Re: This funny Rosswel bussines

Hal Finney (
Sat, 12 Jul 1997 22:21:22 -0700

Michael Lorrey, <>, writes:
> Max M (Not MORE... not less!) wrote:
> > (speaking of a stealthed planetary probe)...
> > What about a nanomachine the size of a speck of sand covered in teflon
> > being dropped into the atmosphere at low speed?
> >
> 1) what's its power source?

The idea is that this spec includes an "egg yolk" power source enough
to get it started building. Then it relies on environmental sources,
essentially solar energy, as it spreads out. First it's a grain of sand,
then a small blotch on the soil, than a larger, dark green spot, extending
roots below to find the elements needed. A few cubic inches of super-
computer, built below the soil, are enough to boot up the millions of
alien minds which arrived in the seed. These researchers guide the
remainder of the expansion, careful study, building equipment and
supplies, a whole interstellar expedition. When the time is right,
communications equipment is built in space or on the ground. All the
plans, blueprints, and stored minds arrived in the seed. That's what
you can do with nanotech.

> I think your guys are
> thinking too far ahead. Any civilizations first interstellar missions
> will not be that much different from our existing space program, i.e.
> hiding is not a priority. you think that any aliens must be some
> superbeings because in your heart you think that humanity is too stupid
> to ever reach other star systems, so if they can get here, they must be
> so much better than we are. BS. They will put their pants on pretty much
> the same way as we do, and will be just as messed up as individuals as
> we are.

I completely disagree. Statistically, the chances that the aliens just
happen to be within 100 years of our own technological development is so
low as to be absurd. 100 years is less than one ten thousandth of one
percent of the age of the Earth. Imagine two planets which happened
to create intelligent life which flowered at exactly the same time,
to this level of precision. Impossible!

You don't seem to appreciate the power which we're going to be able
to wield in 100 years. Ever hear of the "singularity"? Ever hear of
"nanotech"? Ever hear of AIs billions of times more intelligent than
the smartest humans today? In 100 years *we* (meaning our cultural
descendants) should be able to launch the interstellar expedition
described above.

This is the biggest problem I have with UFO stories. The aliens are
laughable caricatures, Buck Rogers in a flying saucer. They're just
like we would have been back in the 1940's if we had that era's idea
of future technology.

The stories which really make me laugh are the biological ones. Did you
know the aliens need to swoop down at night and steal the sex organs
from *cows*? I won't even get into the abduction tails of forced sex and
hybrid human/aliens. This is ludicrous. If the aliens want biological
samples, they can use nanotech probes and get them invisibly! And once
they have a few they certainly don't need to keep coming back for more,
they can make as many as they want, ringing their own changes on the DNA.

The limited abilities of the aliens are due to the limited imaginations
of the people reporting them, nothing more. It's just as dated as Star

We've got a lot of new people on the list, and they don't seem to have
fully internalized the new way of thinking about the future. Read some
of Moravec's stuff. His new book has excerpts on the web at
<URL: >. Read
the other references which have been discussed here recently. It is
gradually becoming clear that the future is not going to be what we thought
back in the 1960's. It's going to be awesome, strange and terrible (in
the older sense of the word). It's going to be great and godlike. Any
superlative you like can apply.

This list can be a good place to start thinking about it, but we need to
have less nonsense and more familiarity with what will be possible.