I don’t believe in UFO’s

Recently I was accused by someone (who obviously does not read this blog) of being closed minded when I dismissed the whole domain of so called “ufology” with an indignant scoff. Am I a closed minded person guys? I mean, look at this blog. Half the stuff I talk about is related to science fiction. I am obsessed with the concept of singularity, I am a transhumanist who believes that the baseline homo sapiens will become an obsolete model in the next 4-5 decades… But I’m closed minded because I don’t believe in UFO visitations and I don’t subscribe to the alien conspiracy theories.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy this whole idea that diminutive gray humanoids visit us on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays to administer rectal exams to a select group of gentlemen of the redneck persuasion. Like we are some hole-in-the-wall pit stop by a run down intergalactic highway, and ass-probing is the alien equivalent of cow tipping or some equally juvenile pass-time. It just seems so… Silly.

Yes, I used to love reading about this shit and watching the UFO shows on TV when I was a kid. It fascinated me so much that I absorbed everything UFO related I could find. Eventually I consumed enough of it to notice it was all inconclusive, counter-productive circle jerking. Every UFO related show or an article was almost exactly the same. Not detail wise, but structurally and conceptually they where identical. They would interview some witnesses, show some blurry pictures, have supposed experts analyze them, come up with inconclusive results, talk a bit about conspiracy and cover-ups and then close the hour with a “we may never know the truth” sign-off. If you don’t believe me, try watching one of these UFO investigation shows yourself. They all pretty much take an hour to tell you that their months long investigation haven’t actually uncovered anything new or interesting.

I don’t actually mind throwing around ideas, and theorizing. I like that kind of stuff. I’m all about coming up with plausible scientific answers to questions such as: How would aliens get here? What propulsion would they use? Would they try to avoid detection, and how? How would we communicate with them? Hell, I’m all up for discussing the Femi paradox with these people. Problem is, that I have yet to meet a UFO fan who has head about it.

Sadly, that’s where the whole discussion hinges for me. The reason why we haven’t heard from any potential alien civilizations probably involves multiple factors, chief amongst which are the distance, prohibitive costs of interstellar travel and singularity. Personally I think that the window in which an intelligent species can go exploring and “boldly go where no man has gone before” is short and fraught with socio-economical roadblocks. I’m of course assuming that most sentient life is probably singularity-bound. By the time the reach technological level required for interstellar travel, they are already on the cusp of it. Once this transformative game changing event takes place, they are most likely to busy disassembling their solar system, building Matrioshka brains and doing stuff that weakly god-like intelligences do for fun. At the initial stages, post singularity civilizations probably huddle around their star where the bandwidth is high and the latency is low allowing for uninhibited exchange of ideas. They are not inclined to travel because their mere thought processes consume vast amount of energy and computing power – both being plentiful in the core of their Marioshka Brain but not very portable. By the time they solve their latency and bandwidth issues and transform themselves to a interstellar civilization, they no longer have anything to talk about with hairless apes like us. In fact they may not even notice us, just like you don’t notice the bacteria that line your intestinal track.

Let me give you an example. Have you heard about the Boötes Void? It is basically a hole in the sky – a at nearly 250 million light year region inside of a supercluster where there are virtually no galaxies. Occam’s Razor says that it is probably just a coincidentally empty region, but sometimes I like to imagine that there is a Kardashev Type III or IV civilization out there. Just think about that – a civilization that has potentially swallowed thousands of galaxies, millions of stars and converted all that matter and energy into computrionium to run their thought processes. The sheer scale of such an undertaking boggles the mind. Would beings that advanced would even notice a pre-singularity fledgling race huddled on a single planet rotating around a naked sun without even a rudimentary Dyson swarm around it? Probably not.

But that’s not what most UFO enthusiasts are interested in. They want to talk about conspiracy stories and blurry pictures. They honestly believe that aliens are parked in our orbit right now, and they are anally probing people as we speak. Of course we can’t detect them because they have “super advanced alien technology, like you don’t even know, man”. Also, apparently I can’t prove that aliens are not visiting but there are like millions of inconsistent, inconclusive blurry photos, shaky video recordings and unreliable first hand accounts that say otherwise.

It is almost like a religion. It has all the trappings of it – it involves incomprehensible magic (alien claktech), faith based reasoning and adherents becoming agitated and angry whenever someone dares to question their beliefs. Especially those who believe they had a close encounter because they saw something weird in the sky one night. Talking to them is like talking to someone who believes they had a religious revelation – they know the truth, and you are a jerk if you even dare to use logic and/or science to try to analyze it. This pseudo-religious aspect just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

To me UFO folklore is at the very best just a low caliber science fiction for the small minded people. You know, the kind of folks that would die out of embarrassment if they were saw in public reading a science fiction novel. Or any novel for that matter. But they are somehow inexplicably drawn to the UFO crap because it is so mainstream these days. That and it allows them to add yet another crazy conspiracy theory to their collection. At it’s worst it is like a secular religion.

What do you guys think? Do you believe in UFO’s? I probably won’t judge you if you do.

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10 Responses to I don’t believe in UFO’s

  1. Rob UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    Then how did Jeff Goldblum upload a virus to the alien mothership using only is Mac Book if UFOs don’t exist?

