Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chat at the Cafe - Subject Aliens

Do you wonder what would happen if SF writers thought about the fact that Alien intelligences might exist and NOT CARE about us at all?

Like, no invasions, no improvements, no "save mankind" no "wow those earthling sure are entertaining". No "aliens make good pets" or aliens want to have sex wif our wimmens, use us as an ingredient. They would be there, maybe know about us already and not care, not because they were superior or inferior, just because they wouldn't care.

And then the story would be about the inability of humanity or at least some humans to accept that fact and keep trying to get the aliens attention in order to fulfill their preconceived notions and what would happen to us because of our inability to grasp the fact that their apathy and disinterest was real.

I think that we would rather be hated or oppressed than ignored, but we'd rather be liked and admired than hated or oppressed. I imagine that we would start thinking of ourselves as "human" and have a better tribal identity as one group of people, but the complete lack of recognition would be more than we could handle.

It's like only having one person on a island to talk to but they never talk to you. We'd fill in all the missing dialogue, unable to accept that the other person truly and for no personal reason doesn't care to engage.

Oh and they shouldn't look like anything on our planet either.

I doubt I'm the first person to think of it. I'm sure someone must have already written this. I'd be interested in if they managed to do it well. How hard would it be for a silly human to even conceive of something not interested in us, without being more powerful than us. I think we crave hierarchy.

Maybe this is a better conversation for the bar


Stacey said...

Shades of Hitchhiker's Guide? Excepting, of course, Ford Prefect. Love it.

Drinne said...

I'm not sure that works Stacey, aliens were entertained when they found us it's just that we were insignificant, and there was only one or two of us left. Also the Vogons totally wanted to destroy us because we were in the way of the highway and the mice were using us a part of a supercomputer that was a threat to all philosophy - so we were important to someone.

I mean really Not Care. At All. I think i would like to see it a serious thing. We as Americans can't even conceive of our opinion not-mattering to something as Alien as a Nobel Prize.(and it's based on alien concepts. Look up the rules). Everyone reacts to what they think the prize is good or bad even in the face of specific evidence that it's not - then they just assault it's credibility based on their mistaken belief of what their imaginary nobel does, which is fine, but it's not the prize they think it is. Their opinion cannot change it to being the prize they think it is. They don't matter.

I think we're hard wired to believe we matter. If you took away all religions we would still find some other way to think we matter. Even Atheists are convinced we're special because we have science, so we matter. Discovering things makes us matter, but what if the aliens don't care about discovering things - well, then I think humans would make value judgements about them, but the aliens still wouldn't care. Not even a "that's nice dear" from the aliens.

However HHGTG is indeed perfect for putting us in a cosmopolitan environment and making us not matter much- which is very entertaining and most likely true, but the human race had to be wiped out before it could figure out how insignificant it was. : )

Totally love HHGTG.