AM

In 1958 the University of Chicago published Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition.

Quickly, this book became highly esteemed. For example, it was in the late 1950s, the University of Chicago and Encyclopedia Britannica came out with that series called The Great Books of the Western World. It consisted of 54 volumes and several hundred works by a hundred or so authors in all areas of human learning; literature, science, philosophy, theology, poetry, etc., written before the A.D. 20th Century.

One of the two managing editors of that series, Mortimer Adler, in 1977 spearheaded a group which came up with a list of books written in the A.D. 20th century they hoped to include in a continuation of the Great Books. The continuation again consisted of a hundred or more books by about 60 authors. One of the authors was Hannah Arendt, her The Human Condition being one hers included.

In undergraduate and graduate studies at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., we were required to read it twice and discuss it in dedicated classes. It was at this time I heard someone, perhaps a professor, refer to Arendt as the premier American philosopher of the first half of the A.D. 20th century.

In the Prologue, on page 2, Arendt wrote of science fiction: "...science fiction...[is a genre] (to which, unfortunately, nobody yet has paid the attention it deserves as a vehicle of mass sentiments and mass desires.")

She wrote that prescient statement in 1957; a time when the movies, TV programs, books, comic books, games, containing science fiction themes were a tiny fraction of what they are today.

Her point; one of the significant values of science fiction is and will be what it says (reveals) about the human spirit and the soul of the human community.

Using the words EJN (you) wrote, and perhaps even an idea implied in his (EJN's) use of these words, Arendt did not speak of prophetic or insightful "speculative scenarios" as the essence of what science fiction was, is,or would be. Rather, she saw science fiction as a way of looking into the human spirit, the soul of the human community and seeing what drives it.

When I began this thread and on one or two occasions throughout it, an issue I have raised is the question, "what will the impact be on human beings and the human community should it/they come to deeply internalize the idea we are alone? that there is no one else out there? or, for all practical purposes there is no one else out there."

I cannot divine her thought in this regard....but I feel comfortable suggesting a significant reason science fiction programming and literature and gaming is so prevalent today, is that it, science fiction, is revealing we, human persons, are beginning to grapple with and come to terms with the fact that for all practical purposes, if not in fact, that we are alone with each other and each other is all we have. These "speculative scenarios", are not so much means of distracting ourselves from this growing realization, as they are the articulations of the revelation around which we are trying to get our minds and hearts that the only resource we have to care for and depend on is other human persons.

This is a difficult thing for us to choose to get our hearts and minds around because we know of lots of examples of humans and human cultures not playing well with each other, and we are beginning to internalize the idea that not only must we play with each other in the same room...for all practical purposes we can never leave that room. For a time (depending on who one reads, since the development of the telescope, or since the beginning of space travel) we played with the idea we were not essentially, or were no longer, children-of-the-earth. But now, we have discovered how difficult it is to do anything in outer space, and how dark, cold, and empty the universe is. We have discovered, we can't leave the womb; that the next frontier will for all practical purposes not be out-there, that children-of-the-earth is what we are and shall always be.

Perhaps this is what science fiction is revealing.

The Walking Dead perfectly fits this description. So does Terranova. So does The Day the World Stood Still. And so many others. They are not about zombies, or a new world, or aliens doing the Noah's ark thing. They are, each and everyone of them, about human persons and human community's struggling to hold on to their humanity in the face of the realization that human persons and the human community is all we have.

Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/04/12 12:19 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5454680 - 10/04/12 08:29 AM

Quote:

When I began this thread and on one or two occasions throughout it, an issue I have raised is the question, "what will the impact be on human beings and the human community should it/they come to deeply internalize the idea we are alone? that there is no one else out there? or, for all practical purposes there is no one else out there."
...

we are beginning to grapple with and come to terms with the fact that for all practical purposes that we are alone with each other and each other is all we have.




