Re. SETI (was something else...)
Mon, 12 Jul 1999 02:14:29 EDT

>Note -- the evidence doesn't stack up for them messing around in
>our local vicinity. [They may be observing, but they aren't
>interfering [regligious miracles & alien abductions excepted].

"Excepted" in the sense that "they're of no consequence and not worth looking at" or excepted in the sense that "these are some examples that may well be evidence of interference but I'm not going to launch into detail about them"?

>The evidence as I read it, best says, once evolved, a "stand-off-ish"
>position is adopted that allows them to inexpensively observe
>further evolution.

Why "hands-off"? I can certainly see many reasons for this approach, but at the same time I'm forced to wonder if an arbitrarily advanced civilization wouldn't have a plethora of artificially evolved civilizations at its disposal. Perhaps the "supreme" civilization uses some as controls and some as test subjects. My money is on us being the victims of some cosmic test, but that's neither here nor there.

Also, why "inexpensively"? I understand the concept of available resources, etc., but the notion of "expense" has an anthopomorphic ring to it I'm not sure I like--especially if the hypothetical civilization we're dealing with is arbitrarily advanced, as postulated above (i.e. has molecular nanotechnology). "Expense" was Carl Sagan and Frank Drake's big argument for the feasibility of SETI, but their reasoning was (arguably) based more on depicting alien motives in popularly understandable terms than dealing with really _alien_ aliens.

I'm not bashing SETI; far from it. But the "SEMANTICS" light on my monitor starts blinking when I read words that seem to insinuate an earthly monetary system on a nonterrestrial civilization.

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