Do you believe in aliens?

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TrailOtter

Explorer
Nov 24, 2007
101
0
Of course, if you want to get scientific, there is always the Drake Equation....

N= [r* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc] L
where:

N= number of possible civilizations to communicate with
R* = is the rate at which stars capable of sustaining like are formed
fp = the fraction of these stars which have planets
ne = the number of planets similar to Earth in the planetary system
fl = the fraction of the Earth-like planets that hold life
fi = the fraction of life that becomes an intelligent civilization
fc = the fraction intelligent civilizations that attempt to communicate
L= the number of years the civilization remains able to communicate.
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Of course, if you want to get scientific, there is always the Drake Equation....

N= [r* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc] L
where:

N= number of possible civilizations to communicate with
R* = is the rate at which stars capable of sustaining like are formed
fp = the fraction of these stars which have planets
ne = the number of planets similar to Earth in the planetary system
fl = the fraction of the Earth-like planets that hold life
fi = the fraction of life that becomes an intelligent civilization
fc = the fraction intelligent civilizations that attempt to communicate
L= the number of years the civilization remains able to communicate.

It's L that has always interested me in that equation. I think people implicitly assume that once achieving, say, our level of advancement, a civilization just lasts forever and continues to become more advanced. Of course, we have no local experience to support that idea. If you extrapolate from the notion that one civilization might have found the key and transcended the kinds of problems that cause "turnover" here on earth, then they ought to have spanned the galaxy by now. If they have, then they are managing to communicate with each other in some way that emits no detectable radiation.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,435
1,378
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
The Romans (both Eastern and Western) were pretty close to our level of advancement (okay, no computers or motors yet) and look at what happened to them. It's the biggest act of hubris for a civilization to think they are so advanced that they will never fall -- in fact you can see many parallels in America to the decline and fall of the Eastern Roman Empire.
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
The Romans (both Eastern and Western) were pretty close to our level of advancement

In certain cultural and political terms I think that's true. In terms of technology, I think you can view the achievements of various civilizations very roughly as a series of waves where each crests a little higher than the preceeding, due to having something left over to begin building on. For example, after the Roman retreat from central and northwestern Europe around 400 C.E. reading and writing virtually died out among the ruling and ruled classes, but was retained in the monestaries and helped provide a basis for renewal in later periods (ca. 800-1000 C.E. and later). There are lots of other examples: inheritances from the Greeks, the Arabs, etc.

But what I'm curious about is: if there _are_ aliens out there, is LIP going to make a YouTube video about them? ;)
 

whippoorbill

Explorer
Jul 29, 2003
673
113
63
Bridgeton
Well LIPiney, from the great conversations we've been having you know my feelings about aliens. You and I know the truth, and to any naysayers, well they just don't about it and how they can communicate with us like plants can. You know like you were saying about the pines talking to you...

I don't know about the talking bit, but I know one very bald pitch pine that has a fondness for peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

B
 

relayer

Explorer
The Romans had central heating, indoor plumbing, double glazing, hospitals, paved roads, cataract surgery and a host of really frightening war machines and that's just the beginning. If they hadn't started expending more energy on civil wars instead of conquering new territory, they might have lasted longer. Still, the eastern end of the empire displayed somewhat better judgement and still manages to waste themselves and then rot from the inside.

incoherent...but I'll post anyway.

oh, the only kind of aliens I'm aware of did a nice job putting in a patio when we lived in Haddonfield:)

relayer
 
I'm sure he is talking about illegal aliens such as Mexicans, Guatemalans, etc.
They do do good work!(hmmm....that sure looks funny but sounds right). They have the work ethic that our grandparents had but is declining in resent generations. I respect them for that.

Steve
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
If they hadn't started expending more energy on civil wars instead of conquering new territory, they might have lasted longer.

But at the same time they did have some important technical limitations that contributed. Gibbon (whom I know has been discredited in many ways) makes a good case that their failure to find ways to increase food production was a factor in dooming the widespread civilization they created. They couldn't effectively populate the frontiers and sustain them.

