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Writer's Block: Children of the sun

How do you think aliens would regard our society? If an alien ship landed in your backyard, would you run away or bring a bundt cake?
This kind of question always presupposes we would WANT the blessing of whatever alien species lands. What if we're visited by a species of aliens to whom violent rape and child molestation is so much the norm that they consider us disgusting perverts for making such things illegal? What if they think the people at 4chan are the world's most moral people?

I'm reminded of an episode of Babylon 5, where Ivanova is giving a tour to an alien delegate. His people refuse to talk directly to any lesser beings unless they respect that species' culture, speaking instead through a subordinate of another species. She tries to only show him the best stuff, but he insists on seeing all the worst stuff, like where the poor people live, and the seedy, criminal underworld. After seeing all this "bad" stuff, he has nothing but glowing praise - from his own mouth, and is revealed to be something like a space Nazi. So alien does not necessarily mean we want their praise.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
underlankers
Jan. 5th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
It also assumes that aliens would recognize humans as sapient lifeforms and treat them thus. As an alien from a world that *did* contact Tamir III and conquered it, I can tell you it wasn't until a few centuries after the conquest we realized that the apes had produced sapient lifeforms. I can also say that the most likely aliens one would encounter, even if bipedal tetrapods, would be so alien that they might not recognize at all that the products of the last 6,000 years of human civilization are in fact the works of a civilization.

They might, for instance, decide humans are pests like any other to be eliminated, but do so with the dispassion humans attach to eliminating critters like say.....fire ants. Not to mention different species and cultural-memetic evolutions may favor entirely different types of warfare. Such species might look on the human system of army group-army-corps-division-brigade-regiment-company-platoon-squadron is too rigid and ineffective and is the sign of inferior imitations of lifeforms....

-Yohanin Gerigstandgros-
fayanora
Jan. 6th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
It also assumes that aliens would recognize humans as sapient lifeforms and treat them thus [...] They might, for instance, decide humans are pests like any other to be eliminated, but do so with the dispassion humans attach to eliminating critters like say.....fire ants.

I have a poetry fishbowl poem along these lines that still needs sponsorship. The one called “What Defines Sentience?” Costs only $10.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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