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Some thoughts about aliens & nuances of interstellar foreign policy


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#1
TheComrade

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Let's suppose that alien civilizations are not so rare and can communicate with each other. Let's then suppose that these civilizations are very different, but each of them can be defined as "good" or "bad". The differences between them are such:

 

- "Bad" civilizations tend to attack neighbors as soon as possible.

- "Good" civilizations are not aggressive by nature, but can attack first when they feel threatened.

 

The share of "good" and "bad" civilizations remains unknown to each of them. Moreover, given the huge distances between civilizations, each of them can not even be sure about partners: if even they're describing themselves as "good", this may be the deliberate and very sophisticated misinformation. Everything you have is their words and, without face-to-face contact, there is no way to check it.

 

The last assumption: interstellar war is very short and, with other things being equal, attacker have huge advantage over defender. When your goal is total genocide and attack is carried out with a near-light speed, the victim just have no time to react or at least understand what's going on. In short, preemptive strike is key to victory.

 

Now, what conclusions can we draw from this?

 

Optimistic conclusion: yes, we don't know the share of "good" and "bad" civilizations, but we can assume that "bad" civilizations are more prone to self-destruction in internal conflicts. Therefore, the more advanced civilization we've met, the more chance this is a "good" one. In general, universe should be filled with old and advanced "good" civilizations living in peace.

 

Pessimistic conclusion: for any civilization, no matter "good" or "bad", the only logical behavior is to attack aliens as soon as possible. In ideal case, attack before other civilization even learned about your existence. Imagine two civilizations, A and B. While A already knows about BB is still unavare about A.

 

- If A are "bad" civilization, they will attack and destroy B. Plain and simple.

- If are "good" civilization, they are still not sure (and can never be sure) about B. Attempt to talk with B will not give the answer, it will only lead to disclosing itself. And this is very dangerous: if B are "bad", they'll immediately attack! Do not talk to B? Anyway, they will learn about you, sooner or later... The only way to ensure your safety is to attack first, as soon as possible.

- Even if both A and B are "good" ones already avare of each other's existence, they will still be very suspicious (remember, they can only rely on each other's words but can not check them). The worse, each of two civilizations will know that their very existence depends of other side who can press their own "red button" anytime they want. And the only possible way to ensure safety is... see previous item.

 

Therefore, if even all the civilizations are "good" by nature, they will attack and destroy each other at the first opportunity. This may be the solution of the Fermi paradox: actually, civilizations are abundant, they're just follow the only possible strategy: hiding from others and avoid any talkings.

 

So, what do you think? Where are the logical holes?

 

PS no, i didn't invented this all myself, just borrowed from sci-fi novels of two authors. Optimistic universe - from Ivan Efremov, pessimistic - from Liu Cixin.


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#2
Jakob

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I told everyone what I think once, but I've somewhat changed my mind since then. The thing is that it may be impossible for a first strike to guarantee victory. We could have a series of fail-deadly autonomous stations buried deep inside comets in the Oort Cloud. If communication with Earth ever ceases, they'll launch relativistic kill vehicles and Berserker probes--self-replicating warships--in whatever direction the enemy strike came from. It'd be reasonable to assume that other civilizations will have a similar setup--unless we can destroy them before they become spacefaring--so instead of preemptive war, we'd have an MAD type Cold War situation. However, if a civilization develops a way to block RKVs, perhaps with an incredibly strong Clarke-tech planetary forcefield or something even more exotic, then that would have a destabilizing effect much like anti-ICBM measures. As would a civilization becoming a race of interplanetary nomads, but retaining their capability to launch RKVs and Berserkers.

