Posts Tagged ‘Why Fiction’


Whither the Aliens? Was it the Bomb or the Xbox?

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Weird

I found an interesting link from a commenter (Rachel) on Mark Charan Newton’s blog post about gaming addiction in South Korea. It’s an article from Seed Magazine on Why We Haven’t Met any Aliens. While I find the article’s central argument about aliens just silly-fun-interesting, it makes a very interesting point about “fitness-faking technology.” I think Rachel does a good job of summarizing one of the many implications of this:

There was an interesting article in SEED magazine about something … which suggested entertainment systems (and I suppose we can included fictional worlds) are fitness-faking systems: they make us think we’re biologically fitter than we are (if we read about being strong, we think we are strong; if we read about finding a mate, we feel like we’re found one).

As to our brothers from other planets, this comment is from the Seed Magazine article itself:

After Hiroshima, some suggested that any aliens bright enough to make colonizing space ships would be bright enough to make thermonuclear bombs, and would use them on each other sooner or later. Maybe extraterrestrial intelligence always blows itself up … I suggest a different, even darker solution … Basically, I think the aliens don’t blow themselves up; they just get addicted to computer games.

That brings up something interesting that I hadn’t thought about before. Assuming there are intelligent forms of life scattered about the phsyical universe, would the most advanced lifeforms mainly find ways to be self-sufficiently happy, or would they travel around the universe spreading their gospel (or might they not need to physically travel to influence other cultures?)? I’d like to think that an enlightened human society would do some of both: enjoying their own creations, while looking to share them with others. Of course, any species just like us would probably exploit every space rock they could find.

I’m going to be pissed if the aliens come, and it turns out they’re all Dick Cheney.


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