I really don't think this debate is going to go anywhere, so this will be my last post on the subject.
Saturday, July 03, 1999 9:46 PM Peter Lakbar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Yes, but why your shoelaces becomes untied isn't really a mystery. No one
>feels the need to invoke nanotech as an explanation.
>(Hey! Waitaminit! Maybe it's a plot by the army to disable the soldiers of
>opposing armies by causing their shoelaces to become untied in combat using
>Besides, even if I am personally unable to write a paper explaining why the
>on my sneakers often becomes untied while the laces on my other shoes
>still not something that I would spend time studying.
But that's just arbitrary. You're choosing the sexier phenomena. My point in contrasting the two was not so much to say I'm worried much about my shoelaces -- I can tolerate a certain amount of mystery in my life, as I'm sure we all can and do -- but to show how the same reasoning looks not so convincing when applied to less interesting stuff.
>On the other hand, we
>have thousands of people, some of them even 'qualified', claiming to see
>unidentified things in the sky and on the ground.
By that tack, we have thousands, no! millions of people whop believe in God, some of them very qualified. such as Einstein -- or, if you want an expert in the field of religion, theologians, mystics, and the like. Does that mean they are right? That would be an argument from authority. The truth is true, regardless of who says it, and the same applies to the false.
>Some people even claim
>that these objects have been registered on radar screens and photograpic
Yet, after all these incidents, nothing has arisen that is unambiguously alien. What is especially strange is how aliens (or whatever it may be -- future versions of us trying to communicate back that nanotech works) only seem to make their appearances in ways that are ambiguous at best or can be explained away at worst.
>It seems to me that there is a mystery that deserves to be
>investigated here, for if all these people are lying or are mistaken about
>natural phenomena, yet consistently repeats the same hallucinatory details,
>then that is surely something that needs to be investigated by
>(Rather few psychologist since Jung have done any study of the UFO
>Then it requires the same amount of study as say, glossalia or some other
>minor psychological abberation. If they are not lying or mistaken, then the
>mystery of what they really saw awaits.
But the truth is people have been studying this, both believers, skeptics, and what have you. I don't think we on this list have anything novel to add this debate. You might think putting nanotech into the mix is going to solve the mystery or push the debate to another level. I believe it's just another round of trying to explain something that has a far less romantic/sexy/neat explanation.
>>>one that have been mentioned in any book on the subject. (UFO's, that is,
>>But the same can be said about any paranormal phenomena or even stuff we
>>pretty sure is outright bull. I mean, perhaps Jesus was resurrected using
>>nanotech. Perhaps the dinosaurs became extinct because of nanotech.
>>Perhaps the apparitions of the Virgin seen in so many places is actually
>>nanotech in action. This really doesn't clear things up.
>Of course, you are right, but remember that nobody said it would.
>This is only speculation, after all.
But I thought the point behind the original post was to offer some new twist that would lead to an explanation. If all you want to do is speculate, well, then let's UFOs made the dinosaurs extinct. There was a great space battle and a weapon of unimaginable power blasted the Earth killing off the dinosaurs. It's possible, no? It makes for great science fiction. (See S. D. Howe's "Wrench and Claw" in _Analog_ 11/98 for a story that comes very close, as did an episode of "Doctor Who.":)
>>It's also the plot for some science fiction novels, such as Ian Watson's
>>_Miracle Visitors_... It makes for interesting science fiction, but I
>>think it's so. But if it is, Have pity on me Oh Great Ones! Take me into
>>your paradisical future!:)
>Be careful, they are probably monitoring our transmissions....:)
Hey, did you ever think that I might be one of them? And that my kind don't want your kind to advance too far, too fast? That we might neutralize you -- perhaps, by merely abducting you so others will think you're crazy when you tell them you've seen us? Only kidding!:)
>>But in truth, I think people experience lots of things that have more
>>mundane explanations BUT would be much more interesting if cloaked in
>Certainly true. As a wise man once said; humans live thru their myths and
>only endure their realities.
I've heard that before and I think it might just be true. On the other, if you know the reality, you have a good chance of changing it -- as opposed to just making a pretty story up to accept it. E.g., the myth of an afterlife might help a lot of people to make it through the day, but it also makes it less likely they'll look for a cure for death. (Of course, a lot of people who don't believe in an afterlife have come to accept death, but I chalk that up to either a) not being exposed to life extension ideas in a serious way or b) lack of imagination.)
>>Each age and culture has its own way of dealing with this. If the
But would not a good way to test and expand a culture be to show it stuff it
could NOT deal with? Stuff that can be explained away -- like, "Hey, that's
just aliens/Russian missle tests/dirigibles/witches/swamp gas!" -- won't
really challenge a belief system. However, if a UFO landed in Central Park
on a Sunday afternoon when the Great Lawn is packed and displayed all sorts
of neat gadgetry, then a lot of skeptics, at least, would have to change
their ideas... How come that never happens?
>>"ghost rockets" (and this is the first I've heard of them) had been seen
>>years earlier, they might have been called "phanton airships" or 300 years
>>earlier "witches" or 3000 years earlier....
>Yes, that's part of the theory. The Power would mask itself as something
>that could be comprehended by the cultures it was observing/experimenting
>5000-2000 years ago flying chariots, flying shields and what have you,
>phantom dirigibles a hundred years ago, phantom rockets and phantom
>aviators eighty to
>sixty years ago and now phantom space craft manned by aliens.
But would not a good way to test and expand a culture be to show it stuff it could NOT deal with? Stuff that can be explained away -- like, "Hey, that's just aliens/Russian missle tests/dirigibles/witches/swamp gas!" -- won't really challenge a belief system. However, if a UFO landed in Central Park on a Sunday afternoon when the Great Lawn is packed and displayed all sorts of neat gadgetry, then a lot of skeptics, at least, would have to change their ideas... How come that never happens?
>>Well, you get the point.
>>That's a lot of testing. That power must be very inefficient or sloppy
>>hard to believe, stupid.
>That depends on what timescale the tests would be made on, and what kind of
>After all, what's the use of being immortal if you can't do research
>projects lasting for
>very great lenghts of time? That would be one of the natural advantages of
>being a Power, methinks.
>And besides, the rationale and methods of a true Power would probably be
>incomprehensible to us. That could be used against my argument as well, of
And the same has been said about God. Do you believe in God? If you don't and need a rational explanation or empirical demonstration, perhaps the problem is your mind is too limited to see God's method and plan... This makes for good science fiction or conspiracy theories (X-Files, anyone?), but it is below even the best human reasoning.
>>I do find these things interesting and the speculations are also so, but I
>>have a feeling all this cool tech won't come about until we make it come
>Possibly. As I said, this is all speculation. Or maybe not.
I'm not going to wait around to find out.