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NickSD
2013-Aug-24, 09:32 PM
Thought experiment: assume for a moment that development of advanced civilizations is difficult, but there is one advanced civilization for whom we are uninteresting because our solar system isn't as ripe for mining as others. From their homeworld, we are very remote, the backwater of the outer rim, so the trip wouldn't even occur to them unless mining prospects were great, and they aren't. Thus, they have no reason to discover we exist, and they have no interest in entertainment technology that might have picked up the TV or radio signals Earth's putting out, since their space program is entirely mining focused, run by weird guys who think like mining Ferengi of sorts, but lazy and content to send mining robots out to only the most profitable and familiar systems, interested in little except mining surveying. Such a civilization would never make contact with us, ever. I have always thought we would be deeply uninteresting to possible alien space programs. And given the rarity of advanced civilizations they would have every reason to regard themselves as the galaxy's only intelligent life... though I think pre-industrial proto-civilizations of primate-like life forms like C.J. Cherry's "Downbelow Station" series described will be more common, and a mining civilization would be likely to bump into some of these accidentally if they mined enough systems.

My question is this: what kinds of systems, rocks, worlds, etc would most interest a mining civilization? where is the most profitable mining in the galaxy?

neilzero
2013-Aug-24, 11:56 PM
Yes that is one of many more or less satisfying solutions. My guess is Fermi was chalanging us to think rather than inferring that there are no ET. Some of our asteroids are likely excellent mining candidates, so your one track mind miners would see little point in entering Earth's deep gravity well with hazardous humans and other hazards. Neil

Jeff Root
2013-Aug-25, 12:22 AM
Nick,

What do they want that they don't have enough of?

That's your answer.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jens
2013-Aug-25, 12:35 AM
Another question; given a high technological level, what would you want that you couldn't create in an ion accelerator?

Hlafordlaes
2013-Aug-25, 01:35 AM
Perhaps there'll be nothing, until we are good enough to notice one of the those fly-by automated anthro- sentient-opology survey bots. I figure they must buzz by the stellar neighborhood every few million if there is or was anything advanced around.

...

We can only speak about how we're currently classified in the FunNGames section, however. It was a secret, but there's been, or may have been, talk.

VagueIdea
2013-Aug-25, 08:37 AM
Why is it nearly every sci fi movie seems to assume that aliens will want what we got.

They want our water?? When there's giant frozen lumps of it everywhere.(most likely). And that is not at the bottom of a gravity well.

I think we just aren't proximate in time... it's just like fishing.... "you should have been here yesterday". :)


(Using Tapatalk on iPhone so can't easily 'thank' or 'like')

Paul Beardsley
2013-Aug-25, 10:52 AM
Why is it nearly every sci fi movie seems to assume that aliens will want what we got.

They want our water?? When there's giant frozen lumps of it everywhere.(most likely). And that is not at the bottom of a gravity well.

I think we just aren't proximate in time... it's just like fishing.... "you should have been here yesterday". :)

Easy answers: 1. Learning the craft of getting jobs in film making is very time- and energy-consuming, so people who learn it generally don't have time to learn much about astronomy. 2. If the aliens don't want what we've got, it's not our problem, and therefore the film will not involve the audience.

I like the fishing analogy. You can have the best fishing rod in the world, but if the fish aren't biting, it means nothing. I've seen how UFOlogists completely fail to get this.

eburacum45
2013-Aug-26, 09:02 AM
I like the fishing analogy. You can have the best fishing rod in the world, but if the fish aren't biting, it means nothing. I've seen how UFOlogists completely fail to get this.I'm certainly not a UFO believer, as my posting history here shows; but as far as I'm concerned this analogy just leaves more questions unanswered.

If there were fish (or alien civilisations) here yesterday, where are they today? Did they all die off spontanously? Has the river (the galaxy) become polluted or otherwide uninhabitable? Did something bigger and scarier eat them? Fish are ephemeral, short-lived creatures (and yet they can be found in most rivers). Alien civilisations could potentially last for billions of years and colonise entire galaxies. They could be far from ephemeral.

Have they simply learnt not to bite anymore? If so, why are they scared of us - we aren't likely to grill them for our tea, are we?

Swift
2013-Aug-26, 01:03 PM
Hi NickSD, welcome to CQ.