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  2. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I do consider believing in alien presence in our midst like a religion, and as with any religion I’ve come across, I really can’t prove or deny the basis of their faith. I don’t believe in it, but I won’t scorn anyone who does. It’s entirely in the belief domain and thus can’t really be decided until convincing proof has been found one way or the other, however unlikely that is.

    As for the bacteria analogy, let me remind you that there are probably thousands of researchers looking and poking at them trying to unveil whatever secret they still have, every single day. And I think we’d be much more interesting to watch and prod than bacteria to a higher entity, given our relative unpredictability or a least very complex behavior.

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  3. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Rob:

    Magic of course. :)

    @ Zel:

    True, we are a tad bit interesting than bacteria. I don’t think we are that unpredictable though. We think we are, but like most animals we do behave in a fairly predictable way most of the time. I’m pretty sure our behavior would be very transparent to a Kardashev type III civilization.

    It’s kinda like our pets. We can’t really communicate with them on an equal level but we can pretty much figure out all their wants and needs just by observing their behavior because their minds are much, much simpler.

    Also, we exterminate animals we consider pests without thinking about it twice. Like when you move into a new place and realize it has a cockroach infestation. Granted, cockroaches can be fascinating critters from purely biological point of view, but you don’t really want them where you live. We have no qualms about killing them en-masse. That’s sort of how a higher civilization might view us – as pests.

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  4. Nicholas UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I’m not going to say that every UFO sighting is completely fabricated, some sightings are from very credible and competent sources like air force and airliner pilots who report seeing the very definition of UFOs-Unidentified Flying Objects. Then there are things like the sighting in Mexico city seen by thousands of people at the same time. They can’t be fully explained, but I find the thought that they are extraterrestrials that spent unknown ages and resources to get to earth so they could mutilate cows and probe people to be kind of stupid. There is a show on the History channel called “Ancient Aliens” the people on this show document and research strange archaeological sites, some of them are huge, and they really don’t know how people managed to build them several thousand years ago, so these guy’s automatically assume that Aliens are the only explanation. Or maybe some paleo-indian decided to draw weird and fantastical things on a rock in the desert, well nothing that looked like that existed back then so according to these “experts” it has to be evidence of aliens. 5,000 years from now someone is going to find a well preserved copy of Independance Day buried in some ruins and start searching for evidence to support that it is a matter of historical fact. I think ufos, by definition of the term, are absolutly real, but are they extraterrestrial visitors? Extremely unlikely to the point of being ridiculous. Sorry for rambling on about it, but it is a fascinating cultural phenomenon.

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  5. copperfish Opera Linux Terminalist says:

    I guess the fascination with UFOs is summed up by Mulder’s iconic poster in X-Files, “I want to believe.”

    Religion, UFOs, hell even Dyson Spheres are all things we want to believe. I’m just on the side of well maybe we can build a Dyson Sphere, but it’s unlikely we’ll find gods or aliens. We just aren’t that important.

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  6. Eric Google Chrome Ubuntu Linux says:

    Any attempt to predict the future falls into the region of faith and therefore religion.

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  7. nitro2k01 SWEDEN Mozilla Firefox Mac OS Terminalist says:

    Eric wrote:

    Any attempt to predict the future falls into the region of faith and therefore religion.

    Not true. It all depends your reasoning for believing what you do. If you drop an object, it will fall to the ground, accelerating at about 9.82 m/s². This is what science does, figuring out the mechanics of the world and to – yes – predict the future. This is fine as long as you’re aware that you’re not dealing with a prophecy, but a prediction, and properly assess the probability of the prediction. However, the vast majority of attempts at predicting have absolutely no support in any scientific method.

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  8. Liudvikas LITHUANIA Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    Pretty much what you said, but I still think it would be really depressing if we ourselves wouldn’t be interested in lesser civilizations when we reached point of interstellar exploration.
    I think probably the best answer to the fermi paradox is that the faster than light travel is either impossible or way beyond the reach of type I or type II civilizations, making type III extremely rare or non-existent.
    Or we just don’t know how to communicate.

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  9. Ron NEW ZEALAND Mozilla Linux says:

    Id be highly suprised if there is not extra-terriastial life out there, I see nothing special enough about Earth to suggest that it is the only life bearing object in space. In fact I find it highly arragant to assume, that there is only life on Earth.

    I do however have doubts if we will either meet or have been visited by them. Its possible. Exploring other planets is pretty much out of my grasp, so I will just get on with what I can do, and keep aliens, to sci-fi.

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  10. Tino UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    The idea that alien spaceship routinely abduct humans and probe them seems highly unlikely, given the lack of anything resembling hard evidence. Though, I agree with Zel’s analogy that such probing is essentially precisely what we ourselves do to many other species, so I dismiss the argument “they would never be interested”. Monkeys in the deep jungle may be using the exact same argument to convince other monkeys that there is nothing to the reports of naked apes wrapped in cloth who lurks around and kidnap their friends, and they would be wrong.

    But, nevertheless, just for fun, a lovely conspiracy theory to think about :) : the Roswell crash (which is one of the first more well documented possible UFO incidents) coincides very closely with the invention of the transistor. If there is one single invention that truly sparked the modern technological development, it is the transistor. <scary sound>

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