Monday, April 14, 2008

Fermi's Submarines

If there was intelligent life in space, that was sorta like ours, y'know, physically pathetic and maladapted enough to its environment that it needed to invent tools like snowsuits and radar, 'cause for whatever reason, it didn't come equipped with those things, in the stock model, like all the other goddam animals on the planet.

If there was intelligent life in space, something that was more intelligent than us, how long do you think it would take 'em to quit broadcasting television and radio transmissions out into space, signals that would alert any other intelligences to the location of the nice, cozy little planet where they had all their nuts squirreled away?

I think, as soon as the intelligent life on one planet spots intelligent life on another planet, it'd start to think about running silent like a submarine.

Like a cat, when it notices a mouse, slips right into stalking predator mode, so the mouse won't see it coming.

Or like a mouse, when it notices a cat, freezes up, y'know, to cut down on all the emissions that the cat would use to detect it.

Y'know, you gotta sorta hope that Intelligent Life would have to be at least as smart as a mouse heh.

And we can't even say for sure whether or not our Sun is part of a binary star system, or whether there's a planet closer to the Sun than Mercury, y'know, when I was a kid, Jupiter only had thirteen moons or something, and that was final heh.

We're blind as bats, and when we do see something weird, way the hell out there, we don't know what the hell it is half the time ahaha.

And we run around like little kids in the playground, screaming and laughing and throwing around all our new toys and creating a terrific racket for the sheer joy of being able to create a terrific racket.

And all the more intelligent life around us is like the adults, standing guard, against the fence, talking under their voices, with their nerves getting all worn to shit, grinding their teeth, waiting for the day we'll shut the hell up and start listening with 'em, but enjoying the way we make them remember how it was to be young and stupid.

But until we grow up, and we can help them stand guard, they'll use us as bait, y'know.

Which is what we should prolly do when we grow up a little and find another bunch of kids out there making too much racket.

And you gotta really consider our motivations for wanting to find intelligent life out there.

I mean, as noble as the most noble of us are about it, and as sweet as the sweetest sweethearts among us are, what we really want to find is intelligent life out there that we can steal shit from, intelligent life that already figured everything out and did all the work of creating some Intelligent Life Federation or something for us, y'know?

We don't ever talk about finding intelligent life out there that wasn't as smart as us, we ain't interested in finding more weight to hang around our necks, intelligent life that we would have to be all charitable with and help out and stuff.

Plus, if we make contact with some guys that are even more idiotic and as loud as we are, they could give up the locations and capabilities of all our shit when they get attacked by the Big Bad Wolf.

"Earthlings! Help us!"

"Ah shit."

We're not really that bad when it comes to being philanthropic, though, y'know, when you consider the way we wanna help the less fortunate people on our own planet, and not just find some space dude that we can carjack and some intergalactic bank we can rob like Billy the Kid or something, right?

Well, not all of us.

Heck, who am I, really, to make ya feel bad, I think we should use 'em as bait, heh, and if they don't exist, mebbe we should think about making some, just to use as bait, y'know, same way as whatever-it-was that made us might be using us for bait ahaha.

"Oop, the Earth just went silent, boss!"

"Ah shit, welp, guess the Big Bad Wolf is coming."

And if you do think of us like little kids in space, our whole fascination with laser guns and army men and stuff is kinda funny, actually.

On the bright side, little kids will make friends with any other little kids on the interstellar playground, where the adults are all pretty damn suspicious and nasty and joyless and not much fun at all and all that heh.

And most of the stuff the adults spend all their time worrying about never actually happens, sometimes it takes a good-hearted and fearless kid to walk across the dance floor and lead them all to someplace better by example.

Then again, kids will walk right out into traffic if you don't do something.

And adults have the best sense of humor.

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