Re: Re: Barely Detectable Aliens
Mon, 26 Jul 1999 01:53:24 EDT

John K. Clark writes:

>If they ignore that [nanotech] scenario then they're not very interesting,
besides, >we don't need all of them.

Not interesting!? Maybe not to you...but if I became aware of an extrasolar presence I'd be damned interested in them. How did they manage it? How long have they been around? What do they know? This has to be the most absurd statement I've yet to read on this list.

>If even one civilization took to the Nanotechnology path anytime in the last
>5 billion years ago or so it would be obvious to anyone who had eyes that
the >night sky had been engineered.

Assuming that they _wanted_ to engineer the cosmos. Again, this pronouncement is ridiculous. And what's with the capital "N" on "nanotechnology"? It's a technology--a tool--not a damned religion. Must we all bow our heads in awe to the Great God of Nanotech, Without Which Interstellar Travel is Impossible? (That bit about non-nano aliens not being interesting anyway was a blatant cop-out, completely removed from informed speculation.)

An alien civilization is not some abstracted phenomenon out to prove its existence to the galaxy (or, more accurately, to John K. Clark). There are any number of worthwhile things it could spend its time doing. Assuming that the nanotech diaspora scenario is the _only_ scenario is a dangerous make-believe designed to cut intelligent discourse in the bud, serving to police "non-Extropian" memes.

As a possibility, I have no trouble with it whatsoever. Maybe it's even likely--but I'm not going to go beyond my data and proclaim that it's "nano or nothing."

>We see nothing of the sort, thus I conclude that quite probably their are no
ET's, >or if there are they're too dull to bother with.

Oh, man, you're _so_ erudite! How can I learn to be this cool and dismissive?

>Nanotechnology may or may not be near on a human time scale, but from a
>cosmological perspective it will happen instantaneously, this very instant.

Nanotechnology isn't a "done deal," but I tend to agree with this last statement. We're more than likely on the verge. But it's premature speaking in absolutes, when a variety of scenarios demand attention. If we're going to discover some alien intelligence in the future, it's _not_ going to be through the blinkered reasoning of these last several posts.

--Mac Tonnies