RANGER AGAINST WAR: Pathetic Fallacy <

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pathetic Fallacy

Ray Walston,
--My Favorite Martian

--You fiend.
--I, a fiend? I am a soldier of our planet.

I, a fiend? We did not come here as enemies.

--Plan 9 From Outer Space

Heeere's Johnny!

--The Shining (1980)

I don't know which species is worse.

You don't see them fucking each other over

for a goddamn percentage

--Aliens (1986)

I like Stephen Hawking, but his latest pronouncement is disheartening. Sunday's UK TimesOnline says Mr. Hawking warns us off of talking with aliens. No, not our friends South of the Border, but the sort they're seeing each week in Cleveland (Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking.)

Hawking reasons that some aliens could be intelligent, thereby posing a threat, and believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.
He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

Sounding much like the 2008 Pixar animation Wall-E of rapacious and enervated earthlings-turned-scavengers, Hawkins vision is either shockingly limited in its anthropocentrism, or he is waging an ideological challenge. Has he been tainted by the terrorist bug, too? Is he Hobbesian, and is it really a war of all against all?

Have the Somali pirate tales gotten to him? Can he honestly believe intergalactic pirates would wish to plunder our paltry bounty?

One thing is certain: This is a message guaranteed to curry favor in certain quarters that would disfavor expansion of the space program. It panders to an us-against-them mentality, and can be used by those who wish to safely draw in their borders.

Stephen Hawking, this doesn't seem to be your finest hour.

[Cross-posted at Big Brass Blog.]

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Blogger rogue trader said...

Mars Attack! Ask any Native American or an Incan (if there were any left) how horrific it is having his land taken away by an invader. At least the Aborigines in Australia got an apology. White Man's biggest burden faces him in the mirror every morning


Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Dave said...

Hi Lisa,

Perhaps Mr. Hawking has watched Independence Day one too many times.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Multi-Universal War On Terrorism?

Should be some awesome defense contracts in that.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes, Dave -- all signs from Hollywood indicate that most of those outside our borders wish us ill.

avedis has got it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 7:09:00 AM GMT-5  

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