I find it an interesting idea, because it seems sometimes that energy and transportation could be our version of the same problem.
 

relayer

Explorer
Interesting point. Still, the romans were very good at moving stuff around in the areas they understood. Vast amounts of grain was raised in north africa and transported to every point in the roman world. One problem. however, is that the romans apparently had some difficulty adapting and projecting their civilization to environments too much beyond their first big conquests in the region of the mediterranean. While it is arguable that the endless forests and steppes of northern and eastern europe and the sands of the sahara weren't worth the effort, the failure to finish the conquest of britain(and ireland), germanic europe, the balkans, the area around the black sea and the complete inability to figure out and beat Parthia/Persia set them up for centuries of trouble. I wonder, and this goes back to Gibbon, if the relative inefficiency of their land transportation made them unsure and sometimes just incompetent when they got too far away from the water. Some historians spin this as a wise acceptance of limitations, I am inclined, even though I feel some affection for a civilization of road building, city planning, sex obsessed, military minded, comfort loving, monument building, self centered self promoters, it seems to me that despite everything(and everything is a lot) rome set the bar too low, failed to adapt and innovate enough and bled itself with civil wars. The west, weakened and ineffective, was overrun by mostly germanic barbarians. If it had not been for the organization of the church and the steel of the franks, the lights might have gone out completely. In the east, byzantium flourished for centuries but spent vast resources on wars with persia. both empires were weak when islam swept up out of arabia. Persia was taken swiftly but byzantium survived. For centuries, it diminished until in 1453, surrounded by the turks and betrayed by the resurgent west, it fell and passed into legend.

As far as we go, modern civilization is exceedingly fragile with more potential breakpoints than I care to enumerate. The catastrophe of hurricane katrina and the long period of recovery demonstrate this well. When our system breaks,it breaks completely. It doesn't matter who is in the white house. Lets just hope this isn't demonstrated to us again any time soon.

not quite coherent again, but fun

relayer
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,334
2,573
Pines; Bamber area
Humans who have these encounters always describe those eyes.
Greys.gif

Who wants to stay till closing time and have another beer!

AYE-AYE-AYE!

Okay, the AYE's have it. We stay!

That's how human's encounter and describe AYE's.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,435
1,378
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
If I had the time, I'd start a forum for Roman and Byzantine history. I have, up until recently, looked down on Byzantine history because I held the same (low) opinion that Gibbon had about the Eastern Roman Empire. Then I found an excellent podcast called "12 Byzantine Rulers" that goes through Byzantine history really well and I gained a lot of appreciation for them.

Constantine XI is arguably one of the best leaders in history.
 

Banjo

Scout
Apr 17, 2005
76
0
S.W. Missouri
Ben, do you have a link to that podcast? I'd love to see it. As for aliens, of course they exist. Area 39 would not exist if there were none.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,541
114
51
Pestletown
O.K.,
I NORMALLY LEAVE THIS ALONE BECAUSE I LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT I USE CORRECT SPELLING AND SOMETIMES ACTUALLY SOMETHING RESEMBLING GRAMMAR WHILE SLIPPING UP A TIME OR TWO BUT........
IF I MUST HIJACK A THREAD IT MIGHT AS WELL BE THIS PIECE OF DUNG.
WE HAVE NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF THIS GROUP NEW OR OLD AS FAR AS I CAN SEE HAD A BUNCH OF PEOPLE THAT WOULD COME ONTO A BOARD AND VOICE WHAT THEY THOUGHT WERE INTELLIGENT FACT OR THOUGHT WITH SOUND EDUCATION OR RESEARCH TO BACK IT UP AND YET COULD NOT SPELL WORTH ALL OF A FIDDLER'S F**K IF THEIR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT.
I AM BY NO MEANS THE MASTER OF THIS SIGHT BUT IN THE NAME OF DECENCY WILL YOU FOLKS BY ANY MEANS TRY TO AVOID TYPOS AND/OR SIMPLE IGNORANCE IN THE SPELLING OF EVEN SO MUCH AS MONOSYLLABIC WORDS?

Sorry all my brethren of the sight that spell correctly but even when the most practical input or sharing of experiences is conveyed in a 6 year old's spelling it just gets me.

Peece owt

g.
 
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