Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Resistance is futile...because you probably can't see us

So here's what I've been thinking.  I'm just spitballing here.  It's free association and I sure don't pretend to know everything.  I'm certain I'm not the first to come up with any of this, but this is the first time you'll hear it from me.

A term you'll see batted about here on Strange Horizons is "the singularity."  This phrase comes to us via the brilliant and ever forward thinking Dr. Ray Kurzweil.  He was the one who coined the phrase, referring to the point at which the line between human and machine will become barely noticeable. 
We humans are rapidly approaching this point.  It therefore stands to reason that any civilization sufficiently advanced enough to traverse the distance between stars would have long since passed their own "singularity" milestone.  They have become infused with their technology, somewhat like The Borg on Star Trek (at right), but nowhere near as garish and with devices that are more elegant and far less apparent to the naked eye.
The next logical extension  is that this infusion should allow them to mask their presence from us.  Should they decide to visit us without being seen, they could do it.  So they could be in our orbit, in our skies, and even (shocker) walking among us and we would never know.  After all, that's how we'd do it if we could, wouldn't we?
So why are UFOs being seen then?  I don't really have a good answer for this one.  Perhaps the technology only blurs their presence, resulting in all those fuzzy videos and photos of supposed craft.  Maybe their invisibility devices, like all technology appears to do according to Murphy's Law, breaks down from time to time.  After all, just because you can cross light years doesn't mean something can't go wrong.
Even more interesting to me is the notion that the "gray" aliens that are so commonly reported could themselves be artificial constructs, under operation by other beings.  I found a nifty graphic of this theory at right (the pic comes from Coast To Coast AM and was attributed only to "Kenny."  I'm afraid I'm unable to give any more credit than that.)  Biomechanical constructs would account for much, such as how the Greys are said to act without emotion, almost on automatic pilot.
All of this is pure conjecture and I fully realize that much (maybe even all) of it may turn out to be far more science fiction than fact.  But consider what SETI scientists have recently argued.  The first alien encounter, at least the first one they would believe in, will probably be with robotic probes.  After all, isn't that what we send out into the galaxy?

So...maybe we've already seen them.

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  1. Wow...I mean, yeah! The aliens WOULD disguise their presence from us. Like lab rats. This gives me a few good ideas for stories.

  2. Go for it!
    Hey, maybe our collection of short stories should be sci fi?
    After I posted this, I started thinking about the "shimmer effect" that the Predator had.

  3. This is not much different from the prime directive in Star Trek which prohibited interaction with civilizations who had not yet developed warp technology. The Federation observed these civilizations with cloaking technology or other means so that the civilizations could develop "naturally". However, interstellar travel or warp techologoies are more sci-fantasy than fiction as there is no discernable way of travelling at or beyond the speed of light although I will allow the quantum physicists to keep muddling about.

  4. Yeah David, I did actually think of that bit in Star Trek where they watched a species evolve in secret.
    But I must disagree with you about the impossibility of interstellar travel. While at present there seems to be no feasible way to do it, something about discounting it entirely doesn't sit right with me. I think it's because of how many scientific principles we once viewed as concrete, such as not being able to break the sound barrier or the notion of "ether," have been overturned completely. This might be another one, although I can't stake a solid claim on that.


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