You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
Yes, they consider us cockroaches. Cockroaches left in charge of increasingly advanced and destructive technology.
"Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis" A scholarly paper (33-page pdf) summarized by the Guarniad with its most attention-getting scenario semi-explained by DiscoveryNews: "[the aliens may] want to exterminate us for the greater good of the Milky Way." (for the record, it was NOT written for NASA though one of the authors is a "NASA dude")
How to talk to an alien, a detailed guide to first contact. You might want to invent your own language for just such an occasion. Or just get to know the most common patterns for fictional alien languages.(previously)
Today is the day that extraterrestrials make contact with Earth! According to a retired NORAD officer who has studied alien phenomenon since WW2, a fleet of UFOs will perform a massive display for hours over the world's principal cities today, the first step in mankind's acceptance of alien existence. Drawing upon his military experience and a wealth of historical data from NORAD intelligence, Stanley Fulham has concluded in his recently published book, Challenges of Change, that October 13, 2010 is the date of first contact. Although they won't land or communicate today (so as not to cause a worldwide panic), the aliens come with the benevolent intention of saving humans from ecological disaster. Hoopy froods should know where their towels are.