Somewhere over the Pacific, I pulled out my notebook to blog about a conversation I had with my wife on the way to the airport. Wifey takes my notebook and writes the title to the blog.
I usually tell her to “write your own story.” This time I’ll just go with it.
Alien Species: the dialog between men and women
I saw in the news this morning that Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, entertains the notion that we may be living in an elaborate computer simulation created by aliens. It’s not that I find the thought odd. After all, the ‘Matrix’ franchise made billions off of it.
So this is when my wife starts ‘helping’ me. Like the time we got into this big argument about pink sheep. You’ll have to read “Three Days after the Cross” to get it. But, in short, it went something like this:
“You can’t make sheep pink by making them drink a potion, Mike.”
“You can, in my book.”
“But that’s all wrong.” She argues while I’m giving her the ‘you can’t be serious stare. “You have to dye them pink.”
“No.” I counter. “You can make a potion from…”
It doesn’t really matter what I said. We argued for three hours, using Google research to support our points. I won (I think) because flamingos eat algae that makes them pink. The argument was ridiculous, because it started with the notion that a pink sheep was even a thing; right?
So Elon is conjecturing that the aliens are better at computer simulations than we are. While the real argument should be: why do we think that aliens would have developed computer technology in the first place?
My wife makes a very emotionally supported point, that if the aliens are smarter than us, they would have better technology. All the while, I’m trying to make a logical leap by asking what I think is the salient (I like that word) question. Why do we think that technology is a measure of intelligence in the first place?
An even finer point being; why do we think that the manipulation of electrons (electronics) is the be all and end all method of communication? We send radio signals into space and wait for an answer from an alien radio station. And even when we don’t (or can’t) because of budgetary constraints, we still listen for radio signals from space.
In all the probabilities of the existence of intelligent alien civilizations, what are the probabilities that said aliens would want to talk to us? Even if they did, how in a trillion, trillion rolls of the cosmic dice, do we think they would come up with a superhetrodyne (radio) receiver/transmitter?
We use radios because earthlings stumbled onto a copper wire and Morris Code. There are another hundred and seventeen elements in the earthly periodic table. We built on the practice of sending surges of electrons through copper wire; each human generation standing on the shoulders of humans that came before them.
We could just as easily have built on smoke signal technology and come up with a world wide web of Batman beacons, with fan blades fluttering a code in front them to carry intelligence, and ultimately modulated the sun.
Place a shutter, the size of the moon, in space. Move it far enough from the sun and flutter a mechanical shutter to send surges of intelligent light to another star solar system. If an alien civilization could see their own sun, they would see that our sun (a star to them) is blinking a peculiar sequence. By the way Elon, you heard it here first: The Interstellar Flutter Shutter Project (IFSP).
In the meantime, Wifey and I are halfway to Maui. She’ll probably call one of the kids when we land. She’ll speak into her cell phone. The signals will ping cell towers until it hits a satellite uplink or transoceanic cable to the mainland. Eventually they will hear her talking because they have cell phones. That same signal will spill into space where it will radiate forever. But the aliens won’t hear her, because they don’t have cell phones.
Why would they? Their entire species may be rooted in methane ice, like banyan trees, so they speak to each other without any technology at all. Maybe they don’t communicate at all, because their super intelligence is driven by super instinct, so they operate entirely based on environmental changes.
Whales are intelligent. And they manage to communicate over vast distances without cell phones.
The entire notion that technology equals intelligence is ridiculous. We use technology because of our limitations, not because of evolutionary superiority. Superior species may have bypassed the need for technological advancement altogether.
After all this, my wife asks me, “How do angels communicate?”
I answered, “I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure they don’t use cell phones.”
p.s. Had the most wonderful anniversary vacation in Maui. Got in a big argument the moment our feet touched the Jetway at home. I say, that bell that rings, just before they open the cabin door means get up and grab your stuff and head for the exit. She says it means wait for instructions.
Copyright 2016 Tales From The Mike Side