 

My recommended interstellar foreign policy is as follows:

 

  1. Install relativistic kill vehicle systems and Berserker probe launchers in the Oort Cloud. If Earth falls silent, a dead man's switch is triggered, automatically launching them at the star system that launched them and any other nearby systems. Their locations should be secret, perhaps chosen at random by autonomous robots.
  2. Keep a constant eye on the interstellar neighborhood for hundreds of light years around. This can be done with Starshot-type nano-craft and massive telescopes at the Sun's gravitational focus.
  3. If a spacefaring civilization is detected, don't attack on sight but instead follow MAD. Observe them very closely. The dead man's switch will take care of them if there's any attack.
  4. Also deploy autonomous sensors to the star system of any developing civilization. If they start to build an RKV/Berserker system, destroy them immediately. If they manage to build one behind our backs, follow (3).
  5. Attempt to encourage humanity to spread out as much as possible, opting for space habitats like O'Neill Cylinders over planets.
  6. Never initiate direct contact with an alien civilization, only surveillance. Possibly destroy any civilization that naively makes a lot of noise in our proximity.

 

 

 

I'm currently reading Liu Cixin, it's pretty good.


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#3
Mike the average

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It isnt like American movies where all aliens are bad and victory is brought about by Will Smith uploading a virus to the alien mothership using a CD.

Advanced aliens would evolve at vastly different rates if they evolved independently. It is more likely the more advanced = the more peaceful, based on many significant reasons. So any attempts to attack would be easily quashed by the more advanced alien of improved knowledge and science.
'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#4
As We Rise

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  • Possibly destroy any civilization that naively makes a lot of noise in our proximity.
Suicide.
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#5
TheComrade

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I told everyone what I think once

 

I created the twin thread...



#6
LWFlouisa

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The second one reminds me of things Dr. Stephen Greer has said. ... Not exactly the most realistic in my view. Richard Dolan discussed at length his own issues about Dr. Stephen Greer:

 

 

As far my own view, I think that all species in general have their own best interest at heart. Even if that's at the expense of others at times. Humans are hardly unique in this world, for there is a kind of universal selfishness.


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#7
Jakob

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As far my own view, I think that all species in general have their own best interest at heart. Even if that's at the expense of others at times. Humans are hardly unique in this world, for there is a kind of universal selfishness.

As the old Bedouin saying goes, "I am against my brother, my brother and I are against my cousin, my cousin and I are against the stranger."


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#8
LWFlouisa

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I am wondering, where does this whole Prime Directive thing come from? It was one of a multitude of reasons I left the Billy Meier cult (giving my futurist visions a certain kind of existential flavor).

 

It seems like--if the simplest solution is usually the best one--that just saying aliens are indifferent to humans would be less wordy than saying "we have special directives that require us to not intervene in human affairs."

 

Prime Directive has a sniff of being a human invention to me.


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#9
Yuli Ban

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I am wondering, where does this whole Prime Directive thing come from? It was one of a multitude of reasons I left the Billy Meier cult (giving my futurist visions a certain kind of existential flavor).

 

It seems like--if the simplest solution is usually the best one--that just saying aliens are indifferent to humans would be less wordy than saying "we have special directives that require us to not intervene in human affairs."

 

Prime Directive has a sniff of being a human invention to me.

I believe it stems from a similar idea we give to uncontacted tribes. Rather than forcing development of, say, the North Sentinelese Islanders, we let them be.


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#10
LWFlouisa

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I am wondering, where does this whole Prime Directive thing come from? It was one of a multitude of reasons I left the Billy Meier cult (giving my futurist visions a certain kind of existential flavor).

 

It seems like--if the simplest solution is usually the best one--that just saying aliens are indifferent to humans would be less wordy than saying "we have special directives that require us to not intervene in human affairs."

 

Prime Directive has a sniff of being a human invention to me.

I believe it stems from a similar idea we give to uncontacted tribes. Rather than forcing development of, say, the North Sentinelese Islanders, we let them be.

 

 

I think my frustration with Billy Meier's group, they took it to this weird extreme, where like one can't even defend them self against an attacking tribe member.:/

 

I told Ken, I don't give a ___ about some directive, if I'm being attacked by a stone ax.:p My life over some oppressive directive.


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