I think this is something that most people grapple with at some point in their lives, but I don't think it is new. The same theme pops up in most "coming of age" movies. It's just moving into another context (humanity and the universe, as opposed to your tribe, town, island, etc.). The only difference is scale.

I don't think it will have a fundamental difference on our society - we have enough of each other to keep us company.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5455561 - 10/04/12 07:01 PM

This much for sure: if the existence of extraterrestrial life is eventually confirmed, it won't be by a philosopher.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5455728 - 10/04/12 09:05 PM

You wrote, "This much for sure: if the existence of extraterrestrial life is eventually confirmed, it won't be by a philosopher." Your comment, Hank, is an interesting comment. It stirs up the juices of thought. Thank you my friend.


If it is determined that we have made contact with an extra-terrestrial-intelligence that assessment can only be a philosophical assessment; it can only be made by a philosopher. Quite probably it will be a scientist-acting/thinking-as-a-philosopher, but not as a scientist-acting/thinking-as-a scientist.

Consider with me the scenario. Something strange is observed or experienced. That something does not fit into anything we know scientifically. Such an event/thing is called an anomaly.

At some later point, let us imagine, that anomaly is defined as as extra-terrestrial-intelligence. That act of definition is a philosophical act, not a scientific act.

Why? The subject matter of science is matter (and its variations such as energy) and motion. An anomaly is some observation of some combination of matter and motion. The description of that matter and motion...the description...is a scientific act. But the defintion of that anomaly, and of that description of the anomaly as a something-else; in this case, an extra-terrestrial-intelligence...that is a philosophical act.

It is quite possible the individual which makes this definition will be a scientist. But, at the moment she/he makes that defintion, she/he will be a person-who-happens-to-be-a-scientist thinking/acting as a philosopher.

If she/he is a good philosoher, the defintion will occur more quickly and be articulated more clearly.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5455749 - 10/04/12 09:17 PM

I don't see how this follows. Lets say that we detect a transmission. The person who detects it will identify some aspect of it that rules it out as a natural phenomenon (for example, it is counting out prime numbers). There may be other information content that gets decoded as well. How is that not scientific?

I think you are drawing an arbitrary dividing line between philosophy and science in this case - there is no reason science can't identify something as natural vs. artificial, which is how we would determine if a signal is from extraterrestrial intelligence.

Deciding whether that the transmission is good news or bad news is where the philosophers come in.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5455889 - 10/04/12 10:55 PM

You use the phrase "natural phenomena", Jarad.

Would you be comfortable saying the word nature is a synonym for all matter and motion?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5455893 - 10/04/12 10:56 PM

Exactly. The definition of life can be asserted many ways, but "something strange" is not one of them.

If life is detected and confirmed, it will be because it's been compared with what are recognized as criteria for life, and these are established scientifically, not philosophically.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5456153 - 10/05/12 07:31 AM

Quote:

Would you be comfortable saying the word nature is a synonym for all matter and motion?




In this context, it means due to causes other than intelligent life. As opposed to artificial, which means purposefully caused by the action of intelligent life.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Napersky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/27/10

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: The silence is deafening.... [Re: moynihan]
      #5456174 - 10/05/12 07:56 AM

Dan Joyce I believe gave a short talk during ALCON 2012 titled, "The Drake Equation in Reverse" about the vast distances such civilizations would have to travel just to communicate and why we probably will NEVER hear from another intelligent species.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Shadowalker
Apocaloptimist
*****

Reged: 11/23/04

Loc: Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, ...
Re: The silence is deafening.... [Re: ColoHank]
      #5456175 - 10/05/12 07:57 AM

Quote:

This much for sure: if the existence of extraterrestrial life is eventually confirmed, it won't be by a philosopher.




Maybe, but we might learn how many aliens can dance on the head of a pin.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | >> (show all)


Extra information
2 registered and 3 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  LivingNDixie, FirstSight, JayinUT 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 19283

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics