archive: Re: SETI FW: An alien perspective - [acc-list] OctoMarx

Re: SETI FW: An alien perspective - [acc-list] OctoMarx

Chris Boyce ( (no email) )
Sat, 3 Oct 1998 17:17:23 +0100

Agreed that ETIs are more likely to be hundreds of millions of years
beyond us on average with technologies "indistinguishable from magic". That
said, I don't imagine their social existence to be anything less than
complex beyond our present abilities to comprehend - but not utopian; all
living things make mistakes and I don't see why we should exclude them.
Intellect, perception and comprehension not withstanding they're as likely
as any other lifeform to have a history of blunders and horrific
misunderstandings, so I personally don't see them turning up their noses
[snouts, antennae, feelers - whatever] and sneering at H sap's hubristic
exercises in advanced idiocy.

Chris Boyce
ET-Presence -
-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Wallace <>
To: Chris Boyce <>
Cc: Larry Klaes <> 'CS'
<> 'ST' <> 'SK'
Date: 03 October 1998 15:51
Subject: Re: SETI FW: An alien perspective - [acc-list] OctoMarx

>I did not mean to sound too negative--I think we are evolving our social
>institutions, as well as our science, in a positive direction at an
>ever-increasing rate. My point, not very clearly made, is that we might
>expect one day to encounter civilizations far, far more advanced than
>we, not only in science but in social conventions. In the cosmic scheme
>of things, a 1000 years is an eye blink. The odds of encountering
>civilizations similar to ours are far smaller I think than encountering
>one far ahead of us in both science and social institutions.
> Where will Moore's law, to cite one small example, take us in a 1000
>years? I don't think we can even imagine. When people like Jega fret
>over the limitations of current radio technology, to me it is comparable
>to one speculating 1000 years ago over where candle technology was
>headed. The evolutionary imperative driving science is the continual
>asking of the question-why?-and the continual curiosity as to what is
>over the next hill. SETI is on the right tack even though it is certain
>to make many detours along the way.
>I am in the camp that when asked to speculate on what amazing
>scientific answers will be attained over the next 100( much less the
>next 1000) years, I would respond that I don't think we even know the
>right questions to ask. I think, for example, the thrust of genetic
>engineering is going to change humankind in a very fundamental way over
>the next 100 years. This is one genie that cannot be stuffed back in the