Since your question would not seem to be an "astronomy and space exploration questions with straightforward, generally accepted answers", but more a matter of debate, I've moved the thread from Q&A to Life in Space

Elukka
2013-Aug-30, 08:20 AM
My question is this: what kinds of systems, rocks, worlds, etc would most interest a mining civilization? where is the most profitable mining in the galaxy?
Realistically, those systems close to a civilization's home. As far as we know no resources so special exist anywhere that you'd want to travel any significant distance on a galactic scale instead of just using the systems next to you. It might also be more likely that any habitation outside your home system would be less of a colony for providing resources back home and more of a separate offshoot of your civilization.

swampyankee
2013-Aug-30, 10:26 AM
Another question; given a high technological level, what would you want that you couldn't create in an ion accelerator?

Maybe there's a large segment of the population that prefers natural products.

Paul Wally
2013-Aug-30, 10:53 AM
Another question; given a high technological level, what would you want that you couldn't create in an ion accelerator?

Energy?

kzb
2013-Aug-30, 12:03 PM
Well, right now, there is an ET space colony gone into orbit around Neptune. It arrived sometime between 1989 and 2004. They are re-stocking on deuterium, He-3 etc from the rings of Neptune. They think that by closely orbiting Neptune, we won't detect them.

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/15jul_neptunemoon/

VagueIdea
2013-Aug-30, 01:14 PM
Well, right now, there is an ET space colony gone into orbit around Neptune. It arrived sometime between 1989 and 2004. They are re-stocking on deuterium, He-3 etc from the rings of Neptune. They think that by closely orbiting Neptune, we won't detect them.

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/15jul_neptunemoon/

You are speculating wildly and stating your ill founded speculation as a fact. Not good form.


(Using Tapatalk on iPhone so can't easily 'thank' or 'like')

eburacum45
2013-Aug-30, 08:08 PM
I suspect this may have been a joke. Nevertheless it makes an important point; we can't even detect 12 mile-wide objects orbiting the planets in our solar system, let alone aliens around other stars.

kzb
2013-Sep-02, 11:57 AM
For all we know, space borne (maybe non-biological) civilisations may well have used our asteroid belt for resources. Although what would need constant re-stocking could well be fusion fuel, i.e. deuterium etc. Given enough energy, everything else is recyclable. This fusion fuel is available much further out than the asteroid belt.

A space-colony civilisation probably wouldn't choose deep gravity-well planets with atmospheres for mining consumables, when everything they need is freely available, floating about in space.

There's a school of thought that says we'd be better off looking for the physical evidence of these kind of ET activities than by monitoring for radio signals.

ravens_cry
2013-Sep-04, 06:22 AM
Another question; given a high technological level, what would you want that you couldn't create in an ion accelerator?
Art as well as other cultural artefacts. As I said on another, similar thread, "They may not want knives, but they may want *our* knives."
Uniqueness and variety have a value all their own.

kzb
2013-Sep-04, 12:06 PM
Art as well as other cultural artefacts. As I said on another, similar thread, "They may not want knives, but they may want *our* knives."
Uniqueness and variety have a value all their own.

Yep this is a more likely explanation of the FP than mining IMHO. To make it work, you need to hypothesise that our corner of the galaxy is owned as an aboriginal theme park. A powerful faction of ET owns us (maybe they bought exclusive rights about 1 bn years ago), with a view to future trading of experiences and native artefacts, on GalaxyAmazon.com. To maintain our cultural purity (and hence value), it is important we are isolated from outside influences.

ravens_cry
2013-Sep-04, 05:56 PM
And in 5000 years, culture pirates will come steal our uniqueness, the only thing we have of value. for the equivalent of beads and mirrors.

kzb
2013-Sep-06, 12:04 PM
And in 5000 years, culture pirates will come steal our uniqueness, the only thing we have of value. for the equivalent of beads and mirrors.

That's what most people are hoping for anyhow. Except not in 5000 years, it'd be better if it were this weekend.

Noclevername
2013-Sep-07, 10:37 PM
I'm certainly not a UFO believer, as my posting history here shows; but as far as I'm concerned this analogy just leaves more questions unanswered.

If there were fish (or alien civilisations) here yesterday, where are they today? Did they all die off spontanously? Has the river (the galaxy) become polluted or otherwide uninhabitable? Did something bigger and scarier eat them? Fish are ephemeral, short-lived creatures (and yet they can be found in most rivers). Alien civilisations could potentially last for billions of years and colonise entire galaxies. They could be far from ephemeral.

Have they simply learnt not to bite anymore? If so, why are they scared of us - we aren't likely to grill them for our tea, are we?

If they explore on a different time scale than we do, like AIs or biological immortals, or just fly ships at relativistic speeds, a visit every few million years might be their equivalent of constant monitoring. All their colonization might have been limited to when they were in an expanding population phase.

ZunarJ5
2013-Sep-09, 08:10 PM
Another question; given a high technological level, what would you want that you couldn't create in an ion accelerator?

I'm interested in your answer. It creates another questions (from me, at least).

Given a high technological level, what could you create in an ion accelerator? And, how is this done?

ZunarJ5
2013-Sep-09, 08:14 PM
My question is this: what kinds of systems, rocks, worlds, etc would most interest a mining civilization? where is the most profitable mining in the galaxy?

I could be wrong... maybe some of the more learned people on this forum will correct me... but I imagine that nebula (nebulae?) would be miners hot spots. All that material floating free might be easy pickings. Especially in nova or super nova remnants where rarer elements might be floating about.

Possibly around SM black holes? Dragging in all sorts of raw materials from around the galaxy... get it before its gone! :)

Again, maybe I have my science wrong.

Jens
2013-Sep-09, 10:38 PM
Given a high technological level, what could you create in an ion accelerator? And, how is this done?

What you can do is make collisions between atoms to make heavier elements. So if you need helium, you smash hydrogen into hydrogen, for example. You could theoretically create any isotope found in nature, because you're just replicating what supernovae already do. Today it's used to produce isotopes used in medicine. So the limitation isn't really the feasibility but the practicality. It's horrendously energy intensive and thus very, very expensive.

Jens
2013-Sep-10, 04:11 AM
Given a high technological level, what could you create in an ion accelerator? And, how is this done?

I noticed I forgot to answer your second question. It's fairly simple. You just have accelerate a stream of nuclei of a certain isotope, and then make it go very fast using cyclotrons, and then smash the stream into a target made up of some other nuclei. And the two will (if you're lucky) fuse together to create a third, heavier nucleus. As I mentioned, it's used to make isotopes that are used in medical imaging (x-rays and PET scanners, for example), and it's also used to make superheavy elements. For example, when producing element 113 (one that does not occur in nature), scientists smashed a beam of zinc into a target of bismuth, and the two combined to make the new element. As I said, it's very expensive. It uses a tremendous amount of electricity to run the cyclotrons.

Noclevername
2013-Sep-10, 08:38 AM
As I said, it's very expensive. It uses a tremendous amount of electricity to run the cyclotrons.

Yet it's peanuts compared to interstellar travel, let alone interstellar mining and shipping.

A.DIM
2013-Sep-23, 05:02 PM
What if ... Aliens On Earth: Are reports of close encounters correct? (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.6805.pdf)


Still, in his review of social and professional approach to AIDS appearance, Eisberg [13] has written "One might be tempted to conclude that questions of public health policy are best dealt with by expert judgment unsullied by lay opinion. Yet such an attitude supposes scientists to be governed by pure reason and to be beyond influence by narrow self-interest or by political and moralistic considerations, a self-serving assumption belied by an examination of the record."

The UFO case is clearly an opposite: while significant part of general public believes in the reality and importance of the Alien encounters, the scientists, by and large, refuse to take action other than negatively branding the people who report such events. Which interests are served here? Especially in terms of risk management? Instead of treating people who report meeting Aliens as mental cases, we (the scientists) should work on a much more disquieting hypothesis, that the visitors from outer space, are more likely to be abnormal minorities (by the standards of their own civilizations) than scientists, diplomats or even military commanders. Maybe, even if we do not discover the Aliens themselves, we would find some statistical clues to their numbers and intentions. Serious approach to close encounter accounts is reasonable strategy, even when we think that the probability is very low, the possible damage is huge, so the risks may be high [23]. Because we do not know the capacities for destructive power in the hands (tentacles?) of these mad visitors, we should be afraid, be very afraid."

Ha!
:D

iquestor
2013-Sep-23, 05:25 PM
What if ... Aliens On Earth: Are reports of close encounters correct? (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.6805.pdf)


Still, in his review of social and professional approach to AIDS appearance, Eisberg [13] has written "One might be tempted to conclude that questions of public health policy are best dealt with by expert judgment unsullied by lay opinion. Yet such an attitude supposes scientists to be governed by pure reason and to be beyond influence by narrow self-interest or by political and moralistic considerations, a self-serving assumption belied by an examination of the record."

The UFO case is clearly an opposite: while significant part of general public believes in the reality and importance of the Alien encounters, the scientists, by and large, refuse to take action other than negatively branding the people who report such events. Which interests are served here? Especially in terms of risk management? Instead of treating people who report meeting Aliens as mental cases, we (the scientists) should work on a much more disquieting hypothesis, that the visitors from outer space, are more likely to be abnormal minorities (by the standards of their own civilizations) than scientists, diplomats or even military commanders. Maybe, even if we do not discover the Aliens themselves, we would find some statistical clues to their numbers and intentions. Serious approach to close encounter accounts is reasonable strategy, even when we think that the probability is very low, the possible damage is huge, so the risks may be high [23]. Because we do not know the capacities for destructive power in the hands (tentacles?) of these mad visitors, we should be afraid, be very afraid."

Ha!
:D


Well take a look at the publish date...
Pawel Sobkowicz
pawelsobko@ gmail. com
(Dated: April 1st, 2012)

A.DIM
2013-Sep-23, 05:51 PM
Well take a look at the publish date...
Pawel Sobkowicz
pawelsobko@ gmail. com
(Dated: April 1st, 2012)

Yep.
You think he's just having a bit of fun?
Me too! Even while there's a seriousness in it.

R.A.F.
2013-Sep-23, 06:11 PM
The Fermi paradox will not be "solved" by wishful thinking.

Perhaps if there were just a teeny, tiny scrap of real evidence that aliens were visiting, then there were be a "seriousness" to this, however since there is not, I'm certainly not going to be afraid of imaginary aliens.

Noclevername
2013-Sep-23, 06:52 PM
The Fermi "paradox" isn't even a paradox, just an exercise in assumptions. Here's some facts:

FACT: We have no solid evidence of ETI visitation, contrary to the History Channel.

FACT: We have no idea how common life may be, nor how likely it is that life evolves technologically capable intelligence We may be a fluke of evolution.

FACT: We have no idea if life capable of interstellar travel exists.

FACT: We have no idea what the developmental path of a civilization more advanced than ours may be, if it follows a pattern at all. They might give up colonization early on.

FACT: We have only been looking for ET life for a very miniscule time window compared to the overall span of existence, with very limited sensory methods; for almost all of our existence it was Eyeball Mark One, with no recorded history, and we humans haven't existed all that long in the grand scheme.

FACT: The Universe is FRAKKIN'HUGE.

neilzero
2013-Sep-23, 07:01 PM
Even if the ET were the finest of the finest when they left their home world, mad is a reasonable assumption after 1000 years of traveling in space to reach Earth. On the other hand, blissful ignorance may be best for both Earth leaders and common folks, for dealing with advanced beings. If we behave like dogs do to humans, we may do well. Neil

iquestor
2013-Sep-23, 07:06 PM
The Fermi "paradox" isn't even a paradox, just an exercise in assumptions. Here's some facts:

FACT: We have no solid evidence of ETI visitation, contrary to the History Channel.

FACT: We have no idea how common life may be, nor how likely it is that life evolves technologically capable intelligence We may be a fluke of evolution.

FACT: We have no idea if life capable of interstellar travel exists.

FACT: We have no idea what the developmental path of a civilization more advanced than ours may be, if it follows a pattern at all. They might give up colonization early on.

FACT: We have only been looking for ET life for a very miniscule time window compared to the overall span of existence, with very limited sensory methods; for almost all of our existence it was Eyeball Mark One, with no recorded history, and we humans haven't existed all that long in the grand scheme.

FACT: The Universe is FRAKKIN'HUGE.

I think they use the term 'Paradox' because Fermi himself stated it as such; something like "If the universe is so large, and there are just an astounding number of stars and planets, we should have evidence by now of Aliens, but we dont; Why Aren't They Here??"

Whether its actually a paradox or not is debatable.

Like you point out, we just don't know.

Noclevername
2013-Sep-23, 07:31 PM
I think they use the term 'Paradox' because Fermi himself stated it as such; something like "If the universe is so large, and there are just an astounding number of stars and planets, we should have evidence by now of Aliens, but we dont; Why Aren't They Here??"

Whether its actually a paradox or not is debatable.

Like you point out, we just don't know.

I saw on some TV show years ago a demonstration of why that "should" shouldn't be a should: A man set up a plate and pot of water and lobster bib in his house, and left his front door open at dinner time, only to conclude that "since no lobsters came to my house, lobsters must not exist". It was funny, and showed the flaws inherent with the assumptions built into the Fermi Paradox.

There's no reason that ETI would come here and hang around. If they are capable of interstellar travel, then they can clearly live in a manner that does not require planets and has lessened the need for even stars, so why would they dirty their feet on Earth at all? To steal our water?

mkline55
2013-Sep-23, 07:43 PM
Maybe they'd want our old video games. You can't get that kind of technology just any old place.

Noclevername
2013-Sep-23, 07:49 PM
maybe they'd want our old video games. You can't get that kind of technology just any old place.

all your Atari are belong to us

;)

iquestor
2013-Sep-24, 12:56 AM
all your Atari are belong to us

;)

I welcome our pixelated